Emilio Romagna GP 2024

MAY 19, 2024

Race Notes - Verstappen wins in Imola

Max Verstappen, Emilio Romagna GP 2024
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen won the Emilio Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in his Red Bull-Honda, just 0.725 seconds ahead of the closing McLaren-Mercedes of Lando Norris in second, and 7.916 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari in third place.

The win is Verstappen’s fifth of the season, and 59th career victory.

Oscar Piastri (14.132s) in the second McLaren was fourth, followed by Carlos Sainz (22.325s) in the second Ferrari was fifth, Lewis Hamilton (35.104s) in the Mercedes GP was sixth, his team mate George Russell (47.154s) was seventh, Sergio Perez (54.776s) in the second Red Bull was eighth, Lance Stroll (1m19.556s) in the Aston Martin-Mercesdes was ninth, and Yuki Tsunoda (1 lap) in the RB-Honda was in the final points paying position in tenth.

Earlier in the morning, with the 30th anniversary of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna’s death at the circuit, Sebastian Vettel paid tribute by driving one of Senna’s McLaren’s around the circuit in front of the fans.

Before the start, Verstappen is on pole with Norris alongside on the front row, his McLaren team mate Leclerc and Sainz on row 2, Piastri, with a three-grid penalty and Russell on row 3, Tsunoda and Hamilton on row 4 and Ricciardo and Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten. Alonso starting from the pitlane.

Most drivers expecting to start on medium tyres and on a one-stopper switch to hard tyres. Perez starting on hard tyres.

At the appointed time the visors went down and the cars took to the formation lap, lined up on the grid, the lights went out and the race began with Verstappen taking the lead over Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Piastri, Russell, Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Tsunoda following, Perez up to tenth.

At lap 6 Verstappen leads Norris by 1.7 seconds.

On lap 10 Albon in the Williams slows with a loose wheel and needs to return to the pits.

At lap 10 Verstappen leads Norris by 2.7 seconds followed by Leclerc (4.7s), Sainz (6.8s), Piastri (7.5s), Russell (10.1s), Hamilton (11.7s), Hulkenberg (19.2s), Tsunoda (19.7s), and Perez (21.2s) in tenth place.

On lap 12 Ricciardo pits for hard tyres.

The next lap Tsunoda pits as well and rejoins 15th.

Alonso pits and switches from soft to hard tyres.

On lap 14 Hulkenberg pits from eighth and switches to hard tyres, and rejoins 15th, just behind Tsunoda.

On lap 17 Perez goes wide and runs over the gravel trap but continues.

At lap 20 Verstappen leads Norris by 5.9 seconds, followed by Leclerc (7.7s), Sainz (11.8s), Piastri (12.6s), Russell (15.7s), Hamilton (17.3s), Perez (32.9s), Stroll (35.7s), and Ocon (41.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 22 Russell pits from sixth and rejoins tenth.

The next lap Norris pits from second and rejoins seventh just behind Perez.

Russell passes Ocon for ninth.

Pm lap 24 Piastri pits from fourth for hard tyres and rejoins eighth behind Stroll.

The next lap the leader Verstappen pits, locking up on pit entry and takes on hard tyres and rejoins fourth.

Leclerc takes the lead, then pits the next lap and rejoins sixth behind Perez.

On lap 25 Piastri set fast ;a[ at 1m19.907s.

On lap 27 Hamilton goes off track but continues.

Leclerc passes Perez for fifth. Piastri passes him as well.

On lap 28 leader Sainz pits and rejoins sixth. Hamilton pits as well and rejoins ninth.

Tsunoda passes Sargeant for 12th. Hulkenberg follows him through for 13th.

Sainz passes Perez for fifth.

At lap 30 Verstappen leads Norris by 6.3 seconds, followed by Leclerc (9.4s), Piastri (10.5s), Sainz (16.8s), Perez (19.1s), Russell (20.3s), Stroll (25.8s), Hamilton (26.5s) and Magnussen (37.6s) in tenth.

Russell passes Perez for sixth.

On lap 33 Tsunoda passes Zhou for 11th.

Hamilton passes Stroll for eighth.

On lap 37 Hamilton passes Perez for seventh.

Perez pits and switches from hard to medium tyres and rejoins 11th. Stroll pits as well.

On lap 39 Perez passes Ricciardo for tenth, and then the next lap he passes Hulkenberg for ninth,

On lap 40 Verstappen leads Norris by 6.9 seconds, followed by Leclerc (8.7s), Piastri (11.5s), Sainz (16.6s), Russell (23.6s), Hamilton (31.9s), Tsunoda (1m01.0s), and Hulkenberg (1m05.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 43 Leclerc has closed the gap and is now within DRS on Norris.

Alonso sets the fastest lap at 1m19.851 seconds, but is in 19th place.

On lap 47 Stroll is closing on Hulkenberg and passes him for tenth place.

Leclerc cuts across the chicane by continues to chase Norris.

Magnussen passes Zhou for 15th.

Stroll passes Tsunoda for ninth.

At lap 50 Verstappen leads Norris by 5.3 seconds, followed by Leclerc (8.3s), Piastri (14.3s), Sainz (18.2s), Russell (26.2s), Hamilton (30.8s), Perez (57.0s), Stroll (1m12.4s), and Tsunoda (1m15.5s) in tenth.

Norris is picking up his pace over Verstappen in the lead and trails him by 4.5 seconds.

On lap 52 Russell pits from sixth for medium tyres and he rejoins seventh.

On lap 53 Perez sets fast lap at 1m19.686s.

Norris is running half a second faster a lap than Verstappen, and trails him by 3.1 seconds.

On lap 55 Albon retires in the pits.

Russell sets fast lap at 1m18.589s.

On lap 56 Norris has closed to 2.0 seconds behind Verstappen, who is struggling with his front tyres.

On lap 60 Verstappen has matched the pace of Norris, and the lead is 1.3 seconds.

Into the last lap Norris trails by 0.9 seconds.

At the finish Verstappen wins just ahead of Norris, with Leclerc in third.