Bottas/Russell crash, Leclerc’s mistake… The highlights of the last races at Imola

Before returning to the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix (May 17-19), focus on the notable moments of each edition since its return to the calendar in 2020.

Published on 14/05/2024 à 16:45

Yannis Duval

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Bottas/Russell crash, Leclerc’s mistake… The highlights of the last races at Imola


2020 – Verstappen punctures, a crazy end to the race

As the world gradually begins to return to its usual routine after a very long period of confinement due to COVID, the Formula 1 goes to the Enzo and Dino circuit Ferrari, for the first time since 2006. It is the return to the calendar of a track which forged the legend of F1, which inevitably delights fans from the very beginning.

As we slowly move towards a double Mercedes (unsurprisingly), the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will take a completely different turn on the 51st lap. Max Verstappen, then 2nd, will have to retire following a sudden puncture of his right rear tire. Safety Car, everyone comes together… or almost.

Under safety car regime, George Russell, then driver at Williams, will lose his car at the entrance to Acque Minerali. An exit from the track which obviously recalls that of Romain Grosjean in Baku, two years earlier…

When you restart, everything speeds up. Daniil Kvyat, who was then 7th with his Alpha Tauri, will have a crazy end to the race. The Russian pilot gets rid of Sergio Perez and Alex Albon even before the first turn. At the same time, the Thai will spin at the exit of turn 6. The former Red Bull will continue its crazy comeback but will however be stopped at the foot of the podium. Kvyat, who started 8th, finally finished 4th, less than a second from the podium. A 3rd place which will also be occupied by Daniel Ricciardo. At the time, the Australian scored his second podium with Renault.

Lewis Ricciardo

Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo share a “Shoey”. ©DPPI

2021 – Russell/Bottas accident

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix finds itself, compared to the year before, at the very start of the season (second round). This edition will be marked by a fairly impressive racing event. In the 32nd round, George Russell and Valtteri Bottas are fighting for the last points in the top 10. A chance for one and almost an admission of weakness for being one.

The Finnish driver, who is most likely living his last season at Mercedes, is about to be overtaken by a Williams, but especially by the one who should take his seat in 2022. The picture is quite gloomy for Bottas but it will become so. even more so with a terrible collision. The two drivers will collide on the straight, just before Variante Tamburello. Neither of them will admit their faults, Georges Russell will say he was beaten down by Valtteri Bottas, while the latter will blame the very aggressive and somewhat optimistic driving of the Briton.

2022 – Leclerc’s blunder

Before the race weekend in Imola, Charles Leclerc leads the championship with 46 units ahead of Max Verstappen. However, on the grounds of Scuderia Ferrari, the Monegasque will make a big mistake which will cost him dearly.

At the end of the race, Leclerc was third, quite far from the Red Bulls who were significantly more efficient this weekend. He will take a daring gamble by returning to the pits to put on soft tires. The idea is to come back like an arrow on Sergio Perez and overtake him in the last races. To do this, it was necessary to attack at 200% to catch up.

Too greedy, Charles Leclerc will finally make a mistake on the 53rd lap by caressing the wall at turns 14 and 15. Damaged wing, the native of Monte-Carlo has to stop again. In the end, the #16 Ferrari crossed the finish line in 6th place. What should be 15 points easily in the pocket turns into 8 in the snatch.

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