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Max Verstappen Tops Charles Leclerc to Win 2022 F1 Italian Grand Prix

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 11, 2022

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images

Max Verstappen earned his 11th win of the 2022 Formula One season with Sunday's victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

The starting grid at Autodromo Nazionale Monza looked different than most races with Max Verstappen beginning in seventh and Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz at the back due to getting hit with penalties after qualifying.

The top drivers still showcased their ability, with Verstappen quickly making his way to the front and building a large lead. The race ended with a safety car after a Daniel Ricciardo stoppage, allowing Verstappen to earn his fifth straight win.

It helped build an even more dominant lead in the driver standings with six events remaining.

Charles Leclerc took an extra pit stop and couldn't make up the ground before the yellow flag, finishing in second place for Ferrari. George Russell earned the final spot on the podium ahead of Sainz and Hamilton.


Final Results

1. Max Verstappen

2. Charles Leclerc

3. George Russell

4. Carlos Sainz

5. Lewis Hamilton

Full results via Formula1.com.


It was an anticlimactic end to the race with the race finishing behind the safety car.

Motorsport.com @Motorsport

Engineer: "We will finish the race behind the safety car"<br><br>Charles: "Come on. It's clear! Come on!"<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Motorsport?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Motorsport</a>

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

Max would have won under any circumstances. But still…lame. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a>

It was still a dominant performance from a driver who has been tough to catch all year long.

With a big lead in the drivers standings and starting in P7, Verstappen could have stayed conservative in this race. However, he stated his mindset in a pre-race interview.

"We don't need to win anymore, but we want to win," the driver told ESPN.

This was clear once the race began as Verstappen zoomed into third position and eventually into second by the fifth lap:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 5/53 <br><br>Make that P2 😮<br><br>Verstappen gets past Russell on the run down to Turn 1<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://t.co/E64FZtsn0V">pic.twitter.com/E64FZtsn0V</a>

PointsBet AU @PointsBet_AU

Verstappen gains 5 spots in as many laps…<br>He is that far ahead of everyone right now 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MonzaGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MonzaGP</a>

Alex Mitton @Alexmitton10

We’re living through Max Verstappen’s dominance era, and it seems no one knows how to stop it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGP</a>

Real Timo @RealTimo10

This is Max Verstappen’s world and we are just living in it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGP</a>

Stuart Walter @stuart_walter

Max Verstappen is in a world of his own this season. <br><br>It’s not even fair sometimes. <br> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGrandPrix?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGrandPrix</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Monza?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Monza</a>

The Dutch star became the leader on lap 13 when Leclerc came into the pits and pulled away again during Leclerc's second stop about 20 laps later.

It created an uphill battle for Leclerc to make up ground down the stretch:

Ben Hunt @benjhunt

Leclerc is 19.5 seconds behind Verstappen and only 20 laps to go. Not sure he is going to do it.

Chris Medland @ChrisMedlandF1

Leclerc is finally gaining on Verstappen but nowhere near quickly enough. The gap has only just gone below 19s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ItalianGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ItalianGP</a>

Graydon Gordian @MrGordian

Leclerc isn’t even eating into Max’s lead on fresh softs. This was never gonna happen.

The straights on the Italian track provided few opportunities for passing and large gaps between each position as the laps counted down.

It led to a story we have seen many times this season: Verstappen cruising to victory with the Ferrari strategy being questioned. Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were the only drivers to pit twice before the late safety car.

Ricciardo's stoppage created some drama down the stretch with a potential restart, but the laps had run out and Verstappen clinched his victory.

The drivers will now have a three-week break before the next two races in Singapore and Japan.

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