Highlights from Formula 1: The frenzied Nyck de Vries - Sport


Ferrari

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(Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP)

If you mixed the Herzblut red and the Modena yellow, you would probably get something like the orange that stands for Max Verstappen. Ferrari nevertheless celebrated a big home game, celebrated the 75th anniversary of its sports car production and the 100th anniversary of Monza in style. Company President John Elkann granted an extension to 2026 to win the title, Charles Leclerc did what he could with his pole position and second place in the race.

The more than 100,000 Ferraristi in the Royal Park were still enormously frustrated in the end, they felt that the race stopped behind the safety car and gave them one last chance to win. "A release would have been the better show," says team boss Mattia Binotto. But safety and rules now come before wishful thinking. Leclerc, whose teammate Carlos Sainz finished fourth from 18th, struggled with the race not being released again: "It was frustrating for me." He ended up wearing a matching black top.

Max Verstappen

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(Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old Dutchman can easily take the boos and whistles of the frustrated Italian crowd: "The atmosphere wasn't that great for me. But it is what it is." The literally exhilarating feeling of floating over tens of thousands of fans in the pit lane and having clinched a win at Monza for the first time beats everything. It is also a return for Red Bull Racing in the Autodromo after a long time, the last winner for the racing team here in 2013 was Sebastian Vettel.

The eleventh triumph of the season is of particular importance for Verstappen, as he now has the first match ball for defending his title with a lead of 116 points over Leclerc in the World Cup standings in Singapore in just three weeks. Appropriately, he reflects on his fifth win in a row: "You have to try to be as perfect as possible - and on most occasions this season we've been pretty good at it."

Nyck de Vries

Seven curves of Formula 1: surprise man in Monza: Nyck de Vries.

Surprise man in Monza: Nyck de Vries.

(Photo: Remko De Waal/dpa)

The best advice for the Formula 1 debutant from the Netherlands came from his compatriot Max Verstappen: "Just don't listen to the others, rather enjoy it." On Friday, the former Formula 2 champion and reigning Formula E world champion drove a practice session in the Aston Martin, and on Saturday he received an emergency call from the Williams racing team. There, the Thai Alex Albon was out due to an appendectomy. Transfer driver de Vries, who is the reserve driver for all Mercedes teams, found his way around quickly and started favored by the many penalties for others than ninth.

The night before his debut, he didn't sleep a wink. But neither the insomnia nor the lack of driving experience in the Tempodrom in Monza bothered the 27-year-old, he held his position to the end - and with this frantic letter of application is considered an aspirant for a permanent cockpit in the coming season. In any case, being "driver of the day" at the first appearance is not a bad recommendation.

Sebastian Vettel

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(Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

For the four-time world champion, it's the farewell to the European racetracks, and it's correspondingly sad. The Heppenheimer considers his eleventh place on the grid to be a gift, as his Aston Martin is once again out of the question. But there is no giving up, especially not on the racetrack where he won his very first Formula 1 race in 2008: "I don't think about it all the time, but this success will always be something special. It was a bit of a miracle a fairy tale."

In complete contrast to the current race: After only twelve laps, the 35-year-old had to park his car to arrive at Arrivederci in Italy there was only a virtual safety car phase for the former Ferrari driver. The reason for the failure was the lack of energy recovery. With the engine, not with the driver. Vettel laconically: "It can't get any worse." It's good that it's over in six races.

Mike Schumacher

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(Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Only nine practice laps on Fridays, just eight on Saturdays, plus penalties for extensive parts changes: The unreliability of the Haas racing team put the German, who is concerned about his whereabouts in the formula 1 fights, again plenty of stones in the way. However, with twelfth place from 17th on the grid, Schumacher shows that he is getting better and better. His problem for the future is not his own achievements, it is the lack of opportunities on the job market. Hardly anyone who would not begrudge Schumacher junior staying in the premier class after two tough years of training.

In principle, he has options at Alpine or Williams, or continued employment at Haas. The often grumpy team boss Günther Steiner praised his diligently overtaking protégé, also knowing the lack of top speed of his own car: "He did a fantastic job!" What the compliment is really worth remains to be seen.

Queen Elizabeth II

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(Photo: Ciro de Luca/Reuters)

At the first Formula 1 race in history, in May 1950 at Silverstone, a Grenadier Guard played "God save the king" in honor of British King George VI. He brought the carefree princesses Elizabeth and Margret to the Grand Prix; these are enthroned on the green strip, protected by oil barrels filled with sand and bales of straw. 72 years later, the dismay at the death of the monarch is great in the paddock of Monza, seven of the ten racing teams come from the island. There is a minute's silence before practice on Friday, but also on Sunday before the Grand Prix. Almost all racing cars are reminiscent of the Queen with additional paintwork, Mercedes has colored its start numbers black. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton is one of four Formula 1 drivers who were knighted for their services by the Windsors - after Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart.

Fernando Alonso

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(Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Spaniard is not necessarily considered an engine whisperer, he only knows one speed: full speed. Early in Monza, however, he sensed that something wasn't going right at the Alpine-Renault. In the middle of the race he is called to the pits, no more water pressure. How annoying, after ten placements, for the first time no points for the 41-year-old, who will be Vettel's successor at Aston Martin next season. Nevertheless, the Italian Grand Prix will remain a special one for him: it was Alonso's 350th Grand Prix, so he sets the endurance record of his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Since he has signed a contract with his new racing team until the end of 2024, he can even break the 400 mark. If he manages to get on the podium twice more, he would have achieved 100 podium places.



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