I thought the Italian Grand Prix was a really horrible race. I think it was especially sad for the tens of thousands of people who had bought very expensive tickets. They didn’t get a show, or a finish: in fact, nothing at all.
This race was not captivating. There was no strategic fighting, no battles on the track. It was empty, especially when you compare it to everything we have seen this year. We wanted more, but we didn’t get it. This was partly due to the substandard race management. It had already not been very strong this year, but this was a new low. A race should be exciting and aggressive, and it should be managed accordingly. We are not in endurance racing, this is Formula 1!
A race should never, ever end behind the safety car. So many things could have been done differently: a red flag, sending the stragglers on earlier… There was enough time, we could have raced two more laps. It made me realise that last year was not that bad, after all. Mistakes were made, but there was always the intention to get racing again as soon as possible. Yesterday it seemed as if this was not important – incredible to see. This was not right, such a finish should be avoided.
One positive note for me was Nyck de Vries, he impressed me. He already drove a free practice session on Friday, albeit in a different car, but was already able to find his rhythm. Since Formula 2, he has not put in many miles at this level, because I don’t see Formula E as comparable. That is a different world. Now he was thrown in at the deep end and had to perform under considerable pressure. And this is the best way to judge a driver: not just the performance counts – how he dealt with these circumstances says a lot. He handled these extremely well. It also confirms what we have known all year about Nicholas Latifi: he was blown away. If I were the team boss of Williams, I would give Nyck the opportunity. He’s earned it And otherwise at Alpine perhaps? He is fast and good in difficult situations, why not?
With these standings, we will go to Singapore thinking that Max Verstappen can already take the title there. Ferrari might just help him do that. Leclerc’s first stop during the VSC (stop using these!) I could understand, otherwise Verstappen would have gone in. But I did not understand the second stop, when he was in the lead. There is always the chance of a red flag or a safety car, after all. And his tyres seemed reasonable at the time. If you stop then, you will be second again. Ferrari did not have the speed to catch up, Red Bull has been better with the tyres all year. So why not keep on driving? Maybe you’ll still come second, but at least you’ll have tried.
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