Verstappen resists Norris’ reaction and achieves a spectacular victory in F1 in Imola | motorsports news

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen holds off last outing winner McLaren’s Lando Norris to extend his championship lead.

Three-time world champion and series leader Max Verstappen returned to winning ways when he withstood a late charge from Lando Norris to claim a dramatic victory for Red Bull at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

After being defeated in Miami, where his friend and rival Norris took his first victory for McLaren, the Dutchman fought back on Sunday to return home 0.725 seconds ahead of the Briton, who mounted a passionate final attack in vain.

Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari, ahead of Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren, Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Sergio Perez was eighth in the second Red Bull ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda, in the home test of his Faenza-based team.

Verstappen’s hard-earned victory after two difficult days of practice was his third at Imola, his fifth of the season and the 59th of his career, leaving him 48 points clear of Leclerc in the race for the pilots title.

“We had a great race considering how it started and I had to work hard for it,” Verstappen admitted. “Throughout the race I pushed hard to make a gap.

“I felt quite strong on the medium, but on the hard it was more difficult to handle and in the last 15 laps I had no grip and I was sliding a lot.

“I could see him behind me and I’m very happy to win here today.”

Norris said: “It’s frustrating! This feels more painful. It pains me to say it, but with one or two more laps I think I would have had it.”

Leclerc, whose podium for Ferrari in his heart was cheered by masses of Italian fans, said: “At least a podium! Of course, I wanted to win and I couldn’t.

“They were incredibly fast at the end, but everything is looking good for the rest of the season. Monaco is going to be special.”

Leave a Comment