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  1. #361
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    Emilia Romagna GP: Game on as McLaren and Ferrari challenge Red Bull for top spot in FP3.
    Under sustained pressure for the first time this season, Red Bull’s troubles continued in final practice at Imola with McLaren 1-2 ahead of the Ferrari team-mates.
    18 May 2024 12:36 PM
    Michelle Foster

    Max Verstappen was P6 while his team-mate Sergio Perez crashed and brought out the red flags. In near-perfect conditions at the Imola circuit, Charles Leclerc gave Ferrari’s Tifosi even more to smile about as the five-time Grand Prix winner, in his upgraded SF-24, went quickest at the start of FP3 with a 1:16.2.

    Challenged by the flying Max Verstappen, who shrugged off his Friday woes, the Ferrari went quicker still with a 1:16.0 to sit three-tenths ahead of the Red Bull driver.

    Sainz replaced his team-mate up in P1 with a 1:16.067 as Verstappen, having made a brief stop in the pits as he shrugged off his Friday troubles, left the pits in his RB20. But his second run was curtailed as Fernando Alonso rear-ended the barrier at the final corner.

    ‘McLaren 1-2 ahead of the Ferrari team-mates’;

    Emilia Romagna GP: Free Practice 3 Results
    Full results from Free Practice 3 from the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
    18 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from Free Practice 3 from the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps Best Diff

    1 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 14 1:15.529

    2 4 Lando Norris McLaren 14 1:15.829 0.300

    3 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 21 1:16.067 0.538

    4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 19 1:16.087 0.558

    5 63 George Russell Mercedes 15 1:16.095 0.566

    6 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 21 1:16.366 0.837

    7 23 Alex Albon Williams 13 1:16.470 0.941

    8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 18 1:16.481 0.952

    9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 23 1:16.543 1.014

    10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 14 1:16.547 1.018

    ‘Full results from Free Practice 3’;

    2024 Emilia Romagna GP FP3: Alonso crashes to bring out red flags in final practice
    18 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    The final practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was halted after 25 minutes when Fernando Alonso crashed his Aston Martin into the barriers after a spin at Rivazza.

    ‘Halted after 25 minutes’;

    2024 Emilia Romagna GP FP3: Perez hits the wall to trigger second red flag of the hour
    18 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Sergio Perez was pushing hard on the soft tyres in the final stages of third practice at Imola when he took too much kerb at the Variante Alta chicane and hit the barriers, triggering a second red flag.

    ‘Second red flag of the hour’;

    Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix: F1 Free Practice 3 Results
    Can Max Verstappen and Red Bull fix their issues experienced in FP1 and FP2 yesterday?
    May 18, 2024
    Nathan Hartley

    Oscar Piastri leads teammate Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz as Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez crash out of the final practice session of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. FP1 and FP2 saw reigning champions Max Verstappen and Red Bull struggle. The Dutchman finished fifth in FP1 and seventh in FP2 – not being happy with the balance of his RB20.

    Meanwhile, Ferrari looks to have found more pace with its upgrades brought to their home race in Imola this weekend. Alongside the Scuderia, McLaren are also looking quick from the first two practice sessions. The big question that will be asked before FP3 today will be whether Verstappen and Red Bull can iron out their issues yesterday. The team only has one hour of running before set-ups are locked for qualifying in Parc Ferme conditions.

    ‘F1 Free Practice 3 Results’;

    F1 2024 Emilia Romagna GP – Practice 3 Results
    Ferrari had dominated FP1 and FP2 but received a major shock in FP3 as McLaren found themselves right in the mix in Imola
    18 May 2024
    Brandon Sutton
    Total Motorsport

    Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso both crashed out of the final practice session just before qualifying to thrust the grid into a world of unknowns by preventing anyone from setting their final laps as Oscar Piastri topped Free Practice 3 on Saturday.

    Red Bull haven’t appeared to be at the races all weekend and that form continued as Max Verstappen and Perez couldn’t find the lap time needed to beat Ferrari and McLaren, who are poised for a golden opportunity to take their second wins of the season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.

    ‘Ferrari received a major shock in FP3’

  2. #362
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    “We were tow buddies” - How Nico Hulkenberg helped Max Verstappen to pole at Imola.
    Nico Hulkenberg revealed that he and Max Verstappen were working together by giving each other a tow in F1 qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
    18 May 2024
    Connor McDonagh

    Speaking to Sky Sports after qualifying, Hulkenberg said he decided to “return the favour” to Verstappen after the Dutchman helped him out in Q2. “Max and I… we’ve been helping each other out this qualy,” he said. “He helped me a few times in Q2 and I returned the favour here. So yeah, you need support from colleagues sometimes don’t you?”

