Max Verstappen took two victories in two hours

Max Verstappen took two victories in two hours

Max Verstappen (26 years old) won the Formula 1 race at the Imola circuit after a duel with Lando Norris (24). Just minutes before the start, the world champion also won a prestigious virtual race.

Max Verstappen celebrates victory. Photograph: Andrej Isakovic/AFP/NTB

– There were only ten minutes left until the start of Formula 1 when our victory was clear, Verstappen's Norwegian sim racing colleague, Ole Steinbraten, told VG.

It was the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where Verstappen's team won – and the Formula 1 world champion was one of the drivers. Just five hours before the start of Formula 1, Verstappen himself was behind the wheel of the Nürburgring race. On Saturday evening, he drove after taking the best pole position at Imola. Steinbråten drove the sister car, which finished third.

Red Bull had a great opening weekend – but it ended with a victory for Verstappen on Sunday afternoon.

– They struggled on Friday, then there was a driving simulator in Milton Keynes on Saturday night. Then it was better on Saturday, and even better on Sunday, says Atle Gullbrandsen on the Viaplay broadcast.

Max Verstappen got the best grid ahead of Lando Norris after his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri was penalized and started fifth, despite being the second best driver in qualifying. Ferrari cars started with three and four.

This remained until the warehouse stopped.

Also after changing the wheel, Verstappen was ahead of Norris with Charles Leclerc in third.

For a while, the most interesting thing seemed to be whether Leclerc would catch Norris for second place. Ferrari fans in the stands were hoping for the best, but Monaco had no chance in the end and had to settle for third place. But for Italian fans, it was still an improvement as he was the first Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher in 2006 to reach the podium at the legendary Italian race track.

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On the other hand, Lando Norris approached Verstappen. After 57 of the 63 laps, there were less than two seconds between them. Norris won in Miami last time out and saw there was an opportunity to catch up with the Dutchman. But it's not close enough to use DRS. Verstappen thus maintained the lead until the end and his 59th grand prix win and 104th podium.

– Although Formula 1 is a hardware sport, this says a lot about Verstappen's level, says Viaplay expert Stein Petersen.

Lando Norris wanted two more rounds. He doesn't get it, but it could turn out to be an exciting summer in Formula 1.

“One or two more rounds, I think I would have gotten him,” Norris says in the arena interview.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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