Italian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen denies Charles Leclerc at Monza fifth win in a row

Max Verstappen started from seventh after a netted penalty but reached second after only five laps; Charles Leclerc was up front but couldn’t keep up with Verstappen’s pace. The Dutchman’s fifth win in a row tightens his grip on the world championship

Last update: 09/11/22 3:51 PM

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix as the race finishes behind a safety car.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix as the race finishes behind a safety car.

Max Verstappen gave a dominant performance in the Italian Grand Prix to deny Charles Leclerc a win at Monza and ensure his fifth win in a row.

Verstappen started from seventh after a netted penalty, but reached second after just five laps, and clearly had a speed advantage over first-placed Leclerc.

Ferrari, seeking to win its home race, pitted Leclerc after 11 laps under the virtual safety car as the Italian team sought to find any kind of advantage over Verstappen, but the move was in vain as the Monegasque’s installed medium tires failed to provide either durability or speed to meet the challenge.

Max Verstappen climbed two places at the start of the Italian Grand Prix.

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Max Verstappen climbed two places at the start of the Italian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen climbed two places at the start of the Italian Grand Prix.

With Leclerc forced to stop again, Verstappen held a nearly 20 second lead in the final stages, before Daniel Ricciardo caused a technical failure to stop McLaren on the track with five laps remaining, and the race finished behind Safety Car.

While Leclerc complained on the radio and booed from Ferrari fans over the decision to finish the race behind the Safety Car, there was little doubt that Verstappen and Red Bull deserved to win.

George Russell, who started second, continued his remarkably consistent first season with Mercedes by finishing third.

Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton, who both started from the rear of the grid after being among the nine drivers to take the shootout, produced a fantastic comeback to finish fourth and fifth respectively.

Lewis Hamilton passes both Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly to climb to seventh in the Italian Grand Prix.

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Lewis Hamilton passes both Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly to climb to seventh in the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton passes both Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly to climb to seventh in the Italian Grand Prix.

Nick de Vries, who was making his Formula 1 debut after replacing Alex Albon at Williams, put in an impressive performance to score points in ninth.

Verstappen’s first win at Monza boosted his world championship lead over Leclerc to 116 points with six races remaining, meaning he could claim a second consecutive title when the season finale begins in Singapore in three weeks.

The sport continued to pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II, with a minute of silence before the race, along with several cars bearing visual acclaim.

An observant minute's silence was followed by a round of applause for Queen Elizabeth II both on the grid and in the grand stands at the Italian Grand Prix.

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An observant minute’s silence was followed by a round of applause for Queen Elizabeth II both on the grid and in the grand stands at the Italian Grand Prix.

An observant minute’s silence was followed by a round of applause for Queen Elizabeth II both on the grid and in the grand stands at the Italian Grand Prix.

Italian Grand Prix final score, top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
9) Nick de Vries, Williams
10) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

More to follow…