An incredible weekend for Max Verstappen in Imola, that ended with him and teammate Sergio Perez scoring what was the first one-two finish since 2016 for the team.
Things had started on a high note for the Dutchman on Friday afternoon, when he claimed the pole position for the first Sprint race of the season. A Sprint that he finished in P1, securing a first row start for Sunday’s race.
A race that Verstappen dominated start to finish and at the end of which he stepped on the highest spot of the podium in front of a sea of disappointed Tifosi.
“To have a weekend like this for both of us with a one-two for the Team is just incredible. It was a very lovely Sunday! Everything today was well executed, coming into the weekend I didn’t expect it to be like this,” he commented after the race.
“It was more or less a perfect weekend, everything went well for us and we’ll of course enjoy today. I scored the maximum amount of points this weekend and we can be really proud of that as a Team, it’s a great boost.”
3️⃣4️⃣ points in one weekend 💯 A 𝗠𝗔𝗫imum haul 🦁 pic.twitter.com/dCfPMFTomO— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) April 24, 2022
A grand slam that makes up a bit for the points lost in the first races due to the Honda engine’s poor reliability and allows Verstappen to shorten the gap with championship leader Charles Leclerc.
The Monegasque had a slow start that relegated him down to fourth, behind the two Red Bulls and Lando Norris’ McLaren. He was close behind Sergio Perez in P3, when he made a costly mistake on the chase for P2 ending in a late spin that forced him to pit for a new front wing. He came back on track and only managed to close the race in P6, behind Valtteri Bottas.
That means that Verstappen heads to Miami with a 27-points gap separating him from the lead of the championship.
“Today was all about judging the conditions, making the right calls and staying very focused and I think we did that very well. We need to keep focused and we know that at the next race we need to be up there again and keep this going,” he concluded.