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Max tenth at Italian GP: “Race finished after three laps”

Published on 03 September 2017 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen finished tenth at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. The Dutch Red Bull Racing-driver, starting the race from the thirteenth spot due to a grid-penalty, had a great start and was already eighth after the first chicane. Max however came in contact with Felipe Massa on lap three which resulted in a flat tyre. Dropping all the way to the back, he fought his through the pack to tenth. Lewis Hamilton took home the victory followed by Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. Sebastian Vettel finished Ferrari’s homerace in third.

“My race was basically finished after three laps”, is what Max had to say after the race. “If you lose so much time with a puncture, pitstop and front wing change, then it’s done. Aftert that I was playing catch up. We started the race on the soft and I wanted to try to go as far as possible on that set, but I didn’t manage that. Because I punctured that tyre, we had to do a two-stop race. That was a bit of a shame, but what can you do? I still did quite a decent race, so I was pretty happy with that. It could have been much better, but it was finished on lap three.”

Asked about his chances for the next Grand Prix in Singapore, Max answers: “Daniel finished fourth, so the car was really working well. I was also happy even though I was playing catch up. Hopefully in Singapore we can fight for a proper podium.”

After a wet qualifying, during which Max brilliantly came in second, he still needed to serve a twenty-place grid penalty due to changing parts of his power unit. Because of penalties from others, he moves up to P13 on the grid.

Max has a good start on the soft tyeres and after the first chicane he is already in eighth. On lap three, Max decides to take on Felipe Massa for the seventh spot. Side by side they take on the first corner. The Brazilian leaves Max almost no room and they run into each other. This results in Verstappen puncturing his front right tyre and he is forced to make it back to his team quite slowly. The team changes his front wing and Max is forced to rejoin the pack as last and on the super softs. Race control decides that there is no further action required regarding the incident between the two drivers. At the front, Hamilton manages to keep his pole position. Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon, starting from P2 and P3, are subdued by the advancing pair, Bottas and Vettel.  

Only on lap sixteen, Verstappen manages to move up one spot by overtaking Romain Grosjean. Due to others stopping, the Red Bull Racing-driver advances to sixteenth. On lap 29, Max comes in, after having been lapped already, for a second pit stop. The team straps on the super soft tyres once more so he will be able to go to the end with those. Verstappen rejoins in eighteenth, which quickly becomes sixteenth after Jolyon Palmer drops out due to technical issues.

On lap 34, Max manages to overtake Fernando Alonso. The same moment, the Spaniard’s team mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, is forced to park his McLaren in the pits due to technical issues. Entering the first chicane, Verstappen is slightly hit by Grosjean, who had just exited the pits. He suffers no damages and Verstappen can continue his hunt for Carlos Sainz' thirteenth spot.

Daniel Ricciado manages to overtake Raikkonen’s fourth place on lap 41 with some fresher tyres. Verstappen overtakes Sainz for P13 at the same time. In the three following laps, Max overtakes respectively Nico Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen. This puts the Dutchman in tenth.

Due to the great gap to Sergio Perez, that’s all Verstappen can manage to do in this race, as he takes home a single championship point. Lewis Hamilton takes home the victory unchallenged, followed by Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. Sebastian Vettel gives the Ferrari-tifosi something to cheer for coming in third fastest. Ricciardo and Raikkonen round up the top five. Ocon and Stroll eventually come in sixth and seventh.

Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Sunday 3 September


01 44 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes                   	53 1:15:32.312 
02 77 Valtteri Bottas     Mercedes                   	53 +4.471s
03  5 Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari                    	53 +36.317s
04  3 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer  	53 +40.335s
05  7 Kimi Räikkönen      Ferrari                    	53 +60.082s
06 31 Esteban Ocon        Force India Mercedes       	53 +71.528s
07 18 Lance Stroll        Williams Mercedes          	53 +74.156s
08 19 Felipe Massa        Williams Mercedes          	53 +74.834s
09 11 Sergio Perez        Force India Mercedes       	53 +75.276s
10 33 Max Verstappen      Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer  	52 +1 lap
11 20 Kevin Magnussen     Haas Ferrari               	52 +1 lap
12 26 Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso                 	52 +1 lap
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg     Renault                    	52 +1 lap
14 55 Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso                 	52 +1 lap
15  8 Romain Grosjean     Haas Ferrari               	52 +1 lap
16 94 Pascal Wehrlein     Sauber Ferrari             	51 +2 laps
17 14 Fernando Alonso     McLaren Honda              	50 DNF
18  9 Marcus Ericsson     Sauber Ferrari             	49 DNF
NC  2 Stoffel Vandoorne   McLaren Honda              	33 DNF
NC 30 Jolyon Palmer       Renault                    	29 DNF