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Ferrari claim first Monza win in nine years

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9th September, 2019
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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.

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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.

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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.

Italian Grand Prix (53 laps)

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Pos. Driver Time Points
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

Drivers championship standings

Pos. Driver Points (Gap)
1. Lewis Hamilton 284
2. Valtteri Bottas 221 (-63)
3. Max Verstappen 185 (-99)
4. Charles Leclerc 182 (-102)
5. Sebastian Vettel 169 (-115)
6. Pierre Gasly 65 (-219)
7. Carlos Sainz 58 (-226)
8. Daniel Ricciardo 34 (-250)
9. Alexander Albon 34 (-250)
10. Daniil Kvyat 33 (-251)

Constructors championship standings

Pos. Constructor Points (Gap)
1. Mercedes 505
2. Ferrari 351 (-154)
3. Red Bull Racing 266 (-239)
4. McLaren 83 (-422)
5. Renault 65 (-440)
6. Toro Rosso 51 (-454)
7. Racing Point 46 (-459)
8. Alfa Romeo 34 (-471)
9. Haas 26 (-479)
10. Williams 1 (-504)