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Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix in Imola,Italy, April 24 2022. Picture: CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES
Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix in Imola,Italy, April 24 2022. Picture: CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES

Imola — World champion Max Verstappen took maximum points from Formula One’s Imola sprint weekend, leading a dominant Red Bull one-two on Sunday as Ferrari’s homecoming turned sour for overall leader Charles Leclerc and his Italian team.

Mexican Sergio Perez finished runner-up in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, 16.527 sec behind the Dutch driver, with Lando Norris repeating 2021’s third place to claim McLaren’s first podium of the season.

Championship leader Leclerc, winner of two of the first three races, fought back to sixth place after a late spin while running in third.

His Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz went out in an opening lap collision.

Verstappen, who took the maximum eight points on Saturday for winning a sprint race from pole, also took a bonus point on Sunday for the fastest lap and is now 27 points adrift of Leclerc.

“That was a very lovely Sunday,” Verstappen said over the team radio after his second win of the season and only his second finish. “It’s always tough to achieve something like that but already yesterday, and the day before, we were on it and it was looking like a strong weekend.”

Ferrari’s lead over Red Bull in the constructors’ standings was slashed to 11 points.

George Russell was fourth for Mercedes, with Alfa Romeos Valtteri Bottas fifth and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda seventh and Sebastian Vettel eighth for Aston Martin.

Kevin Magnussen was ninth for Haas, and Lance Stroll took the final point for Aston Martin.

Mercedes’ seven times world champion, Lewis Hamilton, was lapped by Verstappen after 41 of the 63 laps and finished 13th, gaining a place at the finish when Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had a penalty added.

Reuters

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