Red Bull dominated in Ferrari territory. Max Verstappen, got the Grand Chelem in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, that is, the pole position, the lead from start to finish of the race, the fastest lap and the victory; in addition to earning additional points in the first sprint race of the season. The Dutchman’s total of 34 points, the maximum possible this weekend, and the 24 of second place Mexican Sergio Pérez, allow the Austrian team to close the gap with Ferrari in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship.
“We were in contention and a solid weekend was on the cards. As a team we did well and this double is well deserved. Everything has been controlled well”, said Verstappen at the end of the race that meant his twenty-second victory in F1 and his second of the season. Later, the reigning champion also won F1’s ‘Driver of the Day’ award.
The Mexican Sergio Pérez started in the third position and surpassed Charles Leclerc throughout the race and obtained, in a consecutive way, his second podium of the campaign, the seventh since joining Red Bull last year, to take 24 points .
“At the beginning the fight with Charles Leclerc was very intense, it was hard. But we managed to keep the position after passing him and then he was under control”, commented Checo, who resisted the Ferrari until before he spun on the track 10 laps from the end of the race.
With this one-two, the first for Red Bull since 2016, both drivers advanced positions in the Drivers’ World Championship. Verstappen is sub-leader in the competition, separated by 27 points from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Pérez moved up to third place, just five units behind his teammate, thanks to a second place finish at last year’s Australian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, in the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull cut the difference with Ferrari to 11 points.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner mentioned that one of the keys to victory was fitting the upgrades to the world champion’s RB18, as this helped them win over Ferrari, who have been the most dominant team in the competition to date. now.
“It’s been a phenomenal performance from the team because we took a bit of a risk going into the weekend with a couple of small parts we put into the car, which is always tricky when you only have one session,” said Horner.
In addition to this, the team managed the use of its tires well according to the weather conditions, as the rain forced the teams to start with the intermediate tire, but Checo Pérez was the first rider in the leading group to switch to slicks. mediums on lap 19, followed by Verstappen and Leclerc, although the Ferrari driver had a longer pit stop.
“In the championship, obviously, it was important for us, to take some points from Ferrari, which we have done in both tables (drivers and constructors). We’ll take that from this weekend and then try to build on Miami, a brand new circuit, in a couple of weeks.”
In this way, Red Bull had what Horner described as one of its best results ever. Interestingly, it is the first time under Horner’s management that both cars have finished in the points at the same Imola event. Previously, at least one of the racing cars had suffered an unforeseen event on the track located in Bologna.
Lando Norris (McLaren) completed the podium, George Russell (Mercedes) was fourth, followed by Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Leclerc finished sixth, Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) seventh, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) eighth, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) ninth and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) completed the points zone. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished thirteenth in his Mercedes.
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