Leclerc holds off Mercedes to take victory at Monza
Charles Leclerc took victory at Monza on Sunday as he held off both of the Mercedes cars.
Charles Leclerc became the first Ferrari driver to win the Italian Grand Prix since 2010, holding off the challenge of both Valteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to take the chequered flag.
The 21-year-old claimed his second successive race win after picking up his first ever Formula 1 victory at the Belgian Grand Prix last week. Leclerc was made to work for it, though, with Bottas and Hamilton pushing the Ferrari all the way to the end.
Hamilton in particular looked to have the beating of Leclerc, but the championship leader’s tyres didn’t last the distance and his Mercedes teammate Bottas was made to pay for locking up two laps from the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel suffered a nightmare race, spinning after just seven laps which then saw the German handed a 10-second stop-go penalty that effectively ended his hops of finishing in the points.
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
This was a spectacular drive from Leclerc who was made to work for his second ever F1 race win. The 21-year-old got his elbows out at times to keep both Hamilton and Bottas behind him, with the former making the complaint that some of Leclerc’s driving was on the edge. But that’s what was required to claim Ferrari’s first F1 win at Monza since 2010. This win also sees Leclerc pass Vettel in the driver’s championship standings.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
8/53 VETTEL SPINS! Wow! That's a big incident! The Ferrari has spun and there's damage on his front wing and Vettel is going to have to come into the pits. Vettel then clashes with Stroll as he comes back on to the track!
14/53 Vettel penalty! The Ferrari has just been handed a 10-second stop-go penalty and that's a disaster for his race. That's the harshest penalty that can be handed out. Vettel has a fight on his hands to save his afternoon.
21/53 HAMILTON INTO THE PITS! Okay, here we go. Things are about to get interesting. The championship leader is out in front of Sainz, rejoining the race in P5. What does Leclerc do now? We are approaching the moment of the race.
22/53 LECLERC IS IN! Ferrari have got the race leader in and out IN FRONT of Hamilton. That's good work from Ferrari, but they have put Leclerc on the hard compounds while Mercedes have Hamilton on medium compounds.
38/53 Leclerc locks up! That was a HUGE chance for Hamilton to pass the Ferrari! Leclerc locked up and darted across the chicane, but Hamilton STILL couldn't pass the 21-year-old and he survives!
43/53 HAMILTON LOCKS UP! That's a big mistake from the championship leader and it has cost him second place! Hamilton locked up into Turn One and has to use the run off. Bottas will now have a shot at Leclerc!
LECLERC WINS THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX! The 21-year-old has become the first Ferrari driver to win at Monza since Alonso in 2010! The crowd goes crazy! That's what they came to see. What a drive from Leclerc! He was exceptional. He earned that.
PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“He just came back on the track like an idiot,” Lance Stroll complained on the Racing Point team radio after very nearly being wiped out by Vettel. Stroll did have a point and the stewards handed out a 10-second stop-go penalty to Vettel which effectively ended his race.
Alex Albon was on a mission to move through the pack from the start and pulled off an impressive pass just three laps into the race, going around the outside to pass Carlos Sainz. However, the new Red Bull driver went slightly gung-ho and ran wide in the next corner. As an individual overtake, though, Albon’s move on Sainz caught the eye.