    Giving his side of the story, Verstappen described the situation as “two buddies” conceding he did benefit from Hulkenberg’s tow down to Turn 1. “We were tow buddies out there,” he added. “Q2 already and Q3. I gave him a two through 17 and he gave me a tow through Turn 1 and Turn 2.”

    “I think I did arrive a bit too quick for my liking, because I did miss Turn 2 a little bit. So I did gain, I did lose a bit in two. Overall I think it did help me a little bit. But when struggling all weekend you have to take all these little advantages to try and stay ahead.”

    “Tow buddies”;

    Emilia Romagna GP: Qualifying Results
    Full results from Qualifying from the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
    18 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from Qualifying from the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

    Pos Num Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Diff

    1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:15.762 1:15.176 1:14.746

    2 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:15.940 1:15.407 1:14.820 0.074

    3 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:15.915 1:15.371 1:14.837 0.091

    4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:15.823 1:15.328 1:14.970 0.224

    5 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:16.015 1:15.512 1:15.233 0.487

    6 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:16.107 1:15.671 1:15.234 0.488

    7 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:15.894 1:15.358 1:15.465 0.719

    8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.604 1:15.677 1:15.504 0.758

    9 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:16.060 1:15.691 1:15.674 0.928

    10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:15.841 1:15.569 1:15.980 1.234

    ‘Full results from Qualifying’;

    Verstappen matches Senna's record of eight straight pole positions at track where F1 great died
    18 May 2024
    Auto Racing

    IMOLA, Italy (AP) — On a weekend commemorating Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen matched the late Brazilian's record for consecutive pole positions in Formula 1 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

    Verstappen made it eight in a row — seven this year — when his Red Bull topped qualifying on Saturday, just ahead of the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Miami GP winner Lando Norris.

    “It’s 30 years since he passed away, so it is very special, and I am very pleased to get pole, and in a way it’s a nice memory to him,” Verstappen said. “He was an incredible F1 driver, especially in qualifying. A great day for me, a great day for the team. I’m very, very happy.”

    ‘Verstappen matches Senna's record’;

    F1 - 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Post-Qualifying Press Conference Transcript
    FIA (Press Release)

    Q: Max, pole position. Incredible performance. Tell me, please, how you could pull off a performance like this? The atmosphere was amazing, but everyone was pushing for the Ferrari driveras. But you, with a difficult Friday, you could pull off an unbelievable lap. Talk us through your lap, please?
    Max VERSTAPPEN: Yeah, really difficult weekend so far, even this morning. So I'm incredibly happy to be on pole here. I didn't expect that, but we made some final changes before qualifying. They seemed to make it feel a bit better. I could push a bit harder. And this track is unbelievable. One a qualifying lap, you know, to be on the limit here, close to the gravel… I touched the gravel in the last corner. Yeah, I'm still pumping. The adrenaline is very, very high.

    Q: And in second position, great performance from Oscar Piastri. Oscar, how was your quali? Because it seems like you were struggling a bit, and then you became a bit more performant in the first try in Q3, and then in the last try, you were up there. You are going to start in first row. How was your lap?
    Oscar PIASTRI: Yeah, pretty good. A little bit of a scruffy last corner, but I think around here it's so, so difficult to do a perfect lap, so I'm really happy. I've been really comfortable with the car from the moment we put it on track yesterday, and so, so close to pole, but very happy. It's been a little while since I've been back up here, so I'm very happy with how this weekend's going so far.

    Q: Lando Norris. Well done, mate. You're just a fresh winner in Formula 1. Great qualifying today. All the grandstands and the people were cheering a bit for you because you are so great in Formula 1. How was your lap? How was your quali?
    Lando NORRIS: Thanks. Yeah, great. I mean, P3 is not a bad job at all, and yeah, within a tenth, both of us for P1. So, tiny, tiny margins, but I think for us as a team, we've had a very good day, a very good weekend so far. Oscar's done a great job, and so did Max, so it’s exciting. We're close, and I can't wait for tomorrow.

    ‘Post-Qualifying Press Conference Transcript’;

    Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix: F1 Qualifying Results
    More Italian sunshine greeted fans at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for today's Formula 1 Qualifying session
    18 May 2024
    Hannah May

    Here's what Max had to say on his "hard-earned" pole position ��
    — Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 18, 2024

    FP1: P5
    FP2: P7
    FP3: P6
    A champion's performance when it mattered ��#F1 #ImolaGP
    — Formula 1 (@F1) May 18, 2024

    ‘Italian sunshine greeted fans’;

    F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024 – Qualifying Results
    Max Verstappen of Red Bull was fastest in Qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola and will start from pole position
    18 May 2024
    By John Smith
    Total Motorsport

    Max Verstappen pulled a special lap out of his Red Bull to take pole position for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola and was just 0.074s ahead of McLaren driver Oscar Piastri. Here are the full results from Qualifying at Imola.

