Max Verstappen took the F1 Imola GP win but only by just with Lando Norris not far behind, as Charles Leclerc was third.

It was a clean start to F1 Imola GP from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen from pole to keep McLaren’s Lando Norris behind, who had to defend from Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in fifth.

Mercedes’ George Russell maintained sixth as well but teammate Lewis Hamilton gained one to be seventh, with Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg following suit in ninth. A slow start dropped Visa Cash App RB’s Yuki Tsunoda to ninth and Daniel Ricciardo to 11th.

Even Red Bull’s Sergio Perez gained one to be 10th on the hard compound, as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso started from the pitlane on the soft tyre to try something. His pit stop resulted in fire at front left brake but he went along well still.

His teammate Lance Stroll also had a wheel banging on Lap 1 with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, but the Frenchman got the better of him eventually. Williams’ found itself in a bother after lose wheel on Alexander Albon’s car, who dropped one lap down due to extra pit stop.

The Thai racer had to slowly get back into the pits but his race was mostly done. At the front, meanwhile, Verstappen started to stretch out from Norris, who had Leclerc to defend from. At the same time, Sainz came under pressure from Piastri.

There was track position gain for Tsunoda who pipped Hulkenberg after electing to stop one lap earlier than the German. Just ahead of them, Perez locked-up to have a gravel moment, as laps later Hamilton had his gravel run too.

The pit stop game saw Norris maintain second over Leclerc, who went long but still was behind. The gainer was Piastri whose early stop allowed him to come out ahead of Sainz and with a good margin on the Spaniard as well to be third.

Russell was sixth as Hamilton retained seventh too ahead of Tsunoda and Hulkenberg. The pit stop for Perez dropped him to 11th behind Ricciardo, but the Mexican made a quick work of the Australian to get back himself in the Top 10.

He then made a quick work of both Hulkenberg and Tsunoda as well to be eighth but a logn way behind Hamilton. At the front, Leclerc to started to close in on Norris and got the gap under a second to take the help of DRS in a difficult circuit to overtake.

A grass moment in the chicane dropped Leclerc quite a lot behind of Norris, who upped his pace and started to catch a struggling Verstappen in the fight for the F1 Imola GP win. As that fight started to heat up, Albon eventually retired from the grand prix.

There was also a second stop for Russell who dropped behind his teammate Hamilton to be seventh. It came close at the front with Norris finishing only 0.0725s behind Verstappen who breathed a sigh of relief in F1 Imola GP victory.

Leclerc was a distance third from Piastri, who managed to keep Sainz behind with Hamilton sixth, Russell seventh and Perez eighth. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll put in a late charge to end up ninth from Tsunoda, as Hulkenberg dropped outside the points in 11th.

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen had a fighting grand prix but a clean one to be 12th after a late move on Ricciardo, as Ocon too had many tussles to be 14th from Stake F1 Team’s Zhou Guanyu and the other Alpine of Pierre Gasly.

The lone remaining Williams of Logan Sargeant was 17th from Stake F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas who dropped behind, while Alonso rounded out the 19 runners after the Spaniard did three stops in all.


UPDATE: While Albon was handed a 10s stop and go penalty for unsafe release, the Thai did not get a further penalty for continuing on driving on lose wheels when returning to the pits. The stewards stated he did all he could in a safe manner.



Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact