MAX VERSTAPPEN has WON today’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – opening up a 27 POINT lead over Charles Leclerc.
The Dutchman was victorious by some distance in the end in a Red Bull one-two alongside team-mate Sergio Perez.
But it was a painful race for Lewis Hamilton, who finished back in 13th place in Imola.
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Hamilton: Of course I can’t win title
Lewis Hamilton has already conceded his mediocre Mercedes has no chance of contesting the title this year.
After finishing 13th at Imola, the Brit said: “A weekend to forget, that is for sure.
“I am out of the championship, for sure.
“There’s no question about that. I will still keep working as hard as I can and pull it back together somehow.”
Sainz: Not the way I wanted to go out
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz says his early crash exit was a ‘tough moment’ to take.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s was very bad, definitely. A tough moment.
“It’s not at all the way I wanted to go out in front of the fans.
“Turn 2 can be bad, but there are always these tough moments in the life of the sportsman and you have to go through them.
“As long as I keep working hard, the good times will come.”
Hamilton’s car ‘undriveable’
Fascinating audio from Mercedes chief Toto Wolff to Lewis Hamilton after his woeful race, finishing in 13th place.
Wolff said to Hamilton: “Sorry for what you had to drive today. I know it was undriveable. This was a terrible race.”
Hamilton replied: “No worries, Toto. Just keep working hard.”
Wolff: “We will come out of this.”
Max Verstappen wins the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix!
Christian Horner says on the radio: “Well done Max! Great job!”
A Red Bull one-two and Englishman Lando Norris on the podium.
15 second advantage for Max Vertsappen!
Bottos tries to overtake Russell but he stays fourth.
Leclerc in sixth.
Hamilton in 14th!
Top 10 from Imola
Leclerc now chasing
Three laps to go and light rain could be on it’s way.
LECLERC SPINS OUT
Leclerc spins out.
He’d changed to soft tyres, eyeing an extra point for the fastest lap.
The 24-year-old bounced over the chicane and off onto the gravel.
He makes it back on the track, but can’t turn left!
The Ferrari is now back in the pits.
Tsunoda into eighth
The Japanese driver takes it past Kevin Magnussen.
The AlphaTauri man is up to eighth.
Top 10 from Imola
Over the half way mark in the race now and DRS has been enabled.
Sir Lewis is chasing a points finish.
Whilst the Red Bull guys stay first and second – Verstappen and Perez respectively.
Sir Lewis out the points again
Lewis Hamilton in 14th place coming up to the half way point in the race.
Top five from Imola
Leclerc drops back in third
Leclerc slides into second after the pit stops…
BUT Perez takes Leclerc to move back into second.
Perez pulls in
Sergio Perez comes in to pit to move onto the dry tyres.
Vertsappen stays out.
Bottas up to sixth
Valtteri Bottas overtakes Magnussen…
Max still leading
Verstappen has been on the intermediate tyres since the start.
Our leader has radioed in to say that he’s slipping.
He’s just over six seconds in front.
Top five from Imola
Sainz is in the gravel! He is OUT
Disaster for Ferrari on the opening lap. Sainz is tagged by Ricciardo and sent into a spin that lands him in the gravel.
His Ferrari is send backwards into the stones and he is stuck. The race steward deploys the safety car.
Go Go Go…..spray sent fling into the sky.
A fantastic start for Norris who is up to third.
Here we go…formational lap done
Clouds of red smoke from the flares from all the Ferrari fans…
Unusual for Hamilton on the gird
Aside from being wayyyyy down in 14th, he spent a considerable amount of talking to his chief engineer upon leaving his car.
Normally, he’s out of the car and shoots off, but this time he had plenty to say.
Just back from the grid
It is damp, but not raining, so likely that all drivers will start on intermediate tyres.
The tension heightens
The Italian national anthem is played as the drivers stand together.
The atmosphere is building here in Imola.
Horner wants to stay in front
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke to Sky Sports ahead of the race.
He said: “We’ve got to go with the track, not make mistakes, and stay in front of Ferrari.”
We’ve got to go with the track, not make mistakes, and stay in front of Ferrari.
Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk