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The recently-concluded Pirelli Gran Premio Del Made in Italy E Dell’emilia Romagna will surely be a favorite subject in chatrooms and motorsports discussions in the coming days and weeks.

Formula 1 has been viewed by some as a lackluster event, not worthy of its status in the motor sports world of late. But that all changed in Imola.

Let’s pick the winners and losers.

WINNERS

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after finishing first on the podium
REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Max Verstappen. The top dog at Imola was undoubtedly “the Flying Dutchman”; Max began the race in P3 but made use of the damp conditions to vault past pole-setter Lewis Hamilton at the start and the Red Bull driver was never challenged all race long. Verstappen took the flag with a comfortable 22-second lead over his rivals. Max, who has never finished better than fourth in Italy, was all smiles at the top step of the podium.

McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrates after finishing third on the podium with the trophy REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Lando Norris. The youngster from Britain withstood the immense pressure from his rivals to claim his first trophy of the 2021 season; Norris had the pace and was in podium contention all throughout the race, Lando finished in P3 just behind Hamilton, and now has a solid grip on third in the drivers standings, just a couple of points behind Max, and Lewis.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after finishing second on the podium with the trophy REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Lewis Hamilton. The defending champion was bound to head the losers column after a costly error placed him a lap down midway into the race. Lewis tried to get past slower cars to try and catch the race leader, only to find himself out on the gravel trap. Hamilton did manage to rejoin the race, and with some inspired driving, the seven-time champ recovered convincingly to claim second.

Ferrari . The Scuderia had their biggest points haul in over a year, the pairing of Leclerc and Sainz are doing wonders in the team chemistry department, both are highly capable of delivering points and even podiums; while 2020 was a year to forget for the Maranello squad, 2021 could be the year they return to their winning ways.

Fans. The biggest winners has got to be the fans, the Emiligia Romagna Grand Prix provided non stop excitement, frenetic action, wild crashes, and fantastic wheel to wheel racing. It had everything that the global audience was looking for, and, from the looks of it, this will be the norm all season long.

LOSERS

Sebastian Vettel. Even before the race start, Seb already had brake problems, prompting him to start from the pit lane and to make matters worse, the German was given a time penalty due to the fact that mechanics failed to bolt on his tires at the start of the formation lap. Poor handling in the damp conditions hampered his race pace. Sebastian didn’t even see the checkered flag, the #5 Aston Martin retired on lap 62.

Fernando Alonso. This season has not been kind to the returning two-time champ, getting only a solitary point in two races, (due to Raikkonen penalty, dropping the Finn out of the points); Fernando still has the skills and determination to race with the bog boys, but, Renault’s failure to provide a suitable challenger could dampen his highly anticipated return.

Valtteri Bottas. The Finn was a non-factor all race long, Valtteri was stuck in the mid-field, there was no reports of a problem with the #77 Merc, but, somehow, he just didn’t have the fight in him. Valtteri’s day could have ended different had he been near the front and not being hounded by the Williams of George Russell. His race finally came to an end after clipping Russell who was about to swoop past, sending both cars into the barriers.

Sergio Perez. After his career best qualifying position (P2) Sergio Perez was in the perfect spot to fight it out for the win; unfortunately, the Mexican got bogged down at the start and never recovered; Perez had multiple off-track excursions, had to battle back markers and mid field runners the entire afternoon. Sergio finished off the points, down in P11.

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