F1 Italian GP 2019 review: Leclerc wins again as Monza extension is confirmed

Also, Zandvoort upgrades on track and ex-Williams sponsor shuts down.

F1 Italian GP 2019 review: Leclerc wins again as Monza extension is confirmed

Charles Leclerc took the checkered flag at Monza, the home circuit of his Ferrari team, in front of tens of thousands of wildly celebrating fans and for his second Formula One victory in eight days.

Leclerc started on pole and showed defensive nouse, pushing the boundaries of the rules at times to hold off Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Leclerc crossed the line 0.8 seconds ahead of Bottas and 35.1 seconds ahead of championship leader Hamilton to become Ferrari’s first driver to top the podium at Monza since Fernando Alonso in 2010.

Hamilton hounded Leclerc, especially after pitting at the end of lap 19 and emerging on medium tires. Leclerc pitted a lap later and although he managed to come out in front of Hamilton, he was on hard tires. Hamilton almost got past shortly after but the Ferrari driver held him off in a move that ended with the Mercedes on the grass and Leclerc receiving a warning flag, although crucially no penalty.

Any hope Hamilton had of snatching victory slipped away with 11 laps remaining as he made a mistake at the first corner, ending up on the escape road and allowing Bottas to take second.

Monza extension confirmed

It was confirmed prior to the race that Monza will host the Italian Gp until 2024

Prior to the racing, it was confirmed by Formula One that the Italian Grand Prix will continue to be held at Monza until at least the end of 2024.

Last week the global motorsport series announced that there will be a record 22 races next year, making it the longest calendar in the sport's history, with Monza the only venue yet to sign off on its contract.

Ahead of the 90th edition of the Italian Grand Prix a five-year extension was revealed by Formula One chairman Chase Carey during a public event in Milan. According to Formula Money, the extension with the Italian circuit came at a reduced rate on the old deal.

Carey said: “The feeling one gets at this Grand Prix is truly unique, as is the circuit’s distinctive podium. I would like to thank the ACI, especially its president, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, for its efforts, and this five-year deal means that another part of the jigsaw for the Formula One of the future, is now in place.”

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the Automobile Club of Italy, added: “This is a great outcome for everyone, for Monza, for the Lombardy Region and Italian sport in general, which opens up a five-year perspective to build a future that matches the legendary past that has made Monza a world capital of motorsport.”

According to Formula Money, despite the addition of two new races in 2020, the renewals for Spain, Great Britain, Mexico and Italy, coupled with the loss of the German Grand Prix, will see Formula One race rights revenue grow by just US$18.4 million next year.

Zandvoort circuit upgrades going “completely according to plan”

Jan Lammers, an ambassador for the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, has said that upgrade works on the circuit to get it ready for the visit of Formula One next season are on track.

The well-known circuit is making its return to the global motorsport series’ calendar for the first time since 1985 and will revamp its current layout. The work will see several corners widened and the final corner become banked.

"Everything is going completely according to plan," Lammers told BNR Nieuwsradio.

"The whole story will start from the third or fourth week of September. The architectural process will last from the beginning of November to February."

Former Williams sponsor appears a scam

An unregulated financial advisory firm that formerly sponsored the Williams team has shut down operations.

Financial.org, which launched in September 2016, has closed down, according to a notice on its website, and four investors told Reuters that their accounts had been frozen.

“We have stopped operation,” says a notice on Financial.org’s site which went up in early September.

Foin branding on Williams' 2018 car

Financial watchdogs in Britain, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates have placed the company on alert lists of unauthorised investment firms with whom investors should exercise caution.

The company unilaterally converted investors’ dollar accounts into its own FOIN cryptocurrency in June last year and blocked them from withdrawing.

Investors had reportedly tried to withdraw their FOIN but were denied access by the company. The company’s offices in London and Abu Dhabi have both been vacated.

A spokeswoman for Williams told Reuters that the sponsorship deal under which the Financial.org and FOIN logos appeared on its cars had expired at the end of 2018 and had not been renewed.

Childhood dreams

It's going beyond all the dreams I've had since I was a child. To see so many people cheering for one team, singing all together, it's amazing

Charles Leclerc on winning for Ferrari at Monza

The Big Picture

Ferrari fans salute race winner Charles Leclerc after his win at Monza

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