Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a "fun" Italian Grand Prix after securing an impressive points finish, while Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff made a pointed jab over the race's safety car finale.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton started at the back of the grid after taking new parts but drove a fine race to secure a fifth-placed finish, as Max Verstappen secured a maiden Monza win.

The podium always looked a long shot for Hamilton, but he still recovered points and actually found a less trying race weekend something to relish.

"It was a good race," Hamilton stated. "The guys were saying that anything between sixth and fourth was possible, and that felt a stretch for me. But I had fun.

"I struggled at the beginning, but I'm really, really grateful that I made my way through and got those points. I think at the end, the two cars behind had fresher tyres, so I'm kind of glad it finished like it did."

The late mechanical failure of Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren meant the race finished behind the safety car.

Hamilton was not in contention this time, but he lost last season's title decider in similar circumstances when then race director Michael Masi ended the safety car early on that occasion and saw Verstappen pass his title rival at the last.

Apparently referring to that incident, Wolff said: "The race directors are always going to be under criticism, but I think this time they followed the rules – maybe they could have done it a lap sooner – and they accepted the race ends under the safety car. This is how it should be."

With a 35-point deficit to Ferrari now for second in the constructors' championship, Wolff has a clear target in his sights ahead of the end of a difficult campaign.

"It's all to play against Ferrari; we just need to do the best every single weekend," he added. "It would [soften the blow] of this year's car a bit."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was frustrated by the decision to end the Italian Grand Prix under a safety car.

A late breakdown for Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren meant any chance for late drama was dashed at Monza, as Red Bull's Verstappen sealed his fifth successive victory.

Verstappen is now 116 points ahead of Charles Leclerc in the driver standings, and seems all set to wrap up a second straight world title when Formula One returns in October.

Yet Horner was not satisfied with how the race ended, believing it could have been finished properly.

"We don't want to win a race under a safety car," Horner told Sky Sports F1. "It's something we've talked about for many, many years, that they should finish racing. 

"There was enough time to get that race going. We had the faster car, we would have liked to win the race on the track, not behind the safety car. We share the disappointment of all the fans, because it took away a grandstand finish.

"It goes against the principles of what we've discussed previously. The biggest losers were the fans. We need to look quickly to address that.

"I think they had more than enough time to get going. We need to go through details, but for me there was enough time, we had a car that wasn't in a barrier, it was just by the side of the track."

Leclerc had been attempting to close the gap on Verstappen, having been cost by another questionable decision by Ferrari on their home track.

Starting in pole, Leclerc found himself behind the Dutchman when Ferrari elected to switch him onto long-distance medium tyres early on.

It allowed Verstappen, who started with a five-place grid penalty on Sunday, to cruise to an 11th win of the season, albeit his maiden success at Monza.

"We had a great race," Verstappen said. "On every compound we were good. Unfortunately we didn't get a restart at the end but overall we had a really good day.

"It was really enjoyable to drive today. A great day for us. It took a bit of time to be on a great podium like this."

Max Verstappen took advantage of another Ferrari tactical blunder to score a maiden Italian Grand Prix victory and extend his championship lead to 116 points.

The reigning Formula One champion edged closer to securing his second consecutive world drivers' crown in glorious sunshine at Monza, after brushing aside a pre-race five-place grid penalty.

But the Dutchman's success came once again with the helping hand of a failed gamble from Ferrari, who lost their home race after opting to throw Charles Leclerc onto long-distance medium tyres early on.

Leclerc, foiled in his bid for a taut title race with Verstappen this year, was pitted with a dozen laps on the board during a virtual safety car brought on by a mechanical failure for Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin.

Having blasted through the pack from seventh at lights out to emerge near the front again, the decision pushed Verstappen to the front and from there he seldom looked troubled by his rival.

Leclerc went onto softs to try and trim a near-twenty second gap, but it was to be in vain, leaving Ferrari to ruminate on another weekend where they lost the advantage.

Carlos Sainz at the very least impressed after a sweeping slate of grid penalties saw him cut through from the back to challenge for a podium, ultimately coming home in fourth behind the Mercedes of George Russell.

