McLaren takes 1-2 at Monza with Ricciardo victorious

Daniel Ricciardo won Formula 1’s 2021 Italian Grand Prix in a dramatic and controversial race at Monza as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton clashed twice and both retired.

The honey badger led home his McLaren teammate Lando Norris to take a fantastic 1-2, with Valtteri Bottas ending up in third position after making excellent progress up the order in the race’s opening half after starting last and then capitalising on the chaos that followed the incident that eliminated Verstappen and Hamilton.

That happened at the very end of the race’s pitstop stage, with the Mercedes driver coming out of the pits and trying to get back on terms with Norris, who had stopped a lap earlier, in their fight over third.

But Verstappen, the race’s polesitter and only behind Hamilton thanks to his pitstop going wrong, shot alongside the side of his title rival on the approach to the first chicane.

They went side-by-side past the Rettifilo chicane’s first apex and then with Verstappen ending up over the big kerbs leading to the second he was fired into Hamilton’s side – the Mercedes still close alongside.

Then contact put Verstappen over Hamilton’s rear wing, engine cover, roll hoop and halo, with both cars trapped in the gravel on the chicane’s outside – the Red Bull stranded on top of the front of the Mercedes.

It was a scary-looking crash with the Red Bull hitting the halo on Hamilton’s Mercedes. This is the second time that Max and Lewis had a coming together at Monza, with the first happening on the opening lap. This time, both championship contenders are out of the race.

Both were therefore out and the safety car called, which set-up a thrilling second half of the Italian Grand Prix.

At the start, Verstappen and Ricciardo leapt off the line together, but the McLaren’s acceleration was better and Ricciardo was able to pull alongside his former teammate on the run to the first corner.

With Ricciardo on the inside line he easily seized first position and pulled clear, with Hamilton, alone of the leaders to start on hard tyres and not mediums going around the outside of Norris exiting the second part of the Rettifilo chicane.

As Ricciardo led the pack to the della Roggia chicane, Hamilton shot alongside Verstappen and the pair clashed between the sequence’s two apexes – the title rivals making side-on wheel-to-wheel contact.

Hamilton therefore jumped across the kerbs to cut the second apex, which cost him momentum and allowing Norris to get back ahead into third on the approach to the first Lesmo.

The race was then briefly interrupted by a virtual safety car period, called to allow debris to be cleared from a shunt involving Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The latter was attacking Charles Leclerc for fourth into the della Roggia, but he too cut the second apex after being edged out of a move and as he rejoined the track he came across the following Sainz’s bow and was speared into the wall on the outside with the Ferrari left with no room in an incident that wiped off Giovinazzi’s front wing and dropped him to last, and for which he was doubly punished with a five-second time addition from the stewards.

The virtual safety car ended on the second lap at the end of which Ricciardo led by 1.2s over Verstappen, who then set a fastest lap to make sure he was within DRS range when the system was activated for the start of lap four of 53.

The Red Bull was able to stay within a second but could not get any closer for the next phase of the race, as the two leaders pulled clear of Norris, who was under similar intense pressure from Hamilton.

As Ricciardo and Verstappen lapped more regularly in the mid-high one minute, 26 seconds compared to Norris, the McLaren driver gradually fell back from the rear of the Red Bull – his pace also edging Hamilton back towards Leclerc.

By lap 20, Ricciardo, still only 0.9 seconds in front of Verstappen, was six seconds clear of his teammate, as McLaren and Red Bull considered when would be best to come in and get rid of the mediums their drivers were struggling to keep alive without getting stuck behind traffic in the chasing pack.

As the first stint wore on, Verstappen reported similar struggles with his rear tyres to Ricciardo, and locked up on lap 21 on the approach to the first corner – the championship leader sliding past the apex and bumping over the high kerbs behind the second apex.

That meant Ricciardo’s lead grew to 1.4 seconds and he came in at the end of the following lap to switch to the hards.

