Max Verstappen took a superb victory in an action-packed Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that was red-flagged half way through after a a high-speed crash involving Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, which both walked away from unhurt. Lewis Hamilton recovered from a spin at Tosa to finish second, while Lando Norris made it from seventh to third with a terrific drive that earned him the Driver of the Day tag.

For the 99th time in his F1 career, Hamilton started from pole as rain fell at Imola, but it was Verstappen who jumped from third to first with a masterful second-gear launch. Hamilton briefly led again when Verstappen pitted for mediums from intermediates on Lap 27, but the Briton emerged second thanks to his sluggish stop one lap later. On Lap 31, the seven-time champion locked up and beached his car at Tosa, only to rejoin P8.

A terrifying accident followed that as Bottas and Russell came together at Tamburello. Both were thankfully unhurt, but Bottas was apparently winded and Russell furious as another potential points finish slipped away from the Williams driver in a spectacular fashion.

The red flag followed to allow marshals to clear the cars and debris, and the rolling restart saw Verstappen keep his lead, with Hamilton quickly making up ground from P8. A brilliant recovery followed, with the world champion up to fifth by Lap 43, fourth by Lap 50 and third – at the expense of Leclerc – by Lap 55.

Victory was to be Verstappen’s, however, and by a margin over 20 seconds at the flag as the action behind did nothing to rattle him. That left Hamilton second, Norris third thanks to a sensational drive from P7, and Leclerc fourth – his podium having slipped away to the superior McLaren of Norris, who had jumped the Ferrari after the red flag restart.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth even after two trips through the gravel, while Daniel Ricciardo took sixth for McLaren having started there.

Lance Stroll was once again rapid in the wet and made it to P7 from P10, ahead of Pierre Gasly whose choice to start on wets didn’t pay off, leaving him as low as 17th on Lap 16 when he bit the bullet and swapped to inters.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen started 16th but made it up to P11 in the wet, taking P9 when Bottas and Russell came together. That left Esteban Ocon, who started ninth, rounding out the top 10 for Alpine’s first point of the season.

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA632:02:34.5980
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES63+22.000s0
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES63+23.702s0
416Charles LeclercFERRARI63+25.579s0
555Carlos SainzFERRARI63+27.036s0
63Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES63+51.220s0
718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES63+51.909s0
810Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA63+52.818s0
97Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI63+64.773s0
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT63+65.704s0
1114Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT63+66.561s0
1211Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA63+67.151s0
1322Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA63+73.184s0
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI62+1 lap0
155Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES61DNF0
1647Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI61+2 laps0
179Nikita MazepinHAAS FERRARI61+2 laps0
NC77Valtteri BottasMERCEDES30DNF0
NC63George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES30DNF0
NC6Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES0DNF0

* Provisional results

NC

Ka-Chow!

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