2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix report and highlights: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 as Ferrari falter in action-packed Imola race

Max Verstappen gained a dramatic wet-dry Emilia Romagna Grand Prix over Red Bull workforce mate Sergio Perez as Ferrari couldn’t ship on dwelling turf – Charles Leclerc spinning late on to complete sixth after Carlos Sainz retired.

The Dutchman topped Saturday’s Sprint and led off the road on Sunday, workforce mate Perez becoming a member of him on the entrance – whereas Leclerc momentarily dropped to fourth. The Safety Car emerged on the opening lap as Daniel Ricciardo tipped Carlos Sainz into the gravel and out of the race for the second Grand Prix.

With the observe drying, drivers started to swap from inters to mediums on Lap 19 – Perez coming in earlier than Verstappen, who led Leclerc into the pits one lap later. The Monegasque emerged simply forward of the Mexican, however Perez skated previous for P2 with hotter tyres and then saved the Ferrari at bay.

A late gamble to pit for softs from P3 from Leclerc noticed the Red Bulls observe go well with and retain the lead, however on Lap 54 – once more in chase of Perez – the championship chief spun and hit the wall at Variante Alta. He dropped all the way down to ninth having needed to pit for a brand new nostril and softs, and recovered solely to P6 on the flag.

Lando Norris subsequently took the ultimate podium place, promoted twice with Sainz retiring and Leclerc going off observe. Mercedes’ George Russell loved a superb begin and was up seven locations to P4 as the chequered flag loomed, holding off Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas by underneath a second regardless of a late duel with the driving force he changed on the Silver Arrows.

Yuki Tsunoda completed seventh for AlphaTauri, passing Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (P8) late on – whereas Leclerc completed forward of the pair along with his late rescue effort.

Haas’s Kevin Magnussen ran as excessive as P5 thanks to a different blistering begin however fell again down the order to ninth. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounded out the highest 10, a double-points haul for the workforce that entered Imola on zero.

Alex Albon’s strong exhibiting put him eleventh, forward of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly – who couldn’t pry his well beyond even with DRS (which was activated when the observe was deemed dry sufficient on Lap 34). Lewis Hamilton was subsequent, the Mercedes driver having been unceremoniously lapped by Verstappen on Lap 40, to complete thirteenth – Esteban Ocon ending eleventh however dropping to 14th due to a five-second penalty for an unsafe launch.

2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz spins off at begin in moist at Imola

Zhou Guanyu began from the pit lane after his Sprint crash, the Alfa Romeo driver taking P15 forward of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

In seventeenth was Mick Schumacher, the Haas driver having spun twice on Sunday afternoon – whereas Daniel Ricciardo was final and 18th after his Lap 1 tangle with Sainz, pitting once more for hards halfway via the race in a fruitless technique.

Along with Sainz, compatriot Fernando Alonso was the opposite DNF having misplaced a bit of his sidepod, Schumacher having misplaced management and hit the Alpine’s flanks on Lap 1.

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As it occurred

Rain could have washed away the fantastic climate that graced the hundreds of followers at Imola in the morning, but it surely did little to dampen their spirits – tifosi portray the grandstands purple, smatterings of blue and white amongst them for AlphaTauri’s dwelling race. The clouds let up through the laps to the grid, which had been performed on intermediate compounds – however there was nonetheless a danger of precipitation in the air.

After taking P1 from pole in the Sprint, Max Verstappen ensured he’d line up forward of Charles Leclerc, whereas Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz made severe strikes on Saturday in the Sprint to occupy the entrance row for this Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Also in the air was a way of jeopardy for Ferrari, who in a single day modified components on all of their engines – together with these of buyer groups Haas and Alfa Romeo – and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, the 14th-placed starter having observed hiccups on his energy unit on the laps to the grid, with assurances that the issue can be fastened.

The lights went out underneath gray skies, the entire area on intermediate tyres – Zhou Guanyu ranging from the pit lane – in chase of Verstappen, who led away with Perez transferring to second. Cue heartbreak for the Ferrari devoted: Daniel Ricciardo collided with Sainz at Tamburello, sending the Ferrari out – and bringing out the Safety Car.


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Sainz retired for the second race in a row

Leclerc misplaced out too, down in fourth behind Lando Norris, who pipped him into Turn 2; the winners in that chaos had been Kevin Magnussen, going from P8 to P5, forward of George Russell (P11 to P6). Lance Stroll additionally loved the opening tour, making it from P15 to P11 whereas workforce mate Sebastian Vettel was as much as ninth from P13.

The race restarted for Lap 5 of 64, Red Bull retaining their one-two in the intervening time, whereas Norris held sturdy in P3 forward of Leclerc – till Lap 8, when the Ferrari swept by on the primary straight. The Dutchman was three seconds forward of workforce mate Perez by that time, Leclerc one other three seconds again.

The dry line was outstanding by Lap 10 and drivers had been looking for some moist patches to appease their searing inter tyres – the racers holding out for what was billed as an incoming bathe.

Russell, up 5 locations due to a superb begin, offered the fireworks at this level in a surprising duel with Magnussen for P5. He stalked the Haas from Lap 11 to 13, the Dane preserving his elbows out at a number of factors and virtually shedding out to Russell at Turn 2 on Lap 12, however nearly preserving his place. The Silver Arrow lastly acquired previous at Variante Alta with a surprising transfer on Lap 13.

That battle helped Bottas shut up and pry P6 off the Haas driver a lap later at Rivazza.