Red Bull called Verstappen in immediately afterwards on lap 23, but an 11.1 seconds stop thanks to a slow right-front change meant he had no chance of taking the lead.

The big danger for Ricciardo was suddenly from Hamilton, as he had passed Norris with a bold move to the outside of the della Roggia chicane on lap 24, but that threat ended when the Mercedes driver pitted at the end of the next tour and emerged into the crash with Verstappen.

The race was neutralised by the safety car for the next six laps, with its intervention meaning Leclerc and the chasing pack could pit and gain ground on the McLarens.

The order at the restart on lap 31 was Ricciardo, Leclerc, Norris, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz Jr and Valtteri Bottas – who had been making steady progress up the order from last on the grid thanks to his pre-Friday-qualifying engine change.

Bottas was able to get by slower rivals in a way Hamilton had struggled to against Norris in the early phase of the race and had come in during the safety car to change the hards he had started on for mediums.

Ricciardo dropped Leclerc at the restart, with Norris battling the Ferrari into the Rettifilo chicane, then getting by with a stunning blast to the inside of the Curva Grande and chasing after his teammate.

Leclerc was soon overcome by Perez – controversially when the Red Bull bumped over the kerbs at the second chicane’s second apex after his move around the outside did not come off – then Bottas, which took the Mercedes driver two attempts as Leclerc cut the first chicane on lap 33, before giving the place back then blasting by on the run to the second chicane with a handy slipstream.

Norris was pressuring Ricciardo up front, with Bottas finally passing Leclerc at the first corner a lap after his first attack had failed, urging McLaren to tell his teammate to up his pace.

Ricciardo did so under orders to show his ultimate pace on the hards to the finish, which brought up into the high one minute, 25 seconds Norris had been able to reach in the phase immediately after the safety car, with Bottas the biggest threat once Perez was handed a five-second time addition for the incident at the second chicane with Leclerc.

But as the McLarens set about pulling away, Bottas’s charge stalled behind Perez – a move around the outside of the della Roggia chicane’s first apex failing just when it looked like the Finn was ahead as he lost momentum exiting the second apex and the Red Bull moved back ahead.

Over the remaining 20 laps, Ricciardo’s increased pace pulled him gradually clear of Norris, who was told “It’s best for us where you are” after he asked McLaren if the current order was its preference.

Norris was out of DRS threat for the closing stages, with Perez likewise not in a position to threaten McLaren’s 1-2 – even as the pack negotiated a second VSC phase when Nikita Mazepin’s Haas lost drive and pulled over on the outside of the Ascari chicane on lap 43.

Compared to the middle third of the race, the final phase was much calmer, with Ricciardo coming home to take a first win since Monaco 2018 by 1.7 seconds, and for good measure setting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap.

Bottas was bumped up to third by Perez’s penalty as he could not find a way by before the finish, with the Checo ending up down in fifth behind Leclerc – but just ahead of Sainz.

Lance Stroll was seventh but faces a post-race investigation for possibly failing to slow for yellow flags, with Fernando Alonso eighth.

George Russell finished ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon – who earlier in the race had picked up a five-second time addition served at his stop for clashing with Sebastian Vettel (P12) at the second chicane.

Yuki Tsunoda did not start the race due to a brake problem, with his teammate Pierre Gasly retiring early after going through pre-start drama on the laps to the grid.

So congratulations to McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo in winning the Italian Grand Prix. What a fantastic result for the honey badger and his first win for a new team after his success with Red Bull many years ago. Kudos to his teammate Lando Norris in taking second position, giving the team a brilliant 1-2 finish.

