Max Verstappen loses the lead to Charles Leclerc early on, but passes the world championship leader in the closing stages to seal victory; Watch the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 from 12:30pm on Sunday.

Last update: 04/23/22 17:15


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Max Verstappen pulls off a stunning overtake on Charles Leclerc to win the Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna GP

Max Verstappen pulls off a stunning overtake on Charles Leclerc to win the Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna GP

Max Verstappen overtook Charles Leclerc at the last moment to claim victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sprint and secure a top spot for Sunday’s race.

Verstappen, who had started ahead of Leclerc after taking pole in a wet qualifying session on Friday, lost his lead at the start when a poor breakaway allowed Ferrari to overtake him at the first corner.

To the delight of the Italian partisan crowd, Leclerc seemed to be sailing to victory, but his tires began to wear out in the closing stages of the 21-lap race and Verstappen took advantage to hit at the start of the penultimate lap and claim all eight. -reward points for the first.

“My start wasn’t very good and it took me a while to try to push,” said Verstappen after the sprint. “We were a bit better on our tires at the end of the race so I was able to get into DRS and we had a good fight going into Turn 2.”

Sergio Perez’s other Red Bull finished third after a solid drive to climb from seventh, while Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz produced a strong recovery to finish fourth having started tenth after crashing out in qualifying. .

Verstappen wins the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP

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Verstappen wins the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Verstappen wins the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP

It was a disappointing race for Mercedes as George Russell was unable to improve on the 11th place he started the race in, while Lewis Hamilton dropped a position to finish 14th.

McLaren was able to overcome a disastrous practice two before the Sprint to seal fifth and sixth places for Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, while Valtteri Bottas also put aside his absence from P2 to finish seventh. Kevin Magnussen filled the final scoring position for Haas in eighth place.

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April 24, 2022, 12:30

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Leclerc unable to hold on

After Leclerc passed Verstappen off the line, little action could take place as Guanyu Zhou and Pierre Gasly activated a Safety Car when they collided at Piratella in an incident that forced the Alfa Romeo to retire.

Gasly was able to continue after a pit stop, but the Safety Car meant the race did not resume until the end of lap four, taking a significant chunk out of the 21-lap contest, which was the first Sprint of the season. 2022 after The format was introduced to the sport last year.

After the restart, Leclerc opened a gap that kept Verstappen out of DRS range, but the use of his left front tire allowed the Dutchman to close in and set up a thrilling finish.

Verstappen, Leclerc and Sergio Pérez give their reaction to the dramatic Sprint at the Emilia-Romagna GP

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Verstappen, Leclerc and Sergio Pérez give their reaction to the dramatic Sprint at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Verstappen, Leclerc and Sergio Pérez give their reaction to the dramatic Sprint at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Leclerc, who has won two of the first three races of the season, was able to defeat Verstappen early on, but the reigning world champion couldn’t refuse on the penultimate lap as he boldly drove around the outside into Turn 1 at the finish. from the DRS zone to take the lead.

Any hopes from Tifosi that Leclerc could use the DRS zone to defend himself were quickly dashed as Verstappen pulled away to seal the newly increased eight points for this season for first place.

With each of the top eight also scoring points with a drop of one for each position, Leclerc actually extends his championship lead to 40 points, with Sainz passing the useless Russell to second place.

Verstappen celebrates his Sprint win at Imola

Verstappen celebrates his Sprint win at Imola

“It’s still a front-row start,” Leclerc said. “We had tire problems at the end, so we need to look into that for tomorrow. We need to make sure we’re ready.”

“The pace was good until then, we started to get some graining on the front left and lost it towards the end. That’s life, we’ll go to work and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Emilia Romagna GP: Sprint Result – Top 10

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

5) Lando Norris, McLaren

6) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

8) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

9) Fernando Alonso, Alpine

10) Mick Schumacher, Haas

Full Sprint Result

Mercedes struggles continue

After what looked to be a potentially promising showing in P2 earlier on Saturday when Russell topped the timesheets, Mercedes produced a hugely disappointing Sprint display.

Russell lost one place at the start, while Hamilton lost two. Russell was only able to make up that spot to finish 11th, while Hamilton was only able to make up one of the two places he lost to finish 14th.

Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes is working hard to put things right as their difficult start to the season continued in the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP.

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Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes is working hard to put things right as their difficult start to the season continued in the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP.

Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes is working hard to put things right as their difficult start to the season continued in the Sprint Race at the Emilia-Romagna GP.

Silver Arrows’ inability to overtake cars from the lower half of the field around them does not bode well for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with points finishes far from guaranteed judging by Saturday’s performance.

The display follows a terrible start to the season for the eight-time reigning constructors’ champions, who have been severely off the pace set by Ferrari and Red Bull in the opening races of the season.

“There’s a lot of work going on in the background, but it is what it is,” said Hamilton after the Sprint. “This is what we have and ultimately we haven’t done well this year.

“Obviously we are not fighting for this championship, but we are fighting to understand the car and improve.”




Reference-www.skysports.com

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