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Max Verstappen dominates to win the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Ferrari struggles

<i>GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</i><br/>Verstappen dominated the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Verstappen dominated the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday.

By Ben Church, CNN

Max Verstappen dominated the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Red Bull clinched a one-two at Imola on Sunday.

The reigning world champion, who started on pole, dealt with a wet start and stayed out of trouble for much of the race to close the gap at the top of the driver standings to 27 points.

Teammate Sergio Perez finished second after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc spun off the track having threatened to disrupt the Red Bull shutout in the closing stages.

In truth, it was a race to forget for Ferrari, who saw Carlos Sainz crash out on the first lap and championship leader Leclerc finish down in sixth after his mistake.

It was extra disappointing given the amount of support the home team had in Italy this weekend.

However, it was Lando Norris who profited most from Leclerc’s error as the McLaren driver finished in a surprise third.

Red Bull celebrates strong weekend

It was pretty much the perfect weekend for Verstappen, with the Dutchman taking maximum points after winning the sprint race on Saturday. He also picked up an extra point for the fastest lap of the race on Sunday.

“Today, you never know with the weather how competitive you are going to be but I think we did very well and this one-two is very deserved,” Verstappen said after the race.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton continued to struggle and finished a lowly 13th. The former champion also suffered the indignity of allowing his fierce rival Verstappen to overtake him as he got stuck behind a train of slower cars for much of the race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell fared better, finishing in fourth — despite team principle Toto Wolff apologizing for the car both had to drive.

F1 now takes a two-week break before heading to Miami.

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