Italian Grand Prix, race results:

1 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1:21:54.365
2 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1.747
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 4.921
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 7.309
5 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda 8.723
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 10.535
7 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 15.804
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 17.201
9 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 19.742
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 20.868
11 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 23.743
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 24.621
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 27.216
14 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 29.769
15 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 51.088
– Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari DNF
– Lewis Hamilton Mercedes DNF
– Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda DNF
– Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda DNF
– Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda DNF

6 thoughts to “McLaren takes 1-2 at Monza with Ricciardo victorious”

  1. Italian Grand Prix race review as reported by

    A dramatic crash between title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen that took both drivers out of the race cleared the way for Daniel Ricciardo to claim a sensational victory in the Italian Grand Prix, giving McLaren their first race win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix – and a one-two to boot, as he led home team mate Lando Norris, with Valtteri Bottas taking third, in a thrilling race at Monza.

    Hamilton was exiting the pits on Lap 26 of 53 when he arrived alongside Verstappen, the pair going side by side through the Variante del Rettifilo, but making contact, with Verstappen flying through the air and coming to rest on top of the Mercedes. Both drivers were unhurt, but out of the race, with the stewards set to investigate after the Grand Prix.

    Ricciardo was a deserving winner, however, having passed Verstappen for the lead at the race start from P2 on the grid, before Verstappen and Hamilton’s clash cleared the way for him to control the race to sweep home to an eighth career victory. Lando Norris secured his best ever race finish with P2, having been told to hold station behind his team mate in the final moments of the Grand Prix.

    Having started P19, Bottas claimed third, finishing fourth on the road behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, before Perez had a five-second penalty added to his time for passing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc off the track.

    Perez would eventually be classified fifth behind Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz took sixth on his first ever outing for Ferrari at Monza. Lance Stroll was seventh for Aston Martin – but under investigation for a yellow flag infraction – with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso eighth, ahead of the Williams of George Russell in ninth as the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

    So, a huge moment for Ricciardo, Norris and McLaren – with Ricciardo also claiming a point for fastest lap on the final tour. But the ramifications of Hamilton and Verstappen’s crash are sure to be a major talking point this evening.

    With a free tyre choice for all drivers on the grid, everyone in the top 10 opted to start on medium tyres bar Lewis Hamilton – who despite having two new sets of softs in his locker, chose to start on the hards from P4, behind Verstappen and the two McLarens of Ricciardo and Norris.

    Verstappen got away cleanly from pole, but not as well as Ricciardo, who aced the getaway to claim the race lead going into the first chicane – the first time the Australian had led a race since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    Hamilton, meanwhile, had jumped Norris in the second McLaren at the start to hold third and duly attacked his second-placed title rival Verstappen into the second chicane. Verstappen held his line, though, with Hamilton taking to the run-off and accusing Verstappen of pushing him off, as Norris slipped back past to demote Hamilton down to fourth – the stewards not deigning to investigate the incident. They’d have something to investigate later, however…

    Behind, having unsuccessfully tried to pass Charles Leclerc around the outside at the first chicane, Antonio Giovinazzi then ran across the second, coming wildly back on track and squeezing Carlos Sainz, who tagged the Italian into half spin, costing Giovinazzi a nose cone and forcing him to pit – the race briefly neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car, with the stewards handing Giovinazzi a 5s penalty.

    By Lap 10, Ricciardo was maintaining his lead of around one second beautifully from Verstappen, who complained that it was hard to get close to his former Red Bull team mate. Norris in third was holding Hamilton at bay as he had done in Saturday’s Sprint, with the rest of the top 10: Leclerc in P5 then Perez, Sainz, Lance Stroll – who’d tangled with Aston Martin team mate Sebastian Vettel on the first lap, costing the German three places – with Fernando Alonso and the fast-starting Nicholas Latifi rounding out the top 10.

    Showing great pace early on, meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas was up to 11th from his P19 start (and into the points after passing Latifi on Lap 13) – while both AlphaTauris were out of the race, Yuki Tsunoda failing to take the start after a brake issue, while 2020 Monza winner Gasly was retired on Lap 3, ending the Italian team’s 100% points record in 2021.

