The journey to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix of Formula 1 appeared to be an ideal race weekend for Ferrari and their devoted supporters, known as the Tifosi. Carlos Sainz’s remarkable performance in the qualifying round granted him the leading position, narrowly surpassing Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. With Leclerc commencing from third place, Ferrari’s race on home turf seemed hopeful. Despite being aware of Verstappen’s superior skills and his Red Bull vehicle, Leclerc devised a strategy to assist Ferrari in achieving a 1-2 victory.
Leclerc had the intention of surpassing Verstappen at the beginning of the race and subsequently utilizing the DRS (Drag Reduction System) on the straight sections to maintain his lead. Despite Leclerc’s strategy not yielding the desired outcome, Sainz successfully remained in front of Verstappen and fiercely contested his position. Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, acknowledged Sainz’s commendable performance.
Verstappen knew that the Monza circuit, famously called the Temple of Speed, was advantageous for cars with strong acceleration on straight stretches. Nevertheless, he did not expect Ferrari to possess the necessary speed to pose a challenge. Despite beginning in second position, trailing Sainz, Verstappen successfully held off Leclerc in the initial stages of the race but encountered various obstacles thereafter.
After DRS was activated on Lap 4, Verstappen anticipated a straightforward pass on Sainz. Nevertheless, Sainz remarkably maintained his position at the front for 14 laps, utilizing his tires, expertise, and high velocity to prevent Verstappen from advancing. Eventually, on Lap 15, Verstappen successfully executed the overtake and proceeded to secure the victory. Horner characterized this triumph as having been attained through significant challenges.
Knowing that he would eventually need to relinquish the lead, Sainz put up a formidable resistance and caused frustration for Verstappen. This resulted in Ferrari gaining some recognition and added to Verstappen’s enjoyment of the race.
Verstappen capitalized on the deterioration of Ferrari’s tires and consistently pressed Sainz during the entire race. He didn’t have to strain his own tires as much because of the noticeable speed gap between their cars. Verstappen patiently awaited the opportune moment to execute his maneuver and ultimately surpassed Sainz, compelling him to make an error.
In the post-race interview, Verstappen expressed his surprise at achieving a record 10th consecutive win. He acknowledged the challenge of the race and the enjoyment it brought. Despite Ferrari’s top speed advantage, Verstappen was able to make a strategic move and control the rest of the race.
Sainz’s defensive maneuvers were praiseworthy, however, Verstappen’s ability to remain patient and employ strategic tactics ultimately granted him the advantage. Fans were treated to an exhilarating spectacle during the Italian Grand Prix.