Lewis Hamilton responds to crazy fan reaction after Red Bull overtake at Imola

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton waves to the crowd ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton waves to the crowd.

Sending the Imola crowd wild with an overtake on Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton thinks they were very excited by that rare sight.

While Max Verstappen bounced back from struggles earlier in the Emilia Romagna GP weekend to claim pole, Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull missed the Q3 cut, leaving him with major work to do – at a track where overtaking is far from easy – if he was to recover to a strong points-scoring position.

Lewis Hamilton delights Imola fans with rare Red Bull overtake

Additional reporting by Pablo Hidalgo

With Perez trying to extend his opening stint on the hard tyre, there was only so long that he could hold up Hamilton behind, the Mercedes driver getting the job done around the outside into Tamburello, much to the delight of the crowd.

Considering that Red Bull has won the vast majority of the races held in Formula 1’s ground effect era, Hamilton presumes this is why that overtake proved so popular, in what was his final Imola outing before joining forces with the home hero Ferrari team from 2025.

“I guess they were excited because they don’t see a Red Bull being overtaken very often!” Hamilton told DAZN F1.

“The fans have been amazing. It’s been surreal to see Italian fans knowing where I’m going to be next year. Next year is going to be nuts.”

More reaction from the 2024 Imola GP

👉 Helmut Marko hints at ‘not helpful’ Lando Norris messages as ‘deciding factor’ in Imola win

👉 Christian Horner sets clear Sergio Perez target after ‘blip’ with F1 2025 ‘options’ identified

Before that though, Hamilton has his final season with Mercedes to complete, which is proving a tough assignment for team and driver.

Mercedes introduced further upgrades for their W15 at Imola, though Red Bull’s Verstappen, as well as the McLarens and Ferraris were out of reach, with these four teams having now all taken their opening shots in the F1 2024 development war.

And having finished P6 with team-mate George Russell P7, Hamilton said he had not been expecting more.

“It was what we expected,” Hamilton confirmed, “still solid points, but it’s not where we want to be.

“To this point of the season, still these guys are completely ahead of us. The upgrade for McLaren, it’s been so strong.”

Perez meanwhile was forced to settle for P8, crossing the line seven-and-a-half seconds after Russell as he lamented the tight Imola track, claiming it is “not made for” modern F1 racing.

“I think we could have got closer to the Mercedes and put pressure on them,” he told DAZN F1. “It would have been very difficult to do better than that.

“I think this track is not made for Formula 1 in terms of racing. With these cars we have and the way they have shortened the DRS zone this season, it was very difficult to overtake. You need a very big tyre advantage. But overall, qualifying P11 was already our weekend lost.

“We were able to get back into the fight a bit, but I was a long way behind Hamilton. I lost a lot of ground to the drivers in front of me unfortunately.”

That result cost Perez his P2 spot in the Drivers’ Championship, which is now occupied by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who has established a six-point advantage over the Red Bull driver.

Read next: Sergio Perez singled out for ‘going missing’ with crucial data not collected