Max Verstappen finally triumphs in Italy as he wins the action-packed Emilia-Romagna GP.
After a two-week break, Formula 1 came back for the second round of the 2021 season in Imola.
The Emilia Romagna GP race had some dramatic twists way before the start. With less than an hour until the lights out the torrential rain started, which made the track extremely wet. The installation lap was an eventful one – Fernando Alonso had a contact with the barrier, while Lance Stroll’s right rear brake caught fire. The mechanics had to replace the brakes on the car. Sebastian Vettel had to start from the pit lane. Charles Leclerc spun at the formation lap.
The race started and Max Verstappen had a brilliant getaway to take the race lead from Lewis Hamilton. We save several runoffs and Nicholas Latifi ended on lap 1 after the contact with Nikita Mazepin and the Safety Car was out. Some drivers decided to go to the pits. Mick Schumacher broke his front wing at the pit exit.
Verstappen saved the lead at the restart and eventually built a significant gap to Hamilton. Sergio Perez’s race was hurt by a 10-second time penalty for overtaking under the Safety Car. Sebastian Vettel’s day only got worse after being given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for not having tires fit 5 minutes before the formation lap. In fact, the Aston Martin driver was the first one to have slick tires put on 1/3 into the race.
Nearly halfway through, Lewis Hamilton found the rhythm and the gap to the leader Max Verstappen started to be diminishing. Eventually, the Dutchman pitted first to the Medium tires. Hamilton pitted a bit later, but his stop was slower, which allowed Verstappen to stay ahead. The following laps were a complete disaster for Mercedes – Hamilton spun, stuck in the gravel, and hit the barrier, while George Russell and Valtteri Bottas had a nasty crash, which caused a red flag. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
The race was resumed by the virtue of rolling start, but right before it Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen spun. Yuki Tsunoda also went to the gravel at the restart. Lando Norris used the opportunity and passed Charles Leclerc. Sergio Perez was another victim of the unforgivable track at Imola. At the same time, Lewis Hamilton was putting efforts to make amends since his runoff earlier in the race.
In fact, the 7-time world champion had a stellar place and kept moving up in the standings. He was battling with Lando Norris for 2nd in the ending stages of the race and passed him. However, it was too late to catch Max Verstappen, who went on to win the Emilia Romagna GP and made a redemption after the unfortunate Bahrain GP.
The top 10 of the F1 Emilia Romagna GP:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Winner|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||+25.579|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||+27.036|
|7||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Racing||+51.909|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing||+1:04.773|