It wasn’t the most exciting return to Imola for Formula 1 after 14 years away, with the highest level of elation coming from the Mercedes team after securing their seventh consecutive constructors championship. 

Here’s our winners & losers from the Emilia Romagna GP...

Winner: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes 

They’ve only gone and done it, without a doubt Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are our biggest winners at Imola. 

Despite initially losing a place at the start to Max Verstappen and dropping to third, Hamilton would extend his opening stint and capitalise on a fortunately timed Virtual Safety Car period to snatch the lead. 

From then on Hamilton controlled the race, with luck on his side considering his teammate Bottas had picked up significant floor damage on the second lap, while Verstappen crashed out of the race. 

As F1 heads to Turkey next, it looks even more likely that Lewis Hamilton will be celebrating another momentous feat with the coronation of his seventh world title. 

Loser: Alex Albon

Alex Albon may have finally closed the door on his Red Bull career with his performance across the weekend in Imola. 

The Thai racer was once again well off the pace of his teammate in qualifying and didn’t have the best start off the line, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc sweeping past on the run to the first major braking zone at Tamburello. 

Albon’s progress was hampered when he became stuck in a ‘Kimi train’ amid frantic midfield battle for the points. 

Albon’s day was compounded when he dropped it all by himself having just conceded another position to Sergio Perez, a possible contender to take his seat at Red Bull for next year. 

On another day, Albon could have been on course for a podium finish, but instead, he was ultimately left spinning to the back of the field marking his latest disaster. 

Winner: Renault

‘Holy mac and cheese balls’ were the words that came out of Daniel Ricciardo’s mouth after scoring his second podium finish in three races with a brilliant third place behind the dominant Mercedes duo.

The Australian made a blinding getaway and was even considering a move on the slow-starting Hamilton into Turn 1 as he shuffled his way up to fourth. 

Ricciardo took advantage of the late drama involving Verstappen and George Russell under the Safety Car to inherit third, which he held to the flag after fending off the late-charging Daniil Kvyat

Despite an unfortunate retirement for Esteban Ocon, Ricciardo’s 15-point haul helped Renault move up to third place in the constructors’ championship with four races remaining. 

Loser: George Russell

Absolute heartbreak for poor George Russell.

A first-ever points finish was on the cards for the Williams driver until he crashed under Safety Car conditions with a rare but costly error while attempting to warm up his tyres for the restart.

Russell called the error “the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my career” and was left bitterly disappointed as he had his own ‘Mika Hakkinen moment’ sitting by the side of the track with his head hung low.

A point would have been a deserved reward for his starring efforts in qualifying and the race prior to his mistake, but that elusive points finish still awaits Russell...

Winner: Daniil Kvyat

As a man without a certain future in Formula 1 next season, Daniil Kvyat was fast and focused and credited some “brave racing” for helping him rise from eighth on the grid and finish a brilliant fourth - his best result of the season.

Kvyat took advantage of AlphaTauri’s incredible pace at Imola to seal the position thanks to a stunning restart following the late Safety Car period.

A sublime around-the-outside pass on Leclerc was the highlight as the Russian battled through to P4 and only just missed out on a podium. 

Unfortunately, it is a result that is unlikely to save Kvyat’s F1 future.

Loser: Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly’s 2020 climb to redemption was burning with his spectacular fourth place finish in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna GP, equalling his best-ever qualifying position scored during his time at Red Bull. 

However, his luck would turn come race day. 

In the pre-race build-up it became known that Honda suspected a potential issue with Gasly’s engine, leading to mechanics removing pieces of his bodywork to inspect, but they were unable to find the root issue. 

Gasly had an impeccable start off the line and found himself almost alongside Hamilton on the run to Turn 2 before Hamilton closed the door and forced the Frenchman to back off and subsequently fall to fifth as Ricciardo slid past. 

AlphaTauri then encountered a “terminal situation on the car”, forcing Gasly to retire early on. 

Winner: Alfa Romeo 

An unexpected double points finish helped Alfa Romeo strengthen its grasp on eighth place in the constructors’ championship at Imola. 

A mammoth opening stint helped Kimi Raikkonen rise up the order, as both he and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi capitalised on the late chaos to bring home some much needed points for the Swiss outfit.

When the likes of Russell, Ocon, Verstappen and Gasly fell, Alfa Romeo ensured it was there to pick up the scraps to record its best result of the season so far. 

Who was your driver of the day? Who do you think was the biggest winner & loser from today’s race? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like & subscribe to Crash F1 for more Formula 1 content.