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Formula 1: Max Verstappen returned to victory at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1: Max Verstappen returned to victory at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

After what Verstappen built a solid lead in the early stages after a good launch from pole position, the star of Red Bull enjoyed a mostly serene drive around the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodromo, until Norris’ McLaren began to close the gap as the race reached its final stages.

The finish was nothing short of exciting as Norris continued to reduce Verstappen’s lead, but oversteer seemed to sap more life from the McLaren driver’s aging tires, allowing the Red Bull to hold on by just 0.725s as the checkered flag arrived.

Charles Leclerc, with the Ferrari, had to settle for the last position on the podium in front of the home Ferrari fans, while Oscar Piastri was fourth with a solid performance for McLaren. Carlos Sainz, with the other Ferrari, was fifth.

The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell They crossed the finish line in a distant sixth and seventh position, while Sergio Pérez could only advance to eighth place after starting the race in 11th.

Formula 1: Max Verstappen added a new victory in Italy

The top ten positions were completed by Lance Stroll (Aston Mrtin) and Yuki Tsunoda (RD) with the Japanese finishing one lap down on the leaders.

Verstappen and Norris moved almost the same at the start, but the Dutchman managed to maintain the first place he earned on Saturday in qualifying and thus began to build his victory at the Imola circuit.

Pirelli’s medium tires were chosen by the vast majority, being Sergio Perez, who started 11th and placed tenth after overtaking Daniel Ricciardo at the beginning, in opting for the hard ones.

Oscar Piastri, who had been second in the classification but started fifth after the sanction he received on Saturday, was unable to advance positions at the start and was relegated behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

With ten laps completed of the 63 planned for the grand prix, Verstappen set a record of 1m20s543 and led with almost three seconds of difference over Norris, who in turn was two seconds ahead of Leclerc.

The most entertaining part of the race was the duel for fourth position between Sainz, who could not keep up with Leclerc, and Piastri, who put pressure on the Spaniard, making it clear that he had better speed in his McLaren.

Perez he was eighth at the height of the 15th lap after the pit stops of Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) and Yuki Tsunoda (RB) in front of him, and the Mexican took the opportunity to get some air as he found himself ten seconds behind Lewis Hamilton.

However in the 17th round Perez He suffered an off-track in Rivazza, going into the gravel and losing five seconds, which further complicated his chances of having a good Sunday after his poor classification on Saturday.

Verstappen, with the other Red Bull, He enjoyed a lead without problems and was already six seconds behind him. Norris, who on lap 23 was the first of the leading drivers to go to the pits to change tires from medium to hard, returning to the race in seventh place, just behind Pérez, although the Briton was able to overtake him a lap later.

Verstappen, After receiving a warning for exceeding the track limits and complaining that he was losing performance with the tires, he went to the pits on lap 25 to change to hard tires and returned to the track in fourth place with less than five seconds about Norris.

The Dutchman would return to first place on the 28th lap due to the pit stops of those preceding him, where there was a change of position between Sainz and Piastri since the Australian had stopped earlier and achieved the undercut over the Spaniard to take fourth place.

With the pit stops completed at the top, Verstappen He led the race in 30 completed laps. with six seconds on Norris, while Leclerc was under pressure Piastri after having lost time the pilot of Ferrari by stretching his way through the pits.

Pérez, for his part, stretched his stint on the hard tires at an uncompetitive pace, finding himself overtaken by Norris, Leclerc, Piastri, Sainz and George Russell when all of them fell behind him while making their pitstops.

The one from Guadalajara finally went to the pits on lap 38 to change the hard tires for the medium ones, returning to the race just under two seconds behind Ricciardo in 11th position, but quickly took advantage of the fresh rubber to overtake the Australian.

MAX VERSTAPPEN CELEBRATION.JPG

World champion Max Verstappen celebrates the victory on his Red Bull, after winning the Emilia Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Reuters

Perez He continued the attack and in a few laps he was already eighth after overtaking Hulkenberg already Tsunoda, but that’s as far as his progress would go since hamilton, seventh, he was 30 seconds behind, although that did not prevent him from setting the race record with 1m19s686. However, that mark would be improved by Russel after a pit stop to change tires and turn in 1m18s589.

At the front of the race, Verstappen seemed to have everything under control but began to lose performance with its worn tires, quite the opposite for Norris, who in a few laps shaved more than three seconds off the leader to be less than two seconds away in the final six laps.

The pilot of McLaren He was less than a second away and in the DRS zone for the last lap, but he did not have enough time to have an overtaking opportunity.

Verstappen He finally crossed the finish line in first place with only seven tenths of a difference over Norris.

Formula 1: the tournament positions in the 2024 season

Behind the first two, the positions were very far apart between Leclerc, Piastri and Sainz to close the top 5.

  • Verstappen He leads the championship with 161 points and Pérez lost second place to Leclerc -113 to 106-, while Norris has 101 points in fourth place.
  • Among the manufacturers, Red Bull has 268 points in the lead and is followed by Ferrari with 212.
  • The next round of Formula 1 will be next weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix.

Source: Ambito

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