The victory of Verstappen, the podium of Norris but also the errors of Mercedes and Perez, find the tops and the flops of the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.
Verstappen hits hard
Third on the grid, the Dutchman didn’t seem more worried than that on Saturday night. We now understand why. The Red Bull driver took the lead from the start after a thunderous start and an authoritative overtake on Hamilton. Behind, Max Verstappen did the job and did not make any mistakes even if, even for him, the Grand Prix was not so easy as he explained at the microphone of Canal + : “It was very complicated on the track. Sometimes, I was also at the limit, especially with the dry tires. My departure was the key today. ” Here he is now with eleven career successes and above all a small point behind the seven-time world champion in the drivers’ standings.
Norris, a deserved podium
Very comfortable throughout the weekend, Lando Norris had missed the first row by nothing on Saturday. He had gone out of bounds of the course when he had just slammed the second time. Motivated on Sunday, the Briton delivered a magnificent race. The key was probably the change in strategic position between him and his teammate Ricciardo. This allowed him to ride hard. Second after the red flag and overtaking Leclerc, the McLaren could not hold out against the Mercedes at the end of the race. But there is no doubt that this podium, the second in Norris’ young career, will be celebrated on Sunday evening by the English team.
Ferrari to relaunch
Have a good weekend for the Scuderia. Charles Leclerc took fourth place while Carlos Sainz finished the race in fifth place. A convincing overall result for Ferrari, the best since the Turkish Grand Prix, and which shows the progress made on the car by the Italian brand.
Mercedes has accumulated mistakes
If Lewis Hamilton was rather lucky by finishing second, following his mistake, Mercedes can be happy to leave Imola with 19 points in his pocket. Valtteri Bottas was in distress on Saturday and Sunday. His race was stopped following an accident with George Russell, on lap 33, when he was ninth and this caused a red flag to the delight of… Lewis Hamilton. Another error and not without consequence: the judgment of the seven-time world champion. He was supposed to come out ahead of Verstappen on lap 28 but his team missed out on his stop which lasted four seconds, two too many. Without this error, he would have come out first and the outcome of the race could have been different.
Perez, a great missed opportunity
Second after qualifying, Sergio Perez had ambitions on Sunday but the rain changed everything. Uncomfortable in these conditions, the Mexican accumulated small errors and in particular under a safety car. It cost him ten seconds of penalty but the red flag put him back in the game. Fourth on the restart and rid of his penalty, the Red Bull driver saw the podium looming but he once again made a mistake for finish … out of points. A Sunday to forget.
Four pilots made the choice to take the start with maxi rain tires while the rest were in intermediates. Among the four pilots, there were the two Haas and Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. The two French people suffered from this inaugural choice, in particular Gasly who remained on the track for a long time with these tires. Finally, the Habs lost a lot of time at the start of the race which they did not recover afterwards. Eighth at the end, Pierre Gasly and Alpha Tauri were disappointed, as were Esteban Ocon and Alpine (10th).