Verstappen: Angry at F1 Italian GP ‘won’t spoil my day’

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The reigning Formula 1 World Champion recovered from a five-place grid drop for an engine change to take his fifth straight win by beating Ferrari favorite Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen led the race after Ferrari pole sitter Charles Leclerc made a second pit stop to switch to a set of soft tyres. The Red Bull driver, who pursued a one-stop strategy on medium tires, held onto the gap with Leclerc when Daniel Ricciardo stopped his McLaren between the two Lesmo corners with his car stuck in gear.

The car could not be returned behind the barriers and needed a crane to lift it off the side of the road.

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While the leaders pitted for fresh tires awaiting a restart and a late sprint to the finish, the race remained under safety car conditions until the end.

The result was greeted by booing from the Monza crowd, while Verstappen was also booed during his post-race interview in parc ferme led by Martin Brundle.

While F1 booing was not a common theme in 2022, it prevailed last year during the intense title fight between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen downplayed the booing directed at him and accepted that it was from the tifosi who felt Leclerc was being denied the chance to fight him for the win at the end as he finished behind the safety car.

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Fans flood the track to celebrate at the end of the race

Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

“It happens, everyone talks to me about it with booing and stuff, but in the end I’m here to try and win the race we did,” said Verstappen.

“Obviously some people can’t appreciate that because they’re very passionate fans of another team. It is what it is.

“It’s not going to spoil my day, I’m just enjoying the moment.”

Leclerc added that he felt F1 fans should stop booing drivers, while the use of torches in the stands was making a comeback in Monza.

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Two flares were thrown at the Zandvoort circuit during Dutch GP qualifying last weekend, while concerns have also been raised that visibility on the track is a safety issue.

“I don’t think anyone likes booing and I don’t think it should happen. That’s it,” Leclerc said.

“And for the flares, I personally think it’s OK if it’s used for the formation lap or laps to the grid, but then it can be a bit confusing for us during the race. It is as it is, after the checkered flag there was a bit but not too distracting.”