Ted Kravitz's horror tackle and Ferrari failure: Goin' up, goin' down at Imola '22


F1's new VAR system sees its first meaningful action and fans are promised even more of things they don't want

Sainz 2022

Snapshot of Cavallino calamity

It was supposed to be Ferrari’s glorious homecoming, but the Scuderia somehow contrived to throw it all in the kitty litter – several times.

It was delight for the Bulls instead, but there was plenty more agony and ecstasy throughout the field – flying grid walk tackles, a lawn mowing Haas and…even more sprint races!

Here’s what was going up and down at the 2022 Formula 1 Rolex Gran Premio Del Made in Italy something or other.


Going up


Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Imola 2022

Yuki: so fast you can barely see him

Red Bull

It appears as if Yuki Tsunoda is coming good on his F2 promise.

Eighth in Bahrain, and now a barnstorming drive at Imola to go one better – at his Italian AlphaTauri team’s home race to boot.


Russell-ing up some results

George Russell Mercedes 2022 Imola

Russell appears to be carrying Mercedes slightly at the moment


His spine might be fragmenting into several pieces from the intense porpoising, but Mr George Russell has rodeo-d the troublesome Merc W13 to fourth in the championship, not far off the two Red Bull drivers.

When the team finally do sort out F1’s equivalent to Trigger, then the Englishman could still be on course for a decent title finish come the end of the year.


Return of the Macca

Lando Norris McLaren Imola 2022

From last to the podium in four races


Woking assumed the Minardi mantle in Bahrain as they trailed at the back four races ago, but now seem to be flying high. A solid sprint race meant Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth respectively on the grid, with the former eventually taking another podium for the papaya team.

Drivers and team have insisted the upturn in form is circuit-related to some extent, but still: what a turnaround, and an example for Mercedes to follow?


Going down

Getting hammered

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2022 Imola

Hamilton and Mercedes struggling to see a way forward


On that subject, the pain appears to be real for the Hamilton-Mercedes axis. Even when the seven-time champion has an opportunity to right some wrongs this season, it doesn’t appear to work out.

During the race Hamilton was told Ricciardo had come in for slicks and that now could be a good time to follow – but elected not to. However team and driver then quickly realised their error and had to come in when the rest of the field did, missing the chance to get the jump.

It’s just all going wrong at the moment.


Are you not entertained?

Ross Brawn Formula 1

“Next year Ross, we want two – no wait, three! – Saudi sprint races.”

Grand Prix Photo

Yet another uninspiring sprint race peaked when Charles Leclerc’s mediums retired for the afternoon and Max Verstappen swept by.

Hardly the stuff that will live long in the Imola-memory bank – feel yourself shudder as Ross Brawn says “every” grand prix now wants a sprint race now.


Pointless parade

You wonder why they bother sometimes…



Distress Sainz 

Carlos Sainz 2022 Imola Ferrari Formula 1

Not how Sainz wanted to connect with the Tifosi

55 SAINZ Carlos (spa), Scuderia Ferrari F1-75, action during the Formula 1 Grand Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna 2022, 4th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, on the Imola Circuit, from April 22 to 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy - Photo Joao Filipe / DPPI

Newly-contracted Carlos Sainz just can’t catch a break. Crashes again in quali, then even when he’s playing it safe at the start of the race the Spaniard gets punted out by the equally hapless Ricciardo.

Tifosi then left in tears as Leclerc span off whilst chasing down Perez – disasterpiece.


Unvintage Schumacher

47 SCHUMACHER Mick (ger), Haas F1 Team VF-22 Ferrari, action during the Formula 1 Grand Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna 2022, 4th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, on the Imola Circuit, from April 22 to 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Just a quick lawn mow

Florent Gooden / DPPI

A shocker for Mick Schumacher in Imola. A real chance for debut points was on the cards as he started the race in tenth, but oversteering into Fernando Alonso at the start before later slaloming into Curva Gresini meant his weekend ultimately went nowhere.


Straight red

F1’s new ‘VAR’ system almost saw itself called into action after reports came in of a “horror tackle” by Sky Sport’s Ted Kravitz on our very own F1 contributor Chris Medland whilst he was trying to interview Kevin Magnussen.

We’ve all been there, it’s a scramble on the grid and the players have passion for the game – but sometimes things go too far. Awaiting more video evidence – seen them given.