What a frenetic race the Italian Grand Prix was! Sunday’s race saw Ferrari score its first victory on home turf after Fernando Alonso’s win back in 2010. The thrilling Grand Prix at Monza has become arguably the most emotional race so far this season and it will be a mammoth task for any remaining races to beat the thrill and excitement of the last European event.
Charles Leclerc, the young Monegasque talent was able to withstand immense pressure from Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. The 21-year-old had to defend his first starting position against the fastest Mercedes rivals and if that was not enough, he had to execute that in Ferrari’s home race at Monza in front of almost 100000 Ferraristi. Without a mistake, Leclerc converted his pole position into a sensational, exceptional and unbelievable victory just a week after his first Formula One victory at Spa.
A promising record at Monza - Valtteri Bottas’ second place means the Finn has finished on the Monza podium for a third year in succession, though he has yet to win.
Almost the most successful – Sunday’s third place for Lewis Hamilton means the Mercedes driver has now equalled the Monza podium record held by Michael Schumacher. Both champions have stood on the podium on eight occasions. The number of their wins is also equal with both of them having taken five victories at Monza.
Raft of penalties – FIA race stewards had hardly any time to rest during the Italian Grand Prix weekend. The group consisting of three international and one national steward had to hand out a series of different penalties over the three days. Kimi Räikkönen was given a 10 seconds stop and go penalty for starting the race on other tyres then the set which he set his fastest lap in Q2 on. Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Nico Hülkenberg were given a reprimand for driving unnecessarily slowly in the dying minutes of the qualifying session.
Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen had to serve grid-drop penalties for exceeding their power unit allocations. Across the weekend, lap times for a number of drivers were deleted for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage. Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll were also found guilty for leaving and rejoining the track in an unsafe manner in the race. After his crash in the qualifying session Alfa Romeo installed a fresh engine into Kimi Räikkönen’s car, exceeding the allowance for which the Finn had to start the race from the pit lane.
Seven – Formula One produced the number of seven when it came to the number of teams scoring point during Sunday’s race. Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull gained point with both their cars while Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Racing Point ended the race with one of their cars scoring points.
Eight – Only eight cars ended the Italian Grand Prix on the lead lap. Antonio Giovinazzi was the first driver finishing the race a lap behind the winner Charles Leclerc.
Early end – Three drivers failed to see the chequered flag on Sunday. Carlos Sainz said farewell to the happenings on lap 27 while Daniil Kvyat ended his race two laps later. Suffering a hydraulic problem, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the third driver failing to end the 53-lap Italian Grand Prix.
A great track for them – The high-speed nature of the Spa and Monza track clearly favoured the Renault team. On Sunday, the French outfit secured their first double top-five finish in 210 races. The last time the team recorded such a result was at the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix when Fernando won and Nelson Piquet Jr was fourth.
Not a bad first visit – Breaking an eight-year-old hiatus, Antonio Giovinazzi appeared in Italy as the first Italian driver for a long time. The young talend secured a ninth place which represents a career high for Alfa Romeo’s driver. The last time an Italian driver finished ninth or better in F1 was in 2010 when Vitantonio Liuzzi finished in sixth place at the Korean Grand Prix driving for Force India.
Almost unbeatable – It was once again the Williams outfit which recorded the best pit stop time. The Grove-based team changes the tyres on Robert Kubica’s car within 2.15seconds. Mercedes was the second fastest with 2.28s followed by Ferrari with a performance of 2.34s. Red Bull still leads the DHL fastest pit stop award with 343 points, but Williams is only 20 points adrift. Ferrari is in the distant third place with 225 points.
Leclerc only the fourth fastest – Charles Leclerc delivered an impeccable performance on his way to his second career victory on Sunday. Interestingly, the Monegasque was only the fourth fastest when it came to the fastest race lap. On first fresh soft compounds, Lewis Hamilton set the best race lap with a time of 1:21.779. Sebasitan Vettel was second on this list with a time of 1:22.799. Valtteri Bottas grabbed the third spot in this ranking. Leclerc’s time of 1:23.009 was only the fourth fastest, but the 21-year-old recorded that lap on Pirelli’s hard compound and on much older tyres than the three other front-runners.