It was a case of differing fortunes at Imola over the weekend as Max Verstappen enjoyed a near perfect weekend that culminated with him collecting maximum points while Ferrari had plenty to answer for in front of their loyal tifosi.
It turned out to be a relatively straightforward race for Verstappen who finished 16.5 seconds ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez as the pair celebrated a one-two finish on enemy territory.
For Ferrari, well it started in the worst possible manner after a collision in lap 1 between Carlos Sainz and Aussie Daniel Ricciardo forced the Spaniard to retire. That was the last thing that the Ferrari driver would have hoped for after he also settled for a DNF at Albert Park a fortnight ago.
Ricciardo was quick to apologise to Sainz at the end of the race after the Aussie finished bottom of the pack for McLaren.
"The first thing that he did (after the race) was coming to the Ferrari box to apologise to me," Sainz told reporters. "The mechanics were all with me and we all thanked him for the gesture.
"That's why there's no hard feelings with Daniel. What happened with him could have happened to anyone out there today but unfortunately it had to happen to me.
All the Scuderia’s hopes now rested on Leclerc who was unfortunately unable to challenge Verstappen and spent most of the race searching for a way past Perez.
The Monegasque driver looked set to secure a third placed finish if it were not for a risky turn that saw him spin out of control and ultimately cost him in the standings as he settled for sixth.
“I was too greedy and I paid the price for it and lost seven potential points,” Leclerc told Sky Sports. “It is a shame, it is seven points that are valuable at the end of the championship for sure and this shouldn’t happen again.”
Leclerc’s misjudgment paved the way for a podium finish for Lando Norris who enjoyed a near perfect drive in the unpredictable conditions at Imola.
Moving down the standings, where the challenge for fourth spot well and truly heated up at the end as former Mercedes man Valterri Bottas pushed his incumbent George Russell until the very end.
Fortunately for Russell he was able to hold off the Alfa Romeo as he salvaged some much needed points for Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton finished out of the points in 13th.
Hamilton’s misery was further compounded after he was lapped by Verstappen on lap 39.
The afternoon clearly belonged to Red Bull as they pounced on Ferrari’s disastrous weekend to enjoy their first one-two finish since Malaysia in 2016.
2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Results: Top 10
|1||Max Verstappen (Red Bull)|
|2||Sergio Perez (Red Bull)|
|3||Lando Norris (McLaren)|
|4||George Russell (Mercedes)|
|5||Valterri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)|
|6||Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)|
|7||Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)|
|8||Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)|
|9||Kevin Magnussen (Haas)|
|10||Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)|