A dramatic crash between title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen that took both drivers out of the race cleared the way for Daniel Ricciardo to claim a sensational victory in the Italian Grand Prix, giving McLaren their first race win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix – and a one-two to boot, as he led home team mate Lando Norris, with Valtteri Bottas taking third, in a thrilling race at Monza.
Hamilton was exiting the pits on Lap 26 of 53 when he arrived alongside Verstappen, the pair going side by side through the Variante del Rettifilo, but making contact, with Verstappen flying through the air and coming to rest on top of the Mercedes. Both drivers were unhurt, but out of the race, with the stewards set to investigate after the Grand Prix.
Ricciardo was a deserving winner, however, having passed Verstappen for the lead at the race start from P2 on the grid, before Verstappen and Hamilton’s clash cleared the way for him to control the race to sweep home to an eighth career victory. Lando Norris secured his best ever race finish with P2, having been told to hold station behind his team mate in the final moments of the Grand Prix.
FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2021
|1 Daniel RICCIARDO McLaren||1:21:54.365||26|
|2 Lando NORRIS McLaren||+1.747s||18|
|3 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes||+4.921s||15|
|4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+7.309s||12|
|5 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing||+8.723s||10|
Having started P19, Bottas claimed third, finishing fourth on the road behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, before Perez had a five-second penalty added to his time for passing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc off the track.
Perez would eventually be classified fifth behind Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz took sixth on his first ever outing for Ferrari at Monza. Lance Stroll was seventh for Aston Martin – but under investigation for a yellow flag infraction – with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso eighth, ahead of the Williams of George Russell in ninth as the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
So, a huge moment for Ricciardo, Norris and McLaren – with Ricciardo also claiming a point for fastest lap on the final tour. But the ramifications of Hamilton and Verstappen’s crash are sure to be a major talking point this evening.