In short, the much-desired triumph of Ferrari on the home track did not happen, the fans left the stands with a bitter taste and an awareness: the Red Bull is the real opponent of this world championship, ready to give twist at the slightest distraction. And if Leclerc is still at the top of the drivers’ standings with 86 points, Verstappen is already there pushing him into second place. There are no words to describe the immense disappointment of the Ferraris at the Imola Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc was only sixth , Carlos Sainz forced to retire immediately after the start: the podium of the Emilia Romagna GP went to the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez respectively in first and second place; followed by Lando Norris with the McLaren. The festive atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the eve were abruptly dampened just a few seconds after the start, when Carlos Sainz went off the track immediately at the first variant of the Tamburello, following a contact with Ricciardo’s McLaren. The safety card enters the track: from here it was clear that it would have been a bad day for the Reds, and not just for the bad weather. All the spectators who flocked to cheer the Prancing Horse therefore poured all hope on Charles Leclerc, this season’s favorite, but in vain. He had a bad start, at the start he skated on the water and immediately lost positions compared to the two Red Bulls of Verstappen and Perez, objectively two lightning bolts. He embarked on a close duel with Perez for second place but on lap 54, just when he was close to passing him and the audience with bated breath, he lost control of his car, spun and ended up against. the barriers of the runway which had finally regained its dry state. At the finish line, Russell’s Mercedes was fourth, Bottas’s Alfa Romeo fifth, then Tsunoda was also behind Leclerc in points, seventh with the Alpha Tauri; Vettel (Aston Martin) eighth, Magnussen (Haas) ninth and Stroll, tenth with Williams. It went (almost) worse for Lewis Hamilton, the reigning world champion: a year ago, right here in Imola, he conquered the top step of the podium. Today he finished second from bottom, in 13th place.
Giovanni Camardella e Veronica Lo Giudice, IV E