Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Italian GP in Monza while Charles Leclerc finishes second after starting from pole position

Max Verstappen won the Formula One Italian Grand Prix to leave him in touching distance of his second straight Formula One title. Championship leader Verstappen claimed his first ever win at Monza after fighting from seventh on the grid to beat Charles Leclerc over the line on another difficult day for Ferrari.The Red Bull driver is 116 points ahead of Leclerc, who started on pole, in the drivers’ standings after winning a race whose final six laps were run with the safety car.

Charles Leclerc, who started from the pole position, finished second after problems with decision making for tyres mid-race. Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in the race while Daniel Ricciardo, the winner of the race in 2021, had to retire in the 47th lap. Mercedes’ George Russell took the third spot on the podium.

Max Verstappen is now in pole position to clinch the 2022 F1 championship

Verstappen beat Leclerc after the Italian team tried a questionable two-stop strategy, surrendering the lead to the Dutchman twice on track. Verstappen’s 11th win this year puts him 115 points clear of Leclerc and means he might clinch the championship at the next race in Singapore.

The reigning F1 champion drove another consummate race, moving up quickly from seventh on the grid after a penalty for excessive engine usage to be second after five laps.

Max Verstappen
2J5M0KC Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. 24.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Race Day. Photo credit should read: XPB/Press Association Images.

To clinch the title, Verstappen needs to leave Singapore in three weeks’ time leading by at least 138 points. That means he would need to win the race with Leclerc retiring to become champion there. The first of those events seems almost inevitable as Verstappen has taken total control of this season and he and Red Bull have established such an advantage that they seem to be almost unbeatable.

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