Italian GP 2022

SEPTEMBER 11, 2022

Race Notes - Verstappen wins Italian GP

Max Verstappen, Italian GP 2022
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Behind the Safety Car, Max Verstappen won the Italian Grand Prix in his Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc (2.446s) in the Ferrari finished in second place, George Russell (3.405s) in the Mercedes GP was third.

The win is Verstappen’s eleventh win of the season, and fifth-in-a-row. It is Verstappen’s first win at the Italian GP. Verstappen with 335 points extends his lead over Leclerc (219) to 116 points ahead, with Perez (210) in third. Red Bull Racing (545) leads the Constructors’ over Ferrari (406), Mercedes (371) and Alpine (125).

Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari, after starting at the back finished in fourth, followed by Lewis Hamilton (5.380s) in the second Mercedes was fifth, Sergio Perez (6.091s) in the second Red Bull was sixth, Lando Norris (6.207s) in the McLaren-Mercedes was seventh, Pierre Gasly (6.396s) in the AlphaTauri-Red Bull was eighth, Nyck de Vries (7.122s) in the Williams-Mercedes, in his first Grand Prix start finished in the points in ninth, and Guanyu Zhou (7.910s) in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari took the final point in tenth place.

Before the start the field was scrambled after qualifying from various grid penalties with Leclerc and Russell starting on the front row, Norris and Ricciardo on row two, Gasly and Alonso on row three, Verstappen and De Vries on row four, and Zhou and Latifi rounding out the top ten. Perez starts in 13th, Sainz in 18th and Hamilton in 19th.

With this race two-time World Champion Alonso makes his 349th race start, equaling Kimi Raikkonen's record of Formula One starts.

The most likely tyre strategy is a one-stopper, starting on softs and switching to medium tyres after 18-25 laps, or starting on mediums and switching to hard tyres.

Leclerc, Russell, Verstappen, De Vries and Ocon starting on soft tyres, the rest of the drivers starting on medium Tyrees.

At the appointed time the field made the formation lap and lined on the grid, the lights went out and the race began with Leclerc in lead with Russell second, Ricciardo, Gasly and Verstappen following, Norris falling back to sixth.

On the first lap Verstappen gets past Gasly for fourth, then on the start of lap 2, passes Ricciardo for third. Perez is in 15th, Hamilton 18th.

On lap 3 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m26.181s.

Leclerc leads Russell by 1.8 seconds, with Verstappen in third, 2.4 seconds behind Leclerc.

Verstappen is pressuring Russell and on lap 5 passes him into the first corner for second place.

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.782s, and again on lap 5 with a 1m25.512s.

At lap 6 Leclerc leads Verstappen by 2.1 seconds, followed by Russell (3.2s), Ricciardo (11.2s), Gasly (12.1s), Norris (13.0s), Alonso (14.0s), De Vries (15.0s), Zhou (15.5s), Sainz (16.0s) in tenth, Hamilton 16th.

On lap 8 Perez pits for hard tyres, but his car is smoking from the right front disc brake as he rejoins.

On lap 9 Sainz passes De Vries for eighth.

Red Bull tells Perez to change the brake balance and continue.

On lap 10 Sainz passes Alonso for seventh place.

On lap 11 Sainz passes Norris for sixth place into the first corner.

Hamilton passes Tsunoda for 13th.

On lap 12 Vettel pulls to the side of the track.

Sainz passes Gasly for fifth place. The Virtual Safety car is out, while Vettel’s car is cleared.

On lap 13 Leclerc pits for medium tyres and rejoins in third just ahead of Ricciardo, and the Virtual Safety car is over and the race resumes.

Alonso passes Norris for seventh. Sainz passes Ricciardo for fourth.

Gasly cuts the corner at the first corner.

On lap 14 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m25.257s.

