Max Verstappen took the pole in Imola and while he did so he also put his former championship rival Lewis Hamilton one lap down.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Ferrari made a few mistakes with their title contender Charles Leclerc.
In doing so, Verstappen lapped several cars among which was also his former championship rival Lewis Hamilton. The Dutchman put Hamilton’s W13 one lap down as the Mercedes seemed to be struggling with pace.
“Maybe he should’ve stopped last year” 😉
Helmut Marko’s response to Lewis Hamilton being lapped by Max Verstappen at Imola 👇 pic.twitter.com/YwjiNsZLp5
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 25, 2022
However, talking about this specific moment, the Red Bull driver said that he was not surprised to find himself lapping Hamilton given how poor Mercedes has been performing this season.
“They’ve been slow all year so it’s not really a surprise,” he said. Verstappen further added that he didn’t feel any particular satisfaction in putting his former championship rival a lap down. “It is what it is.”
Max Verstappen feels sympathy for Charles Leclerc
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc did not have a good start to the race in Imola on Sunday as he could not make a move on Max Verstappen and got overtaken by Sergio Perez right after the lights out.
Throughout the race, Leclerc was P3 trying to take on Perez’s Red Bull for P2 when he lost control of the car and spun his car into the barriers.
The Monegasque damaged his front wing a little and had to pit again which dropped him down to P6.
Verstappen felt sympathetic for his rival for how the race turned out to be for him. He said, “Of course, he was pushing hard to try and fight Checo. It is painful but I think he knows that himself, he doesn’t need to hear that from anyone in here.”
“But it’s still such a long championship. You can still gain a lot of points,” he further added.
The dutchman increased his lead by a maximum of 34 points following his victory in the Sprint race combined with the fastest lap and pole in the main race.
He now lies second in the championship, 27 points behind Leclerc. Verstappen praised his team after an “incredible” performance.