2022 Imola GP Sprint Race - Verstappen Sends it
Battle Ready Verstappen Outguns Leclerc To Secure Imola GP Sprint Race Victory
Formula One

I don’t know what you think, but I am not entirely sure why the sprint qualifying race is held at such a weird time of the day. Probably has something to do with F1 catering to international audiences. Whatever the reason is or was, we are in the now. And the now was is the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP (nee Imola GP) sprint race. As with the previous sprint races, qualifying is decided on Friday. The sprint race is held on Saturday. Sunday’s grid is decided by who finishes where in Saturday’s sprint race.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Thankfully there are only three sprint race weekends in the season. And that gives F1 fans just three reasons to endure the confusion about why sprint races exist at all. Some say F1 is chasing viewing figures. However, the old days of scheduled TV is competing with subscription broadcasting and online pirate streaming sites.

2022 Imola GP Sprint Race - Start

Nevertheless, the half-hour, 21-lap sprint race is a real race where the top eight finishers are rewarded with real points: The top 8 will receive points as thus: 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. So this is a race worth risking if you are in the hunt for the driver’s championship.

And it was Ferrari home favorite Charles Leclerc who took the lead from title protagonist Max Verstappen on the opening lap. Not soon after the safety car was doing a lap of the circuit after the Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou crashed out of the race.

2022 Imola GP Sprint Race - Alfa Romeo

The 2022 season is beginning to be written as a battle between the revived Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Leclerc has raised his game this season as much as Ferrari has finally raised theirs.

During the race, Verstappen played it cool early on, holding back saving his tyres, and biding his time. With 5 laps to go Verstappen started pushing and closed the gap to Leclerc ahead of him. Leclerc couldn’t hold off Verstappen who sent it on lap 19 to take the lead.

In the end, Red Bull and Max Verstappen had the edge over Leclerc whose Ferrari was starting to grain its tyres. Leclerc played the smart game, preferring to surrender the lead rather than risk a crash, his eyes are on Sunday’s prize.

So it was Verstappen who took the sprint race win to start from pole position for the race proper, Leclerc will start second and Sergio Perez moved his way up to third after a poor start. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Sprint Race Results

1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:19.951 21

2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 2.975s 21

3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 4.721s 21

4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 17.578s 21

5 Lando Norris McLaren 24.561s 21

6 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 27.740s 21

7 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Racing 28.133s 21

8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 30.712s 21

9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 32.278s 21

10 Mick Schumacher Haas 33.773s 21

11 George Russell Mercedes 36.284s 21

12 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 38.298s 21

13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 40.177s 21

14 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 41.459s 21

15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 42.910s 21

16 Esteban Ocon Alpine 43.517s 21

17 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 43.794s 21

18 Alex Albon Williams 48.871s 21

19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 52.017s 21

20 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Racing 20 LAPS

2022 Imola GP Sprint Race - Verstappen Sends it
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