The action at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2021 got underway before the lights even went out in the form of an unprecedented downpour only effecting certain parts of the track. This threw all carefully planned strategies out the window and meant most drivers started on the green-striped intermediate tyres. Aston Martin had some surprise drama before the race start as well and both their cars needed parts of the breaks replacing in only 15 minutes. This time constraint meant the team was unable to complete the job on Vettel’s car and he had to start from the pitlane.
Once the five lights finally went out, Max Verstappen got an incredible start and leapfrogged Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton to take the lead of the race. The race was largely uneventful for a short while after that, bar a few spins and a close pit-stop battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. It was looking likely we might end up with a Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton battle in the last 20 laps of the race as the seven time world champion was only 5 seconds behind the Red Bull. However, on Lap 31, Hamilton locked up and beached his car at Tosa, only to rejoin P8. The pitstop that followed meant he was a lap down on the leader.
A massive accident quickly followed Hamilton’s spin and it saw Bottas and Russell came together at Tamburello. Both were unhurt, but certainly furious and blaming each other. In the moments after the accident, Russell marched over to Bottas’ car to let him know how he felt.
The red flag followed to allow marshals to clear the cars and debris and crucially it meant Hamilton could also unlap himself. The rolling restart saw Verstappen keep his lead, with Hamilton quickly making up ground from P8. A brilliant recovery followed, with the world champion up to fifth by Lap 43, fourth by Lap 50 and third by Lap 55. It then took Hamilton a few laps to muscle his way past Norris but he got the job done and took second place.
Victory was to be Verstappen’s, and by a margin over 20 seconds at the flag as the action behind did nothing to deter him. That left Hamilton second and Norris third thanks to a sensational drive from P7.
The full results are as follow:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||2:02:34.598||25|
|3||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||+23.702s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||+51.220s||8|
|7||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||+51.909s||6|
|8||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||+52.818s||4|
|9||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+64.773s||2|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||+65.704s||1|
|11||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||+66.561s||0|
|12||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||+67.151s||0|
|13||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||+73.184s||0|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+1 lap||0|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||DNF||0|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||+2 laps||0|
|17||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||+2 laps||0|
|NC||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||DNF||0|
|NC||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||DNF||0|