Max Verstappen and Red Bull

The weekend could not have gone any more perfectly for Verstappen and Red Bull, as the Dutchman scored maximum available points across the sprint and grand prix to re-ignite his bid to defend his world title. 

Verstappen fought back from a poor start in the sprint to overtake Charles Leclerc late on to make a small inroad on his championship lead, before enjoying a big points swing on Sunday that leaves him just 27 points behind following the Ferrari driver’s first major error of the year. 

It has brought Verstappen right back into play with 19 races remaining and serves of a reminder of how quickly things can turnaround. What’s more, Red Bull fully capitalised on Ferrari’s disastrous home race by securing its first 1-2 since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix to cap off its best weekend of the season. 

Lando Norris 

Lando Norris turned in one of the performances of the weekend on his way to securing third place and his second straight podium finish in Imola. 

A brilliant start in Sunday’s grand prix saw Norris move himself up from fifth on the grid and into third, before the recovering Leclerc found a way through after only a handful of laps. 

It looked as though Norris was destined to finish fourth - which still would have been a great result for the improving McLaren - but the Briton inherited P3 when Leclerc dropped down the order with his late spin. 

The result went beyond McLaren’s expectations and has lifted Norris up to sixth place in the championship. Norris continues to hold the momentum at McLaren, having once again outperformed teammate Daniel Ricciardo

George Russell 

For the third successive race, George Russell finished as the lead Mercedes driver, well beyond teammate and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton

A superb start - helped by placing his car in the right place to avoid the first chicane shenanigans - rocketed Russell into sixth place on the opening lap in Imola, and the Briton went on to finish a brilliant fourth.

Russell fended off Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas as he once again maximised his result, despite suffering from chest and back pain as a result of the W13’s severe porpoising. He is now the only driver to have finished inside the top five at every race so far this season. 

Even if he insists on downplaying it, there is no doubt that Russell has fared better than Hamilton in 2022. He is now 21 points ahead of his Mercedes teammate. 

Yuki Tsunoda 

Yuki Tsunoda turned in a starring display at Imola as he headed AlphaTauri’s charge and outperformed teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying, the sprint and the grand prix itself. 

Tsunoda drove smartly to work his way up from 16th on the grid to 12th in the sprint, and then charge to seventh on Sunday as one of the few drivers to make some overtakes. 

It was a great performance from Tsunoda to rack up AlphaTauri’s only points of the weekend. The Japanese driver is starting to find some consistency and make some big strides forward in his development. 

Aston Martin 

After three point-less races, Aston Martin finally got off the mark in Italy, meaning that all 10 teams have now scored points this season. 

Sebastian Vettel drove a strong race to take eighth, while Lance Stroll showed some great defensive nouse to keep Hamilton behind him for a stint on his way to claiming the final point on offer in 10th. 

After the race, Vettel described his P8 as “like a victory” given how uncompetitive Aston Martin’s AMR22 F1 car is. 

A rare moment of joy for the struggling Silverstone squad and a result that lifts the team off the bottom of the constructors’ championship and above Williams.



Typically, after appearing in complete control of the championship after winning two of the opening three races, Ferrari’s worst weekend of the season came at its home race.

Ferrari appeared to be behind its main rival Red Bull at Imola but after a promising sprint race, the team’s weekend ended in disastrous fashion on Sunday. 

Carlos Sainz made an early exit via the gravel bed for the second consecutive race before Leclerc fluffed his lines in a major way by throwing away a nailed on third place in his attempts to take second from Sergio Perez

A nightmare weekend for the Scuderia has enabled Red Bull to slash Ferrari’s advantage in the championship to just 11 points.

Lewis Hamilton 

Hamilton said it was a “weekend to forgot” after he struggled to a dire 13th place at Imola, while his teammate Russell managed fourth. 

Russell appeared to have the edge over Hamilton all weekend, leaving the seven-time world champion feeling the need to apologise to his team for not getting into the points with a car that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described as “undriveable”. 

Hamilton was frustrated to have spent the entire race stuck in a DRS train behind Gasly’s AlphaTauri, though in his defence the race featured minimal overtaking. To add insult to injury, Hamilton was lapped by race winner Verstappen. 

At the end of another bleak weekend, Hamilton reiterated he is no longer fighting for the drivers’ title this year. 

Mick Schumacher 

An early spin at the Tamburello chicane ended Mick Schumacher’s hopes of scoring his first points in F1 as he dropped to the rear of the field and endured a long and difficult race. 

Schumacher impressed on his way to finishing 10th in the sprint but faltered when it mattered most. The German had a second spin as he attempted to pass Nicholas Latifi’s Williams, compounding a difficult race as he ultimately finished second last in 17th.

Teammate Kevin Magnussen once again demonstrated Haas has a competitive car as he scored yet more points in ninth, leaving Schumacher on the back foot and with work to do.

Daniel Ricciardo 

Ricciardo’s race started with promise with a good getaway but it effectively ended at the first chicane when he collided with Sainz’s Ferrari. 

The incident was deemed a racing incident - with the tricky conditions taken into account - but from there Ricciardo’s afternoon was ruined. Despite pitting first for slicks, the gamble did not pay off when Ricciardo became stuck in a DRS train and was unable to progress through the field. 

After visiting the pits three times, the Australian ultimately finished last of the classified runners in 18th.

Fernando Alonso

Another luckless race for Fernando Alonso, who retired early from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after picking up contact in first-lap contact with Schumacher’s Haas. 

Alonso tumbled down the order before the sidepod on his Alpine gave way in dramatic style, forcing him into his second DNF of the season, leaving him stuck on two points. 

It was a bad day all round for Alpine, with Esteban Ocon also failing to score before he was hit with a penalty for an unsafe pit release into the path of Hamilton’s Mercedes that dropped him from 11th to 14th in the final results.