Max Verstappen won the Emilia Romagna GP, conditioned by a start on intermediate tyres, given raindrops before the race. Sergio Perez and Lando Norris completed the podium, for Red Bull’s first one-two since 2016.
It was a tough home race for the Ferraris, with Carlos Sainz out on the opening lap, following a clash with Daniel Ricciardo. Championship leader Charles Leclerc spun in the closing stages, losing a certain podium.
Max Verstappen – 10
In Ferrari’s land, Verstappen completed an intense, but perfect weekend. He got pole position, fastest lap, and led every lap of Sunday’s race, a verdict that looked unpredictable before coming here.
Verstappen’s pole position on Friday was helped by a series of red flags and the Dutchman showed good race management in the Sprint Race. He was overtaken at the start, but saved his tyres to come back on the final stages on Leclerc.
On Sunday, he was free of mistakes, in what was almost an easy win. It is massive in terms of the championship, now closing in to -27.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Perez – 8
The Mexican will be happy to see that his performances in 2022 are good and consistent. Perez’s qualifying was rather poor, not putting in the perfect lap among the Q3 chaos.
However, he made up positions from P7 at the start of the Sprint, earning a P3 start. This became P2 with a clean getaway that put him in between Verstappen and Leclerc.
He held off the Monegasque under intense pressure and earned 18 valid points, which also help Red Bull bounce back in the constructors’ championship.Embed from Getty Images
Lando Norris – 9
McLaren’s podium arrived due to the misfortunes of the Ferraris, but once again the Woking team built upon their progress from Australia and looked pretty fast all weekend.
Norris qualified a superb third, dropping to a fifth-place start due to the comebacks of Perez and Sainz in the Sprint. However, his race was flawless, comfortably sitting in a best of the rest position.
He had to take the car home, which he did free of errors, something Leclerc didn’t do, and that earned him a podium that paid off his efforts.Embed from Getty Images
George Russell – 8
George Russell’s weekend was off poorly, due to the Mercedes car struggling and risking a Q1 exit with both cars.
He was 11th for the Sprint race and remained there for the race, but a quick getaway and some luck in turn one put him as high as sixth early on.
Russell cleared Magnussen and had to fend off former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas on his way to a great P4. The Brit is capitalising and maximizing the results with good performances, particularly considering Hamilton’s immense struggles.
He is, in fact, the only driver to finish in the top five in every race.
Valtteri Bottas – 8
Bottas’ year remains surprising and in high hopes, with another strong result. P5 was his best finish for Alfa Romeo, after a long duel with Russell, on his old car.
Bottas was unlucky in qualifying, suffering an issue that limited him to P8. He also took evasive action in turn one, but luck ensured his car remained intact.
A pit stop error denied him a longer chance to fight Russell, as a long chase culminated with a mini-challenge at the end.Embed from Getty Images
Charles Leclerc – 4.5
The high expectations ahead of a long-awaited home race for the Tifosi crumbled as Leclerc spun on lap 53, when trying to stay close to Perez.
The Monegasque made up for his P2 start with a great start during the sprint race, but Verstappen returned fast in the closing stages and overtook.
Leclerc was relegated behind both Red Bulls, trying in vain to move past Perez for large chunks of the race, until a late spin. It was a heavy error that meant he lost precious points which may come back to haunt him later on.
Yuki Tsunoda – 8
Yuki Tsunoda’s weekend changed on Saturday, after a Q1 exit for both Alpha Tauri cars looked to make it difficult for the team racing at home.
The Japanese driver made up three places during the Sprint, before moving further up at the start, with the chaos in front.
Tsunoda was then perfect until the end, crucially defending on Lance Stroll, before clearing Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel on his way to an excellent P7.Embed from Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel – 8.5
Aston Martin were the only team yet to score, and entered the race at Imola with low morale. Vettel put his car in P9 in mixed conditions on Friday, but dropped to P13 in the sprint.
This showed the car lacked pace, but Vettel did a perfect job to finish up in P8 to score four points. The chaos at the start helped, but the race management was perfect, also showing a bit more pace than his teammate Stroll.
