Imola is hosting the first edition of Formula 1 Sprint 2022, with Max Verstappen overcoming a poor start to re-pass championship leader Charles Leclerc during the second last lap at turn 2 and win a dramatic 21-lap race.
1. Max Verstappen (RedBull)
Starting off with wheelspin, Max Verstappen took a while to find his way back into the zone, allowing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to pass him and take the lead in the Formula One Sprint. Despite falling back in the start, Verstappen cut the gap short before using DRS to drive past Ferrari as Leclerc struggled with his tires with only two circuits to go. That’s eight points in the bag and his first P1 Grand Prix start of the 2022 season.
“Well, I mean Lando [Norris in P3] had a decent start, so there’s no excuse,” said Verstappen. “I mean, my start was just terrible and I didn’t have gear sync for whatever reason, so yes, I need to see exactly what went wrong.
“I think we were pretty much flat-out, you know? It’s not many laps you have anyway in the race, but of course, we knew that on these tires it was going to be tough at the end of the race, like the last few laps, but it worked out for us,” he concluded.
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Blazing past everyone, Leclerc managed to stay in p1 for a very long time. With a flurry of fastest laps, Leclerc handled the Safety Car restart with ease before pulling away from the DRS range. Charles losing his tire life allowed Verstappen to take the lead in the most dramatic lap of the sprint, and he fell to the second position.
“I had a very good start,” said Leclerc. “We weren’t side by side for Turn 1 and I could focus on my own race from that moment onwards. I tried to push at the beginning to get a bit of a gap and for Max to not be in the DRS zone because I knew that I would have been vulnerable if it was the case.
3. Sergio Perez (RedBull)
Sergio Perez showed the real pace of Red Bull RB18 with the DRS as he zoomed passed Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, and Lando Norris to bag the 3rd position after qualifying 7th during the qualifying session. Perez being the master he is kept the composure that he is known for and got the Red Bull very crucial points to get the second position in Constructors Championships. The 3rd position even gave the Red Bull a strategic advantage to keep Carlos Sainz at bay on Sunday.
During the post-race interview, Perez expressed his and his team’s desire to finish #1 and #2 at the Emilia Romagna GP on Sunday. He said, “It would be ideal to get a #1 #2 that would be great for us. I am pleased with the result and the pace it’s all we needed from today really to minimize the damage from yesterday, so starting P3 for tomorrow’s race I am looking forward massively.”
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Sainz gained 6 positions during the sprint where he started 10th after having a disappointing qualification. He showed great composure and brought the fight to the front grid starters. With his gritty performance, Sainz secured the second row start for Sunday
“Fairly happy with the comeback I think we did everything we could do at the start and made a lap-by-lap overtake. It was a solid-solid race, unfortunately, I made my life very difficult yesterday but the important thing is that we are in the fight and we are ready to battle tomorrow“, Sainz said at the post-race interview.
5. Lando Norris
Lando Norris faced a little blow after finishing 5th at the sprint as he qualified well on Saturday for the 3rd position. The Maclaren certainly lacked pace in opposition to Red Bull and Ferrari but certainly, the 5th position is not a bad place for the Maclaren after all they are just behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
“It’s the best we can do you know with the package and with our car, I think I was left to be happy with this position. Yeah, some nice points and hopefully tomorrow we can just find a little bit more lap time just to make my life a little bit easier” Norris said in the post-race interview.
6. Daniel Ricciardo
Ricciardo was one of the only two racers who did not get any running at the Saturday sprint. Although he could have gained two positions, unfortunately, he was sandwiched between Perez and Kevin Magnussen. Ricciardo showed great pace which made him keep his position and finish 6th which is vital from a team’s point of view as just the other two teams are in front of them.
“If we did the race now we definitely can change some things but with all that being said you see ahead of us is Red Bulls and Ferraris so actually the result was good. I just think we’ll be a faster car tomorrow.“
7. Valtteri Bottas
Bottas had a decent run in the sprint but the pace was brilliant after the chassis change, but a poor start made him lose position which he gained back later in the race. Bottas gained 1 place in the spirit and secured himself at the seventh spot for the Sunday race.
“Main thing the team did a great job with the chassis change it was a huge job for the guys. Everything worked perfectly it was good and it was nice to feel that way I have a strong pace you know I could really do some overtakes and catch Maclaren’s towards the end so tomorrow should be fun” Bottas said.
8. Kevin Magnussen
Magnussen was the only one to go for the medium compound in the top 10. Haas’s strategy certainly backfired as they expected other soft compound tires to degrade during the race which did not happen, he lost 4 positions during the race which cost him his best figures which Haas must have expected from Kevin,
“We judged that soft would degrade quickly so we went on a medium but everyone just passed me at the beginning of the race then it kind of reset then we went on the same pace with Ricciardo and Fernando but of course, we should have been on the soft” Magnussen said in the post-race interview.
Starting Grid Emilia Romagna GP
|1||1||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING RBPT|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING RBPT|
|5||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||MCLAREN MERCEDES|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI|
|8||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI|
|9||14||Fernando Alonso||ALPINE RENAULT|
|10||47||Mick Schumacher||HAAS FERRARI|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI RBPT|
|13||5||Sebastian Vettel||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES|
|16||31||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT|
|17||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI RBPT|
|18||23||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES|
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