Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious in a McLaren one-two finish at 2021 Italian Grand Prix as title rivals, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton controversially collided.
Ricciardo made a bright start to snatch the lead from Verstappen into Variante del Rettifilo and held the lead until his first pit-stop on Lap 23, with Verstappen following suit a lap later as Hamilton took the lead from Lando Norris.
Hamilton pitted at the start of Lap 26 and re-joined alongside Verstappen with racing space, only for the Dutchman to hurdle over the inside sausage kerb which launched his Red Bull over Hamilton’s Mercedes to send both title contenders crashing out in the gravel.
Ricciardo proceeded to inherit the lead which he held to the checkered flag for his first victory since 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, when he drove for Red Bull at that stage of his career.
Norris meanwhile finished runner-up to hand McLaren their first one-two finish since 2010 Canadian GP, as well as their first race victory since Jenson Button won 2012 Brazilian GP.
Valtteri Bottas benefitted from a time penalty for Sergio Perez as he drove from 19th on the grid to finish third ahead of Charles Leclerc, as Perez dropped to fifth ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, George Russell and Esteban Ocon.
In the drivers’ championship, Verstappen continues to lead Hamilton by five points following their race-ending collision.
Bottas continues to sit third but just seven points ahead of Norris with Perez sat a further 21 points behind the Finnish driver, who this week confirmed his Mercedes exit at end of season for Alfa Romeo.
At lights out, Verstappen made an uncharacteristic slow start as Ricciardo seized the lead into Variante del Rettifilo, as Verstappen was left struggling to manage his tyres whilst stuck in the Aussie’s slipstream until Ricciardo pitted on Lap 23.
Verstappen though couldn’t maximise his extra lap before pitting only for a technical issue to cost him at his stop as he re-joined tenth on the road, although he did manage to pass Alonso by the time Hamilton completed his medium-tyre pit stop on Lap 26 after the Brit begun the race on hard tyres.
Ricciardo though managed to retain his position ahead of Hamilton as the Brit re-joined the track alongside Verstappen, whilst leaving racing room for his title rival to sneak through on the inside corner to take eighth only for Verstappen to hit the inside kerb which launched him over Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Both drivers consequently retired on the spot in the nearby gravel as Verstappen hopped out and emotionlessly strolled back to his Red Bull garage, whilst Hamilton waited to clamber out of his wrecked Mercedes as the Safety Car was deployed.
Norris, Leclerc, Perez, Bottas and Sainz used the race’s neutralisation to make a cheap pit-stop on Lap 27 as Leclerc re-joined in second ahead of Norris with Perez, Bottas and Sainz stuck behind the McLaren at the restart on Lap 31.
Ricciardo made a clean getaway after backing the pack up as Leclerc tried to fend off Norris with the Brit eventually forcing his way through to second with a move into Variante della Roggia, ultimately sealing a McLaren one-two finish as they held position to the checkered flag.
A lap later, Perez ran wide at Variante della Roggia as he overtook Leclerc for third to leave the Monegasque vulnerable to Bottas who was on the faster medium tyres compared to Leclerc’s hard tyres, which proved costly as Bottas got past on Lap 34 for Variante del Rettifilo.
The top six eventually proceeded to hold station to the flag as Perez was handed a five-second time penalty for overtaking Leclerc off track and gaining an advantage, by virtue of not handing the position back to the Monegasque.
Stroll meanwhile drove a quiet race to seventh as Alonso fought off Russell and Ocon for eighth, with Russell now scoring a top ten finish for the third time in the last four races, as he stays 15th in the standings as he prepares to join Mercedes next season from Williams.
Post-race, Stewards reviewed Verstappen’s collision with Hamilton and found that the Dutchman was ‘predominantly’ responsible for the incident for attempting his overtake too late., thus handed Verstappen a three place grid penalty for the Russian GP.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||53||1h 21m 54.365|
|2||Lando Norris||McLaren||53||+ 1.747|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||53||+ 4.921|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||53||+ 7.309|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||53||+ 8.723|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||53||+ 10.535|
|7||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||53||+ 15.804|
|8||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||53||+ 17.201|
|9||George Russell||Williams||53||+ 19.742|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||53||+ 20.868|
|11||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||53||+ 23.743|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||53||+ 24.621|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||53||+ 27.216|
|14||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo||53||+ 29.769|
|15||Mick Schumacher||Haas||53||+ 51.088|
|RET||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||25||Collision|