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Verstappen conquers Monza and Sainz comes back to touch the podium

Max Verstappen celebrates his victory on the top of the podium at Monza. / afp

Italian GP

The leader of the World Championship achieved his 30th victory in a race that ended with the safety car and Alonso left after ten tests in the points

A Max Verstappen everything goes perfectly, and it is no longer news. The leader of the World Cup is already doing the math, because with the 115 points with which he has left Monza, they allow him to use a calculator. If he wins and does the fastest lap, and Charles Leclerc is only ninth, he will become two-time world champion in the next battle on October 2 in Singapore.

This time it can’t just be blamed on Ferrari’s bad strategy or bad luck that Leclerc didn’t win the Italian GP. The Monegasque and Ferrari did almost everything well, both on the track and on the wall and in the pits, where nothing went wrong. The stops in the ‘pitlane’ came out, the performance was as expected and the drivers did not make any mistakes. However, a controversial finish that will be talked about much gave a lethal advantage to the Scuderia’s options and allowed Verstappen to win with a comfort that even he did not expect.

The race started with a Leclerc who got away early. Verstappen, who had to come back from seventh place, was soon placed second after leaving George Russell out of the game who was content to fight for the box and thanks. The strategic fight was two-way, with Ferrari on one side and Red Bull on the other, but without taking big risks. What Leclerc Riding Means? Verstappen did the same. That the mechanics in yellow were anticipating their stop? Those in blue stayed according to plan, aware that their leader’s race pace was more than outstanding.

It seemed that the race was going to be decided in a final fight between the two rivals, but an unexpected incident changed everything. Daniel Ricciardo was left lying between the two curves of Lesmos, which forced the race management to get out a crane and, with it, the safety car. The difficulty in removing the damaged McLaren and that there were only five laps left made the directors make the difficult decision not to resume the race. Just the opposite of what the now-missed Michael Masi did in the remembered Abu Dhabi GP, when he let the World Cup be decided in a last lap that is now history. Ferrari fans cry out to heaven for the decision. Those of Verstappen, of course, not so much.

Comeback and disappointment

The sense of opportunity taken away not only remains on Leclerc’s side, but also on Carlos Sainz. The rider from Madrid started eighteenth and it was soon seen that the dream of the podium was not only possible, but more than likely. The man from Madrid had an almost perfect race, the pit stops went well (and this is news) and he reached the end of the test with serious options to fight for third position against a Russell who was left with a podium that, in fairness, It wouldn’t have been so easy.

If Sainz was a disappointment, much more so for Fernando Alonso. The Asturian pilot already warned before the race that he was going to have to propose a defensive test, since they did not have the expected power, far from it. Halfway through the race it was confirmed that this fear was going to be much worse when he realized that he had serious difficulties not only to go on the attack but to maintain his position. Proof of this was how he let Lewis Hamilton past with unseemly ease.

Much worse was what happened on lap 33. The Alpine said enough was enough and, fearing a breakage that would leave that power unit totally impracticable, they ordered the Spaniard to enter the pits to leave definitively. Ten races later in the points and the day that equaled the 349 GPs held by Kimi Raikkonen, Alonso saw his progression cut off as the culmination of a very improvable weekend.

With the end of this triplet, we will have to wait a few weeks until the GP at the Marina Bay track, where Verstappen already has the first match point. It will be a race in which what seems unstoppable can be decided or stretched: that the Dutchman will win his second consecutive World Cup.

Sainz: “We rode faster than I expected”

Carlos Sainz was left with the feeling that at Ferrari they missed a golden opportunity at the Italian GP. Both he and Charles Leclerc could have won, especially his partner, but the end after the safety car and his own penalty weighed them down. “We rode faster than I expected, we were going very fast and I could practically overtake a car per lap and that has allowed me to lose little time and get quickly behind Russell, who was my goal,” said the man from Madrid. «We were cutting it a lot in those last laps until in the end the ‘safety car’ came out and it couldn’t be, but we were going very fast. We’ve done a lot of overtaking and it’s been fun », he summed up. In short, it was a great weekend for them. “We have been much closer. If I hadn’t had a penalty this weekend we would have had both cars to do a mixed strategy and we would have put Max (Verstappen) under a lot more pressure and it would have been a better option for both of us, but in the end I wasn’t there. and Max has been able to reply to Leclerc, “he settled.

For his part, Fernando Alonso equaled the record for grand prizes played, but could not celebrate it by extending his streak among the points. An untimely failure in the power unit forced him to leave, fearing that he was going to go further. «He had been having an energy problem in the engine the entire race, he cut very early on the straights and it was difficult to maintain a battle. In the end we have withdrawn the car for I don’t know what problem exactly, but something with the engine as well. Hopefully it is not too broken to be able to use it in the next races, “wished the Spaniard. The fault in particular seemed electrical. “The power cut off before the end of the straight, on the radio you don’t want them to hear that you have a problem, but I knew I had something,” he assured.

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