An intense and exciting weekend has ended with 336,647 fans present in the temple of speed in Monza that celebrated its 100 years of history in the best possible way. Beyond the full grandstands, I was positively struck by the presence of a very young public that is luckily getting closer to Motorsport.
We saw many duels on the track, starting from the Saturday in the challenge for pole position won by Charles Leclerc, author of an extraordinary lap. Both he and Carlos Sainz confirmed all the goodness of the Ferrari in a flying lap, while they were forced to pay a “cost” from Red Bull (Max Verstappen in particular) in the race.
It was a much deserved new win, the fifth consecutive win of the season and the first personal win at Monza for the Dutch driver who strung together a sequence of incredible laps, while managing to protect his tyres. Under these conditions the people on Ferrari’s wall tried all or nothing by bringing forward the card of the early pit stop, maybe hoping for a safety-car or VSC (that partially happened) even if it did not pay off at the moment, the fight for Leclerc is for second place with Sergio Perez, just as it is for Ferrari versus Mercedes. An interesting end of the season is expected.
Carlos Sainz’s comeback was also to be applauded. Having started from the rear he managed to climb up to the foot of the podium, crossing the finish line behind George Russell’s Mercedes. A positive result considering that the objective was fifth place, characterized by excellent overtaking. Behind him was Lewis Hamilton, he too forced to start from the rear, the author of a positive comeback but with times that were inferior to his team mate.
Also to be noted are the results achieved by Gasly and especially the debutant Nyck De Vries who immediately got into the points (ninth place) with the Williams and who was also voted the best driver of the day. He showed he is a reliable driver capable of not making mistakes. He deserves a chance. This was not a surprise for me since I had already had the opportunity to observe him in action in the karts.
It was a negative for the decision by FIA at the end of the race. The arrival behind the SC compromised an incredible show. The safety car entered the track too late and in an incorrect position. The double management with the race directors did not pay off. It seems to me that there is a lot of work to do in the relations between Liberty Media and the Federation.
Amongst other things, the Federation must seriously consider the idea of changing the regulations tied to the penalties for the replacement of parts. This weekend we saw nine of the twenty drivers penalized with an overturned starting grid compared to the result of qualifying. It is unsporting for the drivers to pay for the team’s mistakes. Besides, it is unacceptable to wait for more than 5 hours from the end of qualifying to have the definitive starting order. It is a regulation that must absolutely be reviewed.
Gian Carlo Minardi