For the first time in nine years Ferrari have won in front of their tifosi at Monza.
Charles Leclerc delivered when it mattered, leading from start to finish and brilliantly defending against both Mercedes drivers.
However, only one side of the garage was successful on Sunday, as Sebastian Vettel spun again, this time at the Ascari chicane. His problems got worse as he collected Lance Stroll as he rejoined the track. The German was awarded a ten-second stop-go penalty for rejoining the track unsafely and causing a collision.
Stroll was not out of the woods, though, as he forced Pierre Gasly off the track as he attempted to rejoin, for which he received a drive-through penalty.
The penalties didn’t stop there. Kimi Raikkonen was given a ten-second stop-go penalty after he started the race on the wrong tyres. Alfa Romeo thought they had free tyre choice because Raikkonen started from the pit lane, but they had to start on the soft tyres the Finn had used in Q2 given he’d qualified for Q3.
Alexander Albon used a bit too much of the track when overtaking Kevin Magnussen, for which the stewards awarded him a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage.
Out front, Lewis Hamilton pitted a lap before Charles Leclerc. Leclerc went onto the hard compound whereas Hamilton went onto the mediums, with Ferrari thinking that the mediums wouldn’t last the rest of the race, having pitted on lap 20.
Leclerc didn’t struggle on the slower tyre compared to Hamilton because of the straight-line advantage his Ferrari had. Hamilton was quicker through the second sector, but lap after lap Leclerc pulled away out of the Parabolica, meaning Lewis couldn’t overhaul the gap into the first chicane.
Leclerc’s race was not without mistakes, though, and some considered his defence against Hamilton to be excessive. As Leclerc and Hamilton went side by side out of the Curva Grande, Leclerc on the inside squeezed Hamilton just a little bit so that the Briton ran out of road and was forced onto the run-off.
Hamilton made a mistake too, losing second place to teammate Valtteri Bottas when he locked up and went straight on at the first chicane. This meant Hamilton lost any hope of challenging for the win, settling for third.
Bottas was handed the baton to go after Leclerc but suffered the same problems Hamilton had endured.
“I was trying everything I could to get past him,” Bottas said after the race. “They [Ferrari] are so fast in the straights.”
Leclerc was then able to drive unchallenged to win the Italian Grand Prix and send the tifosi wild.
It’s always an incredible sight to see all the Ferrari fans underneath the podium, but Sunday was extra special. They sang the Italian national anthem with such gusto, reminding us that they’re one of the best crowds in world sport.
This week’s honourable mention goes to Renault, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and Nico Hulkenberg fifth. They were there when it counted all weekend and have now closed to within 18 points of McLaren, who sit fourth in the constructors championship.
Formula One takes a weekend off before the second set of flyaway races, starting with the Singapore Grand Prix on 22 Setpember.
|1.||Charles Leclerc||1:15:26.665||25 pts|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||+0.835||18 pts|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||+35.199||16 pts|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||+45.515||12 pts|
|5.||Nico Hulkenberg||+58.165||10 pts|
|6.||Alexander Albon||+59.315||8 pts|
|7.||Sergio Perez||+1:13.802||6 pts|
|8.||Max Verstappen||+1:14.492||4 pts|
|9.||Antonio Giovinazzi||+1 lap||2 pts|
|10.||Lando Norris||+1 lap||1 pt|
|11.||Pierre Gasly||+1 lap|
|12.||Lance Stroll||+1 lap|
|13.||Sebastian Vettel||+1 lap|
|14.||George Russell||+1 lap|
|15.||Kimi Raikkonen||+1 lap|
|16.||Romain Grosjean||+1 lap|
|17.||Robert Kubica||+1 lap|
|DNF||Kevin Magnussen||Not classified|
|DNF||Daniil Kvyat||Not classified|
|DNF||Carlos Sainz||Not classified|
|3.||Red Bull Racing||266||(-239)|