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1) Charles Leclerc – 86 Points
2) Max Verstappen – 59 Points
3) Sergio Perez – 54 Points
4) George Russell – 49 Points
5) Carlos Sainz – 38 Points
6) Lando Norris – 35 Points
7) Lewis Hamilton – 28 Points
8) Valtteri Bottas – 24 Points
9) Esteban Ocon – 20 Points
10) Kevin Magnussen – 15 Points
Verstappen was on top form all weekend and thoroughly deserved the full 26 points. But, the key talking point was Charles Leclerc’s late spin when he was pushing to try and attack Sergio Perez for second place. We’ve seen these small but costly errors from Leclerc in the past and he needs to ensure he doesn’t do it again.
1) Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2) Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3) Lando Norris (McLaren)
4) George Russell (Mercedes)
5) Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
6) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
7) Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
8) Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
9) Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
10) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE EMILIA ROMAGNA GP
A dominant performance from Max Verstappen sees him take a big victory to close the gap in the championship to Charles Leclerc to 27 points. The win was never in doubt as Red Bull take their first 1-2 since the 2016 Malaysian GP thanks to Sergio Perez’s second place. Lando Norris repeats his Imola podium from last year with third, as Charles Leclerc limits the damage from his late spin to finish in sixth.
Final Lap: Bottas very close to Russell
Valtteri Bottas is closer than ever to George Russell for fourth place as Max Verstappen starts the final lap of the Grand Prix. Leclerc overtakes Yuki Tsunoda to take sixth place. It looks like the rain is going to arrive after the race.
Lap 61: Rain on the way
The drivers are being told there will be rain on the final two laps. Meanwhile, Leclerc gets by Sebastian Vettel to take seventh and is 2.5 seconds behind Yuki Tsunoda.
Lap 59: Bottas attacking Russell
George Russell may have taken Valtteri Bottas’ seat at Mercedes, but it’s the latter who’s going on the offensive. Bottas he been told “let’s get him” as the battle for fourth place is brewing nicely in these closing laps.
Lap 57: Leclerc not happy with car balance
Leclerc overtakes Kevin Magnussen to move into eighth, but he doesn’t feel happy with the car. He will be rueing that error. It’s put Lando Norris into the podium places, a repeat of his third place from last year.
Lap 54: LECLERC SPINS!
Charles Leclerc has made a massive mistake. He spins at the Variante Chicane when pushing to try and attack Perez. The Ferrari driver pits but is now down in eighth! WOW.
Lap 52: Verstappen pits and retains the lead
The fight for the fastest lap of the race is on. Verstappen, Perez and Leclerc are all on the soft tyres so they will be pushing hard to take that extra point which could prove crucial later in the season.
Lap 51: Perez pits
And just like that, Sergio Perez does respond by pitting and comfortably comes out ahead of Leclerc who passes Lando Norris to get back into third. Expect Verstappen to pit now as well.
Lap 50: Leclerc pits!
That’s unexpected. Charles Leclerc pits for a new set of soft tyres and comes out just behind Lando Norris in fourth. Ferrari didn’t want that. Leclerc could be going for the extra point that’s given for the fastest lap of the race, which is why he pitted. Will Red Bull respond?
Lap 49: Tsunoda moves into eighth
Yuki Tsunoda is having a very strong race. He’s just cruised by Kevin Magnussen to take eighth place. Sebastian Vettel is Tsunoda’s next target, 2.5 seconds up the road. Back up front, Verstappen is 13 seconds ahead of teammate Perez.
Lap 46: Leclerc told to stay out until the end
Charles Leclerc asks “what does Plan D” look like”, which means can he make a pit stop. The team respond by telling him to stay out until the end of the race. You can’t blame Ferrari because the last thing you want is for a slow pit stop to ruin your afternoon. A podium is still a good result for Leclerc, even though he would have wanted the win.
Who would have thought we’d be saying that this year. Max Verstappen has just lapped Lewis Hamilton who is still running in 14th. The battle for second place has quietened down with Leclerc now 2.5 seconds behind Perez.
Finally, DRS has been enabled by race director Niels Wittich. The problem for the drivers fighting for points is, they are all within one second of each other so the DRS advantage is negated because they can all use it.
It’s been the perfect performance from Red Bull so far with Verstappen now 11 seconds ahead of Perez, who has gapped Leclerc by two seconds. Remember, reliability has been a problem for Red Bull in the opening three rounds, so this isn’t over yet.
It’s status quo out at front with Verstappen leading Perez and Leclerc by nine seconds. Down in ninth, Yuki Tsunoda is leading a huge train of cars with Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo all stuck behind.
Perez is facing big pressure from Leclerc, but he’s dealing with it well. The Ferrari driver doesn’t have the top speed to get by. Further back, Hamilton has stuck in a train of cars in 14th. Hamilton had a slow pit stop which has proved very costly.
Charles Leclerc did one extra lap on the intermediates which put him ahead of Sergio Perez for second place. But, Perez used his warmer dry tyres to get back in front almost immediately. Everyone is on dry tyres and Max Verstappen has a lead of seven seconds.