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Bottas was fast all through for Alfa Romeo – simply how far might he get?

Back on the entrance, Leclerc was reeling in Perez at a race of knots, simply 1.3s behind the Mexican who was in flip six seconds behind his workforce mate on Lap 15 – Verstappen nonetheless stretching his legs.

No rain but so the tyres had been struggling, and it was Ricciardo who took the danger to pit for mediums on Lap 18, maybe hoping to salvage one thing after his Lap 1 collision with Sainz. That opened up the window.

Ferrari’s pit crew then emerged however Leclerc didn’t come in for a brand new set. Rather, it was Red Bull who reacted first and despatched Perez in for mediums. On Lap 20, Verstappen would lead Leclerc in – the Dutchman having fun with a cease 1.4 seconds quicker than his rival’s – after which the entire area was on yellow-banded slicks.

Leclerc would emerge simply forward of Perez, however the Mexican’s tyres had been hotter and he squirmed previous into the opening chicane on Lap 2. It appeared that Red Bull’s technique had labored, and they had been again heading in the right direction for a one-two… albeit with Leclerc lurking.

Leclerc would take a look on Lap 22 however he couldn’t make it previous, and gave his tyres some respite earlier than closing again in on Lap 29 when Perez went off observe. With no DRS but, nonetheless, the cross for P2 can be that a lot more durable. Verstappen continued, now 9.5 seconds in the lead.

On Lap 34, circumstances had been deemed dry sufficient for DRS to be enabled.

2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso retires after sidepod rips off

Unaffected, Verstappen stretched his legs additional, symbolically lapping then-14th-placed Hamilton on Lap 41 with the reigning champion now 12 seconds forward of his workforce mate.

Lap 50 noticed Leclerc come in for mushy tyres, triggering Perez then Verstappen to pit for a similar compounds on the next laps. Perez was now put into the clutches of the Ferrari and as soon as once more needed to mount a staunch defence if he was to seal the Red Bull one-two.

That was the case till Leclerc spun and tapped the wall at Variante Alta on Lap 53 – inflicting him to drop all the way down to P9 as he pitted for a brand new entrance wing. On one other set of soppy tyres, he recovered to P6 with late passes on Vettel and Tsunoda.

Verstappen cruised to a win by 16.5 seconds over workforce mate Perez, the Driver of The Day clawing his manner again into the championship struggle with a decisive victory. Faltering on dwelling turf, Ferrari’s woes allowed Norris to take the ultimate podium spot for McLaren.

In P4 was Russell, 0.6s forward of ex-Mercedes driver Bottas – the Alfa Romeo driver having chased the Silver Arrow late on to no avail. Seventh-place Yuki Tsunoda overtook Magnussen with DRS on Lap 48 and took one other off Vettel on Lap 54 – helpful factors for AlphaTauri only a few miles away from their Faenza manufacturing facility regardless of the Japanese driver struggling for traction mid-race.


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Russell held off Bottas by six-tenths

Vettel completed eighth, his workforce mate Stroll tenth – each Aston Martins bringing dwelling factors having entered Imola with none. Between them was Magnussen, the Dane falling to P9 regardless of working as excessive as P5 after one other nice begin.

Alex Albon took a superb P11 for Williams, his tempo on mediums ok to maintain AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly behind by 0.6s, Lewis Hamilton one other seven-tenths off in P13 as the Mercedes driver simply couldn’t make his well beyond, regardless of getting agonisingly shut after DRS opened up on Lap 35.

Esteban Ocon completed eleventh from sixteenth, however was categorized 14th, due to a five-second time penalty for an unsafe launch on his pit cease, which noticed the Alpine bang wheels with Hamilton’s Mercedes in the pit lane.


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Vettel put Aston Martin again on observe with Stroll capping off a double-points end

Zhou Guanyu’s Sprint crash noticed him begin from the pits and end fifteenth for Alfa Romeo – forward of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in sixteenth.

Mick Schumacher spun at first, simply after Sainz had been beached at Tamburello. The Haas driver suffered one other spin on Lap 25 in a duel with Latifi, to complete seventeenth.

After his Lap 1 tangle with Sainz, Ricciardo had been the primary driver to pit for slicks. The Australian got here in as soon as once more on the midway level for a set of laborious tyres however solely completed 18th – with Alonso and Sainz the 2 retirees on Sunday.

Not Ferrari’s most interesting day, however the followers had been in full voice as they watched Red Bull’s delighted duo spray champagne on the rostrum with an equally jubilant Norris.


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The podium trio have a good time

Key quote

“It’s all the time robust to attain one thing like that,” mentioned Emilia Romagna Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen. “Already yesterday and the day earlier than, we had been on it and it was wanting like a robust weekend. Today, you by no means know with the climate how aggressive you’ll be… however as a workforce we did all the things nicely and I feel one-two could be very nicely deserved.

“The begin was essential, however afterwards [also], judging the circumstances and when to swap to the slick tyres and on the out lap on slick tyres to not make errors. In the lead, it’s important to all the time dictate the tempo, and it’s all the time a bit tougher initially however all the things was nicely managed.”

What’s subsequent?

The Miami Grand Prix makes its debut on May 6-8, this brand-new period of F1 taking to a brand-new circuit – with Max Verstappen having scored a invaluable victory in Ferrari’s again backyard, Verstappen having now moved to P2 in the drivers’ standings behind Leclerc.

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