    At this stage of the race, both Verstappen and Hamilton’s race ambitions were being frustrated by the pesky McLarens ahead of them, the Red Bull pit wall feeling Verstappen could lap 1s quicker if he could pass Ricciardo – while Verstappen being held up was at least a saving grace for Hamilton, who despite several close dices with Norris couldn’t make his way past either.

    Vettel had been in the wars in the early part of the race – and his hardship continued on Lap 15 as Esteban Ocon squeezed the German into the Variante della Roggia, Ocon earning a 5s penalty for his troubles.

    Leader Ricciardo was pitted on Lap 22 for hards, releasing Verstappen – who a lap before had run wide at Turn 1 trying a lunge on the Australian. “Keep the pressure on,” Verstappen was told, with the Dutchman retorting succinctly: “But my tyres are f****d!”

    In the next minutes, Verstappen’s race hopes suffered a double blow, before a final, dramatic coup de grace. First, as he pulled into the pits a lap after Ricciardo for his stop, he was held for 11.1s by a slow right-front wheel. Almost simultaneously, Norris was finally passed by Hamilton, releasing the seven-time champion.

    Hamilton then pitted on Lap 24, a 4.2s stop meaning he exited the pits neck and neck with Verstappen. Then came the incident that blew the race wide open.

    As the pair headed into the Variante del Rettifilo, Verstappen and Hamilton were side by side. With a sense of inevitability, they made contact, with Verstappen’s RB16B launched into the air, slamming into Hamilton’s rollover hoop before it came to rest on top of the Mercedes’ nose cone. The stewards opted to investigate the incident after the race – but whatever the outcome, it was yet another fiery chapter in the fight between these two, and one that left the 50% capacity Monza crowd slack-jawed.

    With the two main actors in the title fight out, all eyes turned to the McLaren of Ricciardo, who led the race that was now neutralised by a Safety Car – with Charles Leclerc having jumped to P2 after pitting under the Safety Car, with Norris third ahead of Perez, Sainz and Bottas in P6.

    Ricciardo nailed the restart on Lap 31 of 53 to hold his lead, as Norris attacked Leclerc and brilliantly took P2 into the second chicane. Bottas, meanwhile, was flying, quickly seeing off Sainz and Leclerc. Perez had passed Leclerc by running over the second chicane run-off to claim P3 – the Mexican not giving the place back, however, and earning himself a 5s race penalty.

    With 10 laps to go, the order was Ricciardo from Norris – who’d been told by McLaren not to attack his team mate for the lead and compromise McLaren’s chance of taking a historic one-two – with Perez third, then Bottas, Leclerc, Sainz, Stoll, Alonso, Russell and Ocon – Bottas having tried and failed to pass Perez for third on Lap 43.

    Ultimately, though, as Bottas’ pace levelled off and the laps counted down, Ricciardo had this one covered, and at the end of Lap 53, to the delight of all at McLaren, the papaya orange cars swept across the line for the team’s first victory since Interlagos 2012 – and Ricciardo’s first since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, and first in F1 as a non-Red Bull driver.

    Norris had attempted to chivvy Ricciardo along at points in the race, being vocal on team radio about the Australian needing to pick his pace up. Credit, though, was due to Norris, who respected McLaren’s wishes to hold station and take P2.

    Perez would finish P3 but fell to fifth after his penalty, allowing Bottas onto the podium after his P19 start, as Leclerc was promoted to fourth. Six to 10 was occupied by Sainz, Stroll, Alonso, Russell – scoring his third points finish in four races – and Ocon in 10th.

    Nicholas Latifi took P11 in the second Williams, ahead of Vettel in 12th. Antonio Giovinazzi could only recover to 13th after his Lap 1 snafu, with the sister Alfa Romeo of Robert Kubica 14th ahead of Mick Schumacher – the second Haas of Nikita Mazepin having retired.