    After looking the team to beat all weekend, Ferrari fell at the final hurdle with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz only able to finish fourth and fifth, behind the Red Bull and both McLaren cars.

    Piastri‘s stellar lap earned him a front-row start, edging out his McLaren teammate Lando Norris, who will begin the race from third, pending a post-session stewards’ investigation for allegedly impeding Kevin Magnussen’s Haas during the session.

    ‘Ferrari fell at the final hurdle’;

  3. #363
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    Verstappen 'lucky' after finding Imola 'tow buddy'.
    Max Verstappen has been described as "a little bit lucky" in securing a 'tow buddy' to secure the three-time F1 champion a historic pole position at Imola.
    19 May 2024, 7:25AM
    Ian Parkes

    Would Max Verstappen have secured pole position at Imola without a tow from his 'buddy'? By the end of qualifying, Verstappen had been pushed closer than in any other session this season by a rival driver. It was in stark contrast to many where he has finished a comfortable two-or three-tenths of a second quicker. As to whether dominating qualifying or being given a stern test of his one-lap credentials was satisfying, there was only one answer.

    "I would rather qualify eight-tenths ahead, but that's not possible," said Verstappen, before highlighting what Red Bull managed to achieve given the performance of his car on Friday. It is very enjoyable when you have a turnaround like we had. So I was really excited in qualifying, and really happy when I heard that we were on pole. It was great that it was that close and that we really, really had to fight for it.”

    “But I still come back to the first point. I would rather qualify with a lot in front! That's how it goes, right? I guess sometimes you have weekends where everything really comes together and then the car becomes unbelievable to drive, and it doesn't matter what you do, it just feels fantastic, and you can do some really special laps, which have happened in the past. But this was also really cool."

    'Tow buddy';

    Lando Norris tears apart ‘bit stupid’ Max Verstappen Imola struggle theory
    18 May 2024 7:46 PM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Lando Norris believes anyone counting Max Verstappen and Red Bull out at Imola was “a bit stupid” after the Dutchman maintained his 100 per cent pole position record. At first, the signs were not positive for Red Bull, Verstappen failing to feature in the top three through practice with “terrible” – as he put it – short and long run performance.

    His fortunes made a complete U-turn for qualifying though, where Verstappen topped all three sessions to claim pole, even if McLaren were keeping him on his toes, both Oscar Piastri and Norris getting within a tenth of his pole lap.

    And while Norris believes a “good race” could be on the horizon for McLaren at Imola, he bluntly said that anyone who had expected Verstappen to be down and out is “a bit stupid”.

    “A bit stupid”;

    Ferrari drivers disagree on theories for shock Red Bull Imola GP qualifying pace leap
    18 May 2024 7:03 PM
    Oliver Harden

    Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were split on the reasons behind Red Bull’s surprise pace jump in Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying after Max Verstappen claimed pole position at Imola.

    Speaking to media including’s Thomas Maher after the session, Sainz claimed it was dangerous to look too deeply into the practice results given Red Bull‘s habit of running lower engine settings on Fridays.

    Leclerc shared Sainz’s view that Ferrari are struggling in Sector 1 at Imola and admitted that Red Bull’s resurgence had taken the team by surprise. But the Monegasque offered a contrasting theory that Red Bull were running with a heavy fuel load during Friday’s running, which masked the RB20’s true pace.

    ‘Split on the reasons’;

    Mark Hughes: The three drivers crucial to Verstappen's bounceback
    May 18, 2024
    by Mark Hughes
    The Race

    Did Sebastien Buemi secure Max Verstappen this pole? Or was it Nico Hulkenberg? For sure, Verstappen himself deserves much of the credit for delivering in a car which may not actually have been the fastest, for once. But those two friends of his definitely played their part.

    This was a special pole not because of how dominant it was, but because of how dramatic a turnaround it represented after Verstappen had struggled with the car’s balance throughout the three practices. It wasn’t that the formidable-looking McLaren and Ferrari challenge had faltered either. Both those teams were significantly quicker in qualifying than at any other stage of the weekend.

    It was just that Verstappen and the team had found more. But exactly what is the team’s role in situations like this? “The unsung heroes are the 60 people working back at base – and the sim driver, in this case Buemi, putting in the long hard hours,” Christian Horner tells The Race.

    “The unsung heroes”;

    Horner after pole in Imola: 'You can tell how much it meant to Max'
    18 May 2024
    Julien Lemmen

    After a rough start of the weekend for Oracle Red Bull Racing during free practice in Imola, Max Verstappen eventually took pole position in a thrilling qualifying session. Team principal Christian Horner reflects after qualifying:

    "It was an outstanding Saturday here in Imola, especially after we struggled yesterday. The team did a really good job overnight, with Seb Buemi, Jake Dennis and everyone in Milton Keynes working into the early hours on the simulator, and we kept improving the car as we saw the results of in Q3.”

