Two wins in a row for LeClerc

It was only a week agp that Ferrari’s rookie Charles LeClerc took his maiden win at the Spa-Francorchamps. Before he even got soaked into it, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza which happened to be Ferrari’s home race saw the Ferrari Rook take his second win, again beating the two Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Although a little late in the season, LeClerc is proving he is the main staple of the team instead of 4-time F1 Champion Sebastien Vettel. Speaking of Vettel, he skidded in the early part of the race and had to battle his way back to end up 13th. LeClerc’s win means Ferrari has 237 wins in F1 and their 9th at Monza.

The race start had LeClerc in front of the two Mercedes, while Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg beat out Vettel for fourth position. Vettel would snatch fourth back in an instant.

Lap 6, Vettel was too eager to get close to the second Mercedes and collided with Lance Stroll’s car at the Ascari. He reoovered but was way back in 19t , after a stop to change the front wing and having to serve a 10-second stop and go.

Up front, the Mercedes didn’t give much room to Leclerc as they gave chase. The Rook however managed to maintain a small lead over Hamilton, up to the point when the Mercedes was due for  a stop on lap 19. Ferrari decided the pit the race leader the lap after. It was then an interesting battle between Hamilton and LeClerc happened at the Roggia turn. The Ferrari’s tyres weren’t up to temperature yet. But, the rookie wouldn’t give in even with Mercedes cars chasing him to the brink. LeClerc was able to hold them off.  Ferrari attributed this to the new Power unit, the speed of the car, the specially-tuned aerodynamics and the amazing drive of LeClerc. The LeClerc-Mercedes pursuit went on for 33 laps.

In the final stages, LeClerc held his own as the Mercedes settled into their respective positions. The Ferrari finished just 850 thousandths of a second ahead of Bottas’ Mercedes. Hamilton was third, while the two Renaults of Daniel RIcciardo and Hulkenberg were fourth and fifth. Alexander Albon took sixth for Red Bull with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen in seventh and eighth. Final points went to Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The Formula 1 World Championship resumes in a fortnight’s time in Singapore.

LeClerc commened, “It felt ten times stronger than anything I have ever experienced in my whole career. It was very special. The first stint was quite controlled, but the second stint was a bit less strong on my side, because I had to focus on the car behind me a lot as the gap was closing. It was very difficult and I had a lot of pressure on me.”

2019 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix results

1     16   Charles Leclerc       FERRARI      53   1:15:26.665       25

2     77   Valtteri Bottas       MERCEDES 53   +0.835s  18

3     44   Lewis Hamilton       MERCEDES 53   +35.199s       16

4     3     Daniel Ricciardo       RENAULT     53   +45.515s       12

5     27   Nico Hulkenberg       RENAULT     53   +58.165s       10

6     23   Alexander Albon  RED BULL      53       +59.315s       8

7     11   Sergio Perez BWT   53       +73.802s       6

8     33   Max Verstappen   RED BULL      53       +74.492s       4

9     99   Antonio Giovinazzi       ALFA ROMEO       52   +1 lap    2

10   4     Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT     52   +1 lap

Drivers standings

1     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 284

2     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 221

3     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING HONDA       185

4     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      182

5     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      169

6     Pierre Gasly  FRA       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 65

7     Carlos Sainz ESP       MCLAREN RENAULT 58

8     Daniel Ricciardo   AUS       RENAULT     34

9     Alexander Albon  THA       RED BULL RACING HONDA       34

10   Daniil Kvyat   RUS       SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 33

Constructors rankings

1      MERCEDES 505

2     FERRARI      351

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA       266

4     MCLAREN RENAULT 83

5     RENAULT     65

6     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 51

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 46

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI      34

9     HAAS FERRARI  26

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES     1