Red Bull’s Max Verstappen came back on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to win F1 Emilia Romagna GP Sprint Race with Sergio Perez in third.

It was dry start to F1 Emilia Romagna GP Sprint race as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc got the lead at Turn 1 from pole-sitter Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who initially got away well but it wasn’t enough which allowed McLaren’s Lando Norris to be on par with him too.

But Verstappen kept second from Norris as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen remained fourth despite a small hit from McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo who lost out to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for fifth. The Mexican tried an inside move but had to change line and go on the outside.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso did not have a good start to drop to seventh from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the points position, as Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas rounded out the Top 10. His teammate Guanyu Zhou did not last long.

In his fight against AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman’s front right tangled with the left rear of Zhou which send him into a spin onto the barrier. The safety car was deployed as the stewards noted no further action on either drivers for the incident.

Magnussen, meanwhile, was shown the black and white flag for weaving. The re-start worked well for Leclerc who continued to lead from Verstappen and Norris, as Perez passed Magnussen to fourth and Sainz passed Alonso for seventh.

The moves started to come through as Perez passed Norris for third as Sainz cleared both Magnussen and Ricciardo to be fifth. The Dane dropped to seventh from Bottas who had a drag race fight against Alonso to take eighth from the Spaniard.

Behind, Haas’ Mick Schumacher passed Vettel for 10th as the German came under pressure from Mercedes’ George Russell, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Amid all of this, Verstappen closed in on Leclerc out of nowhere.

He waited for couple of laps to eventually get through Leclerc to lead the F1 Emilia Romagna GP and win the first sprint event of 2022 at Imola. The Monegasque ended up second, nearly three seconds behind as Perez rounded out the Top 3.

Verstappen will start Sunday’s F1 Emilia Romagna GP from pole with Leclerc beside him and their teammates Perez and Sainz behind in third and fourth. McLaren’s Norris did well in fifth from Ricciardo, as Bottas and Magnussen got the last of the points in Top 8.

Alonso started fifth but ended up ninth from Schumacher in the Top 10 as Russell could only manage 11th from Tsunoda, Vettel and Hamilton with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounding the Top 15 runners and starting order for Sunday’s race.

Much like those around him, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon couldn’t do much to be 16th from AlphaTauri’s Gasly who recovered to pass Williams pair of Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi.

DNF: Zhou.