In one of the flagship races of the Formula 1 season, Monza played host to the latest round of the 2019 season on Sunday and it was Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow who earned a victory in their home GP. The track was perfectly well suited to the Italian team’s setup, and after his debut victory in Belgium, Charles Leclerc continued with his impressive form, just one of many talking points from a riveting race.
- Charles Leclerc has found his rhythm, and good luck taking it from him
Charles Leclerc was confident of victory after qualifying on pole, but it was a hard-fought win as he fended off two Mercedes chasing him down for most of the race. As the pressure intensified Leclerc pushed the racing boundaries which saw him receive a black and white flag warning flag and some terse words from Hamilton post-race.
However, at the very least, very least it showed the five times World Champion that the Frenchman wouldn’t just let him have it all his own way, and it’s exciting for the immediate future of the sport that we have two racers in Max Verstappen and Leclerc who are willing to go toe-to-toe with the veteran Brit.
- Alexander Albon is ready for life as a Red Bull regular
Few wondered whether Alexander Albon’s start to life with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing was going to be a flash in the pan, especially when you consider the way in which Pierre Gasly began the campaign. However, the Thai driver managed to remain consistent, finishing sixth this week and taking eight championship points away from Monza.
Mid-season transfers are never easy for teams to manage, yet it’s clear that Christian Horner has pulled off a masterstroke in this instance.
Albon is quickly adapting to the intricacies of the vehicle given to him, and with two drivers performing so well, there is an added incentive for the Red Bull technical team to work equally on both cars moving towards 2020.
- Only bad luck can stop SportPesa Racing Point
As the team continues to improve in their debut F1 season in the current guise, SportPesa Racing Point has seemingly found that only bad luck will derail their 2019 season from this point.
It was yet another beautifully professional drive from Sergio Perez as he finished seventh and well in the points positions for yet another race weekend, however, the same good vibes weren’t coming from Lance Stroll’s side of the garage, where actions of another driver cost him a true shot at the points.
Sebastian Vettel’s spin out of control early on in proceedings in Northern Italy inadvertently forced Stroll into a spin of his own, as the Canadian driver looked to avoid the German who re-entered the track without due care and attention.
Whilst hearts were in mouths at the prospect of a collision, Stroll did well to avoid the Ferrari, but he could do nothing about what happened next, even if he too was then guilty of almost causing a collision for Gasly in much the same manner.
- Renault have steadied the ship
A dual-finish of 4th and 5th for Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg respectively on Sunday showed that Renault F1 Team have finally steadied the ship after a rocky season.
The arrival of the Australian was supposed to usher in a new era of success for the team, however, modern Formula 1 often favours the stronger vehicle over the stronger drivers for the most part.
Both Renault stars excelled at Monza and fully deserved their points, there was no dramatic technical failing that threatened to ruin this weekend as it has for a number of others this year, and the two were also able to take advantage of people failing around them.
The expectation for Ricciardo is to constantly be challenging for a place on the podium, but that hasn’t been the reality in 2019, and with a number of races left in the year, it may be time for Renault to use this positive result as the basis for their 2020 plans.
- Is Sebastian Vettel enjoying Formula 1 at the moment?
Often, we’ve seen the German cutting a disconsolate figure throughout the 2019 season, and whilst many would put it down to the fact a natural competitor is not winning, as time goes on you wonder if it may be something more?
Fernando Alonso fell out of love with F1 after years of underachievement, and it could be that Vettel is at a much earlier stage of the same journey. Lewis Hamilton has also made whispers towards his own dissatisfaction with some aspects of the sport.
Vettel looked utterly miserable in the post-race press conference in Italy, despite offering his sincere congratulations to teammate Leclerc. There is also the small matter of the fact he is one major racing incident away from being suspended for a single race, that can’t have improved his mood.
It’s difficult at this time to make any sort of case to suggest Vettel should be the number one driver in the team ahead of Leclerc in 2020, and then from a Ferrari perspective are you asking for trouble keeping two elite racers in one garage?