    “Max had to deliver and he really pulled it out of the bag with a great performance, and you can tell how much it meant to him to be on pole today. That’s 8 poles in a row, equalling the great Ayrton Senna and doing it here in Imola making it all the more poignant. All to play for tomorrow as we head into race day in Imola."

    'You can tell how much it meant to Max';

    ‘It all just came together’ – Verstappen thrilled to take pole after struggles in practice
    18:57 Sat, 18 May 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Max Verstappen was on the back foot throughout all three practice sessions in Imola, but after hard work by him and his Red Bull crew they managed to get the car right for qualifying – and he duly delivered pole.

    ‘It all just came together’;

    “…So I gave him the finger” – Verstappen, Norris and Piastri recount bizarre shared Imola F1 fan tale
    The top three in Imola qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP all remembered one mystery F1 fan
    18 May 2024
    Adam Dickinson
    Total Motorsport

    Max Verstappen revealed he’d flipped off an Imola fan in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with McLaren‘s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris adding they’d also noticed the rogue spectator but for contrasting reasons. Piastri and Norris provisionally qualified second and third within a tenth of the pole-sitting Dutchman, but while the Australian’s account echoed that of Verstappen, Formula 1‘s reigning grand prix winner explained he’d received support from the mystery fan.

    That prompted Piastri to jokingly ask whether Norris has signed for Ferrari, with the Scuderia certainly the home favourites even away from the unmatched frenzy of Monza. “It’s been great and actually, I had a funny story in qualifying where we were driving in the pits,” Verstappen told select members of the press, including

    “A lot of people were clapping, then one guy was doing some different things to me so I gave him the finger, and then the next time I came around, he was clapping. So they learn you know? It’s easy to be not nice drivers, but I can also be not nice to, luckily he was a bit higher up but it’s good after that – I guess he appreciated it.”

    “…So I gave him the finger”;

    F1 starting grid: What is the grid order for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola?
    18 May 2024 4:02 PM
    Oliver Harden

    Piastri was handed a three-place penalty after the session for impeding Kevin Magnussen’s Haas in Q1, putting him down to fifth and promoting Lando Norris – the winner of the last race in Miami – to P2 ahead of the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

    2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix grid
    1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
    2. Lando Norris, McLaren
    3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
    4. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
    5. Oscar Piastri, McLaren
    6. George Russell, Mercedes
    7. Yuki Tsunoda, RB
    8. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
    9. Daniel Ricciardo, RB
    10. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

    ‘Grid order’;

  4. #364
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    Max Verstappen holds onto Emilia Romagna GP win after tense Lando Norris scrap.
    The pair fought to the very end following a tense final stint, but it was the Red Bull star who came out on top.
    15:30, Sun, May 19, 2024
    By Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    The feeling after qualifying was that while Verstappen’s monster lap was enough to win the pole, the threat on Sunday would come from the McLaren duo of Norris and Piastri. However, after just a handful of laps of the Emilia Romagna GP, it became clear that the championship leader was the man to beat.

    Verstappen held the lead from Norris at the start before scampering off up the road. The frontrunner settled into their order with the Miami Grand Prix winner leading the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Piastri demonstrated impressive pace behind them but struggled to find a way past on track.

    The race leader was fortunate to avoid a safety car when Alex Albon was pictured moving slowly on the track. The Williams driver, fresh off the announcement of a contract extension, was sent back onto the tarmac with a loose tyre, all but ending his race. The Thai-British driver even picked up a stop-go penalty for his troubles.

    ‘A tense final stint’;

    Emilia Romagna GP: Race Results
    20 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps/Diff

    1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 63 laps

    2 4 Lando Norris McLaren 0.725

    3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 7.916

    4 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 14.132

    5 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 22.325

    6 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 35.104

    7 63 George Russell Mercedes 47.154

    8 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 54.776

    9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 79.556

    10 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1L

    ‘Full results’;

    Verstappen holds off Norris to win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
    May 19, 2024 at 10:34 AM ET
    Auto Racing

    IMOLA, Italy (AP) — Max Verstappen held off a challenge from McLaren’s Lando Norris to win the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday and extend his Formula 1 championship lead.

    Verstappen started on pole position and stayed ahead of Norris at the start but was put under pressure by the McLaren driver again near the end and won by less than a second. It was the defending champion's fifth win in seven Grand Prix races this year and followed Verstappen being beaten by Norris in Miami two weeks ago.

    Norris' second place Sunday underlined the McLaren team's credentials to be the closest challenger to Verstappen and Red Bull this season. Charles Leclerc was third for Ferrari.

