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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

F1 Imola GP Live Commentary and Updates - Race

Minute-by-minute updates for the 2024 Formula 1 Imola Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen claimed an eighth consecutive F1 pole position, matching the all-time record held by Ayrton Senna, as Oscar Piastri dropped from the front row to fifth place after picking up a penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen in qualifying.

That means Miami GP winner Lando Norris joins Verstappen on the front row, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz filling out row two ahead of Piastri.

The Imola GP starts at 2pm BST (3pm local time).

By: Haydn Cobb, Ewan Gale

  • Verstappen on pole from Norris after Piastri given three-place grid penalty for blocking Magnussen in qualifying
  • Verstappen keeps the lead at the start, with the top six drivers unchanged
  • Verstappen takes the win, joined by Norris and Leclerc on the podium
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Norris, McLaren
  3. Leclerc, Ferrari
  4. Piastri, McLaren
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Hamilton, Mercedes
  7. Russell, Mercedes
  8. Perez, Red Bull
  9. Stroll, Aston Martin
  10. Tsunoda, RB
Status: Stopped
Thank you for joining us this afternoon, we'll head off now and think what could've been if Norris had just a couple more laps to attack Verstappen. Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday and go well!
Time to get busy with the fizzy! That's it for the Imola GP, but never fear, we're back in a week for the Monaco GP which is 24-26 May.
Leclerc, of course, gets the biggest cheer on the podium from the tifosi. That's Ferrari's first Imola podium since 2006 when Schumacher won.
The top three make it onto the podium for the presentation and that familiar pairing of the Dutch and Austrian national anthems rings out.
Leclerc on his maiden podium at Imola: "Yes, at least it is a podium but I am only very happy when I win and today we didn't quite make it. We were very fast at the beginning of the stint with hard and I tried to put some pressure on Lando but later they were incredibly quick."
More from Norris: "I think we are at a point now where he can happily say we are in the position of Ferrari and Red Bull, it is what we have to get used to and the team is doing a really good job. We will continue to do what we've been doing but now we are fighting for first or second. It is still a surprise to say it is frustrating not to win but after last weekend [Miami] and now this is what we should expect"
Norris when asked if he felt he could've won with a few more laps: "Yes, it hurts me to say it but one or two more laps and I think I could've had him. Tough. A shame, I fought very hard right until the very last lap but I lost out too much at the beginning, he was much better in the first stint, but the second stint we were stronger."
Here's the developing race report on Verstappen's win having held off that late charge from Norris.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

As the fans flood onto the track, Verstappen gives his take on his latest win: "The whole race I had to try and make a gap initially. On the medium tyres we were strong but the hard tyres were harder to manage. Especially on the last 10-15 laps I had no grip, I was sliding a lot and I saw Lando closing in."
Verstappen hops out of his Red Bull and into the arms of his mechanics. He knows just how close that was against Norris.
Hamilton took sixth ahead of Russell and Perez, as Stroll and Tsunoda round out the points places. Hulkenberg just misses out in 11th in front of Magnussen, Ricciardo, Ocon, Zhou, Gasly, Sargeant, Bottas and Alonso. Albon was the only retirement.
"****, I had to work for that! Anyway, we did a great race considering how the weekend started, I had to work hard for that," Verstappen says on the cooldown lap as lets out a huge sigh of a relief.
Leclerc completes the podium for Ferrari, 7.1s off Norris in the end, with Piastri fourth and Sainz fifth.
Norris weaves behind Verstappen looking to put the Dutch driver under pressure but he holds on and Verstappen wins the Imola GP! Norris misses out by 0.7s at the finish line. So close!
Final lap and Norris is 1s back on Verstappen! He just isn't close enough to make a move.
"Battery is almost empty," Verstappen says, as he's told how to solve the issue in his current engine mode. Norris is 1.1s back on the penultimate lap.
This generation of F1 cars and tyres typically struggle for performance when following within two seconds of another car. So Norris is in that critical gap and his tyres might be telling him so. Three laps to go and the gap is 1.3s.
Verstappen stems to bleed in lap time as Norris lets his McLaren step out of line. The gap is 1.8s.
Russell has set the fastest lap on his fresh mediums but he is unhappy with having lost a position to team-mate Hamilton.
Norris is told to push more coming out of Turn 9 and it is another short and sharp response over the team radio: "I'm pushing as hard as I can, mate. Thank you."
Leclerc hasn't been able to follow suit and is 5s off Norris in third, so the best the home fans can hope for is the final spot on the podium.
Zhou and Ocon will be placed under investigation for forcing a driver off the track. Ocon was the one pushed off.
Verstappen's afternoon is made harder by being held up while lapping Tsunoda. Not so friendly from the sister squad, as the gap comes down to 2.1s.
Norris is reeling in Verstappen! The gap is down to 2.3s with seven laps to go. Is this on?
After a rotten race, Albon has now retired to his garage.
Verstappen is given a friendly reminder by engineer Lambiase to avoid any further track limits otherwise he'll pick up a time penalty. That's because Norris is within 5s of the Red Bull driver.