Monza, near Milan, marked the end of Formula 1’s European season, and another thrilling chapter in the fight for the 2018 World Championship.
… with Lewis Hamilton securing a record-equalling fifth Italian Grand Prix win – Mercedes getting the best of Ferrari at the Scuderia’s home race.
At the start, polesitter Kimi Raikkonen kept his teammate Sebastian Vettel behind for the lead into Turn 1. Hamilton slotted into third, but dived up the inside of Vettel into the second chicane – where the German made contact, and spun off to rejoin last, forcing the safety car to be deployed.
…with Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley retiring, his suspension broken after contact with McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.
The race restarted on Lap 4, with Hamilton passing Raikkonen for the lead into Turn 1 but the Finn repassed at the second chicane - proving that he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the sport.
Up front, Raikkonen and Hamilton traded fastest laps – with the gap down to six tenths by Lap 21, when the Finn pitted for the softs. Just three laps later, Ricciardo retired with engine issues.
Hamilton, released into the lead, put the hammer down – but Raikkonen’s pace on new softs saw the Brit drop to third after his stop on Lap 29.
Valtteri Bottas then inherited the lead, and began to back Raikkonen into the sister Mercedes, destroying his tyres – until his stop on Lap 37.
Raikkonen then took the lead, but with a blistering left rear, was a sitting duck – with Hamilton in hot pursuit, the 4-time F1 World Champion finally getting past on Lap 45, with a move round the outside at Turn 1.
… while Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was handed a 5-second time penalty for moving in the Turn 1 braking zone, while Bottas tried to pass.
Out front, Hamilton stretched his legs, extending his lead over Raikkonen to more than eight seconds at the flag. The Brit taking maximum points at a round where Ferrari was expected to dominate, going two-for-two after F1’s summer break.