Pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is due to the victory in the first sprint race of the Formula 1 season 2022 for Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman took the lead from Charles Leclerc in the final phase of a blistering sprint race. Sergio Perez drove a very solid race at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and finished third.
Max Verstappen led the field towards the first corners combination from pole position after the lights went out above the starting grid. Charles Leclerc got off to a world start and passed the Dutchman while Land Norris closed in on P3. Bad luck for Guanzy Zhou who had a touché with Pierre Gasly. The Chinese retired and due to the incident the safety car was deployed after it ended up in the wall. The failure was due to a mistake by Zhou.
The race resumed on lap four with Lecler retaining the lead ahead of Verstappen. While Fernando Alonso made a mistake in P7 that put the Spaniard under pressure from his compatriot Carlos Sainz. The Ferrari driver attempted an attack on lap 7 and passed Alonso. Sergio Perez thought of the same thing but with Magnussen in the battle for P4 which succeeded in the eighth lap.
Verstappen seems to be finding the pace and was chasing Leclerc 1.2 seconds behind. In Midfield Valtteri Bottas had moved up to P9 and could think of points. Perez did good business behind Verstappen by passing McLaren driver Norris and taking P3. Ricciardo now followed his teammate after he outwitted Sainz. Magnussen drove behind the Spaniard who came under pressure from Alonso.
While Perez set the fastest race lap in 1:19,012 Verstappen seemed to be getting closer to Leclerc, the difference was now one second and DRs could play a role in the last five laps of the sprint race for the victory. The Dutchman was now within DRS distance.
With 3 laps to go in the race, the difference to Leclerc was 0.661 seconds ahead of Verstappen. it took another 2 laps before the Dutchman succeeded. Verstappen was now in the lead in the race and immediately cut a gap of 1.5 seconds to Leclerc.
Max Verstappen won the sprint race by a large margin over Charles Leclerc to secure pole position for Sunday’s race. Sergio Perez drove safely to P3 ahead of Carlos Sainz. Lando Norris could be satisfied with P5.
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2022 sprint race result, Imola