Verstappen led for the majority of the race on the wet Imola track, beating Hamilton by 22 seconds. Hamilton showed all his skills to make his way back up the field after falling as far back as ninth following an incident just before the halfway point of the race.
F1 said the track will be 5.41km long with high-speed straights which should allow top speeds of 320 Km/h and "multiple overtaking opportunities".
Formula 1 2021: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton takes pole for Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull pair
It was Hamilton’s 99th career pole and although there is a Red Bull directly behind the Mercedes driver, it will be Sergio Perez rather than Max Verstappen.
Formula 1 2021: Max Verstappen tops final practice at Imola to boost hopes of grabbing pole position
The Red Bull driver was 0.456 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and .557 clear of world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton said he hoped Imola would favour Mercedes more than Red Bull over the weekend.
Three motor races cancelled last year, are back on the calendar this year: the Monaco Historic Grand Prix on 25 April, the E-Prix on 8 May and the main event, the F1 Grand Prix.
Jehan Daruvala has Formula 1 potential but he needs to deliver 'top class' performances: Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko
Dr Helmut Marko heads Red Bull's driver development program which also has Jehan Daruvala as its member.
The 33-year-old German has never won a Grand Prix, but proved himself a valuable asset when standing in for Covid-19 casualties last season, before it rebranded as Aston Martin.
Masi, who denied all claims of inconsistency, pointed out the Red Bull driver was asked to hand back the race lead because he 'gained an advantage' in running off track, not only because he had crossed the white lines
Formula 1 2021, Bahrain GP: From Hamilton's epic win to track limits controversy, talking points from Grand Prix
The inaugural race of Formula 1 2021 season taught us that Mercedes finally have a challenger in Red Bull Racing. We take a look at the major talking points from the Bahrain GP.
Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton fights off persistent Max Verstappen to win season-opening Bahrain GP
Mercedes star Hamilton edged out pole-sitter Max Verstappen in his Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes rounding out the podium.
Bahrain Grand Prix: Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel demoted to last place on grid for yellow flag violation
Vettel picked up a grid penalty from race stewards for failing to slow down when yellow flags were deployed during his final Q1 run, related to incidents involving Nikita Mazepin's Haas and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz
Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton claims rule changes designed to 'peg us back' after Bahrain GP qualifying
The defending seven-time champion, bidding this year for an unprecedented eighth drivers' title, said it was "no secret" that the revised aerodynamic regulations were introduced to hold Mercedes back.
The four-time world champion Vettel, who joined the Aston Villa team this year after leaving Ferrari, failed to make the cut from Q1 and struggled to make an impression.
Verstappen earned his fourth career pole to deny Hamilton his 99th, edging out the world champion by .39 seconds on his final attempt.
Defending seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was only third in hot, dry and windy conditions at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday, beaten by both Max Vertstappen and Lando Norris
Formula 1 2021: 'It was alright,’ says Max Verstappen after topping Friday’s practice sessions ahead of Bahrain GP
The Red Bull driver outpaced nearest rival Norris, in his Mercedes-powered McLaren, by 0.095 seconds and Hamilton by slightly more than two-thirds.
Formula 1 2021: Looking forward to being in the car and kicking off the season, says Fernando Alonso
Alonso needed less than two weeks to get back to preparing for his season with Alpine, the rebranded Renault team where the Spaniard won his two F1 titles in 2005 and 2006.
Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen battle, five GP winners and more — F1 predictions for new season
Here are some of our predictions for the new Formula 1 season which kickstarts with Bahrain GP.
Formula 1 2021: 'Don't feel like this is the end', Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton refutes retirement talks
Hamilton spoke in an upbeat way about his and the sport's future ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.