The Monza weekend ends today with the victory of Charles Leclerc followed on the podium by Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. After yesterday's questionable qualifying session, the race is on with a breathtaking performance. Ferrari triumphs at the Italian GP after nine years of abstinence.
Words: Aurora Dell’Agli
Italian GP: lights go out for Ferrari
At the green flag, Leclerc keeps his position on Hamilton and Bottas, in a fight between them. The Englishman keeps a one-second gap to the Monegasque, who tries to extend the lead. In an attempt to defend the outside from Ricciardo, Vettel does not notice the arrival of Hulkenberg and gives up a position, immediately recovered.
Disaster for Seb follows on lap six: he loses the car in Ascari and returns to the track compromising the passage of Stroll. The investigation is necessary, and so is a 10-second stop and go penalty.
A game of strategy
The pit window gives the race a completely different spirit, with Lewis Hamilton attempting to undercut on yellow rubber and Leclerc's subsequent stop for white rubber. The Monegasque, even on a harder compound, keeps the world champion at bay in two intense out laps.
Leclerc breathes on lap 29, when an unfixed tyre on Caros Sainz's McLaren causes a Virtual Safety Car. Just two laps later, Daniil Kvyat's engine failure calls for the same measure. This allows a quicker pit stop for Daniel Ricciardo, who maintains the fourth position.
After more than fifteen laps of tight fight, Leclerc cuts the chicane following a lock and keeps the position on Hamilton. This manoeuvre is immediately noticed by race control, but is not followed by an investigation. Hamilton cuts the chicane, too, and is forced to give the position to his team mate Bottas (on fresher tyres).
The last five laps are really heartbreaking: Bottas, strong with DRS, approaches despite a mistake in the first chicane. Nothing can be done, however, against a Charles Leclerc in a state of grace.
Full results are available here.