    ‘Held off a challenge’;

    F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024 – Race Results
    Max Verstappen of Red Bull took victory at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola, just ahead of Lando Norris in the McLaren
    19 May 2024
    John Smith
    Total Motorsport

    Max Verstappen took his Red Bull from pole position to the chequered flag and victory at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, just edging out McLaren driver Lando Norris who put up a late fight and finished within a second. Here are the full F1 results from the race at Imola.

    Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari, though was over six seconds adrift of Norris and over seven seconds ahead of Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren. Carlos Sainz brought his Ferrari home in fifth.

    Next came the Meredes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in sixth and seventh, ahead of Sergio Perez in the sister Red Bull in eighth. Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Yuki Tsunoda of RB rounded out the Top 10 at Imola.

    ‘Race Results’;

    Max Verstappen blasts ‘stupid’ F1 rival after almost blowing Emilia Romagna GP lead
    Max Verstappen was feeling the heat during his battle with Lando Norris at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
    15:44, Sun, May 19, 2024
    By Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Max Verstappen was feeling tense during the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand. Max Verstappen called Yuki Tsunoda 'stupid' during the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after the VCARB driver held him up slightly at the Tosa hairpin.

    Verstappen had controlled the race for large portions but began rapidly losing time to Lando Norris during the final stint. On lap 53 with the McLaren driver just 2.3 seconds back, he approached lap traffic.

    The Dutchman found himself losing time behind VCARB's Tsunoda, who was running in the final point-paying position, at Tosa. He dialled into the radio to fume: "Can he let me by even more stupid?"

    ‘Feeling the heat’;

    Max Verstappen claims incredible double victory as he wins Emilia Romagna Grand Prix ahead of Lando Norris despite sleep worries
    15:48, 19 May 2024
    Robert Calcutt, Sports Writer

    His latest victory is made even more impressive considering he was partaking in another race just hours before the Grand Prix. Verstappen was driving in the virtual Nurburgring 24-hour sim racing tournament with his Team Redline. Fans noticed he was behind the wheel for the race at 9am on the morning of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with the Dutchman not one to rest.

    Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the race, he said: "The stints were good. We're still leading as well so the race is not done yet, it's like one hour 45 [minutes] to go. So my teammates are out driving at the moment, I'm trying to follow here and there but it's a lot of fun. Whenever I can, I try to race and this all worked out, it's in Europe, I can bring my own simulator, so it helps."

    When queried if he'd had enough sleep, Verstappen assured fans he was okay to race.
    He said: "Yeah, enough. I'd say enough. About seven hours, of course I would prefer to sleep a little bit more, but seven hours on a race day is absolutely fine, just looking forward to racing now."
    Max Verstappen is absolutely incredible. It's 9 AM RACE DAY and he wasn't sleeping, he is still sitting in his hotel room racing in virtual 24 hour race at Nurburgring.

    ‘Incredible double victory’;

    Emilia Romagna GP: Lando Norris agonisingly close to second win as Max Verstappen hangs on at Imola
    19 May 2024 3:35 PM
    Michelle Foster

    After 50 laps of having it all his own way, Max Verstappen’s dominance at Imola was tested by Lando Norris as the Briton closed to within DRS range but ran out of laps. Verstappen held on to claim the win by a mere 0.725s ahead of the McLaren driver with Charles Leclerc completing the podium.

    ‘Max Verstappen hangs on at Imola’;

    Verstappen holds off thrilling late charge from Norris to win Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
    19 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site

    A thrilling end to the event ensued as Norris continued to cut into Verstappen’s advantage, but a snap of oversteer seemed to take further life out of the McLaren driver’s ageing tyres, allowing the Red Bull to hold onto P1 by just 0.725s as the chequered flag was waved.

    Despite looking to be on Norris’s tail in the fight for P2 earlier in the event, Charles Leclerc had to settle for the final podium position of third in front of Ferrari’s home fans, while Oscar Piastri claimed P4 in a solid drive for McLaren.

    ‘A thrilling end’;

  5. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortitude View Post
    Verstappen holds off thrilling late charge from Norris to win Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
    19 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site

    A thrilling end to the event ensued as Norris continued to cut into Verstappen’s advantage, but a snap of oversteer seemed to take further life out of the McLaren driver’s ageing tyres, allowing the Red Bull to hold onto P1 by just 0.725s as the chequered flag was waved.

    Despite looking to be on Norris’s tail in the fight for P2 earlier in the event, Charles Leclerc had to settle for the final podium position of third in front of Ferrari’s home fans, while Oscar Piastri claimed P4 in a solid drive for McLaren.

