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RACE START: Watch the getaway from Imola as Verstappen fends off the McLarens and Ferraris

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Max Verstappen made a perfect start to Sunday afternoon’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, keeping his pole position advantage as he defended from the McLaren and Ferrari drivers behind.

After storming to his eighth successive pole – equalling Ayrton Senna’s long-standing record – the reigning world champion charged off the line to keep second-placed Lando Norris in check.

LIVE COVERAGE: Follow all the action from the 2024 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc held on to third as the lead Ferrari, just ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz, with Oscar Piastri keeping his McLaren fifth after being demoted from the front row of the grid for impeding Kevin Magnussen in qualifying.

While there were plenty of wheel-to-wheel moments, there was no major drama to report on the opening lap of action, with all 20 drivers keeping it clean.

Hit go on the video player above to catch the race start at Imola.

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