Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins wild Imola F1 race

Max Verstappen won a crash-packed and red-flagged Emila Romagna Grand Prix at Imola for Red Bull on Sunday, the second race of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins wild Imola F1 race

Verstappen won by over 20 seconds ahead of a recovering Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who bounced back from a costly off-track moment from which he had to reverse out of the gravel. His race was saved by a red flag, and he was able to surge back to second place after the restart.

Verstappen made a terrific start to vault from third on the grid to the lead by the first corner, where he touched Hamilton, who was forced wide and damaged his front wing.

Just after a pitstop sequence to switch to dry tyres, Hamilton went off at Tosa while lapping the Williams of George Russell. A lap later, Russell touched wheels with the second Mercedes Valtteri Bottas on the approach to Tamburello, and the race was stopped to clear all the debris from the massive crash that followed.

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The race restarted behind the safety car, Verstappen leading despite a half spin at Rivazza just before the race went green. McLaren's Lando Norris jumped past Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for second, but was on the soft tyres.

Hamilton charged through from ninth to second, having replaced his broken front wing under the red flag. He took fastest lap near the end to retain his world championship lead.

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2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix race results

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
63 2:02'34.598
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
63 2:02'56.598 22.000
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
63 2:02'58.300 23.702
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc
63 2:03'00.177 25.579
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
63 2:03'01.634 27.036
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
63 2:03'25.818 51.220
7 France Pierre Gasly
63 2:03'27.416 52.818
8 Canada Lance Stroll
63 2:03'31.507 56.909
9 France Esteban Ocon
63 2:03'40.302 1'05.704
10 Spain Fernando Alonso
63 2:03'41.159 1'06.561
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
63 2:03'41.749 1'07.151
12 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
63 2:03'47.782 1'13.184
13 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
63 2:04'09.371 1'34.773
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
62 2:02'46.823 1 Lap
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
61 2:01'19.044 2 Laps
16 Germany Mick Schumacher
61 2:02'36.636 2 Laps
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
61 2:03'44.864 2 Laps
Finland Valtteri Bottas
30 50'58.945 33 Laps
United Kingdom George Russell
30 50'59.447 33 Laps
Canada Nicholas Latifi
0
Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 56 1:32'03.897
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 56 1:32'04.642 0.745
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 56 1:32'41.280 37.383
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 56 1:32'50.363 46.466
5 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 56 1:32'55.944 52.047
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 56 1:33'02.987 59.090
7 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 56 1:33'09.901 1'06.004
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 56 1:33'10.997 1'07.100
9 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 56 1:33'29.589 1'25.692
10 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 56 1:33'30.610 1'26.713
11 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 56 1:33'32.761 1'28.864
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 55 1:32'09.295 1 Lap
13 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 55 1:32'19.995 1 Lap
14 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 55 1:32'21.854 1 Lap
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 55 1:32'42.439 1 Lap
16 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 55 1:33'20.704 1 Lap
17 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 52 1:27'41.866 4 Laps
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 51 1:27'10.489 5 Laps
Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 32 55'21.634 24 Laps
Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 0

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: How the race unfolded

Pre-race rain ahead of the formation lap caused drama, as Alpine's Fernando Alonso hit the tyrewall at Tosa. He managed to drag his damaged car back to be fixed with a new front wing. Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin started from the pitlane due to damage from a rear brake fire, something that also affected teammate Lance Stroll.

The majority of cars started on intermediate tyres on a track that was damp in some places but soaking wet at others. Leclerc spun at Acque Minerali on the warm-up lap but managed to extract himself from the gravel to take up his place on the grid.

Launching off an almost-dry startline, Verstappen – who started in second gear – surged alongside Hamilton on the run to Tamburello, where they collided. Hamilton bounced across the kerbs, damaging the base of the front wing endplate. Perez ran third, ahead of Leclerc – the pair swapping positions at Variante Alta after Perez got crossed up on the exit.

Williams’s Nicholas Latifi spun at Acque Minerali, as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz went across the grass at Variante Alta. Latifi went little further, crashing a few yards later after contact with Haas’s Nikita Mazepin, which brought out the safety car. Haas’s Mick Schumacher, one of the few drivers to start on full wets, crashed into the wall while weaving to warm his tyres at the pit exit under the safety car.

Perez went off at Piratella also warming his tyres, losing two places, but he decided to regain his fourth place after a trip through the gravel. For that he received a 10-second stop/go penalty at his next pitstop.

