In an incredible finish Max Verstappen wins in Imola and crosses the line just 22 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton’s incredible comeback from ninth position at one point moved him right to the top to two and Norris into third, Leclerc into fourth, Sainz into fifth, Ricciardo in sixth. Stroll seventh and Gasly catching up in eight. In a dramatic turn of events, George Russel and Velterri Bottas left the race fuming after a huge crash. A beguile Formula One race was stopped on Lap 33 after stewards showed red flags. As Russel walked back he slapped Bottas on the helmet and both drivers were quite evidently unhappy with one another.
Lewis Hamilton was able to push hard through ninth position and claim from his ninth position into second place with a young Mclaren star Norrie third and as an incredible bonus this was marked as his fasted lap point to keep him top of the championship after two rounds.
The majority of the cars started on intermediate tyres on a track that was damp in some places. Leclerc spun at Acque Minerali on the warm-up lap but managed to extract himself from gravel. Verstappen started in second gear then surged alongside Hamilton where they collided on the Tamburello run. Hamilton bounces across the kerb slightly damaging the front wing end plate. Latifi went little further, crashing a few yards later after contact with Mazepin, which brought out the safety car.
Lap 7 – Hamilton tries to repass Verstappen into Tamburello but he soon came under pressure from Leclerc. Having pulled out a 5s lead, Hamilton closed the gap to Verstappen as the inters wore down to semi-slicks. Well out of the points, and penalized for not having his wheels on the car 5 minutes before the start of the lap.
Lap 28 – Vertsappen with Hamilton going for the overcut and staying out for a lap, but Lewis suffered a slow 4s stop and rejoined even further behind.
Lap 31- Hamilton strays slightly off at Tosa while trying to lap Russell, further damaging his front wing against the tyrewall before reversing out of the gravel trap.
The safety car, and then a red flag, was required again when Bottas and Russell – who had already been lapped before half distance – clashed on the high-speed run to Tamburello. Both cars slammed into a walk creating a level of debris. Both drivers were unharmed but the Mercedes W12 had sustained massive damage. It was rare to see Hamilton make a mistake, his recovery was extremely classy and skillful. “Strength comes from vulnerability. If you dnt make the mistake you can never learn the lesson. Respect for taking responsibility …” says Hamilton to George Russell on his social media post.
Needless to say there was enough excitement and drama from start to finish for F1 races from an enthralling Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Max Verstappen ends the competition with an incredible 11th win of this career. A strong finish for Mclaren and Ferrari on the day. The Emilia Romagna podium marks the first time since 2010 British Grand Prix has seen Red Bull Racing, Mercedes AMG and Maclaren on a podium together. The drivers are headed to Miami for the next leg of racing.
Source: Fatima Said