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Max Verstappen

Verstappen wary of 'complex' challenge ahead of Emilia Romagna GP

The world champion is hunting his third straight victory at Imola.

Verstappen pole Miami
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen is wary of the "complex" nature of the Imola track ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

F1 returns to Imola this weekend after the 2023 race was cancelled due to floods in the region, with Verstappen having won both the '21 and '22 races as he seeks a return to winning ways following defeat to Lando Norris last time out in Miami. 

Imola is similar to Miami with medium to low-speed corners and long straights, a combination Verstappen highlighted.

"Imola is always an iconic track to race at and we are excited to be back again after it was cancelled last year," he said.

"We have had some great team results here and it is always interesting to race at a really old school track like this, as it is very technical, with some complex combinations of corners and braking zones. 

"The team in Milton Keynes and trackside have all been working really hard and I have been back at the factory this week working on the sim. It’s nice to be back racing in Europe again too."

Perez's weather threat

Verstappen leads team-mate Sergio Perez by 33 points in the standings, with the Mexican having finished second four times in the six races so far, every time to Verstappen. 

Since F1 returned to Imola in 2020, rain has impacted the '21 and '22 races, with Perez beliving the forecast changeable conditions could be tricky. 

"This location can throw challenging conditions at you when it comes to weather, that always makes things tricky, it can limit our time on track during practice and affect qualifying massively," he said.

"Hopefully we get a dry weekend, the forecast looks promising at the moment for Friday and Saturday, being solid across those days should put us in a great position for Sunday. I have been at the factory this week, looking at how we can maximise set-up and improve on the performance in Miami.

"It’s about us making the right decisions across the weekend as a team and we are working together to get back on the podium in Italy."

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