Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon at Monza where he led the Italian Grand Prix from start to finish. Valtteri Bottas completed the party for Mercedes by finishing in second, a long way ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
The Italian Grand Prix started under sunny skies, with no threat of rain the entire race. Beforehand, there was much ado about the grid penalties, on this occasion resulting in only Lewis Hamilton starting on the position he actually qualifying in.
As the lights went out, Hamilton moved to the right to protect his first place, an important move given that Stroll would have otherwise had the advantage of the inside of Turn 1. Ocon meanwhile made great use of the move to move up into second place himself, ahead of Stroll.
Raikkonen moved up into fourth at Roggia, but lost his position to Bottas again at the end of the first lap. Vettel was looking at the situation from 6th, followed by Massa, Verstappen - who made up 5 places on the first lap, Perez and Magnussen.
At the end of the next lap, Bottas attacked Stroll and moved into third place.
Verstappen on the other hand saw Massa get back on him at Turn 1, causing them both to touch and result in a puncture for Verstappen. The Dutchman wasn't happy at all with that move but obviously saw his early race efforts annulled. In the pits, he also took on a new front wing to continue the race in last position.
On lap three, Bottas moved up into second while Vettel passed Raikkonen on the exit of Roggia. Vettel rapidly went on to attack and pass Stroll as well. Ocon got passed on lap 7 while Raikkonen struggled somewhat, even asking his team if there was some damage on the rear of his car.
Further back, Ricciardo held on to 9th while Vandoorne progressed into 13th, having had to start from 18th. Alonso, who started on the soft tyres, was 15th, behind Sainz and ahead of Palmer.
By lap 12, Ocon started to struggle, with Stroll and Raikkonen both ending up in the DRS gap behind him. Stroll was unable to make a pass and had to wait until Ocon pitted on lap 17 to gain a position. By that time, Raikkonen had alraady pitted and rejoined the race in 11th. Stroll pitted another lap later, ending up behind Ocon and Raikkonen.
By lap 20, Hamilton was still leading happily. He had 4 seconds in hand over Bottas and another 12 to Vettel.
9 laps later, after another series of pitstops, the top 5 was comprised of cars that did not pit yet: Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo and Perez. The only two other that didn't pit at that time of the race were the McLarens of Vandoorne and Alonso, running in 10th and 11th position.
On lap 38, Ricciardo finally pitted to change to supersoft tyres. He was third, and rejoined the race in 5th, behind both Ferraris, but ahead of the trio Ocon, Stroll and Massa. Perez and Magnussen at the time completed the top 10.
Moment later, Fernando Alonso asked his team "where is Stoffel", following which his engineer had to reply "Stoffel retired". Indeed. the Belgian reported "no power" on lap 34 and had to retire from the race while running in 10th place - albeit still on the tyres he started with. The message surely wasn't encouraging for the Spaniard, as he was starting to understand that Vandoorne was his only real benchmark of the day. Alonso later suffered the same fate 2 laps from the end when his team asked him to retire the car from 15th.
When one thought that running 5th was a great effort by Ricciardo, the Australian went on to pass Raikkonen through Turn 1. The Red Bull driver braked late and hard, but made it a clean move that forced Raikkonen to watch how he lost 4th place.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen moved through the field as well, but when he defended his position to Magnussen who he had just passed, he optimistically went back to the ideal racing line ahead of Roggia, forcing Magnussen to get off the track to avoid an accident. Verstappen though did have the advantage, but an investigation was launched, without further consequence.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||53||1:15:32.312||25|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||53||+4.471s||18|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||53||+40.335s||12|
|6||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||53||+71.528s||8|
|7||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||53||+74.156s||6|
|8||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||53||+74.834s||4|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||53||+75.276s||2|
|10||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||52||+1 lap||1|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||52||+1 lap||0|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||52||+1 lap||0|
|13||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||52||+1 lap||0|
|14||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||52||+1 lap||0|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||52||+1 lap||0|
|16||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||51||+2 laps||0|
|17||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||50||DNF||0|
|18||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||49||DNF||0|
|NC||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||33||DNF||0|