Verstappen wins Italian GP behind Safety Car

    Ferrari and Leclerc settle for second place; Russell completes podium.

    Published On Sep 11, 2022 09:16:00 PM

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    Max Verstappen wins 2022 F1 Italian GP

    Verstappen now leads the championship by 116 points.

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    Max Verstappen denied Ferrari victory on home soil as he won the Italian GP to further extend his championship lead. The race itself witnessed a rather anti-climactic end, as the field crossed the chequered flag behind the Safety Car.

    • Verstappen wins, ahead of Leclerc and Russell
    • Extends championship lead to 116 points
    • De Vries scores points on F1 debut

    Verstappen’s first podium at Monza

    Verstappen was one of the multiple drivers who took grid penalties for new power unit components and as a result, he started seventh on the grid. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc may have taken pole position on Saturday, but Red Bull’s pace advantage became apparent during the race and by Lap 5, Verstappen had already overtaken George Russell to move up to second place.

    As Sebastian Vettel’s retirement triggered the Virtual Safety Car on Lap 12, Ferrari opted to pit Leclerc for fresh medium tyres, while Red Bull kept Verstappen out to extend his first stint. The Dutch driver eventually pitted on Lap 26, momentarily handing Leclerc the lead once again.

    But Leclerc pitted for a second time on Lap 33. Though he had a 10-lap tyre advantage over Verstappen, he was nearly 20 seconds adrift and never really managed to claw back that time.

    Just when it seemed like Verstappen would take an assured win, Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren stopped on Lap 48/53, bringing out the Safety Car. Fans were hoping this would set the stage for a final showdown between Verstappen and Leclerc. However, that didn’t play out as Ricciardo’s car was stuck in gear and had to be moved with a cherry picker, resulting in the race ending behind the Safety Car.

    Verstappen cruised to victory, making his first-ever podium appearance at Monza, ahead of Leclerc and Russell. "The start was very good. I had a clean [entry into the] chicane and then I could quickly get back into my rhythm and get into second. It was really good on the tyres, it was really enjoyable to drive today even though it was quite hot out there, but great day for us,” said Verstappen.

    De Vries scores points on F1 debut

    Carlos Sainz, another driver who took grid penalties, battled his way up the field from P18 to fourth. He was followed by Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly.

    Nyck de Vries finished ninth for Williams to score points on his F1 debut. The 2021 Formula E champion was called in at the last moment to replace Alexander Albon, who had to sit out the race after being diagnosed with appendicitis. He was one of the drivers who benefited from the Safety Car as he was struggling with his medium tyres while battling with Zhou Guanyu towards the end.

    2022 F1 championship standings

    Verstappen has now extended his lead to 116 points over second-placed Leclerc. The lead is big enough for Verstappen to have a mathematical chance of sealing the championship at the next round in Singapore (October 2). He’ll have to out-score Leclerc by 22 points to do so, though.

    2022 F1 Italian GP results

    2022 Italian GP results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing
    2Charles LeclercFerrari
    3George RussellMercedes
    4Carlos SainzFerrari
    5Lewis HamiltonMercedes
    6Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing
    7Lando NorrisMcLaren
    8Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
    9Nyck de VriesWilliams
    10Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo
    11Esteban OconAlpine
    12Mick SchumacherHaas
    13Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo
    14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri
    15Nicholas LatifiWilliams
    16Kevin MagnussenHaas
    NCDaniel RicciardoMcLaren
    NCLance StrollAston Martin
    NCFernando AlonsoAlpine
    NCSebastian VettelAston Martin

    Also see:

    Dutch GP: Verstappen beats Mercedes to win home race

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