Red Bull’s Verstappen won his second race of the 2022 season at Imola. The win at Emilia Romagna GP has allowed Verstappen to cover up Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s lead. The Monegasque stands on top of the Drivers’ rankings with 86 points and two wins. Meanwhile, Verstappen lapped his former rival, Lewis Hamilton, at the start of lap 14. Hamilton was shown the blue flags for Verstappen at the main pit straight. The Dutchman extended his lead over his teammate Sergio Perez, who finished second in the race. However, Verstappen has claimed that lapping Hamilton in Imola did not bring him much joy because of the slowness of Mercedes W13 this year.
Further, F1 commentator David Croft said that Max lapping Hamilton would really hurt the seven-time world champ. Last year, Hamilton and Verstappen raced wheel-to-wheel until the very end of the season, resulting in Max winning his first championship title in a term surrounded by controversies, penalities, and extreme aggression from both sides. However, the British driver and Mercedes have found themselves way off the pace compared to their rivals, Ferrari and Red Bull. And hence, the 24-year-old Dutchman feels that lapping Hamilton in an off-pace Mercedes was not much fun for him.
Verstappen Rubs Salt In Hamilton’s Wounds By Calling Mercedes “Very Slow”
The reigning world champ talked to the reporters after winning his second race of the season. Max fell behind after being forced to retire in two of the four races in Bahrain and Australia. However, Verstappen made a strong comeback by securing victories in Saudi Arabia and Imola. Moreover, the Dutchman said it was a good weekend for his team. He did not expect that his team would have a weekend like this. While talking about lapping Hamilton, Verstappen added, “Mercedes has been slow all year, so for me it’s not anything exciting, it just happens.”
Max Verstappen shared that it was a positive weekend for Red Bull as Max and his teammate Sergio Perez finished first and second at the Emilia Romagna GP. The Dutchman was happy that his team handled the race well and did not make any mistakes, allowing Red Bull to attain the maximum points.
Meanwhile, it was a bittersweet weekend for Mercedes. Hamilton finished 13th after starting at P14. Elsewhere, George Russell put another strong performance and finished fourth in Imola. Hamilton told after the race that it was a weekend to forget for him as he took no points with him. The weekend in Imola might have ended all hopes of Hamilton’s winning the eighth championship in 2022. However, Lewis hopes to keep working harder and try to turn things around somehow.
Verstappen Reduces Leclerc’s 45 Points Lead
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was 45 points ahead of the reigning world champ Max Verstappen. But the Dutchman won the race in Imola and managed to reduce Charles’ lead to 27 points. Moreover, Leclerc’s error cost him a third spot in the race. The Monegasque finished P6 after losing control of his car while in the third position. The error allowed Verstappen to climb up to the second spot on the drivers’ rankings and close in on Leclerc.
Further, Red Bull team boss Horner revealed that it was crucial for his team to take some points off Ferrari. Horner was happy that Red Bull managed to do it on both the championship tables by first and second finishes in Imola. Moreover, Red Bull will look to catch up with Ferrari in the inaugural Miami circuit in a couple of weeks. F1 will return for the fifth GP of the 2022 season at the Miami Grand Prix from May 6-8.