Max Verstappen wins at Imola!

( – Max Verstappen won the 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. The Red Bull driver delivered a flawless performance in mixed conditions (first wet, then dry) and finally celebrated a superb victory at home to his main rival Ferrari.

Max Verstappen ultimately won the Grand Prix in Imola in a superior way


Second was his teammate Sergio Perez ahead of Lando Norris (McLaren).

Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari withdrew after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) in the first round. Charles Leclerc spun in the battle for P2 with Perez and eventually finished P6.

Fourth was George Russell (Mercedes) ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Leclerc, Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin). Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) rounded the top 10.

Mick Schumacher (Haas) finished P17.

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How was the decision to win?

In fact, right at the start. Verstappen got off to a better start than Leclerc, and because Perez also got off to a great start, Red Bull came back from the first half with a double lead. Despite the difficult weather conditions, it was never again seriously threatened.

Perez fell just behind Leclerc at the pit stop, though he changed tires earlier than Monegasse; but then had the warmer tires in the direct duel and could therefore easily regain P2.

DRS was not released until round 34 of 63. But that did not help Leclerc.

Leclerc’s attempt to pick up fresh soft on the 49th inning failed. Red Bull also responded with a pit stop, and in the 54th inning, Leclerc apparently wanted too much and slipped off the field. After the necessary stop for repairs, he was only number nine.

“Such a thing should not happen to you if you want to drive to the World Cup,” criticizes ‘Sky’ expert Ralf Schumacher.

What was Red Bull’s first reaction?

Red Bull’s motorsport consultant believes that Red Bull could have taken a decisive step with the update to Imola: “The crucial thing was that we had the courage to install the upgrade despite only one training session. It all worked. Therefore, our aerodynamics are also on the podium. “

The race itself was “actually boring”, Marko laughs, but admits his nerves fluttered in 60 laps. And: “It was actually a boring race. It was easy for Max. Perez did his best too. After Melbourne, that was exactly the right answer.”

Who was to blame for the Sainz-Ricciardo collision?

According to the race management none. The incident in the first turn was investigated but not sanctioned. “Daniel hit me,” Sainz said after the touch. And Daniel Ricciardo broadcast, “I was pushed into Sainz.”

In fact, there was little contact between Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas if Alfa Romeo was unharmed. But that only happened when Sainz-Ricciardo had already collided.

That was the end of the race for Sainz. He was stuck in the gravel bed. “It’s not Sainz’s fault,” Schumacher analyzes. Sainz himself said, “I paid the price for someone else’s mistake.”

Ricciardo’s McLaren had enough momentum to get through the gravel trap; but after a pit stop, he fell back to last place.

How did it go for Vettel and Schumacher?

Schumacher did not have a good day: contact with Fernando Alonso in the first half, later a spin, warning due to track restrictions – and ultimately no chance in a direct comparison with his teammate Magnussen.

Vettel, on the other hand, used his experience under difficult conditions and scored his first points of the 2022 season in eighth place.

And to Mercedes?

Disastrous. Russell finished fourth thanks to a strong performance. Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, crossed the finish line in 13th place after unsuccessfully trying to overtake Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri on several occasions. After crossing the finish line, team manager Toto Wolff personally apologized for the bad car over the pit radio: “It is not for driving.” But: “We’re coming from there again.”

What was the reason for Alonso’s failure?

There was contact between the alpine skier and Schumacher at first. This damaged the rear right body – and it came off a couple of laps later after Alonso had already lost a few positions. Shortly after, he was called down to the pit to park the car.

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