Daniel Ricciardo won an Italian Grand Prix where championship leader Max Verstappen and title rival Lewis Hamilton suffered a crash that ended their day on Sunday.
Ricciardo gave McLaren a first victory in almost nine years (Jenson Button in 2012, in Brazil).
Ricciardo hadn’t won a race since Monaco in 2018. He finished 1.747 seconds ahead of teammate Lando Norris and 4.921 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes. The latter started from the back of the grid, because of a penalty linked to a new engine.
The Verstappen – Hamilton incident occurred on the 26th of the 53 laps of the event.
Hamilton was leading when it came time to go to the pits. He returned to the track just in front of Verstappen. The Red Bull rider wanted to get inside on a bend, while the seven-season champion tried to defend his position.
On impact, Verstappen’s fireball overcame the Mercedes and both cars went over gravel. The protective ring in the front of the cockpit may have saved Hamilton from serious injury.
“This is what happens to you when you don’t free up space,” an enraged Verstappen told Team Radio.
Both drivers were able to get out of their cars, although Hamilton took much longer to do so.
The marshals will study the sequence at the end of the race.
Ricciardo had a great start, with the Australian delighting the pole at Verstappen on the first corner.
Behind Hamilton, starting fourth, managed to pass Norris, but an attempt to take the outside at Verstappen’s expense sent him onto the turf. Norris has therefore resumed his place.
” The [Verstappen] pushed me away! Hamiton said on team radio.
Norris kept his gains, and an annoyed Hamilton saw Ricciardo and Verstappen drift further apart with each lap.
Visiting the pits on lap 23, Ricciardo came out seventh.
Having trouble with his tires, Verstappen stopped on lap 24.
He had to stay in the pits for 11.1 seconds, during which time Hamilton edged Norris in first place. Soon after, Hamilton and Verstappen’s race ended in a collision.
Lance Stroll finished seventh behind the wheel of his Aston Martin.
The next race will be on September 26, in Russia.