The fourth stage of Formula 1 – in the most subjective assessments of the author.
Max Verstappen – 9.5
An almost flawless weekend by the Dutchman: a confident victory in qualifying, first place in the sprint and dominance in the race. Unless at the start on Saturday, Max did not work too clearly and missed Leclerc, but the Monegasque counterattacked at the finish line. The reigning champion is back in the fight for the title!
Lando Norris – 9.5
The departure at the end of the qualification only helped the McLaren driver to concrete third place, and although after the sprint it seemed that the podium was infinitely far from Lando, the Briton had an excellent start, fought Leclerc to the last and broke through into the top three after Charles’s mistake. McLaren is progressing and seems to be finding its leader.
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George Russell – 9
Following Norris, another young Briton, Russell, finished. George for the first time in the season could not reach the final of the qualification and still turned out to be faster than Hamilton (for the second time in the last three stages), and at the start of the race he broke from 11th place to sixth. It was not possible for the Mercedes driver to catch up with McLaren, but Leclerc’s problems allowed him to climb one line higher.
Valtteri Bottas – 9
The technique let the Finn down in qualifying, but in the end, Valtteri made his way to fifth place – this is the best result of Alfa Romeo in Formula 1 after Brazil 2019. In the sprint, Bottas passed Alonso, on Sunday he was ahead of Magnussen, but at the finish of the Grand Prix, he secured himself from a possible counterattack by Leclerc.
Sebastian Vettel – 8.5
Seb also had a great weekend – and seems to have surpassed the capabilities of his car. For the first time in the season, the German dragged Aston Martin into Q3, and on Sunday he won four positions on the first lap, gaining a foothold in the top 10, and brought the team the first points this year. Breakout weekend!
Yuki Tsunoda – 8
In Imola, Tsunoda suddenly turned out to be stronger than Pierre Gasly in everything. Yuki was ahead of a more experienced partner in qualifying, won back four positions in the Saturday sprint, and overtook Vettel and Magnussen in the Sunday race. The result – seventh place in the race and 12th in the championship – one line higher than a partner.
For Tsunoda, the Imola stage was the best in the 2022 season
Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images
Kevin Magnussen – 7.5
Despite the mistake in qualifying, Magnussen did not lose his cool and eventually finished fourth, but Haas was not destined to keep him. Kevin made up for the four positions lost in the Saturday sprint with a brilliant start on Sunday (fifth place on the first lap!), but the pace was still not enough, and by the finish line Haas fell back to eighth position – the same one where he finished the sprint.
Fernando Alonso – 7.5
A promising fifth place in qualifying ended in nothing – in the sprint Fernando could not stay in the top 8, and in the race already on the first lap he was hit by Mick Schumacher. The side pontoon could not withstand the load and burst, and Alonso was left without a single point for the third time in a row.
Alonso fails to score three races in a row
Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Alexander Albon – 7.5
In qualifying, the Thai pilot’s wheel literally exploded – the engineer and the driver forgot to set the correct balance of the brakes, and as a result, the disk simply caught fire from the loads. All the more surprising is Albon’s breakthrough to 12th place on Sunday – including Gasley and Hamilton were left behind.
Sergio Perez – 7
Cheko’s performance didn’t turn out to be perfect on a weekend: traffic problems in qualifying, a corner cut in Sunday’s race, but in general he achieved the best possible result and reliably covered Verstappen from potential Ferrari pressure.
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Esteban Ocon – 7
The difficult weekend for the Frenchman began with problems with the transmission in qualifying and a crash in the first segment, and ended with an unsafe exit from the pit stop and a 5-second penalty for a mechanics mistake. In the final classification, Okon took 14th place – and this is his worst result in the 2022 season.
Lance Stroll – 6.5
Stroll, who normally performs well in wet conditions, was unable to complete a qualifying lap this time and started only 15th on Sunday. Due to a strong start, Lance climbed to tenth position in the first laps, but could no longer rise higher.
Zhou’s stage at Imola ruined by collision with Gasly
Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Guanyu Zhou – 6
In difficult weather conditions in qualifying, the Chinese debutant again lost a lot to Bottas, and in the sprint, Zhou dropped out already on the first lap – after being hit by Pierre Gasly. At the start from the pit lane, Guanyu had no chance for points, and in the end he was ahead of only Latifi, who flew out twice Schumacher and Riccardo, who had already failed at the start to the end of the peloton.
Charles Leclerc – 5
In Imola, Ferrari was unable to fight the Red Bull and Leclair failed to even keep Perez behind after a bad start. Nevertheless, he was supposed to take 15 points for third place, but instead he flew into the striker and brought the team only eight points.
Carlos Sainz – 5
For the co-pilot of Ferrari (and there is no more doubt that he is the second), the weekend ended even worse – the second consecutive Grand Prix without points. There is no fault of Sainz in the collision with Riccardo, but if it were not for the Spaniard’s accident in the second qualifying segment, Carlos would have started the Sunday race against the backdrop of Perez’s problems from third place – and he would have left the smashing McLaren for sure.
Lewis Hamilton – 5
The 7-time champion did not participate in any incidents during the weekend, but his result is no better than Sainz’s: 13th place and the first race without points in the 2022 season. In qualifying, Lewis lost to his partner by almost 0.4 seconds and, unlike him, at the start he was able to win back only a couple of positions. In the end, Hamilton was stuck behind Gasley and could not do anything with the Alpha Tauri.
For the second time in the last three races, Hamilton is slower than his partner.
Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Pierre Gasly – 4.5
Stage in Imola was the most unfortunate for the Frenchman this year. Pierre first collided with Zhou in the sprint, and although he avoided penalties for aggressive attack, he started only 17th on Sunday and could not break past 13th – Albon’s Williams proved to be an impassable obstacle.
Daniel Riccardo – 4
In qualifying, the Australian lost to his partner by 0.6 seconds, and in the race already on the first lap he rolled back to the end of the peloton after a collision with Sainz. The third Grand Prix of the past four Ricciardos finishes outside the top 10, Daniel is further and further behind Norris in the overall standings and lost to him four times in four qualifications of the season.
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Nicholas Latifi – 3.5
For the first time in the season, Latifi was higher than Albon in qualifying, but already in the sprint, Nicholas let his partner go ahead, and in the race, the Canadian was ahead of only Schumacher and Riccardo. After the finish, Latifi admitted that he did not feel confident behind the wheel on a damp track.
Mick Schumacher – 3
The misadventures of the Germans continue. In qualifying, Mick made a mistake in the seventh turn – and only in this episode he lost a second to his partner and a chance to go to Q3. In the sprint, the German looked more cheerful, but in the race, his excessive confidence let him down: two departures and finishing in the penultimate place.
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