The beautiful debut of De Vries, the return of Sainz and Hamilton but also the difficult Sunday in Alpine and the hiccup of the safety car, find the tops and flops of the Italian Grand Prix.
De Vries, first successful
He replaced Alex Albon, victim of an appendicitis attack, for a short time. Confirming twelfth in qualifying ahead of Nicholas Latifi, Nyck De Vries did it again in the race. In the top 10 for most of the race, the Dutchman, who didn’t make a single mistake, took a solid ninth place finish for his first F1 race. A masterful performance from the Formula E world champion in 2021. There is no doubt that we should see him again quickly in Formula 1 after that performance.
It is impossible not to mention the race winner in this category. Starting seventh after a five-place penalty for an engine change, Max Verstappen won his eleventh victory of the season at Monza, the fifth in a row this summer and the 31st of his career. The world champion, in a one-stop strategy, made a great first stint in his tenders before putting the mediums and managing the gap with Charles Leclerc, in a two-stop strategy . Another almost perfect race for the number 1 who is closing in on a second world crown with 116 points ahead of Leclerc. If the Batavian wins in Singapore in three weeks and the Monegasque can’t finish better than eighth, Verstappen could be crowned world champion in early October.
The lifts of Sainz and Hamilton
One started in 18th, Carlos Sainz, the other started in 19th position, Lewis Hamilton. In the end, both drivers finished in the top 5. Carlos Sainz could even get on the podium without the safety car (see below) after a very good first stint in his mediums. in thirty laps. The Spaniard had a hell of a run on the softs at the end of the race, which may have allowed him to overtake third-placed George Russell. On Hamilton’s side, the start of the race was slower because after fifteen laps, the Briton was only eleventh. But like Sainz, the Mercedes driver pushed hard in his mediums and made a masterful double overtake on Norris and Gasly in his tenders to open the doors to the top 5.
Alpine, zero points
Italy did not succeed in the Alpine. The French brand did not score at Monza for the second time this season after…Imola. Victim of engine problems when he was in the top 10, Fernando Alonso was forced to retire midway through the race. As for Esteban Ocon, the French gave a smart race and placed eleventh at the finish, in the points gate. A disappointment for the Blues especially since McLaren scored six points thanks to Lando Norris and returned 18 units from Alpine as the two teams battled for fourth place among the constructors.
The end of the race under the safety car
A parody. The FIA has always announced that it wants to avoid at all costs the end of a race under the car safety regime in order not to renew the hiccup at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. large width. While Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire six laps from the finish, the safety car came out immediately and promised us a breathless finish to the race. Missed. The marshals took three laps to clear the Australian’s car, the safety car went ahead of Russell instead of Verstappen and the latter took a long time to overtake the safety car as regulations l ‘authority. Many mistakes forced the safety car to stay on the track until the end. A ridiculous finish to the race and bad publicity for F1.
The Aston Martin is gone
Aston Martin remained in four consecutive races with points earned but in Monza did nothing. Eleventh and twelfth on the grid, the green cars had a chance to score points again in Italy but Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll retired. In the end, the only Aston Martin that shines is the safe car, and for the wrong reasons.