Max Verstappen has won the Emilia Romagna GP Sprint Race with Leclerc behind.
Racing action on Saturday was back with the Sprint format at Emilia Romagna. Though the rain probability for the session was relatively high, we had a dry session.
Charles Leclerc got a brilliant start as he overtook Max Verstappen right when the lights turned off. The Red Bull also found itself challenged by Lando Norris in the McLaren, though he wasn’t able to make a move. The Dutch driver then complained to his team about the gear sync.
Green flag racing didn’t last as the Safety Car was deployed due to a collision between Guanyu Zhou and Pierre Gasly. The Chinese driver had to retire after hitting the wall, but the AlphaTauri was able to continue after a pit stop. The Stewards later decided no investigation was necessary.
Racing action resumed on lap 5 with Leclerc in the lead, followed by Verstappen, and Norris challenged by Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, who had been given a black-and-white flag for weaving on the straights.
Further behind, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso were having a hard battle for 7th place – the Spaniard held, but not for long, as the stronger Ferrari car overtook him later on lap 7.
Lap 8 saw Sergio Perez make a move on Magnussen with the help of DRS – the Mexican flew past the Haas. Further back, Mercedes’s race wasn’t going as they hoped, as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton placed 12th and 14th.
Sainz continued to climb up the charts as he overtook 5th-placed Daniel Ricciardo with the help of DRS on lap 14.
Verstappen closed in on Charles Leclerc through the last laps of the sprint race. With the help of DRS, the Red Bull overtook the Ferrari through the straight and the chicane.
In the end, it was Verstappen who kept the lead and took the victory of the Sprint.