The race restarted on lap seven, with Hamilton trying to repass Verstappen into Tamburello but he soon came under pressure from Leclerc. Norris, who lost places after an early clash with Stroll, surged through the pack with some spectacular overtaking moves. Falling the other way was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who started on wets and tumbled down the order from sixth position and eventually dumped them for inters on Lap 16.

Sainz was another to struggle, multiple trips to the gravel meant he lost touch to the battling McLarens, who switched positions after Ricciardo was instructed to let Norris past. Ten laps later, Sainz passed Ricciardo for sixth.

Having pulled out a 5s lead, Hamilton closed the gap to Verstappen as the inters wore down to semi-slicks. Well out of the points, and penalized for not having his wheels on the car 5 minutes before the start, Vettel was the first to switch to slicks on Lap 22, but didn’t start setting fast sector times for another six laps.

Verstappen pitted for slicks on Lap 28, with Hamilton going for the overcut and staying out for a lap, but Lewis suffered a slow 4s stop and rejoined even further behind.

The lead battled changed on Lap 31, as Hamilton went off at Tosa while trying to lap Russell, further damaging his front wing against the tyrewall before reversing out of the gravel trap.

The safety car, and then a red flag, was required again when Bottas and Russell – who had already been lapped before half distance – clashed on the high-speed run to Tamburello. After touching wheels both cars slammed into the wall, creating so much debris that the race was halted. Both drivers blamed the other, and Russell went over to Bottas where they remonstrated with each other.

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The race was restarted from behind the safety car, but not before Verstappen half-spun at Rivazza before the race went green. Nonetheless he led from Leclerc, who was passed by Norris (running soft tyres unlike the majority on mediums) at Tamburello. Perez was fourth, ahead of Sainz and Ricciardo. Hamilton – who had changed his damaged front wing in a pitstop before the red flag – restarted ninth but regained his lost lap, and then immediately gained a spot when Yuki Tsuonda spun at Tamburello.

Perez spun away fourth place at Variante Villeneuve, rejoining 14th. Hamilton passed a gearbox-hampered Stroll, Ricciardo, Sainz, Leclerc and Norris.

But, having sprinted well clear, Verstappen was well out of reach and scored his first win of the 2021 season. Hamilton finished second, ahead of Norris, Leclerc and Sainz.

2021 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
60 1'16.702
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen
60 1'17.524 0.822
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
63 1'18.259 1.557
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
49 1'18.334 1.632
5 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
62 1'18.353 1.651
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc
60 1'18.379 1.677
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
60 1'18.490 1.788
8 France Pierre Gasly
59 1'18.782 2.080
9 Canada Lance Stroll
52 1'18.994 2.292
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel
59 1'19.074 2.372
11 Germany Mick Schumacher
58 1'19.193 2.491
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
54 1'19.341 2.639
13 Spain Fernando Alonso
62 1'19.396 2.694
14 France Esteban Ocon
62 1'19.417 2.715
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
62 1'19.422 2.720
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
57 1'19.470 2.768
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
55 1'20.402 3.700
18 United Kingdom George Russell
28 1'26.543 9.841
19 Finland Valtteri Bottas
30 1'28.485 11.783

2021 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix tyre history

Cla Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
I 27 M 6 M 35
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
I 28 M 7 M 1 M 1 M 31
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
I 28 M 5 S 32
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc
I 28 M 5 M 35
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
I 27 M 6 M 36
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
I 27 M 6 S 32
7 France Pierre Gasly
W 14 I 12 M 6 M 6 M 36
8 Canada Lance Stroll
I 27 M 5 M 5 M 36
9 France Esteban Ocon
W 1 I 26 M 4 S 3 M 5 M 34
10 Spain Fernando Alonso
I 28 M 4 M 4 M 34
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
I 28 M 5 S 32
12 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
I 25 M 7 S 1 S 30
13 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
I 26 M 6 M 6 M 37
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
I 27 M 5 M 5 M 13 M 35
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
I 3 I 17 M 2 M 12 S 1 S 29
16 Germany Mick Schumacher
W 5 I 16 S 13 M 1 M 30
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
W 12 I 11 S 11 M 1 M 30
Finland Valtteri Bottas
I 28 M 5
United Kingdom George Russell
I 26 M 4
Canada Nicholas Latifi
I 0

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Author Charles Bradley
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