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Formula 1

Ricciardo leads McLaren 1-2 at Monza as title rivals tangle

by Matt Beer
4 min read

Daniel Ricciardo earned his first Formula 1 victory in three years by triumphing in a thrilling Italian Grand Prix that featured a race-ending collision between title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Ricciardo was able to end McLaren’s nine-year F1 win drought in emphatic fashion with a measured race-long defensive drive, first leading championship leader Verstappen and then his team-mate Lando Norris for the second half of the race to earn McLaren an unlikely 1-2 finish.

Ricciardo, who had struggled to adapt to life at McLaren in the first half of the season, earned a place on the front row in Saturday’s sprint race and then launched ahead of polesitter Verstappen at the beginning of the grand prix.

Behind him, Verstappen and Mercedes’ Hamilton battled over third place at the della Roggia chicane with Hamilton attempting to go around the outside of Verstappen, only to find himself forced off across the chicane.

Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton Monza 2021

Hamilton rejoined in fourth place behind Norris with Ricciardo leading Verstappen out front.

Verstappen’s victory chances were dented when an attempted overcut of Ricciardo went awry with a slow pitstop that took over 11 seconds.

He dropped behind Norris and when Hamilton emerged from the pits, they were side-by-side on the run down to Turn 1 just before half distance in the 53-lap race.

Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton crash Monza 2021

The title rivals collided on the exit of the chicane and both cars became beached in the gravel trap with Verstappen’s Red Bull lodged on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

The resulting safety car allowed Leclerc to jump into second place behind Ricciardo and ahead of Norris.

Norris quickly put this right with a daring move through the inside of the Curva Grande on Leclerc at the restart to move in behind Ricciardo.

McLaren resisted the urge to swap the cars despite Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull and a charging Valtteri Bottas (from the back of the grid) moving up into third and fourth.

Norris offered – and was ordered – to not attack Ricciardo and the pair were able to stretch a small gap in the final 10 laps to earn McLaren’s first 1-2 finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.

It marks Ricciardo’s first win for McLaren and his first since he triumphed in the 2018 Monaco GP for Red Bull.

He also added the fastest lap bonus point on the very last lap.

Perez picked up a five-second penalty for passing Charles Leclerc and going straight on at the della Roggia chicane without giving the place back.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Italian Grand Prix Race Day Monza, Italy

This handed the sprint race winner Bottas a podium and dropped Perez to fifth place behind Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz was sixth but couldn’t prevent Ferrari from losing third place in the constructors’ championship to McLaren.

Lance Stroll scored his first points since Silverstone in July in seventh place but he’s under investigation for failing to sufficiently slow for yellow flags.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was eighth ahead of George Russell who added another two points to Williams’ growing tally. Esteban Ocon took the final point in 10th place.

Along with the title rivals, Yuki Tsunoda didn’t start the race, his team-mate Pierre Gasly managed just a few laps and Nikita Mazepin retired late in the race after his Haas ground to a halt.

Race Results

Pos Name Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 53 48 1h21m54.365s 1m24.812s 1 27
2 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 53 1 +1.747s 1m24.971s 1 18
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 53 0 +4.921s 1m24.827s 1 18
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 53 1 +-21m0-33s 1m25.319s 1 12
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.156s 1 10
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.559s 1 8
7 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.853s 1 6
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.472s 1 4
9 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.835s 1 2
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.566s 1 1
11 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.953s 1 0
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.938s 2 0
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.718s 2 0
14 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 53 0 +-21m0-33s 1m25.849s 1 0
15 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 53 0 +-21m0-32s 1m26.707s 1 0
Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 41 0 DNF 1m27.202s 3 0
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 2 DNF 1m25.87s 1 0
Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 25 1 DNF 1m25.173s 1 2
Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 2 0 DNF 1m29.005s 1 0
Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 0 0 DNS 0s 0 0
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