Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix certainly threw up plenty of drama, with Max Verstappen’s victory, a rare mistake from Lewis Hamilton, and a thrilling podium from Lando Norris. It also generated its fair share of facts and figures…
Verstappen failed to finish all 3 races in Italy last year and prior to today had never finished in the top-4 in this country at any track. Red Bull’s best previous result at Imola was Vitantonio Liuzzi’s 8th place in 2005.
For the 99th time in his F1 career, Hamilton started from pole as rain fell at Imola, but it was Verstappen who jumped from third to first with a masterful second-gear launch. Hamilton briefly led again when Verstappen pitted for mediums from intermediates on Lap 27, but the Briton emerged second thanks to his sluggish stop one lap later. On Lap 31, the seven-time champion locked up and beached his car at Tosa, only to rejoin P8.
A terrifying accident followed that as Bottas and Russell came together at Tamburello. Both were thankfully unhurt, but Bottas was apparently winded and Russell furious as another potential points finish slipped away from the Williams driver in a spectacular fashion. Neither faced action from the stewards after a post-race investigation, but both disagreed on who was to blame.
The red flag followed to allow marshals to clear the cars and debris, and the rolling restart saw Verstappen keep his lead, with Hamilton quickly making up ground from P8. A brilliant recovery followed, with the world champion up to fifth by Lap 43, fourth by Lap 50 and third – at the expense of Leclerc – by Lap 55.
The victory was to be Verstappen’s, however, and by a margin over 20 seconds at the flag as the action behind did nothing to rattle him. That left Hamilton second, Norris third thanks to a sensational drive from P7, and Leclerc fourth – his podium having slipped away to the superior McLaren of Norris, who had jumped the Ferrari after the red flag restart.
Carlos Sainz finished fifth even after two trips through the gravel, while Daniel Ricciardo took sixth for McLaren having started there.
Lance Stroll was once again rapid in the wet and made it to P7 from P10, ahead of Pierre Gasly whose choice to start on wets didn’t pay off, leaving him as low as 18th on Lap 16 when he bit the bullet and swapped to inters. However, Stroll was given a five-second penalty post-race and finished eighth; Gasly seventh.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen started 16th but made it up to P11 in the wet, taking P9 when Bottas and Russell came together. The Finn was later penalised for an infringement during the Lap 35 rolling start that left Esteban Ocon ninth and Fernando Alonso scoring his first point since his comeback, in 10th.
2021 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP Race Results
|1.||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||2:02:34.598||25|
|2.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+22.000s||18|
|3.||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Racing||+23.702s||16|
|4.||16||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||+25.579s||12|
|5.||55||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||+27.036s||10|
|6.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Racing||+51.220s||8|
|7.||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+52.818s||6|
|8.||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin F1 Team||+56.909s||4|
|9.||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine F1 Team||+65.704s||2|
|10.||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine F1 Team||+66.561s||1|
|11.||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+67.151s||0|
|12.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+73.184s||0|
|13.||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Orlen||+94.773s|
|14.||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Orlen||+1 lap||0|
|15.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin F1 Team||DNF||0|
|16.||47||Mick Schumacher||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||+2 laps||0|
|17.||9||Nikita Mazepin||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||+2 laps||0|
|18.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||DNF||0|
|19.||63||George Russell||Williams Racing||DNF||0|
|20.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing||DNF||0|
Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Tsunoda received a 5-second time penalty for exceeding track limits. Stroll received a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Raikkonen received a 30-second time penalty for a rolling start infringement.