Max Verstappen wins chaotic Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for Lewis Hamilton after the Brit collided with his Red Bull rival and later went off the track in the rain-stricken second race of the season
- Max Verstappen of Red Bull won the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna after a tumultuous day of action in Imola
- Verstappen came from third on the grid to triumph after passing Lewis Hamilton after taking the inside line
- Hamilton damaged a front wing endplate early on and also spun off the track on the rain-damaged track
- Verstappen was able to open an impressive advantage in the first position and eased to his first win of the season
- George Russell and Valtteri Bottas had to retire early after a severe collision on lap 32 at 300 km / h
Max Verstappen won the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna – a winner on a tumultuous day in Imola.
The Dutchman came from third on the grid to triumph by passing Lewis Hamilton, eventually second, on the first lap, making a brilliant start to take the inside line in the opening corner and pushing himself into the lead, an advantage that he did not pass through an eventful afternoon with rain falling on parts of the track, especially at the start of the proceedings.
In that early skirmish, Hamilton trudged along the curbs – bump-bump-bump-bump – and damaged a front wing end plate.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull claimed victory for Lewis Hamilton in the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna after a chaotic race
Verstappen drove home for his first triumph of the 2021 season after starting third and then passing through Hamilton first
Verstappen opened up a consistent five-second lead and one he made count, not least when Hamilton ran off the track halfway through the race in an attempt to lap George Russell’s Williams.
The seven-time world champion was tucked into the barriers before backing up, but the field trip made it decidedly too late for his chances of winning the race. He came back superbly to finish second in a great rear, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, 21 – the ride of his life in a season of great promise.
The result sets the championship up very well after Hamilton took pole three weeks ago after winning the opening round in Bahrain.
Race leader Hamilton was put under pressure early on by Verstappen with the Red Bull ace moving wheel to wheel with him
Lando Norris, just 21, put in the drive of a lifetime to take third place after trying to fend off Hamilton on the final laps.
The most memorable moment of the day was the meeting of Valtteri Bottas, in the other Mercedes, and Russell, on lap 32, at a speed of 300 km / h. Russell tried to push his way through, but ran out onto the grass and broke traction.
The two collided, leaving Bottas breathless. Russell asked, “What the hell was he doing? Honestly, he’s af ****** p ****. Or what?’
Russell seemed to hit Bottas on the helmet after getting out of the car – a friendly move or outrage?
At first glance, it seemed that Russell was to blame for running towards the slippery lawn, although Bottas may have moved slightly to the right and was interfering with the Englishman.
Mercedes man Hamilton dropped back to ninth after slipping off the track, but took a sensational attack on the podium
Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, had to retire early after nauseating collision with Williams star George Russell
Hamilton did well following Verstappen up to that point, but he got a slow stop – front right was slow going – and that, plus his way into the gravel, brought him back to ninth place by the time the race finished. stopped and restarted.
He stormed into the field. Verstappen, in a class of its own, finished 22 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Behind Norris came Charles Leclerc for Ferrari, a spot ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz.
Sergio Perez, in the other Red Bull, was well behind in 12th place, despite qualifying second.
Hamilton was at the bottom of the points places, but fought his way back to ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz
Relive all the twists and turns in Imola with live coverage from Sportsmail‘s DANIEL DAVIS below …