LECLERC TRIUMPHS AT MONZA WHILST VETTEL TANKS
Leclerc survived an onslaught from LCH and Valtteri Bottas to win a thrilling Italian Grand Prix. LCH hustled Leclerc during a remarkable spell of wheel-to-wheel action at Monza – but the young Monegasque excelled to keep the world champion at bay and register his second win in as many weeks and Ferrari’s first on home soil in nine years.
With 11 laps remaining, LCH then made a mistake at the first corner in his pursuit of Leclerc, falling off the road and allowing Bottas to take second. On fresher tyres, Bottas took over from Hamilton in his pursuit of Leclerc but crossed the line just eight-tenths shy of the Ferrari star.
In contrast to Leclerc’s heroics at the Cathedral of Speed, Sebastian Vettel endured yet another torrid afternoon in the sister Ferrari. The four-time world champion took the chequered flag a dismal 13th and one lap down after a spin at the Ascari chicane on lap six.
Vettel had to stop for a new front wing after he clumsily collided with Lance Stroll in his attempt to rejoin the track following his mistake. He was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for his part in the incident.
Hamilton’s late error allowed Bottas to reduce the championship deficit to 63 points with seven rounds left.
“What a race,” said Leclerc. “I have never been so tired. I made a few mistakes, but in the end I finished first so I am very happy.”