EMILIA-ROMANAGA GP – Max Verstappen wins a chaotic race as Valtteri Bottas and George Russell collide

Testing & Race Reports

Max Verstappen took his first win of the season winning a chaotic and dramatic Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver took his first win ahead of Sir Lewis Hamilton who had an eventful afternoon and his teammate Valtteri Bottas crashing into the Williams of George Russell.

Verstappen won the start to lead the race at Tamburello overtaking Hamilton, throughout the first few corners the two fought hard through the open corners as they fought hard the Red Bull driver got ahead before they touched through the second part of the chicane.’

The Red Bull driver then lead the rest of the lap before the safety car was deployed after the Williams of Nicolas Latifi spun off and speared into the wall at Acque Minerali collecting the Haas of Nikita Mazepin. The race was then suspended on Lap Seven, Mick Schumacher spinning into the wall bringing out the red flag.

Verstappen again won the restart, as Hamilton tried to go to the outside through Tamburello, while Ferraris Charles Leclerc passed Sergio Perez just before the red flag. Hamilton meanwhile slid off through Acque Minerali, allowing the Dutchman to build a five-second gap. Verstappen’s moment came on the restart, under braking for the first Rivazza, he briefing lost control of his Red Bull and went over the inside kerb, before collecting the car well and putting his foot down for the restart.

Hamilton was soon finding himself clear of Leclerc, while Perez picked up a ten-second penalty after overtaking under the safety car as he had slide wide at Piratella and briefly let Daniel Ricciardo and the full-wet shod Pierre Gasly get past.

He had to wait to get past Leclerc, blasting along the outside ahead of the Tamburello braking zone and set off after the McLaren. The restart appearing to be a reset for the seven-time champion after unlapping himself to get on the podium. One of the best recovery drives of his career.

The race was then stopped on lap thirty two, after a collision between Bottas and Russell. Russell tried to overtake Bottas who covered the inside, he then lost control of the car spinning on the exit of Tamburello when they collided leaving debris strewn all over the track, and the race director had no option but to stop the race.

The drivers blamed each other for the crash, which was investigated after the race. But the stewards ruled it had been a “racing incident” as “at no time did either car manoeuvre erratically”.

Lando Norris kept his calm, driving through the drama to secure third place for the second time in his career marking the first time in nine years two Englishmen have been on the podium. Norris had kept the two Ferrari’s of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz behind him on the restart.

Daniel Ricciardo sixth in the second McLaren and Lance Stroll seventh for Aston Martin. Perez had a race to forget from the first front-row start of his career, finishing twelfth, losing out at the start to Verstappen and Leclerc he then picked up a ten second penalty for overtaking under the early Safety Car for a crash for Nicholas Latifi and then spun when back in fourth at the restart.

Stroll was later given a five-second penalty means Pierre Gasly, the man he illegally passed on lap 11, usurps him into seventh, while the 30-second penalty race stewards gave to Raikkonen drops him all the way from ninth to thirteenth.

Gasly meanwhile finished eighth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen ninth but was awarded a thirty second penalty was added to his race time after Alfa Romeo fell foul of rules for rolling restarts. The Finn had spun and, under F1’s rules, should have entered the pit lane for the restart when he did not regain his place in the order.

Esteban Ocon took the final point ahead of his Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso. However, the penalty for Stroll means Fernando Alonso has his first points back in F1, with the Alpine driver and two-time world champion rising a position to 10th.

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