Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen Hangs On To Win At Imola

Max Verstappen was just barely able to hang on to a win in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sunday (May 19), after Lando Norris gained over seven seconds in the last 20 laps on the defending world champion.

Although Verstappen was able to lead all but three laps from the pole, Norris ended up coming very close to snatching his second straight win in the series. Verstappen not only had to manage the race with a slower car, but he had to do it with three track limit violations โ€” one more and that would have been a five-second penalty, more than enough to have the victory taken away from him.

“The whole race, I had [to] push flat out, make up a gap initially,” Verstappen said in the podium interview. “On the medium [compound] tires, we were quite strong. On the [second stint] hard [compound] tires, it was more difficult to manage. Especially on the last 10, 15 laps, I had no grip and I was really sliding a lot. I could see Lando closing in the last 10 laps, it was flat out. It was very difficult when the tires are not working anymore. I couldn’t afford to make too many mistakes.”

Norris ended up taking second, just .725 seconds behind Verstappen, while Charles Leclerc took a more distant third.

The only incident on the day came nine laps into the race. Alexander Albon pitted for new hard compound tires, but was slow out of the pits after there was an issue. The team didn’t fully secure the tires on the Williams, but Albon was at least able to get back to pit road without wrecking or stalling out.

Albon was later handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for the team releasing the car in an unsafe condition. He would later retire the car with nine laps to go as he was already two laps down.

Oscar Piastri ended up finishing fourth and Carlos Sainz lost a spot from the start and finished fifth. The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished sixth and seventh respectively, after Russell pitted late to take the fastest lap.

Sergio Perez spent the entire race running an alternate strategy, running 37 laps on the opening stint on hard compound tires. The Mexican driver was forced to after starting in 11th. He was able to end the day in eighth.

Taking up the final two points positions were Lance Stroll in ninth and Yuki Tsunoda in 10th.

2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Results

Next up on the F1 schedule is, in one word: Monaco. Lights out for the Monaco Grand Prix will be on Sunday, May 26, at 9 a.m. ET on ABC.

About the author

michaelfinley010

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021, and also formerly covered the SRX series from 2021-2023. He now covers the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and road course events in the NASCAR Cup Series.

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