Max Verstappen dominates at Imola

Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Italy (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen took the lead of the 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, in Imola, by passing Lewis Hamilton in the first corner of the first lap and went on to dominate the race despite the weather conditions and a red flag.

The race began in rainy conditions with most drivers choosing to start the Grand Prix with intermediate tires and a couple of drivers – full wet weather tires. Already on the first lap of the race, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed and the safety car came out onto the track for the first time.

With Verstappen leading the race, around the time the track was drying up, Hamilton – who was chasing down his Dutch rival – slid off track while trying to pass back markers and broke his front wing. He went on to reverse out of the gravel and rejoined the race a lap down in ninth position.

At the same time, Valtteri Bottas and George Russell had a massive accident into the Variante Tamburello and a red flag was shown. Russell touched the wet grass and lost control of his Williams car, which hit Bottas’ Mercedes.

Following a restart with half of the race remaining, Verstappen ran away with the lead and Lando Norris jumped up into second place ahead of the two Ferraris, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively.

Over the final laps, Hamilton battled his way past Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, both Ferarris, and finally Norris to take second place – 22 seconds behind Verstappen. The Brit set the fastest lap time of 1:16.702 on lap 60, which helped him maintain a one-point lead in the Driver’s Championship over Verstappen.

Norris finished the race third and the two Ferraris close by behind him. Ricciardo and Stroll finished sixth and seventh within a second of each other and Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, and Esteban Ocon completed the point earning positions.

AFTER THE RACE:

Stroll received a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage while passing Gasly. That meant Stroll is classified in eighth place and Gasly moved up to seventh.

Raikkonen received a thirty-second penalty for a rolling start infringement. That dropped the Finn from ninth place all the way to thirteenth – promoting Ocon to ninth and Fernando Alonso into the points in tenth position.

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix results

  1. Max Verstappen (RED BULL RACING) – 2:02:34.598 – 25 Points
  2. Lewis Hamilton (MERCEDES) – +22.000s – 18 Points + 1 Point for fastest lap (1:16.702 – Lap 60)
  3. Lando Norris (MCLAREN) – +23.702s – 15 Points
  4. Charles Leclerc (FERRARI) – +25.579s – 12 Points
  5. Carlos Sainz (FERRARI) – +27.036s – 10 Points
  6. Daniel Ricciardo (MCLAREN) – +51.220s – 8 Points
  7. Pierre Gasly (ALPHATAURI) – +52.818s – 6 Points
  8. Lance Stroll (ASTON MARTIN) – +56.909s – 4 Points
  9. Esteban Ocon (ALPINE) – +65.704s – 2 Points
  10. Fernando Alonso (ALPINE) – +66.561s – 1 Point
  11. Sergio Perez (RED BULL RACING) – +67.151s
  12. Yuki Tsunoda (ALPHATAURI) – +73.184s
  13. Kimi Räikkönen (ALFA ROMEO) – +94.773s
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi (ALFA ROMEO) – +1 Lap
  15. Sebastian Vettel (ASTON MARTIN) – DNF | 61 Laps
  16. Mick Schumacher (HAAS) – +2 Lap
  17. Nikita Mazepin (HAAS) – +2 Lap
    NC – Valtteri Bottas (MERCEDES) – DNF | 30 Laps
    NC – George Russell (WILLIAMS) – DNF | 30 Laps
    NC – Nicholas Latifi (WILLIAMS) – DNF | 0 Laps

Drivers’ Championship after Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) | MERCEDES – 44
  2. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) | RED BULL RACING – 43
  3. Lando Norris (Great Britain) | MCLAREN – 27
  4. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) | FERRARI – 20
  5. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) | MERCEDES – 16
  6. Carlos Sainz (Spain) | FERRARI – 14
  7. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) | MCLAREN – 14
  8. Sergio Perez (Mexico) | RED BULL RACING – 10
  9. Pierre Gasly (France) | ALPHATAURI – 6
  10. Lance Stroll (Canada) | ASTON MARTIN – 5
  11. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) | ALPHATAURI – 2
  12. Esteban Ocon (France) | ALPINE – 2
  13. Fernando Alonso (Spain) | ALPINE – 1
  14. Kimi Räikkönen (Finland) | ALFA ROMEO – 0
  15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) | ALFA ROMEO – 0
  16. George Russell (Great Britain) | WILLIAMS – 0
  17. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) | ASTON MARTIN – 0
  18. Mick Schumacher (Germany) | HAAS – 0
  19. Nikita Mazepin (Russian Automobile Federation) | HAAS – 0
  20. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) | WILLIAMS – 0

Constructors’ Championship after Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

  1. MERCEDES – 60
  2. RED BULL RACING – 53
  3. MCLAREN – 41
  4. FERRARI – 34
  5. ALPHATAURI – 8
  6. ASTON MARTIN – 5
  7. ALPINE – 3
  8. ALFA ROMEO – 0
  9. WILLIAMS – 0
  10. HAAS – 0

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