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Damon Hill declares Red Bull's Max Verstappen 'better than the rest'

In a gripping race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Max Verstappen showcased his talent, earning praise from 1996 world champion Damon Hill.

Despite Red Bull not performing at their usual dominance, Verstappen's skilful driving secured him a narrow victory over McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Red Bull team faced significant challenges throughout the weekend at Imola. Struggles in free practice were exemplified by Sergio Perez's crash during the third session. Yet, against these odds, Verstappen managed to clinch pole position, setting the stage for a thrilling race day.

From the start, Verstappen commanded the race, building a substantial lead. However, in the closing laps, Norris began to close the gap, turning the final moments into a nail-biting showdown. Demonstrating solid defensive driving, Verstappen held off Norris, finishing just seven-tenths of a second ahead.

Damon Hill, providing analysis on Sky Sports F1, emphasized the significance of Verstappen's win given the circumstances.

"For once, Red Bull did not have a dominant car at its disposal, and it was purely the driver who made the difference," Hill remarked. "This kind of victory gives the driver more satisfaction than a solo performance far ahead of the field."

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix arguably posed the toughest challenge for Red Bull this season. Their car, the RB20, struggled to match the pace of rivals, particularly McLaren.

Hill highlighted how Verstappen had to rely entirely on his driving prowess to secure the win. "Max knows exactly what to do," Hill continued. "He secured pole position as well as victory. Max is just better than the rest, isn't he? He had to tap into all his talent to win."

Norris's late-race surge added to the drama, showcasing his potential as a formidable competitor. This marked the second consecutive race where Verstappen and Norris finished in the top two spots, hinting at a budding rivalry.

Hill expressed his admiration for Norris's performance and speculated about the emerging competition between the two drivers. "I was also very pleased with Lando's performance," Hill said. "It seems that a healthy, sporting rivalry is developing between him and Verstappen."

As Formula 1 fans eagerly anticipate the next race, all eyes turn to the Monaco Grand Prix, the jewel of the F1 calendar. Scheduled for the weekend of May 24-26, the event promises another thrilling chapter in this season's championship battle. The iconic Circuit de Monaco will test drivers and teams alike, potentially shaking up the standings as the season progresses.

Verstappen's victory at Imola not only reaffirmed his status as one of the sport's top talents but also set the stage for an exciting showdown in Monaco.

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