Verstappen defeats Ferrari on home soil at Imola


Max Verstappen charged to victory at Imola as both Ferrari drivers hit the wall at home.

Verstappen’s win never looked in doubt as he cruised to victory in Italy, taking a chunk out of Charles Leclerc’s and Ferrari’s lead in both championships.

This victory was only made sweeter for Red Bull Racing as teammate Sergio Perez survived pressure from Leclerc to finish second, claiming the team’s first one-two finish since Malaysia 2016.

Speaking to Marc Gene in the post-race interviews, Verstappen said:

“Today, you never know with the weather how competitive you’re gonna be but I think, as a team, we did well and I think this one-two is very deserved.”

Tifosi left in tears as Ferrari fail to win

With a strong lead in the championship and a new contract in Carlos Sainz’s pocket, Ferrari’s home fans were excited and confident that the prancing horse could win in Italy once again.

This hope was quickly removed, however, with Leclerc dropping back at turn one while Sainz made contact with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, failing to finish in what was already a difficult weekend for the Spaniard.

Leclerc quickly made his way back into the top three before placing pressure on Perez. This continued for much of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix until disaster struck.

On lap 54, the championship leader jumped onto the curb at turn 14, spinning his F1-75 into the barrier before rejoining at the back of the points-paying positions.

Following a late-race comeback, Leclerc was able to claw back some points in damage limitation but there is no doubt that Ferrari will be heading to Miami with heads in their hands.

Leclerc now sits 27 points ahead of Verstappen in the drivers’ championship.

Strong form for Britain’s next F1 hopes

Lando Norris scored his first podium of 2022 after a quiet but strong race for McLaren, in a scenario that will feel like deja vu for the young Brit after doing the same thing last season.

Following a difficult start to their season, McLaren has fought back in the previous two rounds to reignite their battle for third in the constructors’ championship.

This result now means that the papaya team have taken podiums in Italy on F1’s last four visits to Italy.

Meanwhile, George Russell stormed to a fourth-place finish after qualifying only 11th for Mercedes in yesterday’s Sprint. Russell was narrowly able to defend from former-Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in the final laps.

Once again, Russell proved that he is facing the pressure from partnering a seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, in strong fashion with the 37-year-old only taking 14th.

Aston Martin finally on the board

The Silverstone-based team left Australia as the only team yet to score points after a strong race for Alex Albon allowed Williams to finish tenth.

However, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll fought back in difficult conditions, with Aston Martin being one of two teams today to have both cars in the points.

With Vettel eighth and Stroll tenth, the team now sit above Williams in the constructors’ championship with five points.

F1 next heads to the United States for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

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