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Ricciardo ends three-year drought with crazy Italian Grand Prix triumph

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Roar Guru
12th September, 2021
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From the energetic orange laden grandstands of Zandvoort, Formula One arrives at the passionate red of the Tifosi at the legendary Monza circuit for what should be another exciting Italian Grand Prix. Tune in from 10:50pm (AEST) on The Roar for live blog updates.

Max Verstappen took back the lead of the championship with victory on home soil, but it is Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton who have had the pace advantage around this famous 5.7km power circuit.

The 53-lap GP will indeed be a test for Red Bull, who are also seeking to overturn a 12-point deficit in the constructor’s championship to Mercedes. But the Silver Arrows will see Valtteri Bottas start the race from the rear, thanks to penalties for exceeding his power-unit allocation for the season.

Monza saw the return of the Sprint format for qualifying, which saw Bottas claim pole position on track – however, the penalty sees Verstappen promoted to the head of the grid.

Hamilton bogged down on the start of the Sprint and immediately lost ground, having slipped down to fifth. He benefitted from Pierre Gasly’s first lap crash at Curva Grande, but couldn’t make further inroads.

McLaren on paper have been quicker than Red Bull here so far; and with the penalty to Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo gets his first front-row start since Mexico 2018. Lando Norris follows closely behind in third with Hamilton for company.

The Papaya cars are now being considered a threat for the win in the Grand Prix, given they’ve got two cars in contention against just a single Red Bull and Mercedes.

Thanks to the Sprint, all drivers will have a free choice of starting tyre for this race, with it likely that the medium tyre will see a run in the first stint and then a one-stop strategy for the hard compound.

2020 saw such a unique race with Pierre Gasly winning for Italian team AlphaTauri from Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll. Could a similar varied outcome be achieved on this occasion?

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Tune in from 10:50pm (AEST) on The Roar for live blog updates of the Italian Grand Prix as Formula One gets set to excite at the Temple of Speed.

Race information

Lights out: 11pm (AEST)
Venue: Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go

Grid

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 2. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), 3. Lando Norris (McLaren), 4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), 6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), 7. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull), 9. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), 10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), 11. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), 12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine), 13. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), 14. George Russell (Williams), 15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), 16. Nikita Mazepin (Haas), 17. Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo), 18. Mick Schumacher (Haas), 19. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 20. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

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