Italian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton has won at Monza for Mercedes, defeating Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen after a disastrous race start for the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton has emerged as victor at Monza, after catching and passing Kimi Raikkonen on Lap 45. The Finnish driver had led throughout the entire race, holding the lead from his pole position start. Heading into Turn 3, Sebastian Vettel & Lewis Hamilton had been battling over P2 and made contact. The touch resulted in Vettel spinning his car and falling right to the back and suffering damage, while Hamilton continued without any problems in P2. Hamilton then attacked Raikkonen and overtook the Finn, before the Ferrari was later on the brakes into the next chicane with Raikkonen retaking the lead seconds after being passed.
Raikkonen wasn’t able to break away from Hamilton at any point, constantly holding the gap at around a second for the opening stint of the race before pitting for the Soft tyres. Hamilton didn’t immediately follow suit, as Mercedes allowed the flying Kimi Raikkonen to catch Valtteri Bottas, who was yet to stop. With Raikkonen baulked by the other Mercedes, Hamilton pitted and quickly was able to catch back up on Raikkonen as he was hemmed in behind Bottas. Once Bottas did pit, Raikkonen’s 8 lap older tyres played their part as he wasn’t able to get away from Hamilton. Lining up the Ferrari, Hamilton was able to pass Raikkonen for the lead into Turn 1 with a DRS pass.
Vettel, who pitted at the end of Lap 1 under the Safety Car after the damage to his front wing necessitated a change, ran the Soft tyres with the intention of a single stop but, with tyre degradation proving a problem for Ferrari, needed to pit again for the SuperSofts at two thirds race distance. This meant that Vettel was only able to finish P5 on track, elevated to P4 due to a time penalty for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver picked up a five second penalty for moving under braking while under attack from Valtteri Bottas, pitching the Merc driver off the track at Turn 1.
With Bottas finishing P3, Verstappen finished P4 on track but P5 in the results. Romain Grosjean was P6 for Haas as best of the rest, with the Force Indias P7 & P8 with Esteban Ocon & Sergio Perez respectively. Carlos Sainz was P9 for Renault, with Williams’ Lance Stroll finishing P10 as the final points scorer.
Outside the points, Sergey Sirotkin finished P11 for Williams ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Sauber. Stoffel Vandoorne took P13 for McLaren, Nico Hulkenberg P14 for Renault and Pierre Gasly P15 for Toro Rosso. Marcus Ericsson was P16 for Sauber, and Kevin Magnussen P17 for Haas as the final classified runner.
There were three retirements, with Brendon Hartley the first to leave the action. Leaving the grid, the Toro Rosso driver ended up being squeezed by Stoffel Vandoorne & Marcus Ericsson and the resulting damage eliminated him immediately. Fernando Alonso was a retirement with a suspected engine failure, while Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated at half distance due to a more obvious engine problem as smoke poured from the back of the Red Bull.
The results mean that Mercedes extend their lead in the Constructor’s Championship up to 25 points over Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton’s points lead over Sebastian Vettel is now 30 points.