The latter's team-mate Lewis Hamilton likewise impressed with a fine drive from the rear of the grid to finish sixth, in another affirmation of the seven-time world champion's talents amid a tough season.

A late breakdown for Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren meant any chance for late drama was neutered under a safety car, and with three weeks to Singapore, Verstappen might start clearing his trophy cabinet for the big one again.

Lewis Hamilton joked he is considering taking his iPad into the cockpit with him at the Italian Grand Prix as he expects to spend much of the race stuck behind other cars.

The Mercedes driver qualified fifth on Saturday, 1.3 seconds behind pole-winner Charles Leclerc, but will start at the back of the grid due to his penalty for a power unit change.

Hamilton is a five-time winner at Monza, but he is without a victory this season in what is his longest ever run without finishing top of the podium.

And the Briton believes he will have to find other means of entertainment on Sunday as he anticipates a bunched grid due to drivers using their Drag Reduction Systems (DRS).

"I'm imagining tomorrow everyone's going to be in a DRS train and it's just going to be sitting there and just waiting for strategy and tyre degradation and those sorts," he said.

"It's a one-stop easy tomorrow, generally, and so strategy won't do too much. But I hope that there's safety cars and all those sorts of things.

"I was thinking of just taking my iPad with me in the race and when I'm in the DRS line just watch the new Game of Thrones."

Leclerc secured pole for Ferrari at their home grand prix, but the starting grid was otherwise complicated by a raft of penalties issued to nine drivers.

Mercedes' George Russell will start in second, while McLaren pair Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo are third and fourth respectively, followed by Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri.

Charles Leclerc hopes this is the "special weekend" Ferrari put their season of mishaps behind them at their home race at Monza.

Scuderia superstar Leclerc will start from pole at the Italian Grand Prix after qualifying fastest from a frantic Saturday session that saw penalties handed out to nine rival drivers.

Max Verstappen was among them, forcing him to start from seventh rather than second, but Ferrari have repeatedly squandered strong positions previously this season.

Indeed, this is a remarkable eighth pole of 2022 for Leclerc, but he has only three wins, retiring on three occasions after starting from the front of the grid.

The Monegasque is 109 points behind Verstappen in the title race, while Ferrari are 135 back on Red Bull in the constructors' championship.

The home fans will want to see those gaps cut on Sunday, with Ferrari chairman John Elkann and Italian president Sergio Mattarella set to be in the crowd.

"I think overall, after each mistake, we learned from them and we try to be better as a team," Leclerc said.

"It's not because we are here in Monza that it's more important than other races to not do any mistakes. We need to become a team that does no mistakes wherever we go.

"Yeah, it is a special weekend for us, but the target for us doesn't change. We just need to have a clean race and a good race. We'll be targeting that, and let's see."

Verstappen has never won the Italian GP, whereas Leclerc was triumphant in 2019, celebrating his second career win immediately after his first.

Leclerc is not relying on that memory to help him, though, believing he is an entirely different driver now than he was three years ago.

"I think the experience that I gained from 2019 to now will be more helpful than the experience in 2019," he explained.

"I was a very, very different driver, struggling a lot in races at the time, and now I'm in a much better place.

"In 2019, I was not so confident going into the race. This year, it's better, and honestly the feeling was really good on the high fuel.

"It's not going to be easy, because for sure Max will be extremely quick and will be coming back, but I'm sure that we can make this work."

The provisional Formula One grid for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza has been announced by the FIA, hours after the conclusion of Saturday's qualifying.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc secured pole position for the team's home Grand Prix, but the starting grid for Sunday's race was complicated by a raft of penalties issued to a total of nine drivers.

That included championship leader Max Verstappen and Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz, who put in the second and third-fastest laps in Q3, and there was initial confusion on how the penalties across the grid would be applied.

Verstappen, handed a five-place penalty, will start the race from seventh following a debate as to whether he would start from the second row in fourth, depending on whether that penalty was applied before or after others on the grid.

Confusion was not just limited to supporters, as the teams and drivers themselves were left in limbo – AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly taking to social media to ask for clarification, before it was announced he would start from fifth.

