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Formula 1 | Verstappen challenges Ferrari at the team’s home

The ‘Temple of speed’, the circuit of Monzachallenges the undisputed leader of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who returns to the stage where he flew over the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) last year, the home of Ferrari, who will be surrounded by the ‘tiffosi’ in a special year, the 75th anniversary.

Verstappen arrives in a great moment at the Italian Grand Prix, last round of the World Cup in Europe this seasonthe sixteenth of the queen category of motorsport.

His second title is on track, with more than a hundred points compared to his pursuers, and he has linked four victories for the first time in his career: France, Hungary, Belgium and the Dutch Grand Prix.

Ten wins have been added by the championship leaderwho faces another race as the favorite after the performance offered by Red Bull at Spa, a circuit more similar to Monza than Zandvoort, where, with more difficulty and also helped by racing incidents, Verstappen repeated victory in front of his fans last week pass.

The Italian Grand Prix will also examine the recovery of Mercedes forks Ferrari territory, which has not won since the Spaniard’s consecutive triumphs Carlos Sainz and the Monegasque Charles Leclerc in early July.

The ‘Scuderia’ comes from starring in a blunder with the Madrilenian in the Netherlands, a disastrous wheel change without the left rear tire prepared. In addition, the ’55’ could change its power unit this weekend, which would delay it on the starting grid.

Just eleven corners make up the 5,793 meter Monza layout, which requires the lowest downforce setup of the year and is conducive to overtaking. He witnessed, in 2021, how Verstappen’s Red Bull fell on Hamilton’s Mercedes, to which the halo helped make everything a scare.

The then contender for the first time in his record, who left Italy with a five-point advantage over the seven-time champion, was sanctioned with three positions on the grid for the next round, that of Russia.

The accident, in addition to causing rivers of ink, favored the victory of the Australian Daniel Ricciardo with McLaren, the team that he will leave at the end of this seasonOh, in which his compatriot Oscar Piastri will replace him.

If Ricciardo’s triumph was surprising, the Frenchman’s was not far behind Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) in 2020, who took victory in a heads-up with Sainz, who came close to an epic comeback with McLaren.

That crazy race was preceded by an accident for the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, who in 2019 starred in Ferrari’s last victory on his circuit. It was the first that the ‘Cavallino Rampante’ celebrated since that of the Spanish Fernando Alonso in 2012.

Those of Maranello are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the creation of their first vehicle and, for this reason, the cars of Leclerc, second in the World Championship with the same points as the Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez (201), and Sainz will wear a special decoration, with yellow in the drivers’ numbers, on the rear wing and on the engine cover, which also bears the age of Ferrari.

Now in Alpine Alonso arrives at Monza at a good time after having scored points in the last ten World Cup racesa streak that began at the Spanish Grand Prix (May 22) and which has placed him seven points behind his teammate, Frenchman Esteban Ocon.

In the final stretch of his time with the French team, the two-time world champion will equal Kimi Raikkonen with 350 starts in Formula 1 and his car has shown impressive speed on the straights that he can take advantage of in Monza.

After the last stop in Europe, the World Championship will continue in Asia with the Singapore Grand Prix From September 30 to October 2.

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