A perfect Red Bull weekend: Verstappen in a league of his own

Max Verstappen qualified on pole, won the F1 Sprint and the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola


The 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix couldn’t have been much more successful for Max Verstappen after Qualifying on pole, overtaking Charles Leclerc in the F1 Sprint then dominating Sunday’s race, especially with the Ferrari driver making a mistake and dropping to sixth. 

It was the first time Red Bull have had a one-two since Malaysia in 2012 and it also moves Verstappen second in the 2022 F1 Driver Standings, just 27 points behind leader Leclerc

Christian Horner confirmed that Red Bull brought a small upgrade to Imola and that seemed to give Verstappen the edge over Leclerc and Ferrari

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“It was quite a stressful race on the pit wall,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “With changing conditions, there is a lot that can go wrong. 

“But I thought both Max and Checo did an unbelievable job today. To come here, we attacked the weekend and brought a little upgrade.

“A lot of people said you shouldn’t do that with only one practice session, but we believed in ourselves and it paid off.”

Exactly what Red Bull needed

The start of the 2022 F1 season hasn’t been easy for Red Bull, with Verstappen failing to finish two of the opening three races, and Perez retiring from the Bahrain GP. That allowed Ferrari and Leclerc to dominate, but things may have started to swing in Red Bull’s direction. 

“We just have to learn from our reliability trouble,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1. “And I think we did as a team. The whole weekend we made the right calls, and we were on top of everything except the [Sprint race] start.

“I know how a championship works, you always have to try and score points, and of course if you can’t win you have to settle for second. Every point counts.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

A league of his own

Verstappen was the standout driver in the difficult conditions at Imola, as they drifted from wet to damp to dry, with the Dutchman was voted F1 Driver of the Day, plus Nico Rosberg was full of praise for the champion’s drive. 

“It’s again Max Verstappen, a phenomenal drive all weekend, just nailing it,” Rosberg told Sky Sports F1. “Whenever it counted he was just in a league of his own. 

“Really putting a marker down and saying ‘hey I’m not out this championship yet’ he’s now just 27 points away from Leclerc, so the championship is once again wide open. And Red Bull are really on a level playing field once again in terms of car pace at least with Ferrari.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton calls for two changes to bring back Monaco GP magic

Lewis Hamilton has suggested two major changes that could be made to the Monaco Grand Prix to help reinvigorate...
Fernando Alonso ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola

Fernando Alonso gives candid admission on performance amid Aston Martin struggles

Fernando Alonso believes he's not been good enough individually as Aston Martin have struggled to recapture their 2023 form...
Andrea Kimi Antonelli tests the Mercedes W12 in Austria in his first taste of F1 machinery | Mercedes F1 team

Max Verstappen offers Mercedes starlet Andrea Kimi Antonelli advice on joining F1

Max Verstappen has given his advice to Andrea Kimi Antonelli on the biggest changes he should expect if he...
Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unwanted Yuki Tsunoda eyes Aston Martin switch as Red Bull say no

Yuki Tsunoda revealed he could be tempted to abandon the Red Bull program for Aston Martin ahead of the...
George Russell at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Russell explains how Mercedes are closing gap on Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari –...

Mercedes are getting closer to Formula 1's current frontrunners Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari according to George Russell, who...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix weekend | Suderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals Ferrari’s key target to beat Max Verstappen in Monaco

Will 2024 be the year that Charles Leclerc finally breaks his Monaco Grand Prix curse? He’s hoping so as...
Max Verstappen during the 2024 Monaco GP press conference | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull to avoid ‘stressful’ repeat at Monaco GP

Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull they cannot risk a repeat of what happened at Imola as the team...
Nyck de Vries of AlphaTauri, leads Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

Monaco GP 2024 F1 Schedule and Start Times

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix sees the Formula 1 circus head to one of the one of the most...
Jake Dennis looks on at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Jake Dennis downbeat about Formula E title chances: I need s**t to happen now

Reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis isn’t optimistic about the chances of retaining his title, ahead of the 2024...
Formula E will visit the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in 2024 | Formula E

Formula E returns to China as it takes on the Shanghai International Circuit

The drivers are certainly being kept on their toes this season. Formula E is heading to yet another new...
- Advertisment -