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Daniel Ricciardo won his 8th F1 race and 32nd podium finish at the 2021 Italian F1 GP today. He started from P2 and won on the Monza circuit for the first time. It was also his first win of the 2021 season. It took 220 races for McLaren to win a race again. This was the 183rd race win for the McLaren team and their 48th 1-2 finish, their last 1-2 finish was back in 2010 in Canada.
The start of the race was without AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda. A technical problem with his brakes couldn't be fixed quickly enough by the mechanics and prevented the Japanese driver from starting.
When the red lights turned off Max Verstappen didn't have a good getaway in the Red Bull. Second place starter Daniel Ricciardo had a perfect start and took the lead right away. Verstappen did manage to keep P2, but was right away under pressure by Lando Norris (Mclaren) coming on to turn 1.
Lewis Hamilton who started from P4 in the Mercedes also had a good start and was able to get past Norris at the first chicane. Hamilton was the only driver that started on the Hard tyres. All other cars were fitted with medium tyres. The champ also had a good run towards the second chicane behind Verstappen and got alongside Verstappen's Red Bull in the braking zone. The Dutchman wasn't having none of it and blocked the attack by squeezing his rival so he had to give in and lost his P3 to Norris in the avoiding action.
Behind them Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi who had passed Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz got less lucky as the Ferrari driver hit the back of his car, which caused Giovinazzi to spin off hitting the barrier that broke the front wing off. The Alfa Romeo driver was able to continue, but had to pit for a new front wing that was fitted in 11.4 sec. The debris of the incident had to be picked up by the marshals, race control used a short one lap virtual safety car period for that.
The other Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas who started from P20 als had a good start and was already on P14 on lap 3. Sebastian Vettel was having a bad race start and lost a few places in the first couple of laps. The AlphaTauri team could already pack to go home after lap 5, when Pierre Gasly had to retire his car with a technical problem. At this moment Verstappen had managed to pull out a gap of 3,5 seconds in front of Norris.
In lap 8 Giovianzzi was given a five second time penalty for unsafe rejoining the track during his incident in lap one. Sergio Perez who had started from P8 overtook the Ferrari of Sainz one lap later for P6 at turn 1.
Hamilton was taking up the fight with Norris in lap 12 he got alongside Norris a few times but couldn't make it stick. Verstappen benefited from the fight behind him and extended his lead on P2 to 4,3 sec. by lap 14. In the midfield Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and Vettel nearly crashed when Ocon didn't leave enough room for Vettel in the 'heavy' braking zone for turn 4. Vettel almost went off, but was able to go on.
Verstappen made a small error at turn 1 of lap 21 and had to cut short turn 2 when the Dutchman out-braked himself. Bottas up till then had already passed 11 cars and in lap 22 the Finnish driver overtook the other Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll on the start-finish straight for eight place.
Race leader Ricciardo made his pitstop to switch to Hard tyres in lap 23. The stop took only 2.4s and the Australian driver returned to the 'Temple of Speed' as seventh. One lap later Verstappen did the same, but his pitstop took over 11 seconds and the Red Bull driver lost precious time and got back to the track on P10. Hamilton and Norris were now battling for the lead and Norris pitted in lap 25 and came back on P8.
Hamilton, who tried to over-cut Norris, pitted one lap later and switched to Medium tyres. His pitstop wasn't quick too and took 4,2 sec. When the Mercedes driver returned he got very close with Verstappen in turn 1. Verstappen didn't hesitate and tried to overtake his championship rival in turn 2. Hamilton tried to squeeze Verstappen, but the Dutchman didn't give in and both cars collided and ended up off the track. The Red Bull was catapulted in the air and landed on the Mercedes which ended both drivers' race.
The safety car was deployed to recover both cars. Both drivers were unhurt by the crash. It was a close call for Hamilton and if it wasn't for the halo, things could have been very ugly as the right rear tyre of the Red Bull landed right in the cockpit of Hamilton and even brushed his helmet. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had a 'free' pit stop because of the safety car and got P2 behind Ricciardo. At the end of lap 30 the safety car period ended and all cars picked up the pace again.
Norris, who now was driving on P3, was very keen to get P2 from Leclerc. The British driver even went through the grass with one side of the McLaren in turn 3 to pass the Ferrari in lap 31. Leclerc could stay on P3 and lost P3 the next lap to Perez and even lost P4 to Bottas in lap 34. The Mercedes driver was flying and was on a mission to get to the podium. He even drove the fastest lap in lap 35. Bottas even got the podium as a present when Perez who was in front received a 5 sec. penalty. In lap 40 Haas driver Nikita Mazepin also received a penalty for causing a collision in turn 4. Three laps later the Russian driver retired the Haas with a power unit problem. He parked the car at the side of the track. A short VSC was again used to recover the car.
Daniel Ricicardo kept the lead and scored a much needed victory for the McLaren team. It was 220 GP's ago that Mclaren had won a grand prix. The last race they won before today was the 2012 Brazilian F1 GP, which was won by Jenson Button. The last time the British team scored a 1-2 even was 11 years ago.
Classification 2021 Italian GP
|1||3|| Daniel Ricciardo
|2||4|| Lando Norris
|3||77|| Valtteri Bottas
|4||16|| Charles Leclerc
|5||11|| Sergio Pérez
|6||55|| Carlos Sainz
|7||18|| Lance Stroll
|8||14|| Fernando Alonso
|9||63|| George Russell
|10||31|| Esteban Ocon
|11||6|| Nicholas Latifi
|12||5|| Sebastian Vettel
|13||99|| Antonio Giovinazzi
|14||88|| Robert Kubica
|15||47|| Mick Schumacher
|DNF||9|| Nikita Mazepin
|DNF||33|| Max Verstappen
|DNF||44|| Lewis Hamilton
|DNF||10|| Pierre Gasly
|DNS||22|| Yuki Tsunoda
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull (no.11): Received a 5 second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull (no.33): Received a 3 place grid penalty for causing a collision.
Fastest lap: 1:24.812 min by Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M in lap 53
|2021 Italian F1 GP Results|
|FP1 2021 Italian F1 GP|
|Quali 2021 Italian F1 GP|
|FP2 2021 Italian F1 GP|
|Sprint Quali 2021 Italian GP|
|Start 2021 Italian F1 GP|
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