With Charles Leclerc basking in the glory of winning in front of the adoring tifosi, the scene was not so bright in the other Ferrari camp. Sebastian Vettel suffered a nightmarish race, where he practically had a repeat of last year’s Italian GP. As a result of a spin and subsequently tagging an unsuspecting Lance Stroll, the German ended the race in a lowly P13.
Already he was in a rotten mood for being denied a chance to get a tow from LeClerc. Sebastian Vettel lost a place on the opening lap to compatriot Nico Hulkenberg. While he was able to dispatch off the Renault easily, it was an ominous sign.
Six laps into the race, everything that could potentially go wrong, went wrong for Vettel. The 4-time world champion spun his Ferrari SF90 after riding the kerbs at the Variante Ascari.
Murphy’s Law continued to haunt Vettel as he clumsily and hastily re-joined the track. Unfortunately, his blinkered vision failed to register any other cars coming into his trajectory. In other words he tagged the Racing Point of Lance Stroll, who was forced into his own spin.
Having none of it, the steward slapped a 10-second stop/go penalty on the hapless Ferrari. In the end, he finished the race in 13th, out of the points and a lap down. What was an even more bitter pill to swallow was the adoring crowd egging on team mate Leclerc to Ferrari’s first victory at Monza in nine years.
“Obviously I’m not happy with it,” he said. “I can’t be happy with my day today. We had a good start, nowhere to go, lost the position [to Hulkenberg], got it back, reconnected to the cars ahead and then lost the rear and couldn’t catch it.
“I struggled a couple of times to get the car going, I struggled to get in the right direction as well, so I couldn’t see [Stroll].
“So simple as that, but obviously not happy, and after that the race was obviously gone.”
It was worth noting that for a very long time, Sebastian Vettel had been questioned about his love for the sport. The German driver has now gone a full year without a race win, since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.
However, contrary to popular belief, Vettel affirmed: “No, not really, I haven’t. Of course I still love what I do, but surely when you’re not doing well what you know you can do well, you can’t be happy.”
Now, the 4-time world champion has practically dropped to the tail of the top 5 with LeClerc’s latest triumph.