Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the turbulent Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Formula 1. The challenger celebrated his first victory ahead of Hamilton in the second race of the year. Hamilton made a rare driving mistake but managed to limit the damage and to secure position two. Lando Norris in the McLaren completed the podium in third place.
It was a race with some drama in it. After a heavy crash between Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes and George Russell in Williams, the race was stopped for about half an hour. Sebastian Vettel’s run of bad luck in the Aston Martin continued as his team was unable to fix a problem with the rear brake system in time. The German and four-time world champion had to fight his way from the back of the field. In the end, he had to retire from the race before the final lap due to gearbox problems.
After a good start, Mick Schuhmacher fell far back after an accident. He crashed into the wall during an early safety car phase while warming up the tires. However, at least he managed to avoid early retirement, finishing in 16th place.
Hamilton’s advantage of starting from the pole did not guarantee him a win. It was a duel between Mercedes and Red Bull. The RB16B is the fastest car in the field, and Max Verstappen had a dream start. He promptly passed Pérez and left Hamilton behind in a contested duel. The weather was not in his favour, though, and many drivers complained about aquaplaning. On the slippery track, Verstappen was unable to extend his lead decisively. The Red Bull team reacted by switching from intermediates to classic slicks, which paid off. Verstappen returned to the track ahead of Hamilton, who then made a rare mistake, landing in the gravel and giving away any chance of victory.
Then there was a heavy crash between Bottas and Russell, the race came to a standstill, and the drivers got out of the cars during the cleanup in the pit lane.
After the restart, Verstappen led the field, and he increased his lead over the competition.