    ‘A thrilling end’;
    That late surge by Lando was probably the only exciting thing in the entire race.
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    Max Verstappen clinched Imola, but it was too close for comfort thanks to Lando Norris.
    For the first time in a long while, Max Verstappen had to dig deep for a Formula One race victory on Sunday, courtesy of Lando Norris and McLaren.
    22:09 Sun, 19 May 2024.
    Nate Saunders, General Editor, F1

    Verstappen's final victory margin of 0.7 seconds over Norris at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was a world away from any of the four easy wins he had claimed this year and a sizeable chunk of his record 19 victories in 2023. "F---ing hell, mate. Had to work for that," Verstappen said over his car radio after taking the chequered flag.

    He wasn't wrong. Norris, fresh off the heels of an overdue first F1 win in Miami two weeks earlier, catapulted himself into victory contention with a thrilling charge late on, which fell agonisingly short of making it two in a row. "I was just praying for one more lap," Norris said later.

    The Englishman was content with second, but there was a real feeling of what might have been had Norris been given one chance to attack Verstappen down Imola's long pit straight with his Drag Reduction System (DRS) wide open, which would have been the case as he was within one second of the Red Bull driver when they crossed the line.

    “Had to work for that”;

    How Norris’ patient start to his final stint helped him chase Verstappen
    19th May 2024, 22:13
    Written by Keith Collantine

    By the time Red Bull had an inkling how much pressure Max Verstappen was going to be under at the end of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, it was too late to do anything about it. Lando Norris cut Verstappen’s lead from a peak of seven-and-a-half seconds to just seven-tenths of a second as they took the chequered flag.

    The McLaren driver was consistently quicker than Verstappen at the end of the race on the hard tyre compound. His cautious start to that stint appeared to be part of the reason why. Red Bull might have expected Verstappen to face a tricky end to the race as his team mate Sergio Perez started on the hard rubber and his lap times dropped off 23 laps into his 37-lap stint.

    Norris played his tyres in more gently at the start of his stint compared to his team mate Oscar Piastri, and that appeared to pay off later on. Having given away half a second per lap at times at the start of the stint, Norris gained almost a second a lap compared to Piastri in the latter laps as Verstappen’s car grew bigger ahead of him. Norris’ reduced pace even allowed Charles Leclerc to briefly gain on him.

    ‘Norris’ patient start to his final stint helped him’;

    Horner after winning in Imola: 'A great job by Max'
    19 May 2024
    Niels Hendrix

    Christian Horner, team principle and CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing, said after the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen: “It was a race of two halves for us today. The first half was really strong and we built a good buffer, but the second half Lando started to catch us very quickly.”

    Horner continues: “Max couldn’t afford to put a millimetre wrong with track limits and the pressure of Lando behind, so a great job by Max. It’s very satisfying to win a race like that when you have been pushed so hard. Overall, it was a weekend to remember in Imola and the whole team is looking forward to going again next weekend in Monte Carlo.”

    'A great job by Max';

    Perez’s poor weekend an “anomaly” – Horner
    20th May 2024, 0:01
    Keith Collantine

    Perez “very strong” until Imola – Horner: Perez finished a lowly eighth having started 11th on the grid. He failed to make the cut for Q3 by just one hundredth of a second, and lost time in the race when he went off between the two Rivazza turns.

    However Horner said Perez has turned around his form since last season and expects last weekend’s dip in performance will prove a one-off. “I think he has had a much better start to this year, bar this weekend, which has been an anomaly,” said Horner. “He’s been very, very strong. I think that his approach, he’s been more relaxed, less focussed on what Max is doing, just focusing on himself. And I think he’s responded to that.”


    ‘It is Max Verstappen’: McLaren boss downplays Imola victory chance
    McLaren Team Principal praises Norris's performance while acknowledging the teams missed opportunities
    May 19, 2024
    Theo Gayle

    Despite the 24-year-old Brit’s strong performance, Team Principal Andrea Stella is uncertain if Lando Norris could have passed Max Verstappen to win in Imola with more laps.

    As reported by news outlet Autosport, Stella shared a different outlook on today’s result. In his post-race interview, the Italian engineer chose to take an analytical approach to the race, providing insight as to why he thought overtaking at the circuit as well as Verstappen’s raw talent would have made it difficult even if more laps were left in the race.

    “Well, 63 laps is already many laps,’ stated the 53-year-old post-race. Many times, you say you would like one lap more. It is what it is, and also, it is Max Verstappen; I am sure he was a bit in trouble, but he managed to get the most out of what he had, so well done, Max and well done to our two drivers, second and fourth.”

    ‘It is Max Verstappen’;

    Leclerc makes ‘weird’ accusation about Red Bull and McLaren
    Charles Leclerc has made a claim against Red Bull and McLaren after Ferrari's defeat at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
    19 May 8:03PM
    Jake Nichol

    Charles Leclerc has accused Red Bull and McLaren of "doing something weird" with their engines after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. But the Monegasque felt there was something "weird" going on with how Ferrari's two rivals use their energy.

