Formula 1: whistles for Monza winner Verstappen: Atmosphere not so great

Despite this, the Tifosi moved under the goosebumps podium of Formula 1 and whistled out winner Max Verstappen, the depressed Charles Leclerc first sought consolation from his team.

Formula 1: whistles for Monza winner Verstappen: Atmosphere not so great

Despite this, the Tifosi moved under the goosebumps podium of Formula 1 and whistled out winner Max Verstappen, the depressed Charles Leclerc first sought consolation from his team.

In an undignified finale to a race for victory in the Italian Grand Prix that had been exciting for a long time, Verstappen rolled comfortably behind the safety car on the high-speed circuit to his first triumph in Monza.

"We had a great race, we were the fastest on all tire compounds. We just had a good day all round," said Verstappen, who achieved his first Monza victory in his eighth year in motorsport's premier class. "It took a bit of time," he commented, smiling.

Verstappen is about to win the title

He could live with the displeasure of the disappointed Ferrari fans among the well over 100,000 fans. "The atmosphere wasn't that great for me, but it is what it is," said Verstappen about the premiere podium experience as a Monza winner. In any case, the view is great, which also applies to sport at Verstappen. The 24-year-old Red Bull star already has the chance to win the second and early title at the upcoming race in Singapore at the beginning of October. The lead over the same age and former karting rival Leclerc is a whopping 116 points.

Even though Leclerc knew before the race that this World Championship was already over, he definitely wanted to repeat the victory in Monza in the 2019 Ferrari. "The end was frustrating," he commented, correspondingly disappointed after the less than furious finale. Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Monaco's Prince Albert also had to watch as a broken-down McLaren could not be towed away in time.

"We also find it quite disappointing the way it went," said team boss Mattia Binotto. "It would have been a great finish, maybe even closer for us, but you should put the sport in the foreground," said Red Bulls motorsport director Helmut Marko.

Third was George Russell in the Mercedes. For Sebastian Vettel, the European final ended on the course of his first of 53 Grand Prix victories 14 years ago after less than a third of the race distance due to a defect in the Aston Martin. Mick Schumacher finished a depressing weekend in a strong twelfth place in a Haas that was too slow and too vulnerable. "We had more pace than we thought," said Schumacher, who also found the race "better than expected".

Ferrari disappoints at home grand prix

The pressure on Leclerc and Ferrari was enormous. Finally in front of full ranks again without the restrictions of the corona pandemic, the installation rounds became a celebration in the stands. Bright sunshine also made the yellow on the SF-75 really shine in honor of the home of company founder Enzo Ferrari. Leclerc had secured pole with a splendid lap on Saturday, behind which the calculations had begun after a series of grid penalties. This also affected Verstappen, who dropped from second to seven in the starting position and Sainz, who had to go from three to 18.

In addition to Russell, who started second, Vettel and Schumacher, who were allowed to start from position eleven and 17 despite messed up qualifications, were also beneficiaries. Schumacher, whose Haas had only allowed a few practice rounds, was last in the knockout elimination, Vettel 17th.

The big danger for everyone on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, built 100 years ago: curve one. Leclerc defended his pole, the spectators freaked out, Russell's attack had no consequences. Verstappen, who last won in Spa-Francorchamps and the Netherlands after the summer break, made up two places. He kept catching up. In the fifth lap he passed Russell.

Safety car phase at the end of the race

Everything ready for the exciting duel for victory. Verstappen initially left it at a gap of one and a half to almost two seconds. Unlike in his wilder years, the highly talented Dutchman acted in a more controlled, calculating manner. After a lot of mistakes and strategy mistakes, Ferrari was under pressure anyway, Ferrari boss John Elkann followed the events on the spot. The parked Aston Martin triggered a virtual safety car phase. Leclerc pitted for new, medium-hard tires and rejoined behind Verstappen and Russell.

Verstappen stayed outside, he and his crew knew: Leclerc's rubber would have to last a long time. The medium tires were mounted on Verstappen's car for almost half of the 53 laps. The two crucial questions: would he be able to catch up with Leclerc now more than ten seconds behind or would Leclerc have to pit again? Leclerc then quickly got the fastest mix. There were still 20 laps to go, the gap was around 20 seconds. Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren stopped six laps from the end. The safety car has to go, Verstappen's lead was gone. The duelists got new tires again - for free.

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