Red Bull Racing have their first victory of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, as Max Verstappen wins the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but not all positive in the Red Bull camp.
Max Verstappen won a race for the ages in challenging changing conditions in Imola, getting the best launch off the rain soaked grid to go from third to first by the second corner. From there on he controlled the race as the Red Bull mechanics timed perfectly the switch from the intermediates, to the medium tyres.
Verstappen’s only mistake came as he went to restart the race after a red flag, caused by Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, both ok. Verstappen almost had an embarrassing spin as he was to eager on the power coming out of the penultimate corner.
Other than that it was a masterclass by Verstappen who yet again proved to be the king of changing conditions as he took his first win of the 2021 season.
The same positive story can’t be said for his teammate Sergio Pérez despite starting second. A bizarre incident saw Pérez awarded a ten second stop/go penalty for overtaking under the safety car. The Mexican ran off the circuit during the first safety car of the race losing two positions in the process, however when rejoining the circuit he overtook the drivers who had passed him, a lack of judgement shown by the experienced driver.
Pérez did find himself back in the top five after the red flag though, only to then spin out a few laps after the restart, ending all chances of not only a top five but also a points finish, Pérez crossed the finish line in twelfth place.
The Red Bull garage may not care about the Mexicans woes as the team get off the mark for 2021 after coming so close to winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, they will be looking to take this victory into the Portuguese Grand Prix with them and carry the momentum. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner knows that after today it is important to keep the form rolling, in order to keep the pressure on the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
“It is fantastic for us to get the victory here today, particularly after losing such a close race in Bahrain. 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.”
“It was a real shame for Sergio after such a brilliant day yesterday and nothing went his way which is frustrating for him, but he’s becoming more and more comfortable with the car and you can guarantee that he will come back strong. Now we need to build on this momentum for the remainder of the season and we are going to have to go some way to keep Mercedes under pressure.”