After criticism of the unspectacular end of the race behind the safety car at the Italian Grand Prix, the FIA explained and justified the procedure.

Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren had stopped at the side of the track with a defect a few laps before the end on Sunday. But the so-called stewards had not been able to move the Formula 1 car from there to a neutral zone, an FIA spokesman said. And safety had top priority.

The situation was also insufficient for red flags. This would have meant an abandonment and a restart of the race. Because the car could not be brought off the course in time, the race had to be finished behind the safety car.

As a result, there was no longer a duel for victory. Max Verstappen, who was in the lead in the Red Bull, as well as Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari, had immediately changed to the softest and fastest tyre compound at the beginning of the safety car phase for a final duel, relaxed and drove his car to his first victory on the Monza circuit.

In the event of a restart, he “wouldn’t have been worried”, the 24-year-old world champion emphasised. After all, he had the soft tyres. With a lead of 116 points over Leclerc, Verstappen can mathematically make the title defence perfect at the next race.