Italian Grand Prix Recap | Verstappen wins his 10th and Ferrari takes third at home race 

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Carlos Sainz driving the No. 55 Ferrari car. Team Ferrari finished third at home race. Photo courtesy of Lukas Raich.

This weekend the teams raced in Monza, Italy for the Italian Grand Prix. Ferrari fans filled up the stadium and celebrated when Carlos Sainz, Spanish driver for Ferrari, took third place on his birthday weekend. 

Max Vertsappen wins his tenth race, expanding his world record and gaining even more of a lead in the drivers championship. This was also team Red Bulls 15th successful win of the season, they also expanded their lead this weekend in the constructors championship. 

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit consisted of 53 laps, 11 turns, 3.600 miles total, and had an elevation of 12.48 meters. The drivers started on medium and hard tires to kick start the race. 

At lights out, Sainz managed to keep Verstappen at bay despite the pressure Verstappen had put on the Ferrari driver during the first turn in lap one. 

Lap 4 of the race, Verstappen, behind the gearbox of Ferrari, started applying pressure to front runner Sainz.

Verstappen stayed on Saniz and took note of the sliding coming from Sainz’s on the track. Verstappen could see the Ferrari’s tires wearing sooner before his, and kept Sainz in DRS range. 

Verstappen reported over his radio to his crew, “He’s already slipping a bit, so all good.” The Red Bull winner had been looking fast on Turn 11 of the track all weekend and used that turn as an advantage to start closing the gap between himself and Sainz. 

On lap 15, Sainz had a lock up and that gave Verstappen the opening, the momentum, and the track position to overtake the first place position on Turn 4 and 5, making Verstappen the new race leader.

Verstappen and teammate, Sergio Perez, earned Red Bull a double podium and an accumulative 43 points for their team. They were followed by a P3 and P4 finish from Ferrari, who were followed by a double Mercedes finish, in fifth and sixth positions. 

The weekend rivalry between Red Bull and Ferrari started on Friday’s qualifying when Saniz, on his birthday, finished first in practice, showing off to his Ferrari fans. This momentum from the two teams led into qualifying on Saturday when team Ferrari qualified P1 and P3. 

Charles Leclerc crossed the finish line with a qualifying time of 1:20.361 seconds. He was followed closely behind by Verstappen who finished the final sector with 1:20.307 seconds. Verstappen’s time was immediately topped by Sainz with the fastest time of 1:20.294. This was Sainz fourth first place start of his career. 

The two Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc, had an amazing battle for P3, when they went wheel-to-wheel during the last laps of the race. Despite the risks of making contact with one another, the drivers wrestled and gave their all for their Ferrari fans in Monza. 

Yuki Tsunoda did not race this weekend. After his Alfa Tauri, during the formation lap on Sunday, rolled to a standstill, the fault of a dead engine. Race control put out an aborted start and this delayed the start of the race. Tsunoda had to retire his car before the race even started. 

Liam Lawson was the only racer for team Alpha Tauri yesterday. Lawson started yesterday’s race with issues on his left hand wing mirror on his lap from the pit to the grid. But the team quickly sorted that out, and Lawson placed P11, a great race for the replacement driver. 

Daniel Riccasrdo is still out with a broken metacarpal, with no reports on him racing next weekend in Singapore. 

Alex Albon, despite complaining about his breaks during the first quarter of the race, won six points for team Williams this weekend. Albon started the race sixth and ended seventh. 

Estaban Ocon did not finish yesterday’s race after having to retire his car, Ocon could feel his steering wheel lock up early in the race. For safety reasons team Alpine pulled out of the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix.

Oscar Piastri placed 12th this weekend for team Mclaren, but did have the DHL, fastest lap on the circuit. Teammate Lando Norris scored four points for their team, by placing P8.

The racers have this upcoming weekend off before they fly to Southeast Asia the following weekend for the Singapore Grand Prix, racing on the Singapore Street Circuit. 

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