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Verstappen levels Mercedes dig after lapping Hamilton

Verstappen levels Mercedes dig after lapping Hamilton

Verstappen levels Mercedes dig after lapping Hamilton

Verstappen levels Mercedes dig after lapping Hamilton

Max Verstappen believes it was no surprise he was able to lap F1 rival Lewis Hamilton at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Mercedes has "been slow all year".

The reigning world champion took his second victory of the season in commanding fashion at Imola and was able to inflict blue-flag pain on last year's championship protagonist due to Hamilton being held up behind the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

Mercedes has struggled for pace all season long but a series of events, stemming from red flags in qualifying through to a pit-lane collision with Esteban Ocon in the race, put Hamilton into a train he was unable to recover from, even once DRS was activated from lap 34.

Asked for his feelings on lapping Hamilton, Red Bull driver Verstappen said: "They have been slow all year so it is not really a surprise or [I don't feel] happy lapping Lewis compared to anyone else.

"It is what it is."

Verstappen insists no Red Bull clutch fixes

Verstappen took maximum points away from the first F1 sprint weekend of the year after winning both races at Imola and claiming the point for fastest lap, closing the gap at the top of the drivers' standings to 27 points.

Saturday's shortened event was much more difficult after a slow start off the line but after his issues were rectified with a lightning getaway on Sunday, Verstappen was asked if Red Bull had remedied potential problems.

"There were no fixes to the clutch, it was just we had a poor execution of procedures," insisted Verstappen.

"We did a better job [in the race]. There is still room for improvement.

"In the wet, it is a bit hit and miss. Last year I had an amazing start here but in the wet these things are a bit more difficult to nail."

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