"Can someone tell me in which position I will start tomorrow's race?" he asked.

Following the raft of penalties issued, which comes after seven grid penalties were issued in the French Grand Prix, Mercedes' George Russell has suggested the procedure should be changed.

"We're trying to be more sustainable in F1, cutting down the parts and engines we use across a season," he said.

"With more and more races, we have three engines to take us through 23 races, running flat-out on a single engine.

"It's a huge amount. It's normal there are going to be failures along the way. I'm sure F1 will have a rethink along the way."

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2. George Russell (Mercedes)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

8. Nyck de Vries (Williams)

9. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

Ferrari chairman John Elkann knows the team have committed "far too many mistakes" in Formula One this year, stating they "must improve".

The Scuderia have become the main rivals to fellow constructor Red Bull after Mercedes' struggles this season.

Charles Leclerc looked set to push Max Verstappen hard, but a series of major errors and poor judgement calls from the team cost Ferrari a realistic shot at the reigning world champion.

Ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at home circuit Monza, where Leclerc is on pole, Elkann explained his faith in team principal Mattia Binotto and his crew, but suggested there is only so far his patience will stretch.

"We have great faith in Mattia Binotto, and we fully appreciate everything he and all our engineers have done," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But there's no doubt that the work at Maranello, in the box on the wall, and behind the wheel must improve. We must continue to progress

"That applies to the mechanics, the engineers, the drivers, the entire management team, including the team boss. We have seen far too many mistakes, from reliability issues to driving errors and strategic blunders.

"We have trusted in Binotto and his team. That was the right decision. It has paid off and we can thank them that Ferrari is competitive and winning again. But I'm not satisfied. I think we can always improve."

Charles Leclerc clinched pole position for Ferrari's home Grand Prix at Monza, topping the timesheet for the eighth time this season ahead of rival Max Verstappen.

Ferrari head into the Italian Grand Prix under immense pressure following a number of disappointments this season, derailing their hopes of a title, but Leclerc was able to perform in front of the Tifosi.

Leclerc was favourite to start at the front of the grid due to a wealth of penalties being issued for Sunday's race but did not require such an elevation, securing pole position on his own merit ahead of Max Verstappen.

The championship leader is among nine drivers taking penalties at Monza, along with team-mate Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher, four of whom progressed to Q3.

That meant the qualifying standings would be significantly different to the starting grid on Sunday, bringing back memories of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Leclerc took victory at Monza in 2019 and is hopeful of emulating that display in 2022, which would bring an end to Verstappen's run of four back-to-back victories.

"It is amazing. It wasn't an easy qualifying session but I knew we had the potential in the car," Verstappen said.

"In this last lap in Q3 I had to put everything together and I managed to do it. Very happy with the lap and very happy with the performance. I hope we can do just like 2019 tomorrow."

Verstappen explained why he may have seemed slower than some anticipated for the qualifying session, with changes to the car aimed to boost a potential rise through the pack on Sunday.

"It was close but of course we chose to go for a little bit more downforce around here and on one lap it is maybe not the best," said Verstappen. 

"I think for tomorrow it can be quite strong and also knowing we have to start a bit back. All in all, it was a good lap and I enjoyed it. I think it will be an interesting day tomorrow."

Sainz, who put in the third-fastest lap in qualifying but faces a stern test from further back on the grid, admitted that it "hurts" to have to tumble down the starting order for Ferrari's home race.

"It hurts to be starting from the back with how competitive we feel in the car this weekend. I wish I could be at the front with Charles to try and do a 1-2 for the team tomorrow," he said.

QUALIFYING TIMES

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1:20:161

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.145

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.268

4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +1.045

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.363

6. George Russell (Mercedes) +1.381

7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.423

8. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +1.764

9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +2.487

10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) No Time

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries is set to make his Formula One debut in Monza, filling in for Williams' Alex Albon after he was ruled out of contention.

Albon travelled to a local hospital for treatment for appendicitis on Saturday and it was announced he would not race in the Italian Grand Prix.

Instead, De Vries will drive for Williams in his place in an opportunity for him to impress ahead of a potential spot on the grid in 2023.

