The 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was far from a Formula 1 classic but it did feature plenty of visible evidence that the Imola circuit was pushing all 20 drivers to their limits.

The psychological impact of Lewis Hamilton’s 2024 British GP win That inevitably led to some starring drives as well as some performances that others would like to quickly forget.

Here’s our pick of the main winners and losers:


Wins in both the virtual and real-world for Verstappen this weekend. And he had to work properly hard for both.

“The [hard] tyres just fell out of the operating window and it was just like driving on ice,” he explained.

“It got really snappy and you can feel when the tyres are not gripping up anymore. Like at Turn 7, I almost ended up in the grandstand at some point.”

Verstappen drove around it brilliantly though, driving some “really weird” racing lines and never pushing beyond the limits of his not-completely-compliant RB20: “You can’t suddenly force half a second out of it when you don’t have the balance.”

He was left thankful for Red Bull’s (and McLaren’s) rear wing choices that protected him on the straights and will feel Imola was a proper win against the odds given he genuinely was “nowhere” on the long runs on Friday. – Josh Suttill


Like the RB19, the RB20 has been a car good enough not only for Perez to rack up silverware when he’s on the upper side of his performance range, but for him to sometimes get away with being on the lower side.

But it was not that car this weekend. Hence that Q2 exit. Hence an unremarkable opening stint with minimal progress. Hence a race made into a complete write-off by car damage from a couple of off-track excursions.

Verstappen’s pace drop-off at the end of his own hard stint made Perez’s race look slightly better – both just lost temperature.

But it’s also true that Verstappen’s drop-off showed just how valuable having a rear gunner running in second would’ve been in this race – and Perez was nowhere near providing that safety net. – Valentin Khorounzhiy


Yes McLaren and Lando Norris lost the battle but they have the best indication yet that they can win the war.

Norris proved Miami was no fluke with his all-out late-race charge that put far more pressure on Verstappen than the Red Bull driver was able to put on Norris late in Miami.

It’s by no means confirmation that McLaren is F1’s absolute second-fastest car, but it’s the second weekend in a row where it’s been toe-to-toe with Red Bull and that’s a remarkable turnaround from a so-so 2024 start. – JS


If Red Bull and McLaren are winners, you have to class Ferrari as a loser.

Yes it’s still well clear of Mercedes (which has far, far more work to do to catch up) but Ferrari had a sizeable upgrade and Charles Leclerc had some strong early-stint pace relative to Norris.

What Norris/Verstappen Imola fight means for F1: Our verdict

But it transpired that Norris was simply working hard to bring his tyres into the right window. Once he did that, Leclerc had no answer and had to settle for a distant third best.

Both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz complained that the team’s ERS deployment wasn’t up to scratch compared to Red Bull’s and McLaren’s.

Sainz in particular struggled with the balance of his Ferrari and appeared to be a step behind Leclerc all weekend long. – JS


Stroll’s two-point haul is par for the course for what is still probably (just about?) the fifth-fastest car in F1, and it owed a lot to the specific first stint-extending strategy he was on.

But he did his part, bringing home the best finish an Aston Martin driver could reasonably hope for – after a weekend in which he looked a solid match for Alonso throughout, then didn’t buckle when Alonso did.

Obviously, this needs to be the norm. – VK


Russell essentially sacrificed an intra-team victory so that Mercedes could get one extra point.

You get the sense Russell wasn’t totally on board with that sacrifice but he still followed the order.

“As a driver, you want to finish in the highest position possible, and all weekend I’ve been ahead of my team-mate,” Russell said after the race.

“I was ahead the whole race, comfortably. Then I sort of lose the position for the sake of it. We got the extra point.

“As I said, I’m not going to talk about it tonight. It’s P6, it’s not for a podium or a victory.”

As he says it’s only for sixth and seventh, but no racing driver is going to enjoy throwing an intra-team fight that they looked certain to win. – JS


This was the ideal response to Miami really. After driving so controversially there that McLaren wanted him banned for a race, then exiting Imola qualifying in Q1 because (ironically) a McLaren impeded him, Magnussen looked to be facing a difficult race fighting near the back while Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg fought for the minor points places.

But Hulkenberg gradually went backwards after a fast start, beaten to the top 10 by Perez’s underwhelming Red Bull, Stroll’s recovering Aston Martin and the hugely impressive (all weekend) Yuki Tsunoda.

Magnussen started way down in 18th but overcame both Saubers, both Alpines and overtook Daniel Ricciardo’s RB near the end, finishing just one place and 1.157 seconds behind Hulkenberg.

A very good Sunday performance from a guy who is very much driving for his F1 future. – Ben Anderson


Alonso’s Saturday morning error will be the takeaway from the weekend here, although he still should’ve had a shot at Q2.

But is it his uncharacteristic mistake that should worry him – or the fact that Aston’s development path doesn’t seem to be getting it done right now?

The car flirted with a race win in Monaco last year, but you would be ever-so-brave to bet on anything like that repeating in 2024, and the early verdict on Aston’s latest package has ranged from equivocating (Alonso) to underwhelmed (Stroll).

Let’s hope there are better cars coming during that soon-to-kick-in multi-year contract of Alonso’s. – VK


Ferrari might not have been the one to challenge Red Bull this Sunday but its team boss Fred Vasseur summed up an important point very well after the race.

“Good news for me, good news for F1, good news for the championship. You have three teams in seven seconds after 70 laps,” he said.

“It’s less than one tenth a lap. It was almost the same from the beginning of the weekend, and we’ll start from scratch next week in Monaco, with a different track layout, different corners.”

We potentially have three different teams capable of winning multiple F1 races in one season for the first time since 2019.

