The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix hit rain for the second year in a row, with Max Verstappen perfecting the conditions while the others stumbled. We have selected six winners and five losers from Imola.
Winner: Max Verstappen
This weekend couldn’t have been better for Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver who took pole position in qualifying, winning his first Formula 1 race of the season before turning P1’s Grand Prix into his second win of the campaign – with the fastest lap to boot.
This massive amount of points breathed new life into the challenge for the title of world champion. He is now only 27 points behind Charles Leclerc and heading to Miami with momentum after a solid performance.
READ MORE: Verstappen named 2022 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Loser: Charles Leclerc
The heights in driving a F1 Sprint up to the last few laps should be felt a long time ago for Charles Leclerc, who suffered a poor start in the main Grand Prix to drop from second to fourth.
Although he recovered to third, a rare mistake in chicane of late propelled him to the hurdles. He was back in the pits to take on a new front wing, but that brought him to ninth. He regained three places, but sixth was at least three places lower than what his car was capable of.
Winner: Lando Norris
There’s just something about Imola that seems to be yielding massive results for Lando Norris, a McLaren driver who put in an excellent performance in tough conditions to follow up on the podium at last year’s event with his first event of the season.
READ MORE: Norris praises McLaren’s ‘amazing’ performance after Imola’s podium finish
He has now finished on the podium in his last three races on Italian soil (he finished second at Monza) and beats compatriot Lewis Hamilton to sixth in the drivers’ championship.
Loser: Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz recovered well from a qualifying error to finish fourth in the Grand Prix after a fine performance in the F1 Sprint, but his run on Sunday lasted less than a minute after Daniel Ricciardo kicked him in the gravel.
The Spaniard could not escape, forcing him to retire for the second time in a row. This means he has managed one full lap in the last two races and is now 48 points behind his Ferrari teammate Leclerc by 48 points in the championship.
READ MORE: ‘I paid for Ricciardo’s mistake’ says Sainz, after finishing second race in a row in the gravel trap
Winner: Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen’s impressive return to Formula 1 continued as he added two points in Sunday’s Grand Prix to the point he earned the day before at the F1 Sprint.
It capped a fantastic weekend that saw him finish fourth in qualifying – Haas’ best qualifying performance ever – meaning he has now scored in three of the first four races to finish 10th in the drivers’ standings.
Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix 2022: Sainz has trouble starting Imola
Loser: Lewis Hamilton
It was a fantastic weekend for Lewis Hamilton, the Briton who finished modest 13th in his first result of the season without points.
It’s his worst race result since he finished 18th in Azerbaijan last year, when he ran into the escape route in the final inning with two rounds remaining as he challenged the lead.
READ MORE: Hamilton admits he’s ‘knocked out’ after tough run to P13 at Imola
Winner: Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas’ dream continued to come to life at Alfa Romeo at Imola, with the Finn claiming a fifth best of the season with an impressive performance that put pressure on George Russell in the closing stages.
This puts him eighth in the drivers’ standings while Alfa Romeo jumps to fifth in the constructors’ championship after their best result since the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The fan base loyal to Ferrari made a strong showing at Imola on Sunday, with the venue netting 64,000 people – but not rewarded with a victory – or even a podium.
Read more: What the teams said – Race day in Emilia-Romagna
While Ferrari, whose boss John Elkann was in town on Sunday, retained the lead in the constructors’ championship, it is now only 11 points ahead of Red Bull.
Winners: Aston Martin
Aston Martin finally got the plate in 2022 – and they did so with both cars as Sebastian Vettel turned the spots in time and eventually finished eighth.
His teammate Lance Stroll defended well to finish 10th, maintaining his record of finishing in every race this season (and never below 13th).
WATCH: Check out the slippery race start at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Sainz and Ricciardo tangle
Alpine’s scoring career ended in 2022 at Imola, with Fernando Alonso retiring early after suffering injury damage from a collision with Mick Schumacher.
Esteban Ocon finished 11th but slipped back to 14th after a five-second penalty for an unsafe launch, ending his seven-point streak in scoring. As a result, Alpine fell to sixth place in the ranking of manufacturers.
Winner: George Russell
George Russell is one of only two drivers to score in every Grand Prix so far this year – championship leader Leclerc is also – as the Mercedes rider put on an impeccable display at Imola.
The Briton comfortably outperformed the W13 in Italy, stopping heavy pressure from Bottas – the driver who replaced him in the Silver Arrows – to finish in P4 fourth in a row.
HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from the race at Imola, as Verstappen dominates Red Bull 1-2
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