Red Bull stock is soaring after Verstappen disrupted Ferrari’s plans for victory in front of the Tifosi in Imola. After winning the sprint race, Verstappen secured a grand slam as his teammate came home in 2nd to claim the first Red Bull 1-2 since 2016. While Red Bull celebrates, it’s a weekend to forget for Ferrari.
Imola delivered another exciting weekend for the start of the 2022 F1 season as the first to feature a sprint race. From changing weather conditions to unexpected DNFs and several red flags in practice, Imola saw the championship contest heat up.
Red Bull’s First 1-2 Since 2016
After two DNFs and one win, Verstappen needed a perfect run in Imola. The Dutch driver delivered just that. Famous for his ability in the wet, Verstappen came out fastest in qualifying and regained the lead in the final two laps of the sprint race to win.
After a bad get away from the starting line at the sprint race, Verstappen made up for it with a speedy getaway on race day. Perez quickly overtook a slow-starting Leclerc to snatch 2nd place. The pair had several close battles, fighting each other for second place before Leclerc misjudged a corner and found himself falling down the grid.
Verstappen delivered Red Bull a much-needed grand slam – leading every lap of the race, winning, and gaining the fastest lap point. With Leclerc out of the podium places, Perez crossed the line to deliver Red Bull their first 1-2 finish since Malaysia 2016. After their early reliability issues, Imola delivered Red Bull a virtually perfect weekend.
The reigning world champion has now won every race he’s finished this season. We hear the Red Bull 2022 F1 Team Cap is quickly flying off the shelves ahead of the Miami GP.
Ferrari Spin and Miss
With Ferrari leading both championships, they wanted to impress in front of the Tifosi at their home race. Leclerc spent most of the weekend hot on Verstappen’s heels, narrowly missing out on winning the sprint race after a late overtake by the Red Bull driver.
The Monegasque pushed too far during his battle with Perez, missing out on a 3rd place finish and tumbling down to 6th place after needing an extra pit stop. Leclerc continues to lead in the driver’s championship after scoring additional points by finishing 2nd in the sprint race.
His teammate wasn’t so fortunate. It proved another weekend to forget for Carlos Sainz after crashing in qualifying and regaining a two-row position during the sprint race. Contact with Riccardo saw Sainz taken out of the race on the first lap – a disappointing result after signing a two-year contract extension in front of the Tifosi.
McLaren Becomes ‘Best of the Rest’ as Mercedes Fall Back
After driving a largely lonely race, Lando Norris picked up a 3rd place podium as the result of Leclerc’s incident. It marks a step forward for the team that was plagued with issues during testing and the start of the season. Norris qualified in 3rd but finished 5th in the sprint race.
McLaren is quickly becoming the ‘best of the rest’ behind Red Bull and Ferrari. His Australian teammate, Daniel Riccardo, will want to gain some of Norris’ luck after finishing last in 18th due to his lap one collision. Show your support with our McLaren Miami GP Cap ahead of this season’s first race stateside.
Mercedes continues to struggle with a marked disparity between its drivers. George Russell made up 5 positions on the opening lap, eventually taking the chequered flag in 4th place.
Hamilton finished outside the points, being lapped by his former rival, Max Verstappen, on lap 40. He struggled through most of the race to overtake Pierre Gasly, eventually finishing behind the AlphaTauri driver.
Elsewhere on the Grid
Every team in the championship has now scored points after Aston Martin secured a double-points finished in 8th and 10th. Bottas narrowly missed out on overtaking Russell in the final laps to finish in 5th. His Alfa Romeo teammate finished 15th.
Tsunoda delivered AlphaTauri a points finish at their home race in 7th place, while Magnussen could only convert his best qualifying of 4th place into a 9th place finish. Haas' Mick Schumacher lost out after a spin on the first lap saw him drop from 10th place, finishing in 17th.
Alex Albon continues to impress in his Williams car, finishing in 11th ahead of his teammate, Nicholas Latifi, in P16. Alpine also had a weekend to forget after Alonso retired from the race following damage to his sidepod. Ocon dropped to 14th after receiving a 5-second penalty for an unsafe release in the pit lane.
All eyes are set on the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May. Will Verstappen continue his winning streak, or will Ferrari fight back? Can Mercedes bring much-needed improvements? We won’t know till the paddock lands stateside. Get your f1 fix ahead of the Miami GP by shopping our latest merchandise arrivals here.