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The world champion wanted to take revenge on Imola. He did it: Max Verstappen won at Imola, spun Lewis Hamilton and stole 19 points from Charles Leclerc.
First double win since 2016 (AP / TT)
Already earlier this week Heltmut Mako talked about Red Bull’s investment in revenge. That the team is not an auditor but takes risks.
In Imola the tactics went home. From the first to the last lap. Max Verstappen was the fastest in qualifying, he had pole position in the sprint race, got the victory there and the first starting position in today’s GP. Once in the beginning, he got perfect help from colleague Sergio Perez who sneaked past Charles Leclerc and played him perfectly. This gave Verstappen the opportunity to head towards his second win this year.
Perez knows his future rests on helping Max Verstappen and once again he has handled that role with that honor. Whether the surface was wet or dry, whether he was driving intermediate or slicks, he resisted Charles Leclerc’s attacks. The Red Bull car is very fast and Ferrari with Leclerc did not catch up. Perez, on the other hand, stressed Leclerc for a fatal mistake that cost the World Cup leader many important points. An effort that put Max Verstappen in his hands.
– I tried too hard, unfortunately, Leclerc said dryly after the race.
Disappointed Leclerc (AP / TT)
Max Verstappen won in Imola
Max Verstappen won at Imola, Sergio Perez finished second and Red Bull took their first double win since 2016. The reigning champion has taken the pot full and in the battle for the World Cup title there is now a difference of 27 points between Leclerc and Verstappen. Before the weekend, it was 46 points.
Was this the beginning of the turning point? Now Leclerc and Verstappen have won two GPs each, the only difference is that Verstappen broke two GPs while Lecerc took points in all of them.
– Formula 1 (@ F1) April 24, 2022
In the constructors’ championship there is now an 11-point difference to Ferrari’s advantage and that’s nothing. One of the reasons Red Bull entered the race is that Ferrari has only competed with one car in the last two races because Carlos Sainz broke down.
In Imola the long nightmare of the Spaniard continued. He hooked up with Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, already at turn two and got stuck in the sand trap. It is the second consecutive GP that Sainz is forced to break and even if yesterday he took five points in the sprint, they are heavy losses, heavy for a driver who dreams of the world title and who has a car capable of winning it.
– We learn from going through this difficult situation and at some point it will change, Sainz tells Viaplay.
Even though he now has a new contract with Ferrari, the situation is getting more difficult for him. Ferrari will not hesitate when it comes to supporting a driver for the World Cup title and Sainz is moving ever closer to the role of auxiliary driver only.
Russell above – Hamilton below
Lando Norris looks to be thriving at Imola and has clinched a new podium for McLaren in Italy, but behind him George Russell drove his Mercedes to fourth. After 11th place in qualifying, 11th place in sprint, it became a fourth place for the Brit who is now clearly Mercedes’ top scorer.
– It’s much better than we could have hoped for. We didn’t think fourth place was within reach, the car is not fast enough, says Russell that he was heavily courted by Valtteri Bottas, but he stayed away.
But then Hamilton?
Where should we start from? A bad qualifying in the wet, a sprint race where he got stuck and then a race where he had nothing to say. A completely different situation now as it was a couple of months ago when he fought for the eighth world title. How motivated are you?
This is the question. He’s probably not particularly motivated when he’s sitting in a car, in a train far behind the field, but he’s definitely motivated when he’s out. He knows what’s going on and he’s been in the situation before. In 2009 he was involved in making a winning car from something that was not drivable during the start of the season.
Hamilton’s car was undriveable, according to Wolff (AP / TT)
Team manager Toto Wolff was disappointed after the race.
“The car was completely undriveable,” Wolff told motorsporttotal.com.
– We will get out of it sometime, but today’s race was terrible.
Wolff actually apologized to Hamilton after finishing 14th.
– No danger, Hamilton replied and pointed out that the team must continue to work hard.
Before the weekend, the team manager said it would take another two or three races before the car was in phase, in other words, Mercedes is hoping for an improvement in the race weekends in Spain and Monaco at the end of May.
Aston Martin scored points with both cars and Sebastian Vettel was satisfied with the first points of the year.
– It doesn’t look like a win, because it wasn’t a win. For us it’s still a step forward because we were better than the car is, she said after the race.
Valtteri Bottas brought Alfa Romeo more World Cup points and made a great effort, just like Kevin Magnussen. The full list of achievements can be found in our goals service. There is also the World Cup table.
Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz broke on Imola. Heavy weekend for all Spanish F1 fans.
The next competition will be decided in Miami in two weeks. On a track designed for Formula 1. But until then, we have a blog that lives almost every day and two podcast episodes. Join us!