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Formula 1: Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Norris finishes second ahead of Leclerc

Imola (Italy), May 19: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as McLaren’s Lando Norris finished second, less than a second behind the leader, and ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc here on Sunday. It was the 59th career win for the three-time Formula 1 world champion who kept Norris at bay despite struggling with his car. Verstappen took his third consecutive win in Imola to take his season’s tally to five in seven races.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished fourth to make it a solid performance for the team.

Carlos Sainz strengthened Ferrari’s lead in the points table with a fifth-place finish, ahead of a lone Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in sixth and teammate George Russell in seventh, who gained an additional point for the best lap after making an unexpected late pit stop for medium tyres.

After a challenging qualifying session that saw him start the race in P11, Sergio Perez managed to salvage P8 for Red Bull, while Lance Stroll secured the lone point for Aston Martin in ninth place. Following an exciting drive in the RB, Yuki Tsunoda completed the top ten.

The Haas pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen followed in 11th and 12th respectively, despite the former running in the top 10 earlier on and the latter engaging in a few battles to work his way through the field.

RB’s Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in P13, dropping back from P9 on the grid, with the lead Alpine of Esteban Ocon following in P14 ahead of Kick Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu in P15. Pierre Gasly ended the day in 16th place for Alpine, having been one of just two drivers to start the race on the soft tyre. Williams’ Logan Sargeant was just behind in 17th, while Valtteri Bottas rounded out the finishers in 18th place.

Fernando Alonso had spent much of the afternoon running near the rear of the pack in what has been a challenging weekend for the Spaniard. He retired his Aston Martin in the latter stages, classifying him in P19. The only other retiree was Alex Albon, who was forced to retire his Williams earlier in the Grand Prix.

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