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
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
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