F1 Italy: Verstappen wins ahead of Leclerc in a GP that ended behind the safety car

Max Verstappen won the Monza Grand Prix which ended in a safety car after Daniel Ricciardo retired. Charles Leclerc finishes second and George Russell completes the podium.

Verstappen starts in soft and already gains two places from the start to find himself in fifth position. He then swallows Gasly in the long straight before the chicane and then goes hunting for Ricciardo he crosses the line to start the second lap in third position.

After four laps, the Dutchman passes Russell and seizes the second position and can therefore set off in pursuit of Leclerc. Started 18th following penalties, sainz also began a comeback at the wheel of his Ferrari and finished in 10th place.

On Ferrari land, Sainz is decidedly unleashed. The Spaniard is in 7th place after 10 laps and is putting pressure on the McLarens of Norris and Ricciardo and the Alpha Tauri de Gasly. In two laps, he overtook Norris then Gasly to find himself fifth when Vettel gives up and the virtual safety car makes its appearance. Moment chosen by Leclerc to return to the pits and switch to medium tyres. Verstappen therefore took the lead in the Grand Prix as Sainz overtook Ricciardo and therefore found himself fourth, just behind Leclerc.

On lap 26, Verstappen, who had pushed his soft tires to their maximum, returned to the pits and switched to medium tires to try a one-stop strategy. The Dutchman is now much faster than the Monegasque and Ferrari therefore brings in Leclerc a second time to pass the softs on the 34th lap. Sainz also came back to pass the soft tires and is in fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton, who started at the back of the grid, had a good race and was in sixth place after 37 laps and even came back to fifth place with ten laps to go. Sainz is on the hunt for Russell to try to place the two Ferraris on the podium. Red Bull’s one-stop strategy made the difference and Verstappen manages his lead over Leclerc who pushes and sets the fastest lap several times but is too far to come back.

Thunderbolt six laps from the finish when Ricciardo retires. The safety car comes out on the track and will revive the suspense for the last laps. Verstappen and Leclerc both pitted to switch to soft tires for the closing laps of the race.

But the time to evacuate the Australian’s car is too long and the race will end under safety car. Verstappen wins ahead of Leclerc and Russell. Sainz made a good comeback but finished at the foot of the podium. Hamilton is fifth while DeVries finishes ninth and scores two points for his first Grand Prix of the season and is voted Driver of the Day.

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