The Formula One season returned after three weeks, with the second race providing just as much entertainment, with plenty of thrills and spills at Imola in the wet.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised as much as it delivered with tensions soaring during the race as a tight battle for the podium ensured for McLaren and Ferrari.
The battle between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes Lewis Hamilton continued with Verstappen taking the win by a mile.
Verstappen’s phenomenal start to the race, overtaking his team mate Sergio Perez and pole position starter Hamilton, broke his usual bad luck in Italy.
After suffering from damage to the front wing from a curb and spinning off due to a wet patch into a wall, surprisingly Hamilton managed to claw his way back to P2 after a safety car allowed the seven-time world champion to unlap himself.
However, P3 driver of the day Lando Norris continuously defended against Hamilton and Leclerc in order to make his way onto the podium. Norris shared his disappointment post-qualifying due to his impressively fast lap being deleted due to track limits.
This podium leaves Norris looking like a very competitive driver for the remainder of the season.
A success story for one Mercedes driver, was unfortunately accompanied by a DNF for another.
A slight movement from Valtteri Bottas could have caused George Russell’s Williams to catch a wet patch which led to a 295kph crash into the wall. Both drivers left with no serious injuries, but looked winded and obviously annoyed.
Russell’s crash left a devasted Williams team with neither driver on track as Latifi spun out earlier on.
Likewise, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez didn’t match his teammates successful race. Perez stunned fans with a rapid lap in qualifying, putting him on the front row alongside Hamilton. This was the first time, since Daniel Ricciardo, that Verstappen has been out-qualified.
Although Perez started on the front row – his race was a nightmare. He went wide off track during a safety car and was overtaken by two cars. Perez then re-took his spot, against regulations, and was handed a 10 second time penalty, which all but snatched the opportunity for him to stand beside his teammate on the podium.
Ferrari looked good at one of their home Grand Prixs, keeping up the pace near the front. The two Ferrari’s battled it out alongside Norris and Hamilton but Leclerc just missed the chance to get on the podium.
At Alpha Tauri, Gasly started up the top of the grid after a good qualifying session. A decision to have wet tyres and a late resolution of a pit change, caused him to fall towards the back of the grid. By good overtaking and a speedy car he was able to make his way back up to seventh.
The one point gap between Verstappen and Hamilton tells fans that this season there very tight and thrilling battle.
By Paige Eagle