On the way to the two-time championship: Max Verstappen prevails over Charles Leclerc and reigns in the house of Ferrari
The leader of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), he won the Italian Grand Prix for the first time, in Monza, ahead of the man on pole, the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)who could not offer a victory to the tifosi, witnesses of the comebacks of the current champion (started seventh) and the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)fourth after starting eighteenth.
The race, 53 laps, ended with the safety car, without time to be restarted, after a mechanical problem for the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)the winner of the 2021 edition, at 47 laps.
Verstappen, who counts the days to proclaim himself twice world champion, consolidated his dominance this season on a track where he had never been on the podium before, against a Leclerc who started first for the eighth time this year and who had to settle for second position, with the British George Russell (Mercedes) in the third drawer.
the dutch Nyck de Vries, who replaced the Thai in Williams Alexander Albon, out due to appendicitis, was considered driver of the day on his Formula 1 debut and scored points by finishing ninth. Leclerc held off Russell at the start, while behind Verstappen and Sainz began their respective comebacks, both spectacular.
The Dutchman had already gained three positions in the first lap, he realized Ricciardo at the start of the second and in the fifth he only had Leclerc ahead after having passed the British George Russell.
The German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) he had to retire on lap 12 and, with a virtual safety car on the track, Leclerc stopped to put on medium tyres; while Verstappen and Russell chose to continue. As a lesser evil for the Monegasque, he started just ahead of Ricciardo and avoided the traffic behind the Australian.
The winner of the previous Italian Grand Prix was surprised by Sainz on lap 14. The man from Madrid had moved up one place for each completed lap and was already fourth, behind his teammate.
Verstappen stopped halfway through the race to put on media, the same rubber that Leclerc was wearing with 12 laps of wear already. He led the Ferrari, with the Red Bull ahead of Sainz, who stopped after 31 laps to put on soft, this time without any blunders in the garage.
The man on pole saw his income drastically decrease compared to the Dutchman and resorted to the soft ones with 19 laps to go and as many seconds behind.
By then, the performance of the Spanish Fernando Alonso, who equaled the record of 349 races in Formula 1 of the Finnish Kimi Raikkonen, had already ended due to problems in the Alpine, which remained in the pit lane. Leclerc was unable to put pressure on Verstappen, but on lap 47 a mechanical problem on Ricciardo’s McLaren brought excitement back to the race with the safety car on track.
The drivers went in to change tires hoping that the race would restart with everyone regrouped, but there was no time and the leader added his eleventh victory of the course and continues at a record pace, just two of the 13 they achieved in a season the Germans Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
Like Verstappen and Sainz, the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) He also put in a great performance to climb from the last row of the grid to fifth place, just ahead of the Mexican Sergio “Checo” Pérez (Red Bull), who started thirteenth. After the last stop of this campaign in Europe, the World Cup will continue in Asia, with the dispute of the Singapore Grand Prix (September 30 to October 2).
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