As the Italian Grand Prix is arguably the most prestigious event for Scuderia Ferrari, the fabled red team did it best in every single piece of its preparation for the 14th round of the 2019 Formula One Championship. The most visible attempt to achieve maximum performance on home turf was the delay of the introduction of their latest power unit.
Power-sensitive circuit – Several drivers started the Italian Grand Prix weekend with a fresh power unit. However, while Ferrari installed its third and last version of their 2019 engine in to the car of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly all received a fresh internal combustion engine for the Monza round to get a new additional element after they have already exceeded their allocation for this season. Next to the ICE, all five drivers got a fresh turbocharger and motor generator unit – heat. Verstappen, Norris and Gasly also received a new motor generator unit – kinetic and energy store.
Fresh gearboxes – Five drivers started the Italian Grand Prix weekend with a fresh gearbox. Pierre Gasly has used his previous unit for six consecutive events which permits a free gearbox change due to the Sporting Regulation. McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have both failed to finish the previous race in Belgium which also allowed them to start the weekend with a fresh gearbox without serving any penalties. Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica received a fresh unit as well. These two changes were also completed without a penalty as their previous gearbox was replaced for a spare at Spa.
Track limits – Sebsatian Vettel and a team representative were required to report to the stewards because the German left the track during the qualifying session at 15:43. As taking an extremely wide line at the Parabolca corner could provide with a lasting advantage, the stewards had to look at the matter carefully, reviewing different camera angles. As some angles – when viewed from above – appeared to show that the front wheel was within the bounds of the white line, no further action was taken.
Unnecessary slowly – The last two minutes of the qualifying session saw drivers desperately searching for the best place to get a crucial slipstream. The FIA started an investigation into the matter after most of the drivers were unable to start their last flying lap in time, missing their last chance. After the stewards reviewed video evidence, GPS data and radio communcation, Nico Hülkenberg, Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz were given a reprimand. It was the first reprimand for all three drivers so far during 2019 season.
Crucial permission - Due to problems with his power unit, Max Verstappen was unable to set a lap time during the qualifying session. As only drivers with a time within 107 per cent of the pole position lap time are permitted to start the race, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team had to hand in a request to the stewards to get the permission for the Dutchman to start the race. In the end, the stewards granted permission for car 33, Max Verstappen, to start the race, as the driver has set satisfactory times in practice at this event.