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Max Verstappen

Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 as Ferrari suffer nightmare home race

Max Verstappen has led home a Red Bull 1-2 on Ferrari's home soil, as the Scuderia had a race of turmoil with incidents and accidents for both of their drivers.

Verstappen Perez Start 2022
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To news overview © XPB Images

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in dominant fashion, leading the race from start to finish from pole position.

Sergio Perez finished second in the other Red Bull, taking the team's first 1-2 finish since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix. McLaren's Lando Norris completed the podium on what was a dismal day for Ferrari.

The reigning World Champion avoided making a poor start like the one endured at the start of the Sprint race on Saturday, getting off the line well in the damp conditions to lead comfortably into the first chicane.

Behind him, Perez slotted into second place as Charles Leclerc made a poor start and fell down to fourth, as Norris also managed to get past through the first chicane.

It was a terrible start to the race for Ferrari. With Red Bull assuming the top two positions, Carlos Sainz's race came to an end after just a few metres, as he and McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo made contact going through the Tamburello chicane on the opening lap.

The contact resulted in a spin for the Ferrari driver, who ended up beached in the gravel facing the wrong way. Ricciardo was able to continue, falling to the back as he pitted for fresh tyres and a check-up on his MCL36.

Leclerc set about attacking Norris to reclaim third, managing to get past the McLaren on Lap 8 of 63. However, at that point, Verstappen had already opened up a three-second lead over Perez, with Leclerc a further three seconds back.

With Verstappen slowly making the gap ever bigger, Leclerc closed up on Perez as the track dried to the point where slick tyres became the obvious choice.

Result Race - Emilia Romagna

Pos. Driver Team Time
Results are being loaded...

A flurry of pit-stops

It took until Lap 17 for someone to pull the trigger on taking the risk of the slicks, with Ricciardo gambling after falling to the back. His decision resulted in every single driver pitting over the following two laps, with Perez coming in on Lap 18 in a bid to hold off the charging Leclerc.

Staying out on the Intermediates for another lap, Leclerc pitted for the slicks a lap later and came out ahead of Perez. But, with much warmer tyres, the Mexican driver swooped past on the run into the Villeneuve chicane to reclaim the position from Leclerc.

The race settled into its rhythm from there, with Verstappen opening up a lead of almost 13 seconds over Perez with 15 laps remaining, as Leclerc lurked a further three seconds back.

Leclerc's race falls apart

Leclerc and Ferrari then attempted an aggressive strategy to pit at the end of Lap 49 to take on a fresh set of Softs, forcing Perez and Verstappen to respond to do the same, as Red Bull hauled their drivers in on Lap 50 and 51 respectively.

This allowed Leclerc to latch onto the back of Perez as he put in two consecutive fastest laps in a row, with the Ferrari man raising the heart rate for the Tifosi in the grandstands.

However, he made an error at the Variante Alta as he lost control of the car after going too aggressively over the kerbs. As a result, Leclerc flew off into the barriers as he desperately tried to avoid hitting anything too hard.

Making contact with the tyres, Leclerc's damage was enough to require him to pit again for a new front wing and a fresh set of tyres as he fell down to ninth place as a result.

He was able to get back past the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel, and the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda, salvaging sixth place.

The rest of the points-paying positions

With Norris claiming third and the final podium place after a thoroughly lonely race, Mercedes' George Russell took fourth place as he held off a spirited charge from Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages. The Finn had to settle for fifth as Russell managed to just get his W13 across the line in front.

With Tsunoda taking seventh behind Leclerc, Vettel claimed eighth and Aston Martin's best finish of the season so far. The four-time World Champion gained four positions on the opening lap, and was also one of the first drivers to make the switch to the slick tyres, with the gamble paying off for Vettel.

Magnussen took ninth, with Lance Stroll in 10th to round out the points places in the second Aston Martin.

Lewis Hamilton endured a frustrating race for Mercedes, finishing 14th after getting mired in the midfield.

Aside from Sainz's retirement, the only other DNF was for Alpine as Fernando Alonso picked up sidepod damage on the opening lap after a clash with Haas' Mick Schumacher. The damage resulted in the sidepod shredding itself apart, with the team retiring him as a result.

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F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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