Kevin Magnussen – 7
The Dane was a sublime P4 on Friday, but dropped to P8 in the Sprint race, following the decision to start on medium tyres that left him unhappy.
His start on Sunday was free of trouble, climbing up to P5, but the Haas driver again went backwards, struggling from high tyre degradation.
P9 was perhaps lower than he expected, but it is still another points finish for the Haas driver, the third of the season. Let’s not forget Haas scored no points last year.Embed from Getty Images
Lance Stroll – 6.5
P10 exceeded expectations for the Aston Martin, who scored a double points-finish, with Vettel doing even better.
Stroll was only 15th on the grid for Sunday’s race, but, as he often does, he gained places amongst the chaos. For the Canadian, it was a P10 finish that gives hope for the coming races.
Alex Albon – 8
This time, Alex Albon narrowly missed points, finishing in P11 with another performance that seemed to overperform the car.
Albon used the narrow track to his favour, fending off Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton to remain in his position, even if he was unable to attack the cars in front.
Pierre Gasly – 5
It was a long and painful weekend for the Frenchman, which never quite kick-started.
Gasly was out-qualified by Tsunoda and was a victim of a clash during the sprint, which relegated him to a P17 start.
He struggled to make up places and only finished 12th, only standing out due to a defence on Hamilton.Embed from Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton – 5
Hamilton lived a nightmare at Imola. He had a struggling car, but seemed to perform less than Russell and was a poor P14 on Friday.
He kept in the same place on Saturday and that was the same place in which he finished.
Although he moved as up as P11, he lost out during the pit stop phase and was desolately behind Gasly for the whole race, without ever being able to pull a move.
Esteban Ocon – 5
The Alpine scored no points and the Frenchman failed to score points for the first time in 2022.
An unfortunate problem meant he missed out on qualifying and was only 16th after the Sprint.
Things worsened further as an unsafe release earned him a penalty that dropped him to a mere P14.
Guanyu Zhou – 5
The Chinese driver failed to live up to the true performance of the car and struggled again compared to his teammate Bottas.
He was the only non-finish of the Sprint on Saturday, colliding with Gasly and having to start from the pit lane.
The race situation meant it was almost impossible to finish in the points and Guanyu Zhou only managed 15that the flag.Embed from Getty Images
Nicholas Latifi – 5
This time, Nicholas Latifi was no protagonist of major errors, but the gaps from the rest of the grid remain massive, as the Canadian tended to be last, with a high margin most times.
Latifi was at the bottom of the grid for the majority of the race and only finished in front of struggling Mick Schumacher and Ricciardo, despite Albon managing P12.
Mick Schumacher – 4.5
The German’s weekend seemed to be quite promising, with his first top 10 start since his debut in Formula One.
However, Schumacher spun on the first corner, before also spinning later in the race. It was a wasted chance, as his maiden points still fail to arrive.Embed from Getty Images
Daniel Ricciardo – 4.5
For the Australian, one error meant that a lot of hard work was blown in a few seconds. A clash with Sainz on the opening corner dropped him at the back of the group, from which he was unable to move up.
McLaren had a chance to score big points with both drivers, as it came as happy news to see Ricciardo once again matching Norris.
However, whilst it was not necessarily his fault, it was an avoidable clash, that wasn’t worth the risk.
Fernando Alonso – 6
Fernando Alonso cannot catch a break in 2022, as damage to his car meant his race ended very early.
The Spaniard was a superb fifth on Friday, before dropping to P9 during the Sprint.
Points were up for grabs, but Alonso was unlucky, with Schumacher spinning alongside him and damaging his sidepods.
Carlos Sainz – 5
Spain is not the lucky nation at the start of 2022 in Formula One, as Sainz suffered a similar fate to his compatriot.
He is suffering the pressure, as again he was a protagonist of an unforced error during qualifying, crashing out in Q2. The Sprint helped him return to P4 and it meant there was a big chance on Sunday.
A poor getaway was followed by a clash with Ricciardo that left him stuck in the gravel. After 31 consecutive finishes, he only completed a lap in the last two races.Embed from Getty Images
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