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Max Verstappen ruined the Tifosi’s day, by winning yet again this season in front of polesitter Charles Leclerc. George Russell took the final podium step ahead of the charging Carlos Sainz in a race affected by the safety car end. 

Max Verstappen – 10

This season, Verstappen is collecting 10s like the best scholar would do. His level of driving is reaching new heights and he was leading with a 16 seconds-advantage when the race was neutralised. 

He was set to start from seventh following an engine penalty, but was within sight of Leclerc after five laps and lapped very consistently to look after his tyres after the Ferrari’s early stop. 

His pace allowed him to close the gap to Leclerc and inherit a lead he wasn’t going to lose with the Monegasque’s second stop. His lead is 116 points and the championship victory is likely to be just a few weeks away. 

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Charles Leclerc – 9

The Monegasque drove a superb race from pole position but was left powerless against Verstappen, having to settle for second place. 

He will be gutted not to have won in front of the Italian crowd, but a super pole position on Saturday left him at least with some joy. 

Leclerc tried to hold off his rival by pitting with an early virtual safety car but was unable to resist the Dutchman’s pace on medium tyres.

At this moment, Ferrari can only watch Verstappen’s superiority, but Leclerc will be delighted to have done his best in a flawless race. 

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George Russell – 9

Favoured by penalties to other podium contenders, Russell had an open goal to score a podium and did so with a solitary drive to third place. 

His pace wasn’t enough to match Verstappen and Leclerc, but he never was under threat from drivers behind and will hardly score an easier podium than this one. 

Sergio Perez, in third place, is only seven points away. Finishing in the top three would be a huge achievement for the Mercedes driver.

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Carlos Sainz – 8

It was a furious comeback after a start from 18th place due to an engine penalty, but Carlos Sainz felt he could have scored a podium had it not been for the race interruption at the end. 

He was coming back fast on Russell with soft tyres, after a long first stint in which he overtook everyone on his way to fourth place. 

He was just seven seconds behind Russell with seven laps to go, after recovering at more than a second per lap. It was a shame to not have seen a final attempt for the podium. 

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Lewis Hamilton – 7

Lewis Hamilton got the maximum out of his race, after having to start from 19th place due to a penalty. 

He had originally out-qualified Russell and could have been a podium contender, but for a very slow initial charge. 

It took him 37 laps to Sainz’s 13 to recover to a best of the rest position, as he was stuck in traffic, before showing good pace near the end to beat Sergio Perez and Lando Norris. 

Sergio Perez – 5.5

Perez’s race and judgment are always affected by the presence of Verstappen, who makes it look all so easy in the same car. The Mexican was fourth in qualifying, nine-tenths behind his teammate, and had to start from 13th place due to a penalty. 

He had a poor first lap and dropped to 15th, showing difficulty at overtaking and this eventually compromised his strategy, with a very early first stop and subsequent two-stop strategy. 

He looked like he was set to finish seventh, before a late stop for Norris gifted him P6 with the fastest lap, but finished behind Sainz and Hamilton despite starting in front. 

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Lando Norris – 7.5

Norris collected another seventh-place finish, driving a scintillating race in terms of pace, but with a series of errors from him and the team which ruined a possible better result. 

His start from third place was neutralised by a clutch problem, as Norris dropped as low as seventh, before making up for it by extending the first stint and looking like he could hold off Hamilton. 

However, he suffered a slow stop which put him in traffic and this cost him the place on the Mercedes driver before a conservative call at the end also dropped him behind Perez. 

It was still another best of the rest performance with a car that doesn’t live up to his talent. 

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Pierre Gasly – 8

Pierre Gasly has come back refreshed from the Summer break and Alpha Tauri are starting to score regular points after a disappointing first half. 

It was a positive race for the Frenchman, though frustrating as it was spent behind Daniel Ricciardo until the McLaren’s retirement near the end. 

He qualified in a promising ninth place, to start fifth and run in the top 10 for the entirety of the race, looking to have a bit more speed than the McLaren, but not enough to attempt an overtake. 

Nyck De Vries – 10

It’s not always that you see a driver jump in a car on Saturday to fill in somebody else’s boots and score points. What makes it even more incredible is that Nyck De Vries is a rookie, he raced with the team that sits last in the standings, outperformed his teammate, and looked like a veteran. 

The Dutchman finished ninth, proving his worth in a track that suited the Williams and allowed him to qualify in 13th. He looked comfortable at pushing the limits without making serious errors and was gifted a P8 start. 

His car’s top speed and a large number of penalties were a bonus and it would be wise to see him race on another track, but de Vries did a simply outstanding job. 

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Zhou Guanyu – 7

Ricciardo’s retirement promoted him to the top 10 after the Chinese driver spent all the race trailing behind the drs train led by the Australian. 

He was unable to pull off a move on De Vries, in front, but was looking more competitive at the end and could have perhaps snatched the position anyway. 

With the car looking competitive, but still only the seventh or eighth-fastest, Zhou did a good enough job to claim his third points finish.

Esteban Ocon – 5

The weekend never quite kicked off for Esteban Ocon, who had his first non-points-finish since Great Britain. 

The Alpine was surprisingly off the pace despite some good premises in Italy, as Ocon was 11th in qualifying, to start 14th.

He recovered a few places, but the pace wasn’t good enough to catch up to the train led by Ricciardo and he finished a few seconds away from a place in the top 10. 

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Mick Schumacher – 6.5

The Haas struggled in Italy and Mick Schumacher had to work hard to get up to 12th place, after dropping to 19th on the opening lap. 

He went on a long first stint on medium tyres, which allowed him to overtake a few cars in the pit stop phase, before also overtaking Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda on track. 

It was a good comeback, but that didn’t allow him to score any points. He was 24 seconds in front of Kevin Magnussen when the race was neutralised, showing that perhaps he would deserve to keep his seat for 2023. 

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Valtteri Bottas – 5

The Finn suffered a painful afternoon, after dropping to last on the opening lap, in which he made contact with Magnussen at turn one. 

He followed the German with the strategy, going for a long first stint which allowed him to recover two places. A late pit stop for Yuki Tsunoda elevated him to 13th, but a long way behind his teammate. 

Starting races from the back due to penalties doesn’t help and after averaging five points per race until June, Valtteri Bottas has gone pointless for seven races.  

Yuki Tsunoda – 5 

Yuki Tsunoda’s race was compromised by his third engine penalty of the season, which saw him start from last and virtually excluded him from the top 10 fight. 

He climbed up to 14th, just behind Ocon, and stopped early, following the Alpine to the end. The pace wasn’t scintillating in the last stint and he lost out to Schumacher and Bottas to finish 14th

Nicholas Latifi – 3

For a driver with 55 races to his name, being beaten in both qualifying and race by a rookie who didn’t even complete all practice sessions, is a real smack. 

This won’t do any help to Nicholas Latifi’s chances of keeping his seat, as he qualified 16th and had a slow start, whilst his teammate De Vries was storming in front. 

His pace wasn’t even much slower than the Dutchman, but Latifi had to do more in a track that suited the car and was probably his last realistic chance to score points this season. 

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Kevin Magnussen – 4.5 

The Danish driver was the last of the race finishers and drove a disappointing race, compromised by a penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. 

He had very limited running and didn’t enjoy a particularly fast car, but the race was a mess and he spent it at the back after an early first stop. 

Daniel Ricciardo – 7

Last year’s winner had to retire a few laps from the end, abandoning what was likely to be a P8 finish. 

He started the race from fourth due to penalties around and ran at the front of the midfield without particular issues, frustrating cars behind which looked a bit quicker. 

His race strategy was working perfectly, as this would have helped McLaren to a double-finish, but the Australian, who had dropped a long way behind Norris in the second half, had to retire. 

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Lance Stroll – 5.5 

Lance Stroll started from 12th after qualifying in a disappointing 18th place, just behind his teammate. 

He made up a few places at the start, but the pace of the Aston Martin was poor and Stroll was left powerless in front of faster cars. 

He had dropped to 17th of 18 drivers and retired on lap 39. 

Fernando Alonso – 7

A mechanical issue put an end to his streak of 10 consecutive points-finishes, as Fernando Alonso was racing inside the top 10 and had to abandon a promising result. 

He looked active on Lando Norris’ tail and briefly overtook the Brit on two separate occasions before the McLaren driver managed to pull away when traffic was cleared. 

Alonso didn’t have the same pace as Norris and Hamilton but was creating a tyre delta despite complaining of an issue. Whether it was the same issue or not, he had to retire on lap 31. 

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Sebastian Vettel – 5

The last Italian Grand Prix of his career didn’t go as expected, as Vettel had to retire within 10 laps due to a mechanical failure. 

The Aston Martin looked to be the slowest car at Monza and Sebastian Vettel had to abandon from 12th place just as he was following his teammate Stroll. 

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April 2024