Daniel Ricciardo has won the F1 Italian Grand Prix, giving McLaren its first win since 2012 and a remarkable one-two as Lando Norris came in second as well. The race also saw Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashing out.
In all, five drivers — Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Nikita Mazepin, Pierre Gasly, and Yuki Tsunoda — did not finish.
Ricciardo powered by Verstappen early on in the race, taking the lead and making no mistakes till the finish line. The Australian driver had not led a race since 2018. The win earns the 32-year-old his eighth F1 victory, and his first since Monaco in 2018.
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“Deep down I knew this was gonna come,” Ricciardo said after claiming his victory. “So thanks … thanks for having my back. And for anyone who thought I left, I never left. I just moved aside for a while. Thanks guys.”
Verstappen vs Hamilton
Adding on to the drama, Verstappen and Hamilton crashed about halfway through the race, when the Dutchman attempted to overtake the Briton on a chicane. He did not have enough room, causing his wheels to come into contact with Hamilton’s. The result was both cars coming off the track, with the Red Bull sitting partially on the Mercedes. After the crash, Hamilton spoke about the crash, and said the halo saved his life. “I feel very, very fortunate today thank God for the halo,” he said. “That did ultimately save me, you know, and saved my neck.”
This is the third time the pair have come together this season, after Imola and Silverstone. For his part in the recent incident, Verstappen has been handed a three-place grid penalty at the upcoming Russian GP.
Meanwhile, it’s a joyous affair for McLaren as it heralds the end of their nine-year winless drought since Jenson Button at Brazil in 2012.
The overall driver standings at the end of the Italian Grand Prix leaves Ricciardo with 83 points ending up in eighth place, and Verstappen and Hamilton battling for the top position with 226.5 and 221.5 points respectively.
The 2021 F1 season returns in two weeks on September 26 in Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix.
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