Advertising Imola (Italy) (AFP)
Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen saluted his opponent, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), by defeating him in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in the second round of the Formula 1 World Championship.
Verstappen succeeded in the rain in taking the lead from Hamilton at the first corner of the Imola circuit, on his way to his first victory this year and his eleventh in his career, after he finished second in the Bahrain Grand Prix in the first round. I surprised myself, said the winner, who finished the race with a total time of 2,02.34,598 hours. We worked hard to make things better. In these insidious circumstances we did a wonderful job. The Mercedes driver made a mistake in the middle of the race, which made him fall back in the standings before returning to the second by 22 seconds ahead of the winner, while the British Lando Norris arrived from McLaren third, in front of Charles Leclerc from Monaco (Ferrari).
Hamilton remained at the top of the drivers’ standings, one point ahead of Verstappen, thanks to scoring the fastest lap that gave its owner a point (44 vs 43). And the Mercedes team strengthened its lead in the constructors’ rankings with 60 points against Red Bull (53), while McLaren ranked third with 41 points. “Mad Max” had started third on a wet track in the rain, and thanks to his quick reaction at the streak, he managed to overtake fellow Mexican newcomer Sergio “Chico” Pires (he arrived in 12th place at the end of the race), and at the first turn, Hamilton.
With the race midway through, and with the cessation of rain and on board tires for dry tracks, the competition was stopped after the red flags were displayed on lap 34 after a strong accident that brought together Finn Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes driver, and Britain’s George Russell (Williams). The latter collided with the “silver arrows” car in an attempt to overtake Potas in the straight line at a rate of speed of 300 km / h. They collided with the safety wall and the parts of their cars were flying, while the two drivers changed accusations by fabricating the accident via the wireless device.
For his part, Hamilton returned after his mistake while trying to overtake Russell to the circuit in eighth place, to lead his climbing campaign bypassing all cars in front of him except for Red Bull Verstappen, his direct competitor this year in his quest to achieve his eighth world title and the only record that he shares with German legend Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari rose on its home soil, but behind closed doors in front of the masses due to the Corona virus, to the hopes placed on it after Leclerc and his fellow Spanish newcomer Carlos Science managed to occupy the fourth and fifth places, respectively. Australian Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) finished the top ten, ahead of Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), French Pierre Gasly (Alfatore), Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and French Esteban Ocon (Alpine).
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