Verstappen: ‘I Almost Crashed Into a Grandstand’ During Imola Win

Verstappen Reveals Near Crash in Emilia Romagna GP Victory

Max Verstappen surpasses Lewis Hamilton record by securing victory at  Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Max Verstappen attributed a lack of grip towards the end of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to a near collision with the grandstand.

As the race approached its final laps, Verstappen came under significant pressure from McLaren’s Lando Norris for the lead. The reigning world champion struggled with the Hard tyres during his second stint and faced the threat of a five-second penalty due to track limit violations.

Max Verstappen clings to victory at F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix -

Despite the challenges, Verstappen secured his 59th grand prix win, though not without difficulty.

“First of all, on the Mediums it was very good,” Verstappen said. “I didn’t expect that kind of pace after what we did so far in the weekend. We somehow kept the balance together, but as soon as I swapped to the Hard tyres, maybe not the first five to 10 laps, but after that I was like ‘I’m not sure I can bring this to the end’. The tyres just fell out of the operating window. It was just like driving on ice, very snappy. Turn 7, I almost ended up in the grandstand from my feeling at some point.”

Max Verstappen holds off Lando Norris to win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | TSN

Norris closed the gap to Verstappen to within a second on the final lap, finishing just seven-tenths behind the three-time world champion. Verstappen explained that he had to modify his racing lines to cope with Norris’ pressure and “survive” the final laps.

“It was really difficult, some really weird lines I had to take,” Verstappen reflected. “But those last 10 laps I was really trying to survive and then Lando picked up the pace. I could see him catch up, I was not sure if I could keep him behind but I was trying to do the best I could, pushing as hard as I could with the grip I had. Luckily [there were] just enough laps.”