Nouvelles sportives

Max Verstappen and the safety car spoil the tifosi party at Monza

From cheers to whistles… Scuderia Ferrari fans went through all the emotions at the end of the Italian Grand Prix, at Monza, on Sunday 11 September. Their favorite driver, Charles Leclerc, had the chance to challenge Max Verstappen for victory in the final laps of the race, but the race was eventually ended under the safety car regime. The Dutchman therefore won his eleventh success of the season, ahead of the Monegasque driver and the Briton George Russell (Mercedes).

Max Verstappen had started from seventh place on the grid, but he was once again able to count on an extraordinary pace to return very quickly to the front. He also took advantage of Charles Leclerc’s strategy of two pit stops to change tires to take the reins of the race at 34e round. With his new tyres, the Monegasque then hoped to melt on the Red Bull of the Dutchman, but his efforts and his sequences of fastest laps were not enough to reduce the gap sufficiently.

No long-awaited fight in the final rounds

The abandonment of Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) at 47e lap, for an engine problem, could have been a godsend for the Ferrari driver. As the safety car took control of the track, the two race leaders returned to the pits to put on fresh tyres. Enough to promise a great battle in the last laps, to the delight of the tifosi.

But the latter were disillusioned by the slowness of the marshals to evacuate the Australian’s single-seater, and the decision of the race directors to finish the Grand Prix at a walk, behind the safety car, with an overtaking ban. « It’s frustrating, we don’t like to finish races like that, reacted Charles Leclerc when he got out of his single-seater. We were second, and that’s what happened earlier in the race that puts us in second position, but I was hoping to win ahead of the tifosi today. »

The Monegasque will have to wait to clinch a fourth victory this season, while Max Verstappen soars in the drivers’ standings with a fifth success in a row.

On the French side, Pierre Gasly finished in the points, in the 8the place, just ahead of Dutch debutant Nick de Vries, who replaced the ailing Alex Albon for the weekend. Esteban Ocon fails at the gates of the points, at the 11e square.

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