Max Verstappen produced a dominant display in Imola to seal his second victory of the season ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, leading a Red Bull one-two at the 2022 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
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The Dutchman topped Saturday’s Sprint and led off the line on Sunday, teammate Perez joining him at the front – while Leclerc momentarily dropped to fourth. The Safety Car emerged on the opening lap as Daniel Ricciardo tipped Carlos Sainz into the gravel and out of the race for the second Grand Prix.
With the track drying, drivers began to swap from inters to mediums on Lap 19 – Perez coming in before Verstappen, who led Leclerc into the pits one lap later. The Monegasque emerged just ahead of the Mexican, but Perez skated past for P2 with warmer tyres and then kept the Ferrari at bay.
A late gamble to pit for softs from P3 from Leclerc saw the Red Bulls follow suit and retain the lead, but on Lap 54 – again in chase of Perez – the championship leader spun and hit the wall at Variante Alta. He dropped down to ninth having had to pit for a new nose and softs and recovered only to P6 at the flag.
Lando Norris, therefore, took the final podium place, promoted twice with Sainz retiring and Leclerc going off track. Mercedes’ George Russell enjoyed a brilliant start and was up seven places to P4 as the chequered flag loomed, holding off Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas by under a second despite a late duel with the driver he replaced at the Silver Arrows.
Yuki Tsunoda finished seventh for AlphaTauri, passing Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (P8) late on – while Leclerc finished ahead of the pair with his late rescue effort.
Haas’s Kevin Magnussen ran as high as P5 thanks to another blistering start but fell back down the order to ninth. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10, a double-points haul for the team that entered Imola on zero.
Alex Albon’s solid showing put him 11th, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly – who couldn’t pry his way past even with DRS (which was activated when the track was deemed dry enough on Lap 34). Lewis Hamilton was next, the Mercedes driver having been unceremoniously lapped by Verstappen on Lap 40, to finish 13th – Esteban Ocon finishing 11th but dropping to 14th thanks to a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.
Zhou Guanyu started from the pit lane after his Sprint crash, the Alfa Romeo driver taking P15 ahead of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
In 17th was Mick Schumacher, the Haas driver having spun twice on Sunday afternoon – while Daniel Ricciardo was last and 18th after his Lap 1 tangle with Sainz, pitting again for hards midway through the race in a fruitless strategy.
Along with Sainz, compatriot Fernando Alonso was the other DNF having lost a chunk of his sidepod, Schumacher having lost control and hit the Alpine’s flanks on Lap 1.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
At the start of the race, the intermediates worked well over a reasonably long stint, as was expected. I was a little bit surprised though that everyone chose the medium rather than the soft once the track had dried, in the cool and still damp conditions, they were obviously thinking about going all the way to the end, and that’s exactly what many of the drivers did. Ferrari came up with an interesting strategy, which was then copied by Red Bull, to go for the fastest lap with the soft tyre at the end. The medium showed impressive adaptability over long runs because the rain on Friday meant that the teams just had an hour on Saturday morning to understand it, with a maximum run of only around 20 laps possible. Despite that limited information, we saw long runs of 40 laps with no issues. Well done to Red Bull, but also to the fantastic home crowd here at Imola, which always shows such passionate support.
2022 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:32:07.986||26||51|
|2.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+16.527s||18||48|
|3.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+34.834s||15||31|
|4.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+42.506s||12||49|
|5.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+43.181s||10||22|
|6.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+56.072s||8||79|
|7.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+61.110s||6||10|
|8.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||+70.892s||4||4|
|9.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+75.260s||2||14|
|10.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||1||1|
|11.||23||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||1|
|12.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||6|
|13.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+1 lap||0||28|
|14.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||0||20|
|15.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||1|
|16.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||0|
|17.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||0|
|18.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+1 lap||0||8|
|17.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||2|
|20.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||DNF||0||33|
2022 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||431|
|3.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||304|
|4.||Alpine F1 Team||99|
|6.||Alfa Romeo Racing||51|
|7.||Haas F1 Team||34|
|9.||Aston Martin F1 Team||20|