Saturday, September 24, 2022

Charles Leclerc starts on pole for Italian Grand Prix: F1 – live! | Formula One

Yes, I ought to have listed these below, so please forgive me. We need something to be done about this because it makes no sense to have qualifying and for things to change so much thereafter – anyone got any ideas? Anyhow:

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Verstappen – Five-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Ocon – Five-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Perez – 10-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Bottas – 15-place grid penalty due to multiple power-unit component changes
Magnussen – 15-place grid penalty due to multiple power-unit component changes
Schumacher – 15-place grid penalty due to power-unit component and gearbox changes
Hamilton – Start at back of grid due to multiple power-unit component changes
Sainz Jr – Start at back of grid due to multiple power-unit component changes (incurred twice), 10-place grid penalty for gearbox component changes
Tsunoda – Start at back of grid due to multiple power unit component changes, 10-place grid penalty for collecting five reprimands, three-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags

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1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

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2 George Russell (Mercedes)

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3 Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes)

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4 Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes)

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5 Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri-Red Bull)

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6 Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault)

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7 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

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8 Nyck de Vries (Williams-Mercedes)

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9 Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)

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10 Nicholas Latifi (Williams-Mercedes)

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11 Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes)

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12 Lance Stroll (Aston martin-Mercedes)

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13 Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)

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14 Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault)

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15 Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)

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16 Kevin Magnussen (Haas-Ferrari)

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17 Mick Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari)

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18 Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari)

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19 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

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20 Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri-Red Bull)

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After all the chicanery and controversy of last’s season’s denouement, things have quietened down this season – but the outcome looks like being the same: Max Verstappen winning the world championship. He leads the driver standings by 109 points from Sergio Pérez and, though he begins today from seventh on the grid following a penalty for a power-unit change, has won our last two races from 10th and 14th; good luck everyone else.

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The question, then, is whether Verstappen can go on to dominate, and though we won’t find that out any time soon, there’s plenty to entertain us in the meantime. Lewis Hamilton, still trying to sort his Mercedes, starts from the back row after multiple power-unit component changes, and has, in a sense, already started next season while, at the front, Charles Leclerc is under pressure to deliver for Ferrari and the tifosi and, behind him, George Russell is in the process of establishing himself as a serious force, likewise Lando Norris.

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So, we’ve plenty to go on – of course we have – and the special Monza atmosphere, Il Canto degli Italiani and all, will be an absolute treat. Siiiiiiiiii!

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Lights out: 3pm local, 2pm BST

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Key events

Lap 28/53 Russell doesn’t like the hard tire he’s been given, while it doesn’t seem to matter what Verstappen has – he’s on mediums, but his car’s basic pace is such that he’d probably be fine on anything.

1 Leclerc

2 Versatappen

3 Saints

4 Russell

5 Norris

6 Hamilton

7 Alonso

8 Perez

Lap 27/53 Yet to come in, Hamilton is seventh … and he whooshes past Alonso on the straight. At the front, Verstappen has cut Leclerc’s lead to 9.253s, and he’s got plenty of time to eradicate it in its entirely.

Lap 26/53 Ferrari gained 10s by pitting with the virtual safety car out; the question now is whether Leclerc’s tires will be fresh enough to get him to the end.

Lap 25/53 Sainz wants a soft tire; though who knows if it’s possible to do that pursue a one-stop strategy? He sits third as Verstappen comes in and now Leclerc leads; Verstappen comes out in second 10.276s behind.

Lap 24/53 Hamilton gains on Alonso but isn’t quite ready to take him out, while Verstappen continues stretching his lead over Leclerc; it’s now in excess of 14s, but there’s a pot-stop coming up…

Lap 23/53 Perez made the podium from 19th on the grid last term, and there’s a decent chance Sainz does likewise from 18th/ He’s fourth, while, just behind them, Hamilton attacks Alonso.

1 Verstappen

2 Leclerc

3 Russell

4 Saints

5 Norris

6 Alonso

7 Hamilton

8 Schumacher

Lap 22/53 Leclerc is motoring but behind him, Sainz is slowing, the gap nearly Verstappen’s lead is now over 10s, while Hamilton has moved up to seventh – but he’s not stopped yet.

Lap 21/53 Verstappen continues extending a lead he barely had to fight for, 8.870s in front, and if he stays there the driver championship is more or less settled – even more so than now.

Lap 20/53 Gasly comes in and so do Ricciardo, Ocon and De Vries. Ricciardo comes out still in front of Gasly but is now 13th.

