Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 14, Monza 2019
Mean Reader Score: 7.56 Rated 6/14 races this season
This year’s race scored 7.56, not so dissimilar to 2018’s 7.12, far higher than 2016’s paltry 4.35, and the 5.82 of 2017. This qualifying was so unlike last year’s thrilling qualifying session which saw not only the fastest lap around Monza, but the fastest lap ever in the history of F1, with an average speed of 265.587km/hr, set by the surprise pole sitter, Kimi Raikkonen.
This year we had most of the Q3 drivers queuing up NOT to do a final lap in Q3, as they were all trying either to get a tow from someone else or not give anyone else a tow. By the time most of the drivers had realized they were going to run out of time to start their last flying lap it was too late- most of them had already not passed go. The result was that Charles Leclerc took his second consecutive pole position (his first at Monza, Ferrari’s home ground.)
It was a controversial weekend, if nothing else, from the abysmal qualifying spectacle to the race itself, where again the stewards’ consistency was questioned. We had people being pushed off track, (or were they?) changing direction in the braking zone, (or were they?) disobeying team orders, (or were they) inconsistent penalties being doles out, (or were they?) inappropriate black and white flags being waved, (or were they?).
We also had (in my opinion) one of the best edge of seat races for quite a while, so much so I’m surprised the mean score for this race was so low.
Driver of the Weekend: Charles Leclerc, 70.19 % of reader vote.
For the second week in a row, this youngster has won our coveted Driver of the Weekend award, except this time he romped away with it.
This was Monza, and he is a Ferrari driver and the Tifosi were looking forward to another Ferrari win. They weren’t disappointed. Making the most of a wet FP1 he set the fastest time. In a dry FP2 he did the same, as he did in qualifying (see above).
During the race itself, he fought off challenges from both Mercedes drivers (causing quite a bit of the controversy outlined above) to cross the finishing line in first place and be one of only 11 Ferrari drivers ever to have won at Monza.
His elbows were well and truly out and he wasn’t going to let anyone pass. He even got a round of applause from the journalists when he went to the drivers’ press conference after the race.
Hamilton said ‘young drivers get away with a lot more these days’ and Mercedes Team Principle, Toto Wolf, said ‘ Maybe Leclerc’s driving was a little bit over the edge’. Needless to say, the Tifosi were ecstatic. Well done Charles!!
Italian press reaction: “Vettel has psychological problems”
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took his chances to win in his team’s home race. “A little carelessness, and then I had lost the car,” he said angrily afterwards.
After Monza’s qualifying frustration Sebastian Vettel started the race desperate to challenge for a win, but also fearing that Leclerc’s pole position and both Mercedes ahead would deny any chance….. READ MORE
Norris swears angrily at race engineer at Monza 2019 (uncensored)
Ferrari insiders say rift between drivers
All of Motorsport Italy is celebrating Charles Leclerc’s victory at the Ferrari home race in Monza. But behind the scenes of the oldest current F1 team the mood is tense.
Ferrari insiders report that the debriefing on Saturday after qualifying was very heated. It was actually agreed that…… READ MORE