Max Verstappen claimed his second victory of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in dominant fashion in what was an Oracle Red Bull Racing, one-two.
Verstappen won the race on a two-stop strategy. The Dutchman like everybody else started the race on the Intermediate tyres due to the weather and track conditions, before moving onto the yellow-walled Medium tyres. Verstappen also made an extra-stop with twelve laps remaining for a set of red-walled Soft tyres. The reigning World Champion claimed a full house at Imola, having taken pole, winning the Sprint race and the traditional race, as well as claiming the fastest lap.
Charles Leclerc was the first of the leading drivers to dive in late-on for a set of softs, to apply extra pressure onto Sergio Pérez in second. This plan failed miserably for Leclerc, who span at Turn fifteen having pushed too hard. The Scuderia Ferrari driver ended up finishing sixth.
Virtually every other driver only pitted once during the race, except for Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher, who both made what turned out to be an error in pitting for Hard tyres having used a set of Mediums first.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, Mario Isola, was very impressed by how well the tyres performed during the race, in what were mixed-conditions.
“At the start of the race the intermediates worked well over a reasonably long stint, as was expected. I was a little bit surprised though that everyone chose the medium rather than the soft once the track had dried, in the cool and still damp conditions, but they were obviously thinking about going all the way to the end; and that’s exactly what many of the drivers did.
“Ferrari came up with an interesting strategy, which was then copied by Red Bull, to go for the fastest lap with the soft tyre at the end. The medium showed impressive adaptability over long runs, because the rain on Friday meant that the teams just had an hour on Saturday morning to understand it, with a maximum run of only around 20 laps possible. Despite that limited information, we saw long runs of 40 laps with no issues. Well done to Red Bull, but also to the fantastic home crowd here at Imola, which always shows such passionate support.”