Late overtake secures sprint win for Verstappen

The first sprint race of the season ends with victory for the reigning world champion

IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 23: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 overtakes Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 for the lead during Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 23, 2022 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202204230357 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen needed an overtake on the penultimate lap of the sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to ensure he starts from the front of the field tomorrow.

Verstappen got bogged down on the grid, allowing Leclerc to jump ahead of the reigning champion, who also came under pressure from Lando Norris.

There was drama on the opening lap as Guanyu Zhou tangled with Pierre Gasly, with the Alfa Romeo rookie colliding with the barrier, leaving Gasly with a broken front wing and bringing out the safety car.

There was also contact between Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo as the pair fought for position, but both cars came away unscathed.

After crashing in yesterday’s qualifying, Carlos Sainz made good progress, picking up three places early on, while Ricciardo also made his way forward, passing Magnussen to move up to fifth, before being passed by Sainz a few laps later.

Verstappen started to close the gap to Leclerc in the final few laps, moving to within a second with three laps to go. His first attempt with DRS came up short, but on the second to last lap the Dutchman moved past the Ferrari to take the lead.

Sainz continued to move forward, passing Lando Norris to eventually jump up to forth, while Sergio Perez completed the top three, moving Red Bull up the second in the constructors’ standings.

Sprint qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

5. Lando Norris (McLaren)

6. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

7. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

10. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

11. George Russell (Mercedes)

12. Yuki Tsunodo (AlphaTauri)

13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

14. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

15. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

16. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

17. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

18. Alex Albon (Williams)

19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)


Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

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