F1 Race Report: Max Verstappen Triple Play- Wins Imola GP, Sprint, Fastest Lap

24 APRIL 2022
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy is one of the most revered and famed circuits on the F1 schedule. It is located 40 km (25 mi) east of Bologna, and is one of the few major international circuits to run in a counter-clockwise direction. If there was ever a home track for Ferrari — Imola is it. What a storybook Grand Prix is looked to be with Ferrari dominating so much of the early season and driver Charles Leclerc with a commanding lead in the F1 Driver Standings. But that’s not how it turned out. Not at all.

Red Bull Racing and defending F1 Champion Max Verstappen spoiled the Ferrari “home” track party by “pulling the triple” as its known in F1 — Verstappen won the qualifying Sprint Race on Saturday, He had the fastest lap and won the GP on Sunday, scoring maximum points. Teammate Sergio Perez finished 2nd in the GP. For Ferrari it was a disaster. Charles Leclerc fell off the pace and had a spin in the closing laps to finish 6th while Farrari teammate Carlos Sainz crashed and was out of the race after he and Daniel Ricciardo collided, sending the Ferrari into the gravel and out of the race for the second consecutive Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen won a dramatic wet-dry Imola Grand Prix with Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finishing P2 (Photo Credit: formula1.com/F1 Digital Media)

The Podium
It was quite the battle for position on the ever-changing track conditions, but Lando Norris took advantage of a late spin by Leclerc to secure P3 and put McLaren on the podium behind the dominant Red Bulls. The rest of the points/placings were:
P4 George Russell for Mercedes
P5 Valtteri Bottas for Alfa Romero
P6 Charles Leclerc for Ferrari
P7 Yuki Tsunda for Alpha Tauri
P8 Sebastian Vettel for Aston Martin
P9 Kevin Magnussen for Haas
P10 Lance Stroll for Aston Martin

Podium at Imola GP — Italy (Photo Credit: formula1.com/F1 Digital Media)

Hamilton Looking and Sounding Frustrated
For 7 time F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton, Imola was another difficult weekend where he could not hold his position, let alone overtake competitors, in contrast to his Mercedes teammate Russell who was competitive. Hamilton was lapped by both Red Bull Racing cars, finishing P13 and frankly completely irrelevant in the race.

Lewis Hamilton looks disappointed after finishing his practice session. Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

Post Race Interview
“It’s always tough to achieve something like that,” said Verstappen. “Already yesterday and the day before, we were on it and it was looking like a strong weekend. Today, you never know with the weather how competitive you will be… but as a team we did everything well and I think one-two is very well deserved.

“The start was very important, but afterwards [also], judging the conditions and when to swap to the slick tires and on the out lap on slick tires not to make mistakes. In the lead, you have to always dictate the pace, and it’s always a bit more difficult initially but everything was well managed.”

Up Next: Miami
The Miami Grand Prix makes its debut on May 6–8, this brand-new era of F1 taking to a brand-new circuit — with Max Verstappen having scored a valuable victory in Ferrari’s back garden, Verstappen having now moved to P2 in the drivers’ standings behind Leclerc.

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association