Formula One: Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Max Verstappen
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates his first place win on the podium after the Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix in Imola, Italy on Sunday. Photo: AFP/ Miguel Medina

Imola: Formula One champion Max Verstappen dominated Sunday in a Red Bull rout of Ferrari at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen won from the pole, logged the fastest lap and picked up his second win of the season while leading teammate Sergio Prez to the first one-two Red Bull finish since Malaysia in 2016.

Lovely Sunday, Verstappen radioed his Red Bull team. The Dutchman also won the sprint qualifying race on Saturday and earned maximum points on the weekend.

Lando Norris was third for McLaren.

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen crosses the line to win the Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari race track in Imola, Italy on Sunday. Photo: AFP/ Guglielmo Mangiapane

It was a disastrous race for Ferrari, racing on its home soil and hoping to celebrate a return to F1 dominance. Charles LeClerc came into Sunday as the championship leader with two wins in the first three races and Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrated a two-year contract extension this weekend in Italy.

But LeClerc couldn't get the jump on Verstappen at the start and never contended. Sainz spun off course on the opening lap to ruin his race, and LeClerc's bid to salvage the day for Ferrari ended when he spun racing Perez for second.

He ultimately finished sixth.

LeClerc had a 46-point lead in the standings over reigning champion Verstappen at the start of the race but the Verstappen win cut the gap to 27 points.

The race featured a stirring late battle between Mercedes newcomer George Russell and Valtteri Bottas, the driver he replaced. The two went down to the final lap for fourth position, with Russell holding off the veteran for the spot.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile. continued his early struggles and finished 13th. Mercedes head Toto Wolff apologized to Hamilton over the radio for the undriveable car that Hamilton was given in Italy.

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