    So, 12 months on from Pierre Gasly’s sensational win, Monza delivered another corker, as Ricciardo claimed an astonishing victory – sealed, of course, with his famous shoey celebration on Monza’s iconic, theatrical rostrum. But expect the rumblings from yet another clash between Hamilton and Verstappen to reverberate on for weeks to come.

  2. Monza winner Daniel Ricciardo is just ‘lost for words’ after ending McLaren win drought. has the news story.

    Daniel Ricciardo felt “lost for words” after scoring a shock Formula 1 victory for McLaren in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, ending both his and the team’s win droughts.

    Ricciardo controlled proceedings at Monza after taking the lead from Max Verstappen on the opening lap, with the pressure then easing after Verstappen and title rival Lewis Hamilton collided, bringing out a mid-race safety car.

    Ricciardo kept a stable gap to McLaren teammate Lando Norris behind in the final 23 laps of green flag running, leading him home to score a 1-2 for the team.

    It marks Ricciardo’s first podium since joining McLaren, his first win since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, and ends a nine-year win drought for the team dating back to Brazil 2012.

    It is also the first 1-2 finish for McLaren since Canada 2010.

    Ricciardo was told he could not swear during the parc ferme interviews, but said it was “about [pause] time”.

    “I knew, to be honest, even if we got the start, it was never a guarantee we would lead the whole race,” Ricciardo said.

    “I was able to hold firm out front in the first stint. I don’t think we had like mega speed, but it was enough just to keep Max behind.

    “And then I don’t know, there were safety cars, there was this and that. To lead literally from start to finish, I don’t think any of us expected that.

    “There was something in me on Friday. I knew something good was to come. Let’s just say that.”

    Ricciardo had told after qualifying fourth on Friday that he felt “internal rage” that he was not higher up the grid, believing he had the pace to fight at the front.

    The result put an end to a difficult start to life with McLaren for Ricciardo, who had struggled to match team-mate Norris’s form through much of the season so far.

    Ricciardo joked that he’d been “a sandbagging SOB the whole year”, but hailed the impact of the summer break to help him reset.

    “Thirds, fourths, fifth, you might as well just win, so that’s what I did,” Ricciardo said.

    “Obviously the August break was good, just to reset, so I felt better the last three weekends.

    “To not only win but to get a 1-2, it’s insane. For McLaren to be on the podium, it’s huge, let alone 1-2.

    “So this is for Team Papaya. I’m for once lost for words.”

  3. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton commented that Max Verstappen knew what would happen ahead of Monza crash. provides the details.

    Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen knew “what was going to happen” before their crash in Sunday’s Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix that eliminated both title contenders from the race.

    Hamilton and Verstappen collided while battling for position at the first chicane midway through the race at Monza, forcing them both to retire.

    Hamilton exited the pits and tried to defend his position from Verstappen, taking the inside line into the first corner.

    This left Verstappen looking to get the inside line for Turn 2, only for him to run over the kerbs at the corner and continue directly into Hamilton’s car.

    Verstappen’s Red Bull was left on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with one of Verstappen’s wheels even making contact with Hamilton’s helmet in the crash, albeit mainly buffeted by the halo. Verstappen returned to the pits on foot and told his team that Hamilton “didn’t leave me the space”.

    “I was racing as hard as I could, finally got past Lando [Norris],” Hamilton said on Sky Sports after the race.

    “I was in the lead, or time wise, it told me I was in the lead, so they pitted me. Pitstop was obviously slow, lost a couple of seconds, I think a second and a bit, whatever it is.

    “[I] came out, I saw that Daniel [Ricciardo] came past, Max was coming, I made sure I left a car’s width on the outside for him.

    “I went into Turn 1, I was ahead, and I was ahead going into Turn 2. Then all of a sudden, he was on top of me.”

    It marked the second moment of contact between Hamilton and Verstappen in the race after the pair had gone wheel-to-wheel in a similar incident at the Roggia chicane on the opening lap.

