Monza was always going to be a pivotal race in this years F1 season. The way the points had gone and the races sandwiched in between meant that the home of the prancing horse would have huge consequences on the Championship.
Monza saw Lewis Hamilton take the lead in the Championship, and more worryingly for the Red Car’s, Mercedes absolutely battered them at their home circuit. Sebastian Vettel couldn’t live with the pace of the Silver Arrows, suggesting that they have taken a step forward after the summer break. It’s ominous for the rest of the season if Ferrari’s performance at Monza is replicated for the rest of the season.
It was an easy lights-to-flag victory for Lewis, with him and Valterri Bottas being able to turn down and conserve their engines for half the race. In truth, Hamilton won the race with his stunning, and record-breaking, pole lap the day before.
It’s the perfect result for Hamilton. He needed maximum points from two power tracks to pressurise Vettel and he achieved that. With a race he has not been brilliant at, Singapore, next, he goes into it with fully renewed hope and a huge psychological advantage over Vettel.
As for the Mercedes team, a one-two finish at the home of you title rivals; the champagne will taste that much sweeter.
Ferrari and Vettel are very much on the back foot since the summer break and will need to bounce back at Singapore if they have any chance of claiming either title.
Thanks to penalties, Daniel Ricciardo started the Italian Grand Prix 16th on the grid. He went on to have an excellent race. Scything through the field on the hard compound tyre, he then managed to leapfrog the battling Ocon, Massa and Stroll, thanks to a long first stint, before lunging from a mile back to take Kimi Raikkonen, pushing him up to fourth. He did attempt to close the gap to Vettel but proved to be just too far back. It was a brilliant drive, proving if any were needed, that Danny Ric has Championship winning ability.
KARMA FOR PALMA…..ACCORDING TO ALONSO
Jolyon Palmer and Fernando Alonso again found themselves on the same patch of tarmac in this race. Jolyon overtook Alonso at the second chicane but he had to cut the corner to complete the move. Alonso was livid, and Jolyon was given a 5-second penalty as a result. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, Palmer had driven off up the road by the time the penalty was given so it would have no effect. The tables were turned when Jolyon was forced to retire. Alonso, over the radio, called it karma. Certainly, no love lost between those two!
DRIVER OF THE RACE
Lewis drove serenely at the front and Bottas’ early race overtakes gave him second place. The driver of this race was definitely Danny Ric, though. A brilliant drive to give him fourth place and he gave Vettel something to think toward the end. A magical drive.
MOMENT OF THE RACE
Danny Ric claims the moment of the race as well. His overtake on Kimi was breathless. He came from nowhere to completely mug the Finn of fourth place in front of the tifosi. In the old days, he’d have pelted with stones and tomatoes for a move like that. Realistically he should have roses thrown at him. It was a beautiful move.