The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is not just the venue of the Italian Grand Prix, but it is also the home track of Ferrari. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the manufacturer, the team donned a special livery with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz wearing yellow race suits.
Things were looking good for Leclerc, who landed on pole, while his closest rivals Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), and Sainz all suffered from grid penalties due to new power unit components.
Once the lights went out for 53 laps of racing, Leclerc had a decent start, but Verstappen quickly made up places going from P7 to P4 just on the first lap. By Lap 5, the Red Bull driver was in P2 ready to challenge for the victory.
On Lap 12, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) pulled over due to an engine issue, while his teammate Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) retired in the pits later on. However, the problems didn’t stop as Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) pulled over on Lap 47 disrupting the race once last time with a safety car.
Even though Ferrari didn’t make any mistakes this time, Leclerc lost to Verstappen who won the race behind the safety car. Sainz and Hamilton pulled off good recovery drives starting from P18 and P19 to finish in P4 and P5, respectively.
Alex Albon (Williams) had appendicitis, so Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries took his seat for this weekend. The Dutchman is a champion in both Formula 2 and Formula E, so expectations were high.
After qualifying P8, de Vries had a clean race and finished P9, scoring points in his F1 race debut. His teammate Nicholas Latifi, who has been with Williams for three years, finished P15 among the 16 drivers that completed the race.
The triple header is now finished with Max Verstappen winning all three races. At this point, the question is no longer whether he will win the title, but when. With the Russian Grand Prix canceled, Formula 1 will be heading to Singapore where the championship could be decided.