Verstappen takes win in thrilling 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen took home the win on Sunday in a thrilling Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which was held at a very wet Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Imola, Italy.

He managed to hold off pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton who brought his Mercedes-Benz AMG across the finish line in second, some 22 seconds back. Third place went to McLaren’s Lando Norris approximately 23 seconds behind the winner.

Heavy rain hit Imola just before the start of the race. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was at second on the grid and Verstappen at third. Verstappen made a brilliant start to get down the inside of Hamilton and quickly move into the lead, with Perez having to slot in behind the pair after briefly running wide.

At the front, Verstappen was regularly putting in fastest laps and by lap 16 had built a five-second gap to Hamilton. That gap helped him later as he was able to maintain his lead after a pit stop on lap 27. Hamilton just a few laps later locked up, which saw him run off the track and damage his wing when attempting to return.

Hamilton’s misfortune gave Verstappen a huge lead. But a heavy crash between Williams’ George Russell and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas led to a red flag that erased it all on lap 34.

When the race resumed, Verstappen recovered from a half spin to pull away from Norris who was in second but couldn’t hold back Hamilton who had come back up by this point, thus he had to settle for third.

Perez, meanwhile, after spinning early in the race and receiving a time penalty, had managed to move back up to fourth. Unfortunately the Mexican driver suffered a second spin later in the race, which pushed him right down the field. This enabled Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to finish fourth with fellow Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz finishing fifth.

After this second race of the season, Hamilton still leads the 2021 Drivers’ Championship with 44 points. Verstappen is second with 43 points and Norris is now third with 27 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 60 points versus the 53 of Red Bull and 41 of McLaren. The next race on the calendar is a special Portuguese Grand Prix in a fortnight.

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Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen at the 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen at the 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Below are the full results from the 2021 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix:

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +22.000 seconds
3) Lando Norris, McLaren +23.702
4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +25.579 seconds
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +27.036 seconds
6) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +51.220 seconds
7) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri 52.818 seconds
8) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +56.909 seconds
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +65.704 seconds
10) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +66.561 seconds
11) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +67.151 seconds
12) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +73.184 seconds
13) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +94.773 seconds
14) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
15) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin DNF
16) Mick Schumacher, Haas +2 laps
17) Nikita Mazepin, Haas +2 laps
NC) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz AMG DNF
NC) George Russell, Williams DNF
NC) Nicholas Latifi, Williams DNF

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