At lap 15 Verstappen leads Russell by 6.0 seconds, followed by Leclerc (11.1s), Sainz (21.9s), Ricciardo (24.8s), Gasly (25.3s), Alonso (26.1s), Norris (26.9s), De Vries (27.9s), and Zhou (28.8s) in tenth place. Hamilton (34.3s) is 12th. Perez in 18th.

Magnussen is handed a 5-second penalty, for leaving the track and gaining a position.

On lap 17 Hamilton passes Stroll for 11th place.

On lap 17 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m25.145s, and trails Verstappen by 15.6 seconds.

On lap 18 Norris passes Alonso into the first corner for seventh place.

Gasly pits and takes on hard tyres and rejoins 16th.

De Vries is getting flagged for track limits.

On lap 20 Ricciardo, De Vries and Ocon all pit

Gasly is closing on Ricciardo in 12th.

Ferrari tells Leclerc that they are thinking of running ‘plan C’.

On lap 22 Perez passes Bottas for ninth.

On lap 24 Russell pits from second place for hard tyres and rejoins in fourth behind Sainz.

Perez passes Schumacher for eighth.

Hamilton is closing on Alonso in sixth.

On lap 25 Verstappen pits from the lead and changes to medium tyres and rejoins in second place, Leclerc retakes the lead.

At lap 25 Leclerc leads Verstappen by 10.1 seconds, followed by Sainz (18.6s), Russell (23.9s), Norris (28.5s), Alonso (33.8s), Hamilton (34.4s), Perez (43.1s), Schumacher (47.5s), and Bottas (49.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 27 Hamilton passes Alonso for sixth place.

On lap 27 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.012s, and trails Leclerc by 8.7 seconds.

On lap 29 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m24.829s, and trails Leclerc by 7.3 seconds.

On lap 31 Sainz pits from third switching to soft tyres and rejoins eighth.

On lap 32 Alonso pits and retires with a mechanical issue.

On lap 33 Sainz passes Perez for sixth.

On lap 34 Leclerc pits from the lead and changes to soft tyres and rejoins in second place, 19.5 seconds behind Verstappen.

Hamilton pits for his first stop for soft tyres and rejoins 12th.

Schumacher makes his first stop as well for soft tyres and rejoins 17th.

Hamilton passes Zhou for 11th place.

On lap 36 Norris pits from fourth and with a slow stop changes to medium tyres and rejoins loosing out and is in ninth.

Hamilton gets up to seventh.

Bottas pits.

On lap 37 Hamilton passes Ricciardo for sixth place.

On lap 37 Leclerc sets fast ;a[ at 1m24.510s.

At lap 37 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 19.2 seconds, followed by Russell (25.5s), Sainz (42.3s), Perez (47.6s), Hamilton (1m06.5s), Norris (1m08.1s), Ricciardo (1m10.5s), Gasly (1m11.2s), and De Vries (1m13.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 38 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m24.336s, and trails Verstappen by 18.7 seconds with 15 laps remaining.

Aston Martin tells Stroll to retire the car with brake problems.

On lap 42 Schumacher passes Latifi for 14th.

On lap 43 Perez pits from fifth place, changes to soft tyres and rejoins in seventh place.

Zhou is challenging De Vries for tenth place.

Sainz is lapping quicker that Russell ahead of him in third, but trails by 7 seconds with laps running out.

On lap 46 Perez sets fastest lap at 1m24.030s.

On lap 47 Ricciardo pulls to the side of the track with an engine failure. The safety car comes out.

Russell and Sainz pit. Norris pits as well. The next lap Verstappen and Leclerc both pit.

Behind the Safety car Verstappen leads Leclerc, Russell, Sainz, Hamilton, Perez, Norris, Gasly, De Vries and Zhou in tenth place, followed by Ocon, Schumacher, Bottas, Tsunoda, Latifi and Magnussen in 16th place.

At lap 50 Ricciardo’s car has yet to be removed as laps are running out. Will we be about to restart?

The laps run out behind the Safety Car and Verstappen crosses the line and wins overs Leclerc and Russell.