After sheer chaos at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Max Verstappen took the win – landing his first career victory at an Italian GP.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton joined him on the podium on Sunday following the ultimate comeback from 9th after taking a spin in an attempt to lap the Williams of George Russell.
Lando Norris claimed the final podium place ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for his second top-three finish in F1.
Speaking after an impecable race for Red Bull, loaded with rain, crashes, a red flag and some incredibly close overtaking, the victorious Max Verstappen said:
“I am of course very happy with this win for everyone in the Team and Honda. I think the key was of course the start as we had a great launch.
“I surprised myself as it was always hard to get off the line in the wet last year but we worked hard to try and improve that and it worked. The conditions were challenging out there, especially in the beginning and it was very hard to stay on track but we stayed out of trouble.
“I wouldn’t call it a dominant performance as Lewis was following me quite well and for him to come back to second after his incident means they have a lot of pace in that car. We won because we made the right calls with tyres at the right time and the Team managed everything well in these conditions.
“With the tyres degrading, choosing the right moment to go onto slicks wasn’t easy but we got it right. I had a little moment at the re-start trying to warm up the tyres with some throttle but luckily we didn’t spin. We still have to work hard to improve because it’s very close, but for now I’m very happy with the result.
“I’m looking forward to Portimão because it’s an amazing track and then we go to a track we all know well in Barcelona. We’ll see what we can do but so far, it’s been a good start to the year.”
Hamilton remains at the top of the Drivers’ standings with 44 points, however, following Sunday’s race, Verstappen is just 1 point being him in second.
Red Bull Racing sit in second (53) in the Constructors’ championship after round two, just 7 points off the 2020 world champions, Mercedes (60).
A delighted Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, spoke after the race and said:
“Max drove impeccably all afternoon with no mistakes and the Team made some perfectly timed pit stop calls, making this a thoroughly deserved victory and an important one for us.
“Max was pumped up for the race, with a great start giving him momentum down into Turn 1 where we saw two tough drivers pushing to the limit for track position which is what everyone wants to see.
“Lewis was still very quick today which could be seen particularly towards the end of the race when they seemed to have very low tyre degradation.
“I think they maybe had a quicker car than us today but it’s great to get that first victory of the season under our belts.”