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Max Verstappen

Hill delivers brutal Verstappen verdict after Imola victory

Damon Hill came to a simple verdict after Max Verstappen's narrow victory in Imola last weekend.

Verstappen pole Imola
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Max Verstappen has been hailed as simply "better than the rest" by 1996 world champion Damon Hill, following his hard-fought victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

Red Bull was not its typically dominant self at Imola, with Verstappen having used all his skill to claim what was in many ways an unexpected victory. 

The Milton Keynes-based outfit struggled throughout free practice, as highlighted by Sergio Perez crashing in third practice. However, against all odds, Verstappen pipped McLaren to pole position.

Verstappen had a large lead for the majority of the race but was suddenly caught by Lando Norris in the closing laps. Heroic defending saw the 26-year-old claim victory by just seven-tenths of a second.

In Hill's opinion, Verstappen will have been left very satisfied by the win as his talent was the key difference. 

"For once, Red Bull did not have a dominant car at its disposal and it was purely the driver who made the difference," Hill said on Sky Sports F1

"This kind of victory gives the driver more satisfaction than a solo performance far ahead of the field."

Verstappen talent required

Imola was arguably Red Bull's toughest weekend of the season, as the Austrian outfit clearly did not have the quickest package.

Verstappen was pushed by Norris, to the point that Hill outlined that Verstappen had to rely on his outright ability rather than the RB20.

"Max knows exactly what to do," added Hill. "He secured pole position as well as victory. Max is just better than the rest, isn't he? He had to tap into all his talent to win."

It was thanks to Norris' stunning late pace that Verstappen had to work hard, with it having now been two consecutive races that the two drivers have occupied the top two spots. 

Because of this, Hill wonders if a rivalry is forming between the pair.

"I was also very pleased with Lando's performance," continued Hill. "It seems that a healthy, sporting rivalry is developing between him and Verstappen."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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