Max Verstappen won an extremely exciting sprint race ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday. With the win, Verstappen secured eight points at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and pole position for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
The Dutchman started from first position, but got away badly and saw Charles Leclerc pass him immediately. Max, however, managed to keep the gap small and take revenge on the penultimate lap by passing the Ferrari driver via DRS. Behind Leclerc it was Sergio Pérez who completed the top three on behalf of Oracle Red Bull Racing. The racing stable from Milton Keynes has a good starting position for the Grand Prix.
“The start was bad and we had too much wheelspin,” Verstappen notes after the sprint race. “However, we tried to remain calm. Charles seemed to be faster, but I think he had a harder time with the tires towards the end. So we were able to close the gap and go for it going into the second corner.”
About tomorrow’s Grand Prix, Max says: “It might all be different when we ride on multiple tire compounds, but it worked out well for us today on the softs. I am very happy that we had a smooth race.”
Due to Verstappen’s points score with the victory in the sprint race, the difference to Charles Leclerc in the battle for the F1 world title has narrowed slightly among the drivers.
The Ferrari driver leads the field with 78 points, teammate, Carlos Sainz, in P2 has 38 points. Mercedes driver George Russell closes the top 3 with a 1 point behind the Spaniard. The Red Bull Racing drivers seem to be recovering in Imola. Sergio Perez has P4 to his name with 36 points. Max Verstappen comes with the victory on the ironic number of 33 points.