Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc started the 2022 Italian Grand Prix at Monza from pole position and kept his first place in the first stint of the race, but soon became clear that Max Verstappen once again had a much better race pace. As a result, Ferrari tried to take advantage of an early virtual safety car period prompted by Sebastian Vettel’s power unit issue and called Charles in for his first pit stop.
The decision meant the Moneasaque would have to go for an alternative two-stop strategy, but the extra stop and most importantly lack of pace compared to the Dutchman’s RB18 car left Charles far behind in the final stages of the Italian Grand Prix.
However, a chance seemed to appear for a potential showdown with Max Verstappen after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was forced to stop the car on the track due to a power unit issue, which led to a safety car intervention. Unfortunately for the Maranello team, a delay in recovering the damaged McLaren, as well as the safety car taking several laps to arrive in front of race leader Max Verstappen, meant there was no more time to resume the Italian Grand Prix, which therefore finished without any more track action.
The outcome came much to the annoyance of the local Tifosi, who of course booed the cars as they took the chequered flag and Max Verstappen easily secured his first win at the Monza circuit
In an interview after the Italian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc admitted he was was looking forward for a direct battle with his rival for at least a few more laps but at the same time he admitted that the defeat Red Bull is the result of what happened on track up until that moment:
“I mean, the end was frustrating. I wish we could have ended up racing, but unfortunately we were second at that place, because of what happened before. So it’s a shame. But overall, I gave it all for P2 today. I wish I could have won in front of the amazing tifosi we have here, but I just couldn’t today.” – the Ferrari driver explained.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection from Puma! Enter the online Puma Store and shop securely! And get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
Charles Leclerc confirmed that he and the Maranello team decided for the early virtual safety car pit stop just to be sure to cover off the cars behind, but would clearly have to look at the data and understand if that was indeed the best strategy option for today:
“We didn’t know what they were going to do behind, so we took that choice,” – the Ferrari driver said. Asked if he was happy with the call, Charles Leclerc added: “Well, obviously we’ve finished P2 so I’m not extremely happy with the race. But yeah, we’ll work on that.”
Leave a Reply