Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took pole position at the Italian Grand Prix

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Leclerc defeated Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was leading the championship, by 0.145 seconds, to the delight of the tifosi.

As one of nine drivers with a grid penalty—is Verstappen’s just five places—he will be relegated.

The top five was completed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who had heavier penalties, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

George Russell of Mercedes, who was sixth quickest in qualifying, will likely start second on the grid.

Leclerc, who took first place in this event while competing for Ferrari in 2019, said: “I felt the car had a lot of promise, but I wasn’t able to bring it all together until the very last lap, and that’s fantastic since qualifying wasn’t an easy session.

“I truly hope I can finish like in 2019 tomorrow. The vehicle has been feeling wonderful all weekend.”

Verstappen, who leads Leclerc by 109 points and is expected to win his second championship in two or three races, said: “The lap felt strong overall, except the first sector where we appeared to be a little bit slow, a little bit straight-line-speedy, and a little bit unable to find the grip.

“I am looking forward to the race,” the driver said. “We picked a greater downforce (level) than some other vehicles.”

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Lando Norris of McLaren qualified eighth quickest, beating out teammate Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian’s best effort since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix back in April.

Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri qualified eighth, ahead of Fernando Alonso, who had poor Alpine practice.

In the final session, Alonso aborted his first lap and then had his second erased for going above track limits on his penultimate lap at the second Lesmo.

He said, “The Q3 was not very effectively performed.” “I attempted two runs, but the first run was also not good, so I’m sorry for the team that I didn’t put a lap together. Even this lap I put together was only enough to be P8, so it looks we are missing a little performance in qualifying. Let’s see if we can improve tomorrow.”

The number of penalties makes it challenging to determine the grid order; in addition to Verstappen, Sainz, and Perez, Esteban Ocon of Alpine, Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo, Yuki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri, and Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher of Haas will all drop down the grid to different degrees.

Nick de Vries, a Dutchman, will probably go up in the Williams rankings due to some of them.

De Vries qualified 13th, ahead of teammate Nicholas Latifi, when Alex Albon was diagnosed with appendicitis on Saturday morning.