Verstappen and Perez conquer Imola: Red Bull triumph! Ferrari disaster: Leclerc 6th, Sainz out

IMOLA – On the Ferrari circuit, Red Bull celebrates with a double Max Verstappen-Sergio Perez. Ferrari disaster with Sainz in the gravel on the first lap e Leclerc on the wall with nine laps to go when he was in third position chasing Perez. He will finish sixth even surpassed by Norris, Russell, Bottas.

A nightmare start for Ferrari on a wet track: Leclerc starts badly and gets overtaken by Verstappen, Perez and Norris while Sainz is hit by Ricciardo and is forced to retire at the first corner. On the eighth lap Leclerc blows up the Santerno, overtakes Norris and goes in search of Perez. Alonso is out after a contact at the start with Schumacher. The track dries up with Verstappen trying to stretch and take the lead over Perez to 4 seconds. 6 and a half seconds the advantage over Leclerc. Off the pitstop Leclerc returns second after the pistop but Perez takes advantage of the hottest tires and immediately regains his position on the Monegasque who still has to bring his averages up to temperature.

The Ferrari driver is constantly under one second behind the Mexican but cannot yet use the DRS as it has not been authorized by the Race Direction due to the track conditions. Authorization that comes only after the 34th lap with Verstappen driving with 12 »on Perez and 14» on Leclerc. The Monegasque changes tires in the final and goes to the soft to look for the fastest lap but with nine laps to go, just as he is chasing Perez he makes a mistake and goes to the block. He damaged winger, change in the pits and returns ninth. Then passes Magnussen, Tsunoda, Vettel and will finish sixth on the day dedicated to Red Bull.

Verstappen: “Deserved double for the team”

Max Verstappen wins in Imola in the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the fourth season of the Formula One World Championship. The Red Bull Dutchman confirmed the first position obtained yesterday in the Sprint Race (after the pole position in Friday’s qualifying), disputing an absolute dominant race in variable track conditions and also taking home the bonus point for the fastest lap .

«It is always difficult to achieve a similar result, but yesterday and Friday we were already on track and it seemed like a strong weekend for us. Today there were many unknowns given the weather forecast, I didn’t know how competitive we could have been », Verstappen’s first words after today’s triumph on the Santerno circuit.

«As a team we did everything well and I think this double is very well deserved. The start was very important of course, but then I also had to evaluate different situations well, such as when to change the tires from intermediate to slick without making mistakes. Being the leader is the most difficult role in these situations, but we managed to manage everything », says the reigning world champion.

Leclerc: “My fault, I demanded too much”

«I rode very well but today the mistake cost me 7 important points from the point of view of the championship – the first comment from Leclerc to the microphones of Sky Sport -. Today I’m the one in charge, there’s no excuse. I thought I could take second place but I demanded too much. I’m sorry for the team that has done a great job and for the fans but I’ll be back stronger ».

However, the disappointment leaves ample room for improvement for the Monegasque: «Where can we improve? We take too long to warm up the tires. Today we struggled more than the Red Bulls, especially on the front right, but the season is still long and we can improve. Red Bull usually makes a great development of its cars, we have to be careful and stay on track until the end ».

Sainz: “We weren’t lucky”

«You started very badly but the match was supposed to be long. With Ricciardo it was a race accident, he lost his car on the curb and hit me “, commented the Spaniard, who renewed his contract with Ferrari this week until 2024.” The moment is difficult because I had want to play it in the wet, but we weren’t lucky. There are two races that I finish immediately, I would like to do more laps in the race to better understand the car », Sainz’s wish.

Binotto: “It was the details that made the difference”

«The drivers have the right spirit, we must not have a negative judgment and get down after just one bad race – the suggestion of the Maranello team principal – Charles did not collect everything he could collect today, the pit stop was not perfect, Carlos he was unlucky at the start. Everything is experience, it was the small details that made the difference. Where do we need to improve? The departures were not perfect ».

The number 1 of the team then focuses on the next appointments: «We focus on the next challenges to fight to the end, we must not give up, that’s how it went and we look to the next ones with optimism. We will bring small updates to Miami, but the most important upgrades will arrive in Barcelona. Our fans believe in it, a fantastic audience that has cheered at every moment ».

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