You no longer have to go into every weekend and Sunday with only a faint hope of an interesting fight for the race win. – JS


The good news for Albon and Williams – as he himself pointed out post-race, albeit straining to call it a real positive – is that its main rivals aren’t scoring too much, and that it wasn’t in a too-dissimilar position last year.

But the fact remains the upgraded, weight-shedding FW46 still didn’t particularly convince at Imola, even before the post-pitstop wheel drama fully torpedoed his grand prix.

RB’s recent rise spells a bit of trouble for Williams’s quest to put anything on the board here – and, fresh off signing a contract extension with Albon, Williams will need to show a lot more to silence those who were puzzled by Albon’s long-term commitment. – VK

ut really, if McLaren had made all the right calls this would almost certainly have been a 1-2 for the papaya cars.

It was a brilliant, vivid race with the classic intervention of the weather to test everyone’s mettle in both the cockpit and on the pitwall. Alternately, bright sunshine and sudden rain, the race began on a dry track with a moody cloud on its way.

A wet phase from around laps 17-21 wasn’t wet enough for inters and so was about surviving on the slicks and having the compliance and grip of the big-winged McLarens. This was the phase where Hamilton passed polesitter and initial leader Russell and where both were overtaken in turn by the flying Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Further back, there were a few intermediate gambles – notably Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and Sergio Perez’s pitlane-starting Red Bull – but that finished off their prospects as the track remained relatively dry.

t’s an awesome test of an F1 car. When Formula 1 drivers talk about their favourite corners, Silverstone often appears on the list. The circuit is a high-speed test of an F1 car’s aerodynamics, and the rapid changes of direction make it stand out.

When Formula 1 drivers talk about their favourite corners, Silverstone often appears on the list. The circuit is a high-speed test of an F1 car’s aerodynamics, and the rapid changes of direction make it stand out.

The sequence of corners through Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel – leading on to the Hangar Straight before heading down to Stowe – just display the awesome performance that is possible from an F1 car as the weight transfers and the car grips at well over 150mph.

Copse is the old Turn 1 and remains hugely impressive as drivers take it flat out, while the same is now true of Abbey – the new Turn 1 – that has seen mistakes made when the DRS hasn’t been closed in time for the turn-in point.

WATCH: 12 sizzling Silverstone moments

There are still some big stops and the wide track provides overtaking opportunities too, so it’s no surprise the drivers love racing around this iconic circuit.

2. The venue is steeped in history

Not only is Silverstone a thrilling circuit from a driving point of view, it is also one that boasts a rich history within Formula 1.

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Senna’s brilliance at Silverstone, 1993 British Grand Prix

The first Formula 1 World Championship race was held at Silverstone back in 1950, and since then it has gone on to host the British Grand Prix on 52 occasions, doing so continuously since 1987.

The track has evolved a lot in that time, but has been the location for some iconic moments in its various guises. Keke Rosberg’s pole position lap in 1985 saw him set the fastest qualifying lap in F1 history at the time as he averaged over 160mph, while two years later when the race returned it saw an iconic moment as Nigel Mansell hunted down and overtook team mate Nelson Piquet for the win.

Then there is the enduring image of Mansell picking up Ayrton Senna after winning at home again in 1991, giving the legendary Brazilian a lift back to the pits after the McLaren had run out of fuel.

3. Incredible fans

And a lot of those special moments have played out in front of huge crowds, with Silverstone attracting one of the biggest of the season.

As a circuit on an old airfield, Silverstone has the space for numerous big grandstands and that has led to recent attendance figures exceeding 140,000 on race day and reaching nearly 350,000 over the whole weekend.

1992 Mansell

Nigel Mansell wins the 1992 British Grand Prix, sparking a track invasion

And passionate fans they are too. So many teams are represented when you look at the packed stands, and they often flood the track immediately after the race to celebrate. In fact, some of Mansell’s victories referenced earlier led to early track invasions, making it difficult for some drivers to complete the race and return to the pits…

Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed crowd-surfing in front of large home support in recent years, as fans turn out in massive numbers come rain or shine.

4. The British weather

OK, saying we “love” this about going racing at Silverstone might be a bit of a stretch, but the good old British weather can make for some exciting races.

We mentioned the fans having to put up with rain or shine, because there is no guaranteeing good weather during July in the UK. In fact, there’s no guaranteeing good weather at any point.

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The last three years are a prime example, with 2018 seeing a hot and dry race, the year before being cloudy and cooler, and 2016 being hit by rain just ahead of the start that led to the race starting behind the Safety Car. On that occasion, all three types of tyre were used as wets were switched for intermediates and then slicks as no more rain fell.

Hamilton won on two of those occasions – in 2016 and 2017 – to become the most successful driver at Silverstone with five British Grand Prix victories, but his first was arguably more memorable as he dominated in extremely wet conditions and after starting from fourth on the grid won by more than a minute over Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello, lapping everyone up to Kimi Raikkonen in fourth for Ferrari.

5. It’s the home race for many

Hamilton’s record is a hugely popular one at Silverstone as his home race, but it’s also the home race for a number of the teams as well.

Of the 10 Formula 1 teams, seven have their headquarters in England, while Toro Rosso also make use of a windtunnel and design facility in Bicester, less than 15 miles away from Silverstone.

While Mercedes, Red Bull, Haas, Williams, Renault and McLaren are all a relatively short drive from the British GP – McLaren being the furthest at around 70 miles – the closest by far are Racing Point, based just over the road from Silverstone’s main gates.


That means plenty of team members who rarely get the opportunity to attend races often get to visit during the weekend, while family and friends are also in attendance.

This year, the history of some of those teams will be celebrated at Silverstone, with the iconic fairytale championship-winning Brawn BGP001 running on Thursday, 10 years after the team now known as Mercedes tasted their shock success, while Williams will celebrate Sir Frank Williams’ 50th year as a Formula 1 Team Principal.