Verstappen wins at Monza after safety car finish

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen dashed Ferrari's home hopes and won the Italian Grand Prix behind the safety car on Sunday to move within reach of his second Formula One world championship.

The Dutch 24-year-old's victory at the "Temple of Speed", in a race that ended disappointingly and to boos from the crowd, was Verstappen's fifth in a row and 11th from 16 races this season.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, Verstappen's closest rival and now 116 points adrift with six races remaining, took second after starting on pole position but twice surrendering the lead in the pits.

George Russell finished third for Mercedes.

If Verstappen scores 22 points more than Leclerc in the next race under floodlights in Singapore on Oct. 2, the title battle will be over.

Otherwise, it goes on to Japan a week later.

"You deserve that victory. It's a shame it didn't get going at the end there but you were the fastest car all weekend," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Verstappen over the radio after the chequered flag.

"Great job guys, we had a great race car," he replied, before stepping out onto the Monza podium for the first time.

The win was Verstappen's 31st, lifting him level with Britain's 1992 champion Nigel Mansell in the all-time list.

Dutch debutant Nyck de Vries was ninth for Williams, a stellar achievement that earned him the Driver of the Day accolade, and China's Guanyu Zhou was 10th for Alfa Romeo in their home race.

"Hopefully I will get a shot next year, but this is definitely a dream come true," said De Vries, who was standing in for regular driver Alex Albon after the Thai suffered an appendicitis.

A minute's silence was observed before the start for Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest reigning monarch who died aged 96 on Thursday.

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