    In that move, Hamilton pulled out at the last moment and took to the kerbs, causing him to lose a place to Norris after passing the McLaren earlier on.

    Hamilton said Verstappen was in “exactly the same scenario” in the crash as he was on the opening lap.

    “I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way, and that’s racing,” Hamilton said.

    “He didn’t want to give way today. He knew that when he was going into 2 what was going to happen. He knew he was going over the kerbs. But he still did it.

    “We’ll speak to the stewards and see. But I don’t really know what else to say.”

    Hamilton and Verstappen will meet with the stewards at Monza at 1715 local time to discuss the incident, which is being investigated.

    Hamilton added that he was “a bit sore in my neck” because of the wheel that landed on his head, but that he will “be OK”.

  4. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says that Lewis Hamilton left him with nowhere to go at the first chicane. has the story.

    Max Verstappen has blamed Lewis Hamilton squeezing him out across the kerbs at the first chicane at Monza as the trigger for their crash in Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix.

    The Dutchman and title rival Hamilton were battling for position on track at Monza following the first round of pitstops as they ran wheel-to-wheel after the pitlane exit.

    Hamilton defended the inside into the first chicane, with Verstappen attempting to go around the outside and claim the apex for the left handed exit.

    However, he ended up bouncing over the kerbs and was launched over Hamilton’s car, putting them both out on the spot.

    Verstappen insisted that there was plenty of room for the pair of them to run side-by-side, but says the clash became inevitable once he was pushed on to the sausage kerb.

    “We realized it was going to be close into Turn 1,” he told Sky. “[Hamilton had to] cut across after the white line [at the pitlane exit] and I had to go on to the green part to not touch.

    “I went around the outside. And of course, he realized I was going for it. So he just kept on squeezing me.”

    He added: “I didn’t expect him to just keep on squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, because he didn’t even need to.

    “Even if he would have left me just a car’s width, we would have raced out of Turn 2 anyway. And I think he would have probably still been in front.

    “But then he just kept on pushing me wider and wider. And at one point, there was nowhere to go.

    “He just pushed me onto the sausage kerb. And that’s why, at the end of the day, we touched because of the rear tyre.”

    Verstappen felt that there was no similarity between what happened at Monza and their crash the pair had at the British Grand Prix

    “I wanted to work with him because I wanted to race,” he added. “Of course people then automatically start talking about Silverstone, but these things happen.

    “Of course, it was not nice at the time. But I think we’re all professional enough to just get on with it and keep on racing each other.”

    Verstappen said that if the pair wanted to race fairly then they needed to work together, something he felt wasn’t happening right now.

    “You need two people to work together, right?” he explained. “So if you one guy is not willing to work, then what do you do? It’s still going to happen.”

    Asked if he planned to talk to Hamilton in private about the situation, Verstappen said: “I think we’re professional enough to step over it and just keep on going.”

  5. McLaren’s Lando Norris said that the team really deserved this “incredible” Monza Formula 1 win after so many disappointing seasons. has the news story.

    McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris says the team fully deserved its first win since 2012 after finishing second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the Italian Grand Prix.

    At Monza Ricciardo snatched the lead away from Red Bull’s polesitter Max Verstappen at the start and managed to keep the Dutchman at bay during the first stint.

    After Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided, Norris made it a McLaren 1-2, which the pair defended from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez until the finish.

    Ricciardo’s win is McLaren’s first since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, and the team’s first 1-2 victory since Canada 2010.

    Norris, who is a long-time McLaren protege and made his debut with the team in 2019 after it came out of a difficult period, said the result was even more meaningful after the journey the Woking team has been on over the past decade.

    “I don’t know where to start, I think it is incredible,” Norris said.

    “To be honest I don’t know what it means to me. The main thing it means to me is our result as a team.