Lap 19/53 Leclerc is driving nicely, setting another fastest lap as we see Hugh Grant, wearing a beige syoot. Whoops.

Lap 18/53 Leclerc sets a fastest lap time and Norris passes Alonso, while Magnussen is giving a penalty to leaving the track to get an advantage. Verstappen meanwhile, must be laughing his arse off, leading Russell by 7.474s and increasing the gap all the time.

Lap 17/53 Ferrari’s medium tires aren’t massively helping them here, and Versatappen’s lead is such that they’ll likely need another safety car to catch him. Russell remains second, quietly driving another impressive race, though 6.4s off the lead.

Lap 16/53 Hamilton is making slow but steady progress, passing Ocon to take twelve, and this season must be absolutely killing him.

Lap 15/53 Leclerc will have to drive six extra laps on his mediums because that’s how early he was brought in, taking the opportunity provided by the virtual safety car. He’s looking pretty good, 17s and change off the lead – he’ll expect to go in front when Verstappen stops.

Lap 14/53 Verstappen still leads…

1 Verstappen

2 Russell

3 Leclerc

4 Saints

5 Ricciardo

6 Gasly

7 Alonso

8 Norris

9 De Vreis

10 Ocons

Lap 13/53 Verstappen leads Russell by 4,769s with Leclerc a further 12,725 behind; Sainz races by Ricciardo into fourth, and the crowd enjoy the granny out of that.

Lap 12/53 Ferrari decides to take advantage of the situation, bringing their drivers in for a pit, then the virtual safety car departs and Leclerc comes out in third having got a cheap stop in.

Lap 11/53 Sainz nails Gasly, but Vettel has to retire with a mechanical issue and we get ourselves a virtual safety car. Leclerc won’t be delighted, but he leads by 2.039s, which isn’t bad at all.

Lap 11/53 Sainz diddles Norris on the inside at the chicane and what a race he’s having. However, though he’s close to Gasly in front, there’s a big gape between Russell, in third, and Ricciardo, in fourth.

Lap 10/53 The crowd go wild as Sainz’s Ferrari bousts by Alonso’s Alpine – he’s now seventh having started 18th, and the tifosi are already imagining a memorable day.

Lap 9/53 Sainz nails De Vries, who did well to hold out as long as he did, to take eighth, while Hamilton is now 15th. At the front, Verstappen is 1.527s behind Leclerc.

Lap 8/53 Verstappen is having his batteries charged and trails by just under two seconds he’ll be quicker again shortly, while Perez is in the pit-lane and something, probably his brakes, are overheating. He’s on hards to, the only driver who is, while Sainz, passing Zhou to go ninth, is on mediums.

Lap 7/53 There’s a DRS chain between Ricciardo, Gasly and Norris, in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively, but no one can pull off an overtake. Sainz Jr, though, is worth paying attention to as he’s got some real pace and if things go well for him, he’ll finish way higher than tenth.

Lap 6/53 Leclerc still leads, but he’ll not have thought Verstappen would be so close to him so early on. Sainz Jr, meanwhile, who started 18th on the grid, have just nailed Stroll, who’s going backwards, to take tenth place … and Perez goes by Ocon to take 13th.

Lap 5/53 Verstappen is all over Russell and he ails him through the chicane; he’s 2.191s off the lead while Hamilton, 18.617s behind, is now 18th.

Lap 4/53 The top three are all on softs, and Verstappen is close enough to Russell to get DRS, just 0.216s behind. He is looking so, so good,

Lap 3/53 Looking at the start again, Leclerc did well to hold the line after Russell got away better, while Norris had a dreadful beginning. Anyhow, Hamilton might have a wheel-arch situation – more on that as we get it.

1 Leclerc

2 Russell

3 Verstappen

4 Ricciardo

5 Gasly

6 Norris

7 Alonso

8 De Vries

Lap 2/53 Verstappen is into third now, taking out Ricciardo, and Perez and Sainz clash. Hamilton is still 19th, and there’s actually been very little change from the starting grid.

Lap 1/53 Leclerc starts OK but Russell starts very well and they’re together, but Leclerc holds position and Verstappen is motoring! He’s fourth now, from seventh!

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in action, under pressure from Mercedes' George Russell.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action, under pressure from Mercedes’ George Russell. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Leclerc slows everyone down, but those at the front are going to have to wait a bit for everyone else to get ready. That should get the nerves fizzing nicely as we race away…

Here comes the formation lap…

I can’t lie, I used to think Daniel Ricciardo would go on to greater things than so far. He starts fourth on the grid, his best position since this GP last term, and it’s about time he fulfilled his potential as a driver.