"Williams Racing can confirm that, after feeling unwell this morning and seeking medical advice from the FIA and local hospital, Alex Albon is now undergoing treatment for appendicitis," the team's statement said.

"Following on from this, we can confirm that the team's reserve driver Nyck de Vries will drive in place of Alex for the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

"Alex is in good spirits and the team wishes him a speedy recovery."

De Vries had already been involved in the week's events at Monza, driving for Aston Martin in the first free practice session, and has said he feels he deserves an opportunity to drive next season.

"Obviously, it's a dream and I think I would deserve a chance, but ultimately it's not up to me to decide a driver line-up," he told reporters.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has also previously backed De Vries for a seat in 2023, though conceded he is unable to help and the team may have to let him go with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton on their books.

"If we are not able to provide him [De Vries] with an interesting Formula One project, in a way we need to let him go," he told Sky Sports during the French Grand Prix weekend.

"He's looking at various options - sportscars and maybe Formula E, but you must never give up on the opportunity that one day a Formula One door can open. He has been very good and I can't really help him."

Alpine, Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri are all yet to confirm their full driver line-up for 2023, leaving five spots on the grid.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz are among five drivers set to receive grid penalties for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, joining Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes confirmed on Thursday that Hamilton would be subject to penalties after taking a fourth power unit of the season, the seven-time world champion to start from the back of the grid having taken a new engine component everywhere barring control electronics and energy store.

Red Bull duo Verstappen and Perez will face penalties for exceeding their allocations of internal combustion engines, Verstappen now on his fifth, landing a five-place penalty, and Perez on his fourth, resulting in a 10-place penalty.

Ferrari's Sainz will receive an 20-place penalty after taking new gearbox components and an energy store, while AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda will add to his penalties with an array of new power unit components, having already been given a 10-place penalty for accumulating five reprimands over the course of the season.

Finally, Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas will join former team-mate Hamilton and Tsunoda at the back of the grid after taking new engine components.

Ahead of Friday's practice session, a minute's silence was held following the passing of the Queen on Thursday and all 10 teams posted messages on their social media channels after the news was announced.

Porsche have withdrawn from their planned Formula 1 collaboration with Red Bull, citing an inability to engineer an "equal" relationship between the two.

The German car manufacturer had been expected to enter the sport in 2026 as the team's engine partner following, with the latter currently using Honda power.

But they have now confirmed the plug has been pulled on any deal, citing an inability to agree over their commercial position, having wanted to influence team operations, against Red Bull's wishes.

"The premise was always that a partnership would be based on an equal footing, which would include not only an engine partnership but also the team," Porsche issued in a statement.

"This could not be achieved. With the finalised rule changes, the racing series nevertheless remains an attractive environment for Porsche, which will continue to be monitored."

Audi, the company's sister brand under the Volkswagen Group, are still set to enter F1 in 2026, with a reported takeover of Sauber anticipated.

Lewis Hamilton has issued a message of support to the Queen following news of her health status on Thursday.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement on Her Majesty's health and said doctors were "concerned", with members of the Royal Family travelling to Balmoral to be by her side.

An outpouring of support has come from across the globe, with world leaders and political figures among those to comment on the matter, and seven-time Formula One world champion Hamilton also spoke on the matter.

"It's definitely concerning. I think she's been such a strong leader for a such a long time, so resilient," he said in a press conference ahead of Sunday's race at Monza.

"I know she's always been a real fighter, so my thoughts are with her. I don't have any more information, I don't know any more about the situation.

"My thoughts are with the family, my thoughts are with her, my prayers are with them and I'm hoping for better news soon."

Hamilton was knighted by the Queen last year, days after he narrowly missed out on what would have been a record-breaking world title.

Lewis Hamilton is set to start the Italian Grand Prix at the back of the grid as Mercedes will use a fourth power unit of the season.

The seven-time world champion sustained damage to the power unit in the recent Belgian Grand Prix, where a collision with Fernando Alonso launched Hamilton's car into the air and led to his retirement shortly after.

Formula One regulations permit the use of three different power units over the course of a season and a grid penalty is issued to those who require the use of additional units – which takes the car to the back of the grid.

