After an eventful day on the track, involving an accident between Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) et George Russell (Williams) resulting in a red flag and a pause to the racing, it was Max Verstappen (Red Bull) who came out on top on the Imola circuit, followed behind by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Lando Norris (McLaren).
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was raring for revenge. After finishing in second place at the inaugural Grand Prix in Bahrain, just behind his British rival, the Dutchman was ready to get revenge over Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) this Sunday afternoon on the Imola track. Starting from second place on the grid, behind the Brit, the Red Bull driver managed to knock the world champion from the top spot after the first corner.
The first to take a pit stop and swap his medium tyres for slick ones, Verstappen was able to hold onto his lead, in spite of the carnage that was to later unfold on the track. As rain began to fall, a spectacular collision occurred between Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and George Russell (Williams), forcing the race to be paused on the 34th lap.
Regrets for Charles Leclerc
After a strong start which almost saw him take second place ahead of Hamilton, the Monégasque did eventually find himself in this position, after the Brit slid off the track and into the barriers. However, once the race resumed after the red flag, Verstappen was out to make a comeback and overtook Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), before Lando Norris (McLaren) also sped by him.
Three places ahead of his team mate Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), the Scuderia driver saw Hamilton begin making moves and with just a few laps to go the seven time world champion soared past him. Whilst Ferrari crossed the line with much to celebrate, having their single seaters finish in fourth and fifth place, Leclerc was left with much less to cheer about. Does he have any regrets? Possibly. After spending the majority of the course in one of the top three positions, he came so close to a podium spot, but lost out in the final few moments.
In the current ranking of world champion drivers, the Monégasque sits in fourth place. The next Grand Prix will be Sunday 2 May in Portimão in Portugal.