You could have been forgiven for thinking that Ferrari were likely to upset the record books that had denied them a win at Monza since 2010. After all, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel had just broken consecutive qualifying records to earn their places on the front row, with Hamilton doing his bit too. But the start turned out to be far too dramatic for Ferrari, with Kimi barely managing to hold his lead from a charging Vettel, who in turn got swiped by Hamilton, spinning the Ferrari 180-degree around and causing the German to pit for a new front end. The stewards passed this off as a racing incident with no penalties given.
The pit stop itself could have been seen as timely, with Brendan Hartley having pulled his Toro Rosso off after getting his front-right suspension broken from contact in between Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren and Ericsson’s Sauber.
Vettel also switched his tyres to softs from the supersofts he started on, leading to the impression that he would try to go the distance.
The restart saw Hamilton haul himself ahead of Raikkonen on the first corner, but the Finn fought back immediately to take the lead back.
That was the way the front panned out, with Raikkonen ahead of Hamilton and Verstappen, until Raikkonen came in for a tyre change. Mercedes kept both their drivers out, with Bottas effectively blocking any chance of Raikkonen building a cushion. Hamilton’s stop saw him come out behind the Finn, but from then on it was a matter of hauling him in.
Once Bottas had pitted on lap 36, he came out behind Verstappen, with Vettel fighting his way up the field to get up to fifth. Then there was another incident between Verstappen and Bottas, with the Dutchman being penalised with a five second hit. That was enough to affect the podium order, with Hamilton having moved ahead of Raikkonen, who was fighting on rapidly deteriorating tyres and Verstappen having his third spot finish demoted so that Bottas became third and Vettel fourth.
Hamilton described his race, “That was one tough race, but a really enjoyable one – I’m very, very happy. This afternoon has shaken off to be one of the best. It’ s so close between Ferrari and us, this race was really down to who makes the least mistakes and who looks after their tyres the best. Valtteri did a great job extending his stint which enabled me to close up to Kimi. It was really great team work today, a great pit stop, great communication with the team. It was an intense first lap, we all got off to similar starts. When we went into Turn 4, I was a bit surprised that Sebastian chose the inside and did not go for the outside. That was my opportunity and I had to make sure that I was far enough alongside him. We touched for a brief moment and my car was slightly damaged afterwards, but fortunately I was able to continue and keep up with Kimi. Once I had closed the gap to Kimi on my second stint, I could see that his tyres were blistering, so I started to take care of my tyres and made sure that I didn’t blister mine. When Valtteri then came in for his pit stop it was a bit harder to keep up with Kimi, but I knew that my tyres were in better shape. I had to push as hard as I could to close the gap, particularly through the Lesmos and Ascari. But this track is really just incredible, it’s such a phenomenal circuit to drive with all it’s high-speed corners and the fact that you can follow through the corners and the chicanes make it one of the best tracks in the world. It’s always a real privilege to win in Italy. But we need to keep our heads down, work hard and make sure that we put up a good fight in Singapore.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||216||168|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||146||200|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||57||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||49||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||29||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||4||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||362||368|
|Force India Mercedes||47||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||33||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Mexico||28/10/2018||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|United States||21/10/2018||Kimi Raikkonen||Max Verstappen||Lewis Hamilton|
|Japan||07/10/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Russia||20/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Sebastian Vettel|
|Singapore||16/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Italy||02/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Valtteri Bottas|
|Belgium||26/08/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|