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Verstappen's close PENALTY call and Chandhok's strange interview - FIVE things you may have missed at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Verstappen's close PENALTY call and Chandhok's strange interview - FIVE things you may have missed at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Verstappen's close PENALTY call and Chandhok's strange interview - FIVE things you may have missed at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Verstappen's close PENALTY call and Chandhok's strange interview - FIVE things you may have missed at the Emilia-Romagna GP

Max Verstappen's hold on the 2024 world championship has tightened following a fifth win in the first seven races to keep a rampant Lando Norris at bay.

McLaren and Norris came 0.7 seconds away from claiming their second consecutive victory, but it wasn't to be as Verstappen bounced back with a stunning, hard-fought win.

READ MORE: Norris and Verstappen share DRAMATIC fight for win

Charles Leclerc rounded off the podium in what was, for the first 55 laps at least, a pretty uneventful race.

However, there were some aspects that may have been missed by viewers, which could have had a big impact on the end result.

Here at GPFans, we were keeping an eye on the best moments that might not have got the full credit they deserve.

Max Verstappen won the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

1. Verstappen close to a five-second penalty

Verstappen's winning margin of just 0.7 seconds meant that, during Norris' late charge, the Brit was only within DRS range on the very final lap, largely allowing Verstappen to keep Norris well at bay.

However, some early misdemeanours from the Dutchman might have made the final few laps a little bit more uncomfortable than they otherwise could have been.

That's because Verstappen had racked up three track limits infringements, and had been given a black-and-white flag, meaning that one more infringement, and the champion would have been hit with a five-second penalty.

During Norris' charge for the victory, the Dutchman was warned by engineer Gianpiero Lambiase about his over-the-edge driving, potentially resulting in a more cautious Verstappen in the latter stages of the race.

2. Eddie Irvine gives strange interview

Martin Brundle's grid walk normally provides some awkward and strange moments involving high-profile celebrities during race weekends.

However, Brundle was not present during the Emilia-Romagna GP, and instead it was another Sky Sports pundit who made the headlines.

Karun Chandhok found former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine on the Imola grid, and asked the Northern Irishman what it was like to be a Ferrari driver in Italy with the Tifosi cheering you on.

However, a rather spaced out Irvine gave an unusual response, claiming that it wasn't him that achieved those heights back in the 90s and early 2000s as he is now 'a different person'.

Eddie Irvine drove with Ferrari

3. Albon helps team-mate in wholesome moment

Alex Albon's miserable weekend in Imola got even worse on Sunday during the race, when a pit stop mistake led to his tyre not being properly fitted by the Williams pit crew, and a 10-second time penalty for what was judged to be an unsafe error.

That meant that the Thai-born driver found himself right at the back of the grid, and eventually retired the car when over one lap down on his competitors.

However, the 28-year-old, who has recently signed a long-term contract with his Williams team, gave young team-mate Logan Sargeant some tips on how to tackle the Imola track over the radio during the race.

"I don't know if it helps Logan, but just run at a really low BMIG and then just use a rotation to go up to seven," he said.

"But the lower the BMIG, the better. Run it at 58%. If he's struggling with understeer in turn seven, go wide, it's better."

4. Verstappen calls potential future team-mate 'stupid'

Sergio Perez's performance in Imola did nothing to help his chances of getting a new contract once this current season is over with.

Verstappen's team-mate has not won a race since April 2023, and could only finish eighth while the world champion cruised to victory.

One man who may harbour hopes of becoming Verstappen's team-mate from 2025 is RB star Yuki Tsunoda, who once again produced a strong performance to finish 10th.

However, while Verstappen was trying to cover off the late charge from Norris, he needed to lap Tsunoda as quickly as possible, with the Japanese star clearly not trying his upmost to get out of the way.

This resulted in Verstappen calling Tsunoda 'stupid' over the team radio.

READ MORE: FIA announce PUNISHMENT for Red Bull F1 star

5. RB star's stunning overtake

In more positive news for Tsunoda, his point-scoring finish may not have been possible had it not have been for his stunning qualifying display and brilliant race craft.

That included an overtake on Williams driver Sargeant at a very difficult part of the track to pass other cars in, the Villeneuve chicane.

It brought Tsunoda up into 13th place, and he was able to set about hunting down the cars ahead of him following the phenomenal move.

READ MORE: FIA hit F1 team with EXTREMELY harsh penalty at Imola

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