Most drivers will be stopping once, it’s thought, with mediums onto softs the most likely tire usage.

Verstappen tells Sky that though he’s favourite, Ferrari are competitive this weekend – but P2 should be doable for him. He’s not here to break hearts but just to do the best he can, and though Red Bull don’t need to win, they want to win.

It’s a pretty nice day in Monza. The same is not so of North London.

The Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolori perform some aerobatics before the start of the race.
The Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolori perform some aerobatics before the start of the race. Photograph: Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters

Christian Horner thinks it’ll be hard to catch Ferrari today and won’t reveal his strategy, but says you’ve got to survive the first two chicanes, which funnel into a narrow piece of track; if Verstappen can do that, they’ll start thinking about overtaking. Verstappen is driving with maturity, he thinks, and notes that they don’t need to win this race, they just need to score nicely.

Tuuuuuuuune!

Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, says that he was happy with the lap that got him pole, and that he and Sainz Jr both went for pole to try and keep Verstappen as low as possible. He says “Max and Red Bull were on another planet in Spa,” but they’ve been working hard to find out why that was, and are in a good spot for this race.

Nyck de Vries, a late call-up for his first GP, tells us he’s changing his seating position and that he’s got some shoulder-bruises, but he doubts he’ll notice once we’re away. He affects proper confidence and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does, not just today but in the coming years.

We were talking about Hamilton having already started next season, but do we think he’ll still be at Mercedes then? I’m not sure where else he could go, but I can’t see him hanging around if he’s not certain things are going to get much better. I also wonder if, at some point, Mercedes plan for George Russell to be their number one driver…

“Esteban,” begins Gavin Herbert. “Not this?”

To my shame, I have not seen this picture, but promise to address that.

Elsewhere…

All these penalties will make for an unusual GP, I think. Generally speaking, it’s not easy to overtake at Monza, but with so much pace so low down, we could easily have three or four carving through the field.

grid penalties

Yes, I ought to have listed these below, so please forgive me. We need something to be done about this because it makes no sense to have qualifying and for things to change so much thereafter – anyone got any ideas? Anyhow:

Verstappen – Five-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Ocon – Five-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Perez – 10-place grid penalty for power-unit component change
Bottas – 15-place grid penalty due to multiple power-unit component changes
Magnussen – 15-place grid penalty due to multiple power-unit component changes
Schumacher – 15-place grid penalty due to power-unit component and gearbox changes
Hamilton – Start at back of grid due to multiple power-unit component changes
Sainz Jr – Start at back of grid due to multiple power-unit component changes (incurred twice), 10-place grid penalty for gearbox component changes
Tsunoda – Start at back of grid due to multiple power unit component changes, 10-place grid penalty for collecting five reprimands, three-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags

There’ll be 336,000 people enjoying Monza this weekend. That is both brilliant and ridiculous.

I trust it’s not just me who thinks of this every time they seen the name Esteban.

The grid

1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2 George Russell (Mercedes)

3 Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes)

4 Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes)

5 Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri-Red Bull)

6 Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault)

7 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

8 Nyck de Vries (Williams-Mercedes)

9 Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)

10 Nicholas Latifi (Williams-Mercedes)

11 Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes)

12 Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes)

13 Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

14 Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault)

15 Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)

16 Kevin Magnussen (Haas-Ferrari)

17 Mick Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari)

18 Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari)

19 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

20 Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri-Red Bull)

Preamble

After all the chicanery and controversy of last’s season’s denouement, things have quietened down this season – but the outcome looks like being the same: Max Verstappen winning the world championship. He leads the driver standings by 109 points from Sergio Pérez and, though he begins today from seventh on the grid following a penalty for a power-unit change, has won our last two races from 10th and 14th; good luck everyone else.

The question, then, is whether Verstappen can go on to dominate, and though we won’t find that out any time soon, there’s plenty to entertain us in the meantime. Lewis Hamilton, still trying to sort his Mercedes, starts from the back row after multiple power-unit component changes, and has, in a sense, already started next season while, at the front, Charles Leclerc is under pressure to deliver for Ferrari and the tifosi and, behind him, George Russell is in the process of establishing himself as a serious force, likewise Lando Norris.

So, we’ve plenty to go on – of course we have – and the special Monza atmosphere, Il Canto degli Italiani and all, will be an absolute treat. Siiiiiiiiii!

Lights out: 3pm local, 2pm BST

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