Verstappen seals a dominant 1-2 victory for Red Bull Racing in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Following his late retirement in Melbourne, Max Verstappen responded back with vengeance once again after grabbing a dominating victory in the third annual running of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola Circuit on Sunday, April 24.

The 24-year-old Dutchman started the weekend by taking care of business by winning the spring qualifying event on Saturday and claiming the pole position over points leader Charles Leclerc. From there, Verstappen outlasted the wet conditions to lead all 63 laps and claim the checkered flag by more than 16 seconds over teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez, thus sealing a 1-2 victory for Oracle Red Bull Racing. 

The victory at Imola marked Verstappen’s second consecutive win at the circuit, the second of the 2022 season and the 22nd career victory for the Dutchman in his early quest to defend his world championship. By earning a total of 34 points for winning his sprint qualifying event and the overall event, Verstappen now trails points leader Charles Leclerc by 27 points.

“Coming into the weekend, of course, I didn’t expect something like this,” Verstappen said. “As a team, I think we executed everything very well. That’s always hard to do. Yeah, very pleased. Of course, to score the maximum amount of points. Also had the whole race win from the start. To the right calls with the tyres and also one-two [finish] at the end. Super happy. A lot of points scored. We also needed the points, so we looked like we were a bit more back on track. We have to try and keep this going…We can enjoy this Sunday for now.”

The runner-up result for Perez marked his second consecutive runner-up result and podium result of the season as he now trails the lead in the drivers’ standings by 32 points.

“It was a good result,” Perez said. “I think the rule number one of this conditions is to finish. It was so easy to make a mistake throughout the race. Going into the slick tyre, the warm-up phase and so on. That was going to be difficult, but it was great to get that victory [for Red Bull]…I think, given the start of the season we’ve had, it’s a great result for everyone back home.”

Meanwhile, Lando Norris benefitted from a late spin involving points leader Charles Leclerc to snatch the final podium result by finishing in third place. The result marked the second consecutive season where Norris achieved a podium result at Imola as he also achieved the first F1 podium result of the season for the McLaren F1 Team. 

“I think we won a lot in the start,” Norris said. “I had a perfect start, honestly. Probably the best one I’ve had in the wet. That put me ahead of the carnage. We won a lot in the beginning and we just had really good pace throughout. Not as amazing as the guys ahead, but I just managed it like I needed to do ahead of George [Russell] and that’s the way I needed to do. It was good. Fourth would’ve been amazing, but to be P3, to make the most of Charles’ mistake was just the icing on the cake on the pretty amazing weekend we’ve had so far. Super happy.”

George Russell came home in fourth place followed by Valtteri Bottas, who notched his first top-five result with Alfa Romeo Racing. 

Charles Leclerc, who was poised for a podium spot until he spun on Lap 53, settled for sixth place while Yuki Tsunoda, Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll finished in the top 10. The top-10 results for Vettel and Stroll recorded the first five points of the season for Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team.

Alexander Albon settled in 11th followed by Pierre Gasly and Sir Lewis Hamilton, who qualified 14th and was never in contention for the win. Esteban Ocon and rookie Guanyu Zhou finished in the top 15 while Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo were the last two competitors to finish.

Fernando Alonso retired in 19th place due to a sidepod damage to his Alpine A522. 

Carlos Sainz Jr., coming off a two-year contract extension with Ferrari, ended up in 20th place, dead last, for a second consecutive event after being involved in an opening lap collision with Ricciardo.


1. Max Verstappen, 34 points

2. Sergio Perez, 24 points

3. Lando Norris, 19 points

4. George Russell, 12 points

5. Valtteri Bottas, 12 points

6. Charles Leclerc, 15 points

7. Yuki Tsunoda, six points

8. Sebastian Vettel, four points

9. Kevin Magnussen, three points

10. Lance Stroll, +1 lap, one point

11. Alexander Albon, +1 lap

12. Pierre Gasly, +1 lap

13. Lewis Hamilton, +1 lap

14. Esteban Ocon, +1 lap

15. Guanyu Zhou, +1 lap

16. Nicholas Latifi, +1 lap

17. Mick Schumacher, +1 lap

18. Daniel Ricciardo, +1 lap, three points

19. Fernando Alonso – Retired

20. Carlos Sainz Jr. – Retired, five points

Despite finishing in sixth place, Charles Leclerc continues to lead the drivers’ standings by 27 points over Max Verstappen, 32 over Sergio Perez, 37 over George Russell, 48 over Carlos Sainz Jr. and 51 over Lando Norris. 

In addition, Ferrari continues to lead the constructors’ standings by 11 points over Red Bull Racing RBPT, 47 over Mercedes, 78 over McLaren Mercedes, 99 over Alfa Romeo Ferrari and 102 over Alpine Renault.

Next on the 2022 Formula One schedule is the inaugural running of the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome in Miami Gardens, Florida, which will occur on May 8.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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