Max Verstappen proved at Monza that he can start almost anywhere on the grid and win a race. The reigning World Champion took another engine penalty that saw him start the race in 7th. He eventually took a decisive lead on a one-stop strategy before the race was finished behind a safety car.
While Ferrari managed a podium on home soil, they struggled to fight against Verstappen’s dominance. The Dutch driver now has the potential to win the championship in Singapore at the end of the month. Can anyone slow down the march of the Dutch lion?
We’re recapping everything you need to know about the 2022 Italian Grand Prix and our favourite new F1 merchandise.
Can Verstappen Equal Schumacher’s Record?
Monza was the final race in a triple header that was full of mixed-up grids, thanks to engine penalties. Verstappen took another engine penalty to start 7th, with Leclerc delighting the Tifosi in pole position. He took an aggressive one-stop strategy against Ferrari’s two-stop strategy.
While Leclerc emerged from his second pit stop in second place, he was unable to bite away at Verstappen’s advantage. On fresh tyres, Leclerc needed to pull more than a second a lap out of Verstappen’s advantage to win. Instead, it took several laps to narrow the gap by one second.
The World Champion had a comfortable 16-second lead before Ricciardo’s engine failure led to a late safety car. The race finished behind the safety car, with Verstappen taking his fifth consecutive win. He only needs to win two more races this season to match Schumacher’s record of 13 race wins in one season.
Ferrari Gives the Tifosi a Podium
Winning at Monza in a Ferrari is every driver’s dream. Leclerc started strong by qualifying in pole position, dreaming of recreating his 2019 win. The Ferrari driver is second in the championship but over 100 points behind Verstappen.
While Monza was a sea of red Ferrari caps and Charles Leclerc t-shirts, it was the Dutch national anthem that sounded from the Monza podium. Leclerc gave the Tifosi something to cheer about by finishing in 2nd. His teammate, Carlos Sainz, went from the back of the grid with a penalty to finish just off the podium in 4th place.
Elsewhere on the Grid
George Russell has proved that his title of ‘Mister Consistency’ is here to stay. He started on the front row of the grid after penalties were applied, before finishing in 3rd place. We’re expecting to see more George Russell caps appearing trackside at future races.
One of the big stories of the weekend was Nyck de Vries making his F1 debut. The Formula E World Champion stepped in after Williams’ Alex Albon was hospitalised with appendicitis. He finished in 8th and got 2 points on his debut with Latifi fishing 15th.
Aston Martin suffered a double DNF, with Alonso also retiring during the race. Hamilton recovered from his back-of-grid penalty to finish 5th, while Perez struggled with break heating problems before finishing 6th.
Norris and Gasly finished 7th and 8th respectively, with Zhou completing the point scorers. It was another disappointing weekend for Haas, with Schumacher and Magnussen finishing 12th and 16th.
All eyes are now set on Singapore as the paddock heads to Asia at the end of September. Verstappen can win the championship if he wins in Singapore and Leclerc finishes 8th or lower with Perez 4th or lower. Otherwise, the championship may be won in Suzuka at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The end of the 2022 season is in sight. It’s the perfect time to commemorate the season with our range of F1 merchandise.