An incredible achievement for McLaren this weekend at Monza! After qualifying both cars in the top 3 with a stunning result in the sprint race qualifying, they locked out the top 2 podium spots on Sunday!
Valtteri Bottas came home 3rd with an equally impressive result, starting 20th and climbing all the way up to the last podium position.
Here is how it went down:
A drama filled race that affected the drivers even before the formation lap.
The first to be affected was Tsunoda who was unable to start the race due to issues with his brakes. The rookie’s car was on the grid ready to go but the engineers called it back to the pits and it failed to start
Ricciardo moved into first place as the lights went green, outpacing Verstappen off the line! The Australian was back leading a race for the first time since Abu Dhabi 2018.
Moving into the first chicane Hamilton took an opportunity to move up into 2nd alongside Verstappen but was pushed wide and jumped through the corner over the rumble strips.
Giovinazzi also cut the corner and was shunted from behind by Carlos Sainz causing him to spin. He lost his front wing in the process but was able to return to the pits and replace it, quickly re-joining the race.
Giovinazzi later picked up a penalty for that shunt as he rejoined the track (cutting over the curbs) in an unsafe manner which is why Carlos hit him.
As the race reached lap 5 disaster struck again for AlphaTauri as Pierre Gasly entered the pits and retired his car. AlphaTauri said Pierre’s car was virtually undriveable due to an issue with the suspension setup.
Race leader Daniel pitted for hards on lap 22. Verstappen, in 2nd, reacted by doing the opposite and staying out. But then coming over the radio complaining about zero grip thus boxing the next lap with a disaster of a pit stop.
Max incurred an 11 second pit stop which was completely unexpected for Red Bull, the team that consistently hits sub 2 second stops.
Verstappen came out in 10th. Meanwhile the leaders pitted, Hamilton finally made his move on Lando Norris and moved into the lead on lap 23.
Hamilton’s pit stop was also unusually slow, taking 4 seconds. Nonetheless, his stop was quick enough for him to exit ahead of Verstappen.
But as he exited the pitlane he came into the first chicane with a flying Max Verstappen entering the corner centimeters behind.
Max had the inside line and pushed his nose in to have a look at the overtake. As he did Hamilton closed in and Max’s Red Bull’s back wheels bumped over the sausage kerbs.
Causing his car to lift into the air and land on top of Hamiltons car pushing both cars off into the gravel.
Luckily the halo device saved Hamiltons head as Verstappen’s car landed on top of the Mercedes as well as scraping the side of the engine intake. The safety device definitely saved the life of Hamilton or at least diverted a major head injury.
The incident caused a safety car to be deployed which eventually went in on lap 31. Both of the title rivals were out of the race!
Mclaren were now in the lead with Ricciardo holding 1st and Norris not far away in 3rd. But as soon as racing resumed, Norris overtook Leclerc for second pushing McLaren into a perfect 1-2 scenario.
Bottas and Perez caught the McLarens after a series of daring passes with Perez running in 3rd and Bottas in 4th.
While Perez was managing in 3rd he was given a 5 second time penalty for his overtaking move on an outer part of the track.
Back in 4th, Bottas on the mediums started to slightly drop off the pace around lap 42 after constantly fighting for 3rd with the rival Red Bull Sergio Perez who was on hards. But the Finn still had some effort left to give.
Surprisingly, Perez and Bottas were back battling on the next lap as Bottas moved ahead of Perez on the inside of curva grande but Perez immediately stole it back after the chicane.
Mazepin exited the race on lap 44 after his engine lost power. A virtual safety car was released which bunched up the cars again. This meant Perez was not in contention of a podium with his 5s penalty and less than a second to the car behind him.
The two papaya orange McLarens crossed the line after 53 laps to claim their first win since 2012 and their first 1-2 since 2010!
Ricciardos last win was in 2018 at Monaco with Red Bull and this win meant a lot to him as he emotionally thanked the team after crossing the line!
All doubt surrounding the Australians winning capabilities at a different team were shattered as the 32-year-old celebrated gloriously atop the magnificent Monza podium.
Of course there was the infamous shoey!
Daniel explained post race:
It has been a tough season so far, how does this win feel?
“4ths, 5ths, 6ths, I might as well just win!”
“I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless but just so happy for the team!”
“For all of you that thought I left, I never left!”
Here are the final results:
Featured image source: twitter.com/f1