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Verstappen wins Imola sprint, while Leclerc extends his F1 lead

As concerns continue with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team, Verstappen and Leclerc kept their foot down on championship progress.

Verstappen wins Imola sprint, while Leclerc extends his F1 lead
Mario Renzi - Formula 1Getty

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen won a Saturday sprint race to put his Red Bull on pole position for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Leclerc sprints on for Ferrari

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start alongside after finishing second and stretching his championship lead to 40 points over team mate Carlos Sainz, who went from 10th to fourth in the 100km race over 21 laps at Imola.

Lewis Hamilton spoke before the sprint race about the challenges that face his Mercedes team this season.

“It wasn’t a great session,” the seven-time world champion told Sky Sports. “Came here with optimism and everyone is working hard at the factory, but it is disappointing.

“I think we underperformed as a team today. There are things we should have done, but we didn’t. We will work as hard as we can to move up in the sprint race.

“We will just keep working. It is what it is. Each weekend is a rescue.”