Max Verstappen Maintains Control with F1 Victory at Imola and Virtual Nurburgring 24 Hours

f1 grand prix of emilia romagna
Verstappen Wins ImolaMark Thompson - Getty Images

On a weekend when the car was not on his side, Max Verstappen's win was hard-fought in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Verstappen's power unit topped out at 30% in the final laps, with Lando Norris breathing down his neck in his McLaren that came alive in the second half.

After a strong Friday practice, the tweaks made to Verstappen's car were not to his liking, but nonetheless, the Dutch driver captured his eighth consecutive pole, tying Ayton Senna in the category at the track where the Brazilian tragically lost his life.

"I had to work hard for that." Verstappen first told his team over the radio.


This was Verstappen's second win of the weekend. Between Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race, Verstappen competed in a four-man team for the virtual Nurburgring 24 hours. His team collected the victory while Verstappen was still racing at Imola.

Lando Norris finished second for the ninth time in his career and for the first time since his maiden win two weekends back in the Miami Grand Prix. Norris shrunk the lead to less than a second in the final laps but was never close enough to attempt an overtake.

On the radio after the finish, Norris shared, "One or two more laps it's all I needed. It's frustrating not to win; it feels more painful now."

Norris' win in Miami came after 16 podiums, the record for most without a win in F1 history; after jokes about his name being Lando No Wins, the English driver quickly monetized the moment by selling shirts in celebration of the retirement of that nickname.

After qualifying third, Lando started second after his teammate Oscar Piastri was issued a three-position grid penalty. An early falter for the British driver placed him always in the hunt for Verstappen.

"I saw Lando closing in, and the last ten laps, I was flat out; it's hard when the tires aren't working anymore, and you have to be flat out," Verstappen said to Sky Sports.

Charles Leclerc completed the podium to the excitement of the Tifosi hoards visiting the Ferrari home track. This marks the first podium for a Ferrari driver at Imola since Michael Schumacher in 2006.

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