    “A bit lost for words in a way but I’m happy for myself, to be here again, to have executed the race the way we did, with the overtakes and the strategy and the defending. But yeah, happy for Daniel and the whole team because it’s a pretty awesome achievement for all of us.

    “I’ve been part of McLaren for a bit longer, so to be on this little journey we’ve had together already to go from one podium a few years ago to a few more this season and now a 1-2, it’s pretty insane to think of.”

    McLaren is not the first midfield team to win a race over the past 12 months, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly taking a shock win at the same track last year, and Esteban Ocon grabbing his maiden win in Budapest this season.

    But while luck played a significant role in those wins, Norris feels McLaren was good value for its record 45-point haul given it had already been on the front foot in Friday qualifying, after which both Norris and Ricciardo made progress in Saturday’s 18-lap sprint.

    “I think a lot of times you’ve seen other people win, it’s because of a bit of luck here and there but I think all weekend we’ve just done a very good job,” he argued.

    “We were in the right place at the right times, we’ve done a good job of the strategies. Yesterday we put ourselves in a better position and with my side getting ahead of Lewis, with Daniel getting past two cars he put himself in that position.

    “We had a fast car and we maximised everything we had, so I don’t think there was any luck with what we did this weekend.

    “We bounced back well from Zandvoort, from one of our worst races of the season and we just did a perfect job this weekend.

    “There was no luck with it, which I think makes it definitely a bit sweeter because it’s just deserved.”

  6. Toto Wolff says the halo cockpit protection device “definitely” saved Lewis Hamilton’s life in his accident with Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen at Monza on Sunday.

    Hamilton and Verstappen collided while battling for position at the first chicane midway through the Italian Grand Prix, forcing both drivers to retire from the race.

    The accident saw Verstappen’s Red Bull car end up on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with the slow-motion replays showing one of Verstappen’s wheels making contact with the top of Hamilton’s helmet. The majority of the impact was buffeted by the halo on Hamilton’s car.

    Hamilton said after the race that his neck was “a bit sore” as a result of the crash that the FIA stewards are currently investigating in the aftermath of the race.

    Asked if the halo had saved Hamilton’s life at Monza, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said: “Halo definitely saved Lewis’s life today.

    “It would have been a horrible accident, that I don’t even want to think about, if we wouldn’t have had the halo.”

    The halo was introduced to Formula 1 in 2018 by the FIA under the stewardship of president Jean Todt, who faced fierce criticism at the time. The safety device was hailed as protecting Charles Leclerc in the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix and played a huge role in Romain Grosjean’s escape from the violent 2020 Bahrain GP horror crash, when his Haas car split open the Armco.

    The collision marked the second major accident between Hamilton and Verstappen this season following their clash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix back in July.

    Wolff called the move by Verstappen a “tactical foul” after the race, but did recognise his own bias in judging the situation, saying that the stewards’ decision would have to be respected.

    Wolff said the battle between the two drivers – who are separated by just five points at the top of the championship – was “fierce” and “intense”, but that they had to find a way to race each other cleanly.

    “They need to find a way of how to race each other,” Wolff said. “Either leave room in every direction, [or] there will be accidents, if it’s not clear – and it’s never clear cut actually.

    “Like the Silverstone verdict was predominantly [to blame]. But they know in the car what they are doing and how they are racing each other.

    “We should be watching with interest and hopefully not have eight accidents in the next eight remaining races.”

    Wolff felt it was important that the decision from the stewards at Monza clamped down on so-called ‘tactical fouls’ and prevent future clashes.

    “We don’t want to have situations in the future where one loses the position, and the only way of stopping the race or stopping the other one scoring is just by taking him out,” Wolff said.

    “Both of them need to leave space for each other, race each other hard, but avoid accidents.

    “Because it was good fun until now, but we have seen a halo that saved Lewis’s life today, and Max had this heavy impact in Silverstone.

    “We don’t want to come to a situation to intervene when somebody gets really hurt.”


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