Verstappen pips Norris in tense Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

By Michael Madyira

Max Verstappen held off the late challenge of Lando Norris for a nail-biting finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.

After starting from pole, the Red Bull driver came out on top at Imola following a Norris late charge while Charles Leclerc of Ferrari claimed third.

It appeared as if Verstappen was going to have it easy after opening a 7.5-second lead with 20 laps to go, but McLaren’s Norris’ late charge threw the race into an exhilarating finish.

Norris closed in the gap to just a second at the end and Verstappen admitted to feeling the pressure.

“Yeah, [I felt the pressure], I think the whole race I had to push flat out, to make a gap initially … on the mediums we were quite strong … the last 10, 15 laps I had no grip, I was sliding a lot,” said Verstappen in The Guardian.

“It was difficult when the tyres are not working anymore and you have to go flat out. I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. 

“But I’m super happy to win here today. We changed a lot on the car, we didn’t have a lot of information going into the race … but I’ll take that.”

It was the Dutchman’s fifth victory of the season in seven races as he atoned for falling behind Norris in Miami two weeks ago.

With Leclerc settling for third, he was the first Ferrari driver to manage a podium finish at Imola since Michael Schumacher in 2006.

“At least it’s a podium. We were very fast at the start,” Leclerc said. 

Norris’ McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri came fourth after he had been stripped of Imola front-row following a steward’s investigation, while Carlos Sainz of Ferrari was in position five. 

Pictured above: Max Verstappen after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Image source: Formula 1


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