FORMULA 1: Verstappen Wins Sprint After LeClerc Leads for 20 Laps

Black and white flag for Magnussen for weaving on the first lap as Zhou crashes out in frantic first sprint race lap at Imola with close racing all up and down the grid.

Pole sitter Verstappen bogged down on the start as behind him Fernando Alonso got swamped at the start. Ricciardo and Magnussen touched wheels but both remained on track with no issue.

Hamilton dropped two places to 15th on the first lap with Tsunoda gaining 3 places with Perez also gaining 3 spots to get into 4th.

On lap 8 with the aid of DRS Sergio Perez overtook Magnussen easily leading into the braking zone of turn 1 as Hamilton caught Stroll to get into 14th.

On lap 10, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Sainz formed a DRS train around the circuit where Ricciardo went down the inside of Magnussen on Turn 1 leaving Carlos Sainz behind Magnussen as Ricciardo sped off into the distance.

Meanwhile Sergio Perez took advantage of the DRS zone to overtake Lando Norris in the first corner ahead of that pack.

Behind the pack for fifth, Bottas and Alonso were following each other around the track with Bottas in DRS zone for most of lap 12 and 13.

Vettel was holding 10th spot however behind him Schumacher, Russell, Tsunoda and Hamilton were all within DRS range of each other with none of them able to gain an advantage because of this.

Charles LeClerc out the front was looking good to win his first race from non pole position which he hadn’t done in Formula 1 so far.

As Lap 14 started, Carlos Sainz like those before him took advantage of the DRS zone leading into Turn 1 and pushed Ricciardo back to 6th. Sergio Perez meanwhile put in a fastest lap time of 1:19.012

Lap 15 and Alonso and Bottas were noted for weaving on the straight again as Schumacher leaving plenty of space overtook Vettel.

Lap 15 ended with Bottas and Alonso wheel to wheel down the main straight with Bottas hitting the brakes that little bit later to take 8th spot.

Verstappen took out half a second from LeClerc on lap 17 as he moved into DRS range. For the record DRS was estimated to give the driver 12 – 13 km/h advantage.

Lap 19 as Verstappen closed in on LeClerc his engineer offered some advice with Verstappen channeling the retired Kimi Räikkönen suggesting that he knew what he was doing and to leave him alone.

Shortly after Verstappen overtook Sainz on the outside with both drivers leaving plenty of room for each other.

Verstappen’s engineer again returned on Lap 21 with some information about the DRS status of LeClerc with Verstappen asking him not to talk during braking zones. Fair enough.

The final top three ended up being Verstappen, LeClerc and Perez with the top three rows filled by Redbull, Ferrari and McLaren with Mercedes finishing back in 11th and 14th.



Leave a Reply