VERSTAPPEN WINS IN IMOLA WITH DOMINANT DISPLAY


In what turned out to be a comfortable win for the reigning World Champion - Max Verstappen dominated from pole to the chequered flag and with teammate Sergio Perez in second Red Bull take a 1-2 at Ferrari's home as Sainz fails to finish and Leclerc dropping significant points.


Max Verstappen gets away well off the line as does Perez as Red Bull lead one two into the first corner - Ricciardo (McLaren) and Sainz (Ferrari) collide and Norris (McLaren) is into third with Leclerc down to fourth - Sainz ends up beached in the gravel trap and is out and the Safety Car is deployed.


On lap three Ricciardo pits after coming together with Sainz - it was a simple tyre change rather than fixing any possible damage. Then on lap five the Safety Car comes in and Verstappen is quick to get away on the rolling restart - Perez stays second with Norris in third.

Fernando Alonso starts to drop back and the reason - a hole in his side-pod. And is forced to retire from the race on lap seven.

In a drying race and with 17 laps gone Ricciardo in 18th and last comes into pit for slick tyres and is the first driver to do so. And on the next two laps (18 & 19) multiple drivers start to come in and changing for the dry tyres and Perez comes in giving Leclerc second place and Norris is into third.

On lap 20 the top three of Verstappen, Leclerc and Norris all pit - Verstappen keeps the race lead and Leclerc keeps second as Perez drops into third - but Perez gets past the Ferrari.

With 13 laps left (50/63) Leclerc comes into the pits from third for a fresh set of tyres and comes out just behind Norris and is into fourth place.

Then on the very next lap Sergio Perez comes in for fresh tyres and will be going for the fastest lap and comes out comfortably in second and Leclerc gets past Norris on the pit straight for third place. Max also comes in for new tyres from first and comes back out in first with a substantial lead.


With ten laps left (53/63) Leclerc spins on the kerb and goes into the wall but carries on and pits for a new front wing which is put on - this gifts Norris third and Leclerc drops from third into ninth he ultimately finishes the race in eighth.


The next race is the Miami Grand Prix.

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: Under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. All images are owned by Formula One.