    "I think our race pace is very, very strong," Leclerc told Sky Sports F1. "I’m more optimistic than yesterday looking back at the qualifying because this is where I think we are lacking on a weekend like this.”

    "We lost everything in the straights, and they are doing something weird with the energy, engine-wise, McLaren and Red Bull. We will look into that. Once we fix that, we’ve got a real shot of going back onto the top step of the podium."

    “Weird with the energy, engine-wise, McLaren and Red Bull”;

    What Norris/Verstappen Imola fight means for F1: Our verdict
    May 19, 2024
    The Race

    So, Max Verstappen ran out the winner at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after all. Except his run to victory wasn't anywhere near as straightforward as his previous wins have been.

    “Sign that Red Bull's vulnerability has changed” Scott Mitchell-Malm: While the result on paper looks like a return to normality, the reality is that Red Bull’s under pressure. There will still be circuit-specific races where Verstappen dominates, I have no doubt, but it feels like rivals (especially McLaren) are now in a window to pounce more often.

    “McLaren's got a key strength here” Gary Anderson: I think we can keep guessing if it is circuit-specific or an actual changing of the guard. Monaco will probably be different as it’s so individual but for normal circuits, I think McLaren needs to find just that little bit, a couple of tenths, and Ferrari needs just a little more, probably three tenths. But if that can happen we will have a three-team battle at the front on more occasions than not.

    ‘ “A concerning pattern for Ferrari” Ben Anderson, “The bigger-picture win” Josh Suttill, “A proper Red Bull celebration” Glenn Freeman’;

    Max Verstappen takes victory in Imola after close battle: 'We can be very happy'
    19 May 2024
    Stefan Meens

    “I had to give everything to win this one. The whole race I was pushing. We were strong on the mediums, but we struggled to manage the hard tyres. Especially in the last ten, fifteen laps, I didn’t have any grip or tyre temperature. I went all out in the last ten laps, which was difficult without grip. I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes and I had to make the most of it whilst controlling tyres. Luckily we didn’t make a mistake and I’m really happy to win here today.”

    Meanwhile, Sergio Perez is desperately trying to make his alternative strategy work by waiting until lap 38 to make his first and final stop. After coming in and exchanging his hard tyres for the medium compound, the Mexican works his way up to eighth by passing Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda. At the front, Max leads Norris by seven seconds and appears to be in control….

    “I had to give everything to win this one”;

  7. #367
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2021
    Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
    Horner praises ‘phenomenal’ turnaround by Red Bull at the end of ‘stressful’ Imola GP.
    It was a remarkable turnaround by the team - and testament to the hard work that went on in the simulator back in Milton Keynes on Friday night.
    19 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site

    While Horner was quick to pay tribute to both the simulator drivers and the wider team, he reserved special praise for the race winner. “When you look at the turnaround we had from Friday into Saturday to get the pole and to get the victory again today, it’s been a phenomenal performance and turnaround by the team but also Max has been incredible this weekend, and again he’s had to work very hard for the pole and the victory.”

    “I think he’s had a very busy weekend because he’s also competed in the 24 hours of Nurburgring [sim race] as well as being in the car, so he’s won two races today, one in a BMW M3 and one in a Formula 1 car. Max this weekend, you heard what it meant to him, the pole position yesterday he had to dig very deep and the performance today was a masterclass.”

    ‘Phenomenal turnaround’;

    How Red Bull went from ‘nowhere’ to win: Imola turnaround explained
    Christian Horner has shed light on how Red Bull turned things around following a difficult Friday at Imola.
    20 May 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Christian Horner says a “big dive” on Friday evening ultimately paved the way for Red Bull’s impressive turnaround at the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Red Bull experienced their most difficult Friday of the season at Imola, with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez struggling with the balance of their RB20 cars and ending the day off the pace in both practice sessions.

    Asked what was the key to Red Bull’s turnaround, Horner replied: “Sebastien Buemi. We did a lot of work on set-up on Friday into Saturday to move the balance and get the balance into a much better window. “As I say, for 60 percent of the race we were anywhere between six and eight seconds clear of the rest. It was just the second half of the stint on the hard tyre, we started to give away performance.”

    Horner went on to explain: “It was a big dive and that’s why you must never underestimate the broader team in the factory, the simulator drivers. Credit where credit is due, the essence of team is being able to respond when things aren’t going well and we managed to turn it around. If you expected this result on Friday, all of the analysis would have said no way but we managed to turn it around and win the race.”

    “Sebastien Buemi”;

    Revealed: How Sebastien Buemi helped inspire Red Bull’s strong turnaround at Imola
    19 May 2024 7:26 PM
    Henry Valantine

    When asked for what it was that helped Red Bull turn their weekend around in Imola, Horner told media including with a smile: “Sebastien Buemi. We did a lot of work on set up over Friday night into Saturday, and managed to move the balance and get the car into a much better window.” Having driven for Toro Rosso for three seasons, Buemi’s career has flourished in other series – winning the Formula E title as well as four World Endurance Championships with Toyota, taking top honours at Le Mans four times on the way.

