Verstappen Holds Off Norris to Win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Extend F1 Lead

Formula One F1 - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - May 19, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Massimo Pinca
Formula One F1 - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - May 19, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Massimo Pinca
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Verstappen Holds Off Norris to Win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Extend F1 Lead

Formula One F1 - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - May 19, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Massimo Pinca
Formula One F1 - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - May 19, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

In the real world or the virtual world, Max Verstappen remains the driver to beat.
The defending Formula 1 champion held off a challenge from McLaren’s Lando Norris to win the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday and extend his standings lead, The Associated Press reported.
Verstappen doubled up this weekend by taking part in an online 24-hour race, driving stints for his team from a simulator set up in the Imola paddock. He won that, too, making his F1 victory his second of the day.
Verstappen started on pole position and stayed ahead of Norris at the start but was put under pressure by the McLaren driver again near the end. He held on to take his 59th career win by less than a second.
“Especially the last 10, 15 laps, I had no grip any more. I was really sliding a lot. I saw Lando closing in,” Verstappen said. “It’s very difficult when the tires are not working anymore and you have to go flat out, so I couldn’t afford to make too many mistakes. Luckily, we didn’t and super happy, of course, to win here today.”
On a weekend when F1 remembered Ayrton Senna, the three-time champion who died in a crash at Imola 30 years ago, Verstappen took his fifth win in seven Grand Prix races this year after having lost out to Norris in Miami two weeks ago.
Norris' second place Sunday underlined McLaren's credentials to be the closest challenger to Verstappen and Red Bull this season. “It hurts me to say it, but one or two more laps, I think I would have had him,” Norris said. “It would have been beautiful, but just not today.”
After waiting until his sixth F1 season for his first win, Norris found himself disappointed not to get back-to-back victories. “It’s still a surprise to say it’s frustrating not to win,” Norris said.
Charles Leclerc was third for Ferrari, the Italian team's first podium finish at Imola since 2006, ahead of his home race in Monaco next week.
It's never easy to overtake on the narrow Imola track, and risk-taking was further discouraged this year when asphalt run-off areas on key corners were replaced with gravel traps.
Leclerc closed in on Norris mid-way through the race but made a mistake and ran across the grass, losing time.
Oscar Piastri had qualified second for McLaren but was dropped to fifth because of a penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen in a Haas. He got ahead of Sainz at the pit stops and finished fourth, ahead of the Spanish driver.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his teammate George Russell were sixth and seventh after a difficult weekend for Mercedes.
Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez started 11th after a mistake in qualifying and finished eighth. His main impact on the race was when he briefly held up Norris and Leclerc after their pit stops, indirectly helping Verstappen.
Yuki Tsunoda was ninth for RB and Lance Stroll took the last point in 10th for Aston Martin.
With the victory, Verstappen opened up a 48-point standings lead over Leclerc, who moved above Perez into second. McLaren was off the pace at the start of the season but has improved rapidly since and Norris is fourth, 60 points behind Verstappen.



No Goals but Selfies for Ronaldo in Portugal's Chaotic 3-0 win over Türkiye at Euro 2024

The five-time world player of the year set up the third goal by Bruno Fernandes with an unselfish pass - The AP
The five-time world player of the year set up the third goal by Bruno Fernandes with an unselfish pass - The AP
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No Goals but Selfies for Ronaldo in Portugal's Chaotic 3-0 win over Türkiye at Euro 2024

The five-time world player of the year set up the third goal by Bruno Fernandes with an unselfish pass - The AP
The five-time world player of the year set up the third goal by Bruno Fernandes with an unselfish pass - The AP

There were no goals, one assist and no less than four selfie-pursuing field invaders for Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal's 3-0 win over Türkiye that secured a spot in the European Championship round of 16 on Saturday.

Ronaldo was the center of attention as always at Westfalenstadion but not how he might have expected.

The five-time world player of the year set up the third goal by Bruno Fernandes with an unselfish pass when he could easily have attempted a shot after being played clean through.

Then there was chaos as three fans got on the field at different times in the second half and attempted selfies with Ronaldo. He accepted the first but looked unhappy at the other two, The AP reported.

Another phone-waving supporter, wearing a Portugal jersey, got to Ronaldo moments after the final whistle and security had to hold back another person attempting to confront one of the most famous sports stars in the world as he walked off the field with his teammates.

Ronaldo might be more unhappy at failing to score against a Türkiye team that was its own worst enemy at times.

Not least in the 28th minute when, trailing 1-0 to Bernardo Silva’s strike seven minutes earlier, Türkiye center back Samet Akaydin delivered a back-pass that rolled to the side of his goalkeeper and straight into the net.

Portugal backed up its opening 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic and has qualified with a match to spare from Group F.