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Other SportsFormula 1: Max Verstappen fends off late Lando Norris challenge to win...

Formula 1: Max Verstappen fends off late Lando Norris challenge to win Imola GP

Max Verstappen fended off a late surge from Lando Norris to win the Imola Grand Prix.

The Dutchman returned to winning ways having been upset by the Brit last time out in Miami, but he had enough in his Red Bull to get his fifth win in 2024.

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It looked like it was going to be a comfortable afternoon for Verstappen, who got away well and carved out a healthy gap to the rest of the pack.

McLaren’s Norris and Oscar Piastri were on the hunt for the world champion alongside Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, but there was no progress being made until the second half of the race.

With Norris and Verstappen switching onto the hard tyres, the McLaren driver had a clear advantage and closed the gap from seven seconds to less than two with five laps to go.

By the time both drivers crossed the line to start their final lap, Norris was within a second of his rival and looked poise to strike.

But with Imola being a hard track to overtake, Verstappen was able to use his experience and car to keep himself at arm’s length of the 24-year-old.

In the end, Norris had to settle for second, with Leclerc completing the podium in Italy.

Piastri and Sainz made up the top five, while Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both finished ahead of Sergio Perez, in what was a poor weekend for him.

Elsewhere, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll beat team-mate Fernando Alonso, finishing ninth, and RB driver Yuki Tsunoda picked up the final point in 10th.

Alex Albon was the only driver not to finish the race after picking up damage and having to retire.

Formula 1 heads to Monaco next for one of the most popular and iconic races of the season.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.
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