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Max Verstappen Overtakes Charles Leclerc Late on to Win Sprint at Imola

Max Verstappen overtook Formula One chief Charles Leclerc on the penultimate lap to win the dash race on the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday and reignite his season.

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Verstappen began the dash in pole place after ending first in Friday’s qualifying, however the Red Bull driver was overtaken by Leclerc’s Ferrari as quickly because the lights went out, a lot to the delight of the “tifosi.”

But Verstappen doggedly pursued Leclerc and swept across the exterior of the Ferrari into Tamburello earlier than storming away to safe victory and the highest spot on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

He completed 2.975 seconds forward of Leclerc and 4.721 forward of Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez, and trimmed the hole within the standings by one level.

After retiring from two of the three races this season, Verstappen is 45 factors behind Leclerc.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., accomplished the second row on Sunday, simply forward of McLaren duo Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher rounded out the highest 10 of the grid.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will begin within the 14th place.

Imola returned to the F1 calendar in 2020 after a 14-year absence, however that is the primary time in three editions that followers have been allowed in due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 120,000 tickets have been offered for the weekend.

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