Interesting in Imola: Key Takeaways from the 2024 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix


Last week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was certainly a blast…for the last 10 laps. It was painfully boring for the majority of the race until 1-time race winner Lando Norris decided to hunt down three-time world champion Max Verstappen, narrowly losing out from earning a second successive win by less than eight-tenths of a second. But, the longest-named grand prix of the 2024 Formula One season offered us a lot more in terms of discussions. So, here are some key takeaways from the Formula 1 MSC Cruises Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna 2024 at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Is Norris the One to Push it to the Max?

After coming out victorious at the Miami Grand Prix, it is safe to say that Lando Norris is now driving at his best. The Briton was only 0.725 second away from Verstappen at the chequered flag in what could have been his second career win. Still, a P2 meant that Norris now has 17 career podiums, as many as world champions Alberto Ascari and Keke Rosberg. With McLaren seemingly getting stronger race by race, it would not be foolish to not forecast another Norris win before the end of the season. Eighteen points also boost Norris up to P4 in the World Drivers’ Championship with 101 points, six away from Sergio Perez and twelve away from Charles Leclerc in P3.

The battle between Verstappen and Norris is reminiscent of the legendary duel between Michael Schumacher and the ‘eternal rookie’ Fernando Alonso back in 2005. It will be interesting to see whether Norris’ career from this moment on reflect that of Schumacher, Alonso, or something else.

Honourable Mention: Leclerc’s Consistent Run Continues with Another Podium

Charles Leclerc might not be the winningest Ferrari driver these past two seasons, but this year, he is certainly outperforming his departing teammate Carlos Sainz. From the first seven rounds of the 2024 Formula One season, the Monagasque has not finished lower than fourth and gained four podiums (One P2, three P3) as well as two fastest laps. This leaves him with 113 points, only forty-eight points away from Max Verstappen. It was the first time Leclerc inherited the vice-champion spot since the conclusion of the 2022 season.


With the next race in Monaco, Leclerc’s storming qualifying pace and Ferrari’s upgraded strength, it will be an interesting qualifying session. It is safe to assume that no Formula One fans would wish against a Leclerc pole and win in his home country. If you want to gamble your fortunes for a Formula One race, there is no more fitting week than the Monaco GP. Please feel free to check out 10 online betting websites with no agents at this link for the best chance to cash out big time on Sunday.

Perez’ Struggles Might be Costly for Red Bull

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix marked the beginning of this year’s European run of races, and Sergio Perez was quick to remind us of his struggles as soon as we return to the continent. The Mexican failed to get out of Q2, finishing 11th behind both VISA CashApp Racing Bulls cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda. In the main race, Perez acted more like a moving chicane and was overtaken by Norris, Piastri, Sainz, Russell and Hamilton to finish a lowly P8. He therefore gained only four points and lost P2 in the World Drivers’ Championship to Charles Leclerc.

The RB19 from the 2023 season somewhat eased the pressure off of Perez’ back due to the fact that the car was miles ahead of the rest. However, the field has closed up, with McLaren, Ferrari, or even Mercedes now outpacing the second RB20. If this continues, it is safe to guarantee that the so-called Mexican Minister of Defense will not be able to defend his mishaps and lose his seat for 2025, possibly making way for Carlos Sainz Jr.

Ferrari is now only 56 points away from the reigning Constructors’ Champion, and further mistakes from Perez will likely cost Red Bull at least one championship. Sainz, Tsunoda and Lawson have to now be considered seriously as potential replacements.

Support Case for Tsunoda: The Japanese had yet Another Impressive Show of Form

Despite VISA CashApp Racing Bulls’ struggle in race trim, Tsunoda managed to fend off Nico Hulkenberg to earn one more point from this weekend, bringing his seasonal tally to 15 points, comfortably securing a top-ten rank in the World Drivers’ Championship. It is clearly evident now that the Japanese is outperforming 8-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo, and has to be seriously considered a proper candidate for the 2025 seat.




Still, observers have pointed out that Red Bull’s transition of engine partnership from Hondo to Ford in 2026 goes against Tsunoda’s case, who allegedly receives strong backing from Honda. It would then be Aston Martin who had snatched the Japanese manufacturer away from Red Bull in 2026 that might be available to Tsunoda. Hopefully, Lance Stroll will have been made redundant long before then.

Other Takeaways Worthy of Discussion

  • Logan Sargeant finished 17th and is surely now being replaced by Williams. He is still ranked 21st in a 20-driver championship after seven races. His time has to be up, and Williams has to decide soon.
  • One of the candidates for that Williams seat is non other than Valtteri Bottas who was seen leaving the team’s motorhome. Apparently, the Finn met with James Vowles, his former race engineer at Mercedes. Bottas is no stranger to the Grove team; the Finn drove for Williams from 2013 to 2016, helping them reached P3 in the early days of the V6 turbo-hybrid era.
  • Fernando Alonso admitted that he used the Grand Prix as a testing session as his car failed to perform, earning him the worst finish in his 23-year career.
  • Daniel Ricciardo lost out big time after starting out in the top nine, finishing thirteenth and lost out more ground to teammate Tsunoda.