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Verstappen holds off late Norris charge to win Imola grand prix

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team celebrates winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. David Davies/PA Wire/dpa

World champion Max Verstappen returned to winning ways with victory from pole at the Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, after surviving a spirited late challenge from McLaren's Lando Norris.

Verstappen claimed his fifth season victory and 59th overall ahead of Norris and Charles Leclerc from home team Ferrari.

Norris came storming towards Verstappen in the closing stages, with Verstappen complaining about his tyres, and the Dutchman told to observe track limits to avoid a five-second penalty after an earlier warning.

Briton Norris cut a deficit of around six seconds to less than one second entering the final lap but Verstappen held on for a slender victory.

Norris beat Verstappen for a first career victory two weeks ago in Miami, and Verstappen also had problems in the three Imola practice sessions before finding his pace again when it mattered.

Verstappen increased his championship lead with the latest victory, with Leclerc now second ahead of Sergio Perez who came eighth on the day.

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team competes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. David Davies/PA Wire/dpa
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team competes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. David Davies/PA Wire/dpa
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team competes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. David Davies/PA Wire/dpa
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team competes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. David Davies/PA Wire/dpa