A Mercedes spokesperson told GPFans: "We will be fitting PU number [four] for this weekend for Lewis.

"This is because although we are still working on the recovery plan for PU number three that was damaged in Spa, that unit cannot be run this weekend.

"This will come with associated grid penalties as it's in excess of the allocation for the season."

Hamilton is not expected to be the only man on the grid to encounter a penalty for this weekend, with it reported former team-mate Valtteri Bottas will also take a fourth power unit in his Alfa Romeo.

The recent race in Belgium saw a number of engine penalties issued, including those to championship leader Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

The triple-header to follow the resumption of the 2022 Formula One season concludes in Italy this weekend, with Max Verstappen aiming to inflict another stinging result on Ferrari.

Back-to-back wins in Belgium and the Netherlands have seen the Red Bull ace strengthen his grip on the title, with Verstappen remarkably securing 102 out of the last 104 available – only missing out on the fastest lap in France and Hungary.

Perhaps surprisingly, Verstappen's plethora of victories in F1 have not yet included triumph on Ferrari's home soil in Italy – which has seen four different winners in each of the last four races (Lewis Hamilton in 2018, Charles Leclerc in 2019, Pierre Gasly in 2020 and Daniel Ricciardo in 2021).

While the title race looks done and dusted, Ferrari will be determined to secure bragging rights at Monza to provide a boost to a team that has sustained persistent problems this season – most recently with Carlos Sainz's woeful pit stop last weekend.

Ferrari have taken 21 pole positions in the Italian Grand Prix, more than any other team, and have won on 19 occasions – most recently with Leclerc three years ago.

The Monaco-born driver will have fond memories of that triumph and will hope it presents a platform to propel better results in the remainder of the season to at least apply some pressure to Verstappen.

Mercedes mess

Mercedes looked on course for a first victory of the season in the Netherlands last weekend, Lewis Hamilton leading the way with George Russell tucked in behind and Verstappen sitting third before a questionable call.

Russell requested a pit stop and a change for soft tyres, something that was approved and resulted in Verstappen, having also taken softs, finding himself in striking distance of Hamilton and having no problems leapfrogging his former title rival.

Hamilton was understandably furious after the race, with Mercedes fumbling what may well be their best chance of a win in 2022.

Alonso record

In his farewell stint with Alpine ahead of his move to Aston Martin for next season, Fernando Alonso is set to equal Kimi Raikkonen's record of 350 races in Formula One – with nobody else having raced in more.

That record is destined to fall Alonso's way in the future, and he could snatch another off the Finn, as his next race finish would be his 279th in Formula One – putting him ahead of Raikkonen.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Yuki Tsunoda's mid-race stoppage at the Dutch Grand Prix may have cost Lewis Hamilton a shot at victory over Max Verstappen.

The Briton looked on course for a first win of a difficult season, having seldom been near the pace of his Red Bull rival following last year's enthralling title battle.

But a virtual safety car stoppage for Alpha Tauri's Tsunoda two-thirds into the race handed Verstappen a free pit stop, before a physical safety car later on allowed the world champion to make another change and overtake Hamilton.

Tsunoda stopped his car after reporting issues with his tyres, removing his safety belts before being ordered to drive back to the pits. His belts were checked and he drove for four more corners, before being told to stop again by his team.

Hamilton was ultimately forced to settle for fourth, behind Verstappen, team-mate George Russell and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner suggested the stoppage of Tsunoda had no effect on the outcome of the race, but Wolff felt the decision to send the Alpha Tauri – Red Bull's sibling team – back out likely cost Hamilton.

"If we were to fight for a championship, that would be something I would closely look at," he stated when asked if the FIA should review the incident.

"Now, I think what needs to be investigated for the safety of drivers and everybody out there.

"The driver stopped, unbuckled, did a full lap, came in, the problem wasn't solved, they put the seatbelts back on and he drove out and stopped the car again.

"That probably has changed the outcome of the race that we maybe could have won.

"I think we would have had a fair shot at the win. The race planner said the win was on. It was very close, but it was on."

 

 

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