Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024 Race Review: Verstappen sees off Norris in late-race action in Imola

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024 Review: Max Verstappen sees off Lando Norris in late-race action in Imola

May 20, 2024

After struggling in all three Practice sessions, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen showcased his class to put in a stellar pole lap on Saturday before making sure he made it count on Sunday to pick up his fifth win of the season at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Lando Norris pushed Verstappen to the limit towards the end of the race and took home second place in Imola, with Charles Leclerc rounding out the podium places. 

Norris’ teammate, Oscar Piastri, finished fourth, holding off Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton taking home the sixth place.

George Russell, Sergio Pérez, Lance Stroll, and Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the points places, in that order.

Verstappen got off to a smooth start off the line, with Norris holding off Leclerc, Sainz and Piastri. Behind them, Hamilton immediately made up a place on the second lap, moving up to P7.

By Lap 10, the order up top remained the same, while veteran multiple-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, who was having a horror weekend, had already made a pit stop, with Aston Martin hoping they would find pace on a different tyre compound.

Verstappen was 4.5 seconds clear of Norris by Lap 15, while Leclerc was trying to make sure he didn’t let the Brit out of sight.

While the Dutchman was sailing up front, his teammate Sergio Pérez had a moment as went off track into a run-off area, losing a fair bit of time.

Norris and Piastri came in for their stops on Laps 23 and 24, respectively. Two quick stops saw Norris join in P5 after his teammate’s stop. Verstappen also came in for his stop the following lap and re-joined in P4 ahead of Norris as Leclerc led the race from Sainz, whose stop on Lap 28 saw Verstappen retake the lead; within two laps, he was more than six seconds clear. 

By Lap 50, Verstappen’s tyres had started feeling it, with Norris having cut down the lead to just over four seconds. By Lap 56, Norris was only 2.2 seconds behind Verstappen, who radioed in a car turning issue to his pit wall.

While Norris pushed as much as he could, Verstappen showed why he was the best on the grid by a mile by holding off the Brit to perfection to eventually win the Grand Prix by a margin of 0.72 seconds.

What was supposed to be another walk in the park for Verstappen ended up being a late-race thriller as Red Bull faced serious challenge from McLaren, who are slowly turning out to be their biggest competitors this year.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix win sees Verstappen open up a 48-point gap in the Drivers’ Standings to Leclerc, while Norris is now just six points behind Pérez in fourth place.

Red Bull top the Constructors’ Standings with 268 points, while Ferrari are second with 212 points. McLaren, meanwhile, have creeped up in third with 154 points.

Racing is back next weekend as we head to Monte Carlo for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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