Honda takes its first F1 victory in 2021 with Verstappen’s win in Imola

The Dutchman finished 22 seconds ahead of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton
by Leandre Grecia | Apr 19, 2021
PHOTO: Honda Racing F1
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After coming very, very close to taking the Formula 1 season opener, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has now officially won the second race of the season, giving Honda its first victory for 2021.

Verstappen started third on the rainy Sunday in Imola behind teammate Sergio Perez. The Dutchman jumped to first, taking the lead from Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton. The reigning world champion then retook the lead, but he spun out and dropped to eighth.

Hamilton made a good recovery all the way back to second, eventually finishing a significant 22sec behind Verstappen. McLaren’s Lando Norris finished in third, just under 3sec behind Hamilton. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The race in Imola also had its fair share of drama. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell got tangled up at Tamburello. Fortunately, both drivers emerged from the crash unhurt. 

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For the full results of the Emilia Romagna GP, check out the table below:

Position

Number

Driver

Laps

Time/Retired

Points

1 33 Verstappen 63 2:02:35 25
2 44 Hamilton 63

+22.000sec

19
3 4 Norris 63

+23.702sec

15
4 16 Leclerc 63 +25.579sec 12
5 55 Sainz 63 +27.036sec 10
6 3 Ricciardo 63 +51.220sec 8
7 10 Gasly 63 +52.818sec 6
8 18 Stroll 63 +56.909sec 4
9 31 Ocon 63 +65.704sec 2
10 14 Alonso 63 +66.561sec 1
11 11 Perez 63 +67.151sec 0
12 22 Tsunoda 63 +73.184sec 0
13 7 Räikkönen 63 +94.773sec 0
14 99 Giovinazzi 62 +1 lap 0
15 5 Vettel 61 DNF 0
16 47 Schumacher 61 +2 laps 0
17 9 Mazepin 61 +2 laps 0
NC 77 Bottas 30 DNF 0
NC 63 Russell 30 DNF 0
NC 6 Latifi 0 DNF 0

“A great team performance from Red Bull Racing, Honda, and Max Verstappen has produced our first win of the season. Conditions were very tricky because of the rain that began before the start and there were many accidents and then even a Red Flag stoppage,” said Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe. “However, the team coped with it well and this result is a great reward for our race team and also for all our staff in Sakura and Milton Keynes and of course, everyone at Red Bull Racing.”

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“I am of course very happy with this win for everyone in the team and Honda. I think the key was of course the start as we had a great launch. I surprised myself as it was always hard to get off the line in the wet last year but we worked hard to try and improve that and it worked. The conditions were challenging out there, especially in the beginning and it was very hard to stay on track but we stayed out of trouble,” said Verstappen. “I wouldn't call it a dominant performance as Lewis was following me quite well and for him to come back to second after his incident means they have a lot of pace in that car. We won because we made the right calls with tires at the right time and the team managed everything well in these conditions.”

Next up for this season is the Portuguese Grand Prix ,happening on May 2, and the Spanish Grand Prix the week after.

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PHOTO: Honda Racing F1
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