Verstappen hits back after rocky start – Hamilton disappointed again

Max Verstappen (24) won Saturday’s sprint race in Italy and secured pole position in Sunday’s main race at the Imola track.

WIN: Max Verstappen won Saturday’s sprint race in Italy.

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Max Verstappen had pole position, but even before corner one, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had slipped past the Dutchman. Throughout the race, the Red Bull racer chased his rival and on the penultimate lap he finally managed to get past the Monegasker.

Verstappen stayed focused until the end and also managed to take better care of the tires. Thus, the 24-year-old driver got a bit of revenge after having to break the previous Grand Prix round in Australia.

– My start was not very good and it took a while before I managed to push it. “We had better tires towards the end and I was able to turn on the DRS,” he said after the race.

LECLERC PASSED: Max Verstappen caught Charles Leclerc in the penultimate round and won the sprint race in Italy.

With victory in Saturday’s sprint race, it was Verstappen who started from pole position when the main race from Imola fell through on Sunday.

– Tomorrow there will be another type of tire and it could be a different race. But today we had a good day, the Dutchman concluded.

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At the same time that Verstappen and Leclerc were fighting for victory in the sprint race, it was a tough race for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Hamilton started as number 13 after another weak qualifier on Friday. The British driver failed to rise, but instead dropped to 14th place. Russell became the best Mercedes driver in 11th position.

– It’s hard to say, they will ride three times this distance tomorrow, but I think Mercedes will struggle just as much as they did in this sprint race. And what a surprise this year we are witnessing, said Viasat commentator Henning Isdal of Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton ahead of the sprint race.

After finishing second on Saturday, Leclerc of Ferrari started second on Sunday. And when Leclerc crossed the finish line, he confirmed Verstappen’s theory on team radio, when he said that Leclerc struggled with tires towards the end.

The Monaco driver also said the race was “okay”, and in an interview with organizers after the sprint race, he said the following:

– We struggled with tires towards the end. We have to analyze this before tomorrow and make sure we are ready. We will work hard and come back stronger.

Leclerc has a big lead in the world title summary, with almost twice as many points as his closest competitor, Carlos Sainz.

Guanyu Zhou and Pierre Gasly got off to a bad start when they fell side by side in the first round. The first to leave the track as the car started to smoke, while Gasly entered a pit stop and finally managed to continue the race.

Henrietta Fairbank

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