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Max Verstappen

Verstappen shares what he was thinking when he lapped Hamilton

Max Verstappen put a lap on Lewis Hamilton during Sunday's Grand Prix at Imola as Red Bull and Mercedes experience contrasting fortunes early in 2022.

Max Verstappen has commented that it "wasn't really a surprise" to lap Lewis Hamilton during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, given that Mercedes "have been slow all year".

While Verstappen stormed to his second victory of the season at Imola, Hamilton spent the race stuck in the midfield as he struggled to a 13th-place finish.

Such was the pace difference between Verstappen's Red Bull and Hamilton's Mercedes, the Dutchman put a lap on his 2021 title rival in the closing stages.

Verstappen reacts to lapping Hamilton

Giving his reaction during the post-race press conference, Verstappen explained that he took little satisfaction from the development.

"I mean, they've been slow all year, so it's not really a surprise or [that] I feel happy lapping Lewis compared to anyone else – it is what it is," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.

More important to Verstappen was that Red Bull bounced back from a recent string of costly retirements, which they did in fine style as teammate Sergio Perez followed him home for a 1-2 finish.

"It's always tough to achieve something like that, but already [on Saturday] and the day before, we were on it, and I think it was looking like a strong weekend," he said.

"Today, you never know with the weather how competitive you're going to be. But I think as a team we did everything well, and I think this 1-2 is very deserved."

Horner insists Red Bull's focus was elsewhere

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also brushed off the moment Verstappen lapped Hamilton, as he made clear that the outfit were concentrating on their own race.

A wet-dry encounter at Imola saw drivers switch from Intermediate tyres to slicks as the track dried up, while Red Bull reacted to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc swapping Mediums for Softs late on, as dark clouds threatened.

"Lewis didn't have a great weekend, but we were very much focused on our race and just trying to extract the maximum points," said Horner.

"It was obviously one of those things, but at that point, we were looking at the clouds. Was the rain gonna come in that last part of the race or not? We were more focused on that."

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F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier