Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix; de Vries finishes 9th
Max Verstappen won his 5th race in a row on Sunday in Monza, Italy. Despite starting the race in the seventh position, Verstappen won the Grand Prix comfortably with help from a safety car.
The start of the race was marred by problems with the event's organization as queues to enter the track stretched over a kilometer long.
Before the race, there was a minute of silence remembering queen Elizabeth who passed away on Thursday, followed by the Italian national anthem performed by Andrea Bocelli.
Verstappen started the race with a 109-point lead over his nearest challenger, meaning a hand full of second-place finishes will be enough for the 24-year-old to retain his championship. Verstappen started the race in the seventh position due to a grid penalty in qualifying. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc began the race in pole position.
Verstappen was not the only driver from The Netherlands for this race as Nyck de Vries raced his first season for Williams, replacing Alex Albon, who was ruled out by appendicitis. De Vries started the race in eighth.
De Vries finished in ninth place, six places ahead of Williams teammate Nicolas Latifi. With this, de Vries has boosted his chances of getting a seat next season. De Vries was voted driver of the day by F1 fans.
Verstappen gained four positions in the first two laps before catching George Russell in the fifth lap. Verstappen took the lead in the 13th lap when Leclerc entered the pits. Due to Daniel Ricciardo having to retire from the race with his car on the track, the race was finished behind a safety car resulting in a Verstappen win.
If he were to win the race with other results going his way, Verstappen could win the F1 title in Singapore on the second of October in the Singapore GP.
Verstappen was happy to finish on the podium in Monza for the first time in his career." We had a great race, we were quickest on every compound. Overall, we had a really good day. It was enjoyable to drive today even though it was hot out there. Finally, get to go on a great podium like this!.