    He has remained with Red Bull as a reserve and simulator driver along the way, and was on hand back at base to help run setup changes with the team as they looked for ways forward after two troublesome Friday practice sessions. Verstappen in particular then turned his fortunes around to place his car on pole position and led comfortably for most of the race, before Lando Norris closed right back up in the final stages and finished under a second behind come the chequered flag.

    ‘Sebastien Buemi’;

    Red Bull was on the ropes at Imola but its F1 reign isn't over... yet
    May 20th 2024
    Author: Mark Hughes
    Motor Sport Magazine

    Max Verstappen’s Imola victory was not one of those comfortable nailed-on ones we’ve seen so often in the last few years. It was a struggle. It required a major change between Friday and Saturday. It required Verstappen to be at his tenacious best in the late stages of the race to hold off the flying McLaren of Lando Norris.

    Red Bull was at its ropiest this weekend and even under those circumstances against heavily updated cars from Ferrari and McLaren, it could rely on Verstappen to overcome the shortfall. Things the Red Bull doesn’t like: a front-limited circuit (Imola, Melbourne). A circuit demanding bigger ride heights (Imola, Singapore).

    That put the RB20 out of its comfort zone coming into the weekend and maybe that pre-knowledge played its part in the team arriving here with a set-up based around a big rear wing. It was paranoid about the tyre graining which can so easily trip you up here.

    ‘On the ropes’;

    ‘Broken’ Max Verstappen left with back pain from bumpy Imola F1 track
    “My back, everything is hurting..."
    19 May 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Max Verstappen says Imola’s bumpy surface left him feeling “broken” following his victory at the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. While the battle with Norris was intense, Verstappen said the biggest issue he faced was the track itself. “I'm just broken from the bumps, to be honest,” Verstappen explained.

    “My back, everything is hurting. It's not so much from the physical side of things, but just it was so bumpy out there. Already after like 20 laps, I could really feel my back. So I'm just looking forward to laying in bed. Maybe take some painkillers. And a massage, I don't know…”

    Asked if he had a specific problem in the final stint, Verstappen replied: “I just couldn't really get the tyres to work. “It just felt like they were not operating in the right temperature window. And that just got worse and worse. So the last 15 laps for me was really like driving on ice. They were not responding anymore. So that's something that we have to analyse.”

    ‘Everything is hurting’;

    Verstappen: ‘The last few laps I was pushing flat out… I could see Lando closing in’
    18:50 Sun, 19 May 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Max Verstappen reflects on a hard-fought victory at Imola, when he finished less than a second ahead of Lando Norris.

    ‘Hard-fought victory’;

    Helmut Marko hints at ‘not helpful’ Lando Norris messages as ‘deciding factor’ in Imola win
    20 May 2024 9:45 AM
    Michelle Foster

    What he thinks could’ve played a role was Norris’ race engineer’s messages to the Briton. Having already told his race engineer Joseph that he was “pushing” when informed about Charles Leclerc’s pace, Joseph was back on the radio during the Briton’s late-race tussle with Verstappen.

    “Lando, happy to push Turn 9 a little bit more,” he said. Norris replied: “I’m pushing as much as I can mate. Thank you.” Marko reckons those messages would’ve been more annoying than inspiring.

    “It was an interesting radio message from his engineer. He was driving at the absolute limit and he said he should increase his speed,” he said. “I think that really annoyed him. It certainly wasn’t helpful when you were concentrating in a situation like that.”

    ‘More annoying than inspiring’;

    Verstappen "almost ended in the grandstands" amid Imola F1 hard tyre struggles
    18:16 Sun, 19 May 2024.
    Filip Cleeren

    Verstappen explained that he couldn't keep the hard compound in the right operating window, which led to a lack of grip that he says nearly saw him crash at Turn 7's Tosa hairpin. "On the mediums it was very good," Verstappen said after clinching his fifth grand prix win of the season.

    "But then as soon as I swapped to the hard tyres, maybe not the first five to 10 laps but after that, I was like: 'I'm not sure I can bring this to the end'. The tyres just fell out of the operating window and it was just like driving on ice, really snappy.”

    "At Turn 7 I almost ended up in the grandstands, for my feeling, at some point. So, it was just very difficult, really weird lines that I had to take." In previous events, Verstappen would have simply had the advantage to cruise to the finish anyway, but in the vastly upgraded McLaren MCL38, Norris managed to reel the triple world champion back in, hounding him to the line over the last 10 laps.

    ‘Turn 7’;

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