Emilia Romagna GP: 2 winners and 2 losers from thriller in Imola


Max Verstappen stormed to victory in Imola on Sunday afternoon to strike back in the F1 title fight, leading home Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris in what was another thrilling Grand Prix. 

The Dutchman wrestled the lead from Hamilton at the first chicane and took off in the spray, with the Brit hunting him down.

Sliding off at Tosa at the midway point, the reigning champion then needed to make a fine recovery drive after unlapping himself after the red flag caused by Valtteri Bottas and George Russell's monumental shunt.

Norris, meanwhile, had been supremely quick all weekend and thoroughly deserved his third place, with him kicking off our two winners and two losers from Imola... 

Winner: Lando Norris

It was a great weekend for the McLaren man.

He's quickly risen to the challenge of Daniel Ricciardo arriving in the garage with two top performances so far this season.

He was quick in qualifying, even if his third-place was taken away following a track limits infringement, and followed that up in the race - barking down the radio that he was quicker than teammate Ricciardo and needed to get past.


The Australian let him through and on Norris went, rising as high as second before Hamilton's comeback drive knocked him down to third. Even so, a fine display from Norris.

Loser: Valtteri Bottas

A real weekend to forget for Valtteri.

He was off the pace in a tight qualifying session and whilst Hamilton showed the Merc was quick enough to glide through the field, Bottas was largely stuck at the wrong end of the top 10 for most of the Grand Prix, before a huge crash with George Russell.

The two exchanged words after the crash - with there a real split over who was at fault - but ultimately this summed up the latest in a collection of Bottas weekends where he just simply isn't quite hooked up as much as he should be.

He'll be eager to improve in Portugal.

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Damage limitation is a quality you need when fighting for titles and Hamilton did exactly that on Sunday afternoon.


After sliding off at Tosa and damaging his front wing, he was in ninth place and a lap down on the leaders - meaning he was staring down the barrel of losing real ground in the title fight.

However, the red flag meant he could unlap himself, and then he needed to produce the overtaking goods on a track that has sometimes limited such feats in the past.

Lewis, though, picked off those in front of him rather at will as he rose to second and achieved the bonus point for fastest lap - meaning the title race is still in his favour by a singular point.

Loser: George Russell

We just have to pick Russell on the other side of the losers section here, unfortunately.

Again, the crash between him and Bottas was perhaps 50/50 so he takes some flak there, but it was his reaction immediately after that some will look down upon.


Of course, adrenaline is high and racing drivers are hugely competitive so things get said, but it was more Russell's whack on the helmet of Bottas after a crash that ultimately was very dangerous that didn't get much favour from some onlookers.

A disappointing weekend for Russell, who had a shot at points in the Williams, and hopefully he'll learn a bit about himself from this fiasco. He's a great driver with a real passion for the sport, but there's a time and a place to let your emotions run loose and this outburst seemed mis-placed.

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