Max Verstappen takes victory over Rainy, Chaotic Imola

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Illustration from the article titled Max Verstappen does good for Red Bull Racing's promise of performance at Imola

photo: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

Race day turned wet in Imola for Formula 1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romanga, which promised a lot of chaos. And the second race of the season delivered with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen dominating the event from flag to flag while pandemonium reigned behind him.

The chaos started long before the Green Flag, with Charles Leclerc streaking through the gravel on the formation lap and Sebastian Vettel suffering from a cable brake failure on his Aston Martin.

And things only get better at the start of the race. Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes got off to a slower start, which left Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen by his side. Two aggressive drivers heading for the first chicane promised a bit of disaster, and they delivered: Verstappen pushed Hamilton aside, forcing the reigning world champion to cross the curb and lose both. a piece of its bodywork and lead.

The race for the green flag did not last long. Nicholas Latifi spun his Williams and then, entering the track, was struck by Nikita Mazepin. Latifi then lost control and made hard contact with the barriers. He pulled out the first safety car of the day – which drivers complained about was moving too slowly and causing them to lose temperature in the tires.

Perhaps feeling left out, Mazepin’s teammate Mick Schumacher lost control on the front stretch and hit the wall just outside the pit exit. He was forced to do a few laps without his front wing because the pit lane was closed.

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The race started on lap seven, at which point the track slowly began to dry out. The problem was highlighted by Pierre Gasly, whose AlphaTauri was still fitted with wet tires and had the cars racing behind him.

Hamilton started closing the gap with Verstappen as the first standstill cycle started, with Verstappen taking the tires first. But Mercedes had a slower stop, leaving him to chase Red Bull again.

On lap 31, however, disaster struck Hamilton; he slipped off the track and into the gravel, bumping into the barrier. It took a long time for him to get out of the gravel trap. His front wing was dragging on the ground, but he made it to the pits to be tuned.

Immediately afterwards, Valtteri Bottas and George Russell made contact, putting both cars out of the race. Russell climbed onto the grass trying to pass Bottas, the latter had moved slightly in Russell’s path., letting the two cars make contact. He pulled out a red flag to clear the debris and recheck the barriers.

After a long break, the cars took to the track. Verstappen slipped just before taking off on the green flag, but he managed to hold the lead. Lando Norris quickly finished second with Leclerc third. Yuki Tsunoda sped into the gravel pit in the first lap but managed to recover before anything went wrong. A few laps later, Sergio Perez, fourth, turned around and fell back to 14th place. And, as the race progressed, Hamilton worked his way through the field to reach second place a few laps before the end, taking 0.3 seconds off the fastest lap in the process.

After failing at all three Italian Grands Prix in 2020, Max Verstappen took the checkered flag first in the 2021 Émilie Romanga Grand Prix.

Finishing Order:

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
  6. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
  7. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
  8. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
  9. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
  10. Esteban Ocon (alpin)
  11. Fernando Alonso (alpin)
  12. Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing)
  13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
  15. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
  16. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
  17. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
  18. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  19. George Russell (Williams)
  20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

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