Max Verstappen of Red Bull won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on Sunday, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finishing second and maintaining his championship lead by a single point.
The victory was the 11th of the young Dutchman’s career, with a margin of victory of 22 seconds at the chequered flag.
“It was very challenging out there, especially in the beginning to stay on track, to be honest, it was very slippery,” he said of a race that began with most drivers on intermediates and some on full wets.
“I think we managed everything well.”
Hamilton, the season-opening winner in Bahrain, earned a vital bonus point for the fastest lap on a rollercoaster afternoon for the seven-time world champion, whose race was nearly derailed by a rare error.
The Briton started on pole, his 99th, but fell to ninth after skidding into the gravel and slamming into the barriers at Tosa, bringing his car to a halt and forcing him to retire.
After the race was stopped and restarted halfway through, he kept the engine going, reversed back out, returned to the pits, and battled his way back to the podium with a stirring recovery push.
“On my side, it was not the greatest days, it’s the first time I’ve made a mistake in a long time. But I’m grateful I was able to bring the car home today,” said Hamilton.
Lando Norris of McLaren rounded out the top three, marking the first time two British drivers have shared the podium since 2012.
Hamilton now leads Verstappen by 44 points, with Norris on 23. With 60 points to Red Bull’s 53, Mercedes maintained its lead in the constructors’ standings.
On the first lap, Verstappen took the lead into turn two, pushing his way through with a great start from third on the grid but colliding with the Mercedes along the way.
After a major crash between Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had started eighth, and Williams’ George Russell on lap 32 in a fight for the ninth position, the race was halted due to debris.
Before that, there had been plenty of chaos, with Canadian Nicholas Latifi smashing his Williams into the barriers and several spins elsewhere.
Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was fourth, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari was fifth, and Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren was sixth.
Lance Stroll of Aston Martin was seventh, with Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri eighth and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo ninth. Alpine’s last point came from Frenchman Esteban Ocon.