There is chaos in the pit lane! Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton make contact, as Verstappen, Leclerc and Norris all pit for the medium tyres.
The dry tyres are fastest so Sergio Perez comes into the pits for the mediums. George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Albon have also pitted for dry tyres.
Here we go, McLaren are rolling the dice with Daniel Ricciardo who pits for the dry medium tyres from 18th place. Every team will be watching his sector and lap times, this will be fascinating.
Max Verstappen says he’s sliding more, but he’s also building a nice buffer which is now up to seven seconds. Leclerc is now just 1.3 seconds behind Perez for second place. Further down the field, Lewis Hamilton has been stuck behind Lance Stroll in 11th and appears to be playing the patient game.
George Russell has been having a fantastic scarp with Kevin Magnussen for fifth place over the last few laps. Russell got by at the first chicane but went too deep so Magnussen got him back. Then, the Mercedes driver made the overtake at the Variante Chicane. Great racing!
That move has been coming. Leclerc breezes by Norris at Turn 2 to take third which gets the Tifosi onto their feet. But, Leclerc has lost a lot of time behind Norris as he’s six seconds behind race leader Verstappen. All the drivers are now looking for wet parts of the track to cool their tyres down.
Verstappen leads the field away on the restart, with Perez on his tail. Charles Leclerc is looking to get past Lando Norris for third as soon as possible. Sebastian Vettel is told more rain is expected in 20 minutes as the track continues to dry.
The safety car is out for Sainz’s beached Ferrari. George Russell has had an excellent start, going from 11th to sixth and Kevin Magnussen is up to fifth. Lewis Hamilton has made up two places and is now 12th. But, it’s a dream start for Red Bull who are 1-2.
It’s a horrible start for Ferrari, Carlos Sainz is turned around by Daniel Ricciardo at the second chicane and is out for the second race weekend running. Charles Leclerc is overtaken by Sergio Perez and Lando Norris off the start line too so it’s Max Verstappen leading his Red Bull teammate, with Norris in third.
No surprise to see every driver is on the intermediate tyre. It’s too dry for wets, and not dry enough for slicks. It will be a standing start and the difference between a good and bad getaway in these damp conditions is magnified.
The Italian crowd would love nothing more than a Ferrari win and Charles Leclerc has a great chance to do exactly that today. If there is no more rain, the switch from intermediates to dry tyres will be decisive and it’s where the race could be won and lost. All eyes on Leclerc and Verstappen.
Christian Horner says there is more rain on the way and is weary of the risks that a wet track pose.
“On a day like today there is an awful lot of risk,” Horner tells Sky Sports. “There’s probably another band of rain coming so it’s just about going with the track, not making mistakes and staying ahead of the Ferraris.”
The wet conditions mean the chances of a mistake from the team or driver are higher, so there should be opportunities for Lewis Hamilton (14th) and George Russell (11th) to move forward. They desperately need to salvage something from this weekend.
The cars are doing multiple laps before they go to the grid, as the rain stops and the track begins to dry. There’s no chance of a dry start though and thankfully the spray isn’t too bad so we should see a full standing start. Intermediates appear to be the way forward.
Interestingly, all of the Ferrari-powered teams (Ferrari, Haas and Alfa Romeo) have changed their fuel pumps ahead of the race. Red Bull have been caught out by an unreliable fuel pump this year, so Ferrari are probably just being extra cautious today. The last thing Charles Leclerc wants is for his 40-point lead to be wiped away because of a DNF.
The rain is falling hard at Imola which will only spice things up even more for today’s Emilia Romagna GP. The first half of last year’s race at Imola was also wet and we saw plenty of incidents then, including a rare mistake from Lewis Hamilton who slid off the track when chasing Max Verstappen.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the first race of the 2022 Formula 1 season with the sprint qualifying format, and Max Verstappen crossed the line first to mean he’ll start on pole in Sunday’s race at Imola.
This is the full starting grid for Sunady’s Emilia Romagna GP
1. Max Verstappen
2. Charles Leclerc
3. Sergio Perez
4. Carlos Sainz Jnr
5. Lando Norris
6. Daniel Ricciardo
7. Valtteri Bottas
8. Kevin Magnussen
9. Fernando Alonso
10. Mick Schumacher
12. Yuki Tsunoda
13. Sebastian Vettel
14. Lewis Hamilton
15. Lance Stroll
16. Esteban Ocon
17. Pierre Gasly
18. Alexander Albon
19. Nicholas Latifi
20. Guanyu Zhou
Hello everyone and welcome along to our live blog for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Max Verstappen‘s win in Saturday’s sprint race puts his Red Bull on pole position for this Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix race, but Charles Leclerc‘s two wins so far make him a viable threat so we’ll see if the pole sitter can hold off the Ferrari man. On this live blog, we’ll have all the pre-race updates and then lap-by-lap reports too.
This is the very beginning of our F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix live blog, with all our updates from this F1 race following below. As always, the ones nearest the top are the most recent.
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