Max Verstappen wins at Monza as Leclerc settles for P2 – Italian GP review

Kelly Piquet

Max Verstappen showcased yet another dominating performance to win the 2022 Italian Grand Prix – his 5th win in a row this season.

The race was set in the backyard of Ferrari – the Italian Grand Prix.

The electric atmosphere of Monza thanks to the Tifosi was all eager for a racing spectacle and yet another Ferrari domination on track. The Scuderia has won the Italian Grand Prix on 20 occasions. In 2019, Charles Leclerc was the last Ferrari driver to win on this iconic circuit.

With Leclerc starting P1 it looked like Ferrari again had a chance to win at Monza. However, Max Verstappen had other plans.

Verstappen is just unstoppable at this point!

The iconic track of Monza witnessed a dominating performance from Max Verstappen as the Dutchman claimed his 11th victory of the season winning the Italian Grand Prix.

Starting from P7 on the grid, the Dutch driver quickly made his way up to P3 by lap 4. Verstappen chased down Russell to P2 on the next lap.

The race was yellow flagged with a Virtual Safety Car implemented following Sebastian Vettel’s on-track retirement on lap 12. Leclerc pitted for mediums during this period giving Max Verstappen the lead.

Verstappen extended his opening stint on softs till lap 26, choosing to pit for mediums on the same lap. The lead was then taken over by Leclerc who pitted on lap 33 for soft tyres.

Leclerc had a mammoth task to catch and pass Verstappen by lap 53. The gap between the duo was around 20 seconds at that moment. The task proved too much as even after being on faster tyres, Leclerc could not close the gap.

Nevertheless, a late safety car on lap 48 made things a little crisp. This granted free pit stops to the top 5 as Ricciardo’s McLaren was proving too difficult to be removed from the track. The car was stuck in gear at the side of the track.

However, much to the dismay of the viewers, the race never resumed and ended behind a safety car granting Max Verstappen his 11th win of the 2022 season.

One can argue if the race had resumed Leclerc might have had a chance. But Verstappen showcased dominant performance throughout the race and deserved the win.

Verstappen also ended his run of poor performances at the Italian GP with the win.

Ferrari just didn’t have the pace to challenge Max Verstappen at their home race

At the back, it was a great damage control ride for Carlos Sainz at the Italian Grand Prix. The Spaniard started P18 thanks to the grid penalties. However, the Ferrari driver managed to make a strong comeback drive to P4.

The story was not so good for Charles Leclerc who just couldn’t match the pace of his rival and Championship leader Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc had secured a wonderful pole keeping Verstappen at bay on Saturday. However, even starting at P1 and keeping the lead on opening laps, Leclerc and Ferrari just couldn’t catch Verstappen.

Much to Tifosi’s dismay, Ferrari was no match for Red Bull’s RB18 this weekend. There were no strategic blunders but rather a very bold call to pit Leclerc under Virtual Safety Car on lap 12.

However, Max Verstappen is just driving in another league this season. There was nothing Ferrari or Leclerc could do to snatch the win from the Dutch.

The late safety car brought a glimmer of hope, however, that too fade away as it became clear the race will end under the safety car only.

Nyck de Vries shines on Williams’ debut at the Italian GP

How will you react when all of a sudden you are called to replace a Formula 1 driver on a qualification day and then race on Sunday? Well, de Vries was prepared one can argue.

Nyck de Vries was called in to substitute Alexander Albon due to his appendicitis operation for the Italian GP. The young Dutch had a decent qualifying session reaching Q2. The Dutch then had a moment in turn 4 ruining his final lap attempt.

The Dutchman had lined up 8th for the start alongside his Dutch counterpart Max Verstappen thanks to multiple grid penalties on other drivers.

The rookie driving an F1 car for the first time in a Grand Prix managed to bring his Williams in 9th place getting points in his F1 debut!

The Formula E world champion has also been voted the Driver of the Day for his amazing performance.

With just 6 more races to go the Formula 1 season is coming closer to the conclusion. Max Verstappen is on a streak of 5 wins in a row after the Italian GP and seems unstoppable at the moment.

Max Verstappen now leads Leclerc by a whopping 116 points and can be crowned the World Champion at Singapore!

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