It was a hard fought battle for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the 2018 Formula 1 Italian GP in the home ground of Ferrari which had a heartbreak in the end.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen beat Sebastian Vettel to pole on Saturday in a strong showing from the Italian manufacturer but the tables turned on Sunday when Hamilton made a decisive move in the opening lap.
He overtook Vettel as the German was spun around leaving him with little to no chance of a win while Raikkonen had to defend hard from Hamilton. The Finn was undone when Mercedes’ used Valtteri Bottas to help Hamilton.
The British driver then took the advantage to pick up a strong win and create a sound buffer on Vettel in the title fight. Bottas was rewarded with a third place after penalty to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with Vettel also benefiting to fourth.
Here’s a statistical highlights of the grand prix at Monza:
- It was Hamilton’s 68th career win, 47th for Mercedes and sixth of the season. It was also his fifth Italian GP victory as he equaled Michael Schumacher’s record.
- Mercedes claimed its 82nd race win and it was its seventh Italian GP victory as a manufacturer as it sits third in the all-time list behind Ferrari (18) and McLaren (10).
- Hamilton registered the fastest lap of the race as well, it was his 40th overall and second of the season.
- Bottas scored his 28th career podium in third and 20th for Mercedes.
- Raikkonen registered his ninth podium of the season and career’s 100th as he joined an illustrious club of Schumacher (155), Hamilton (128), Vettel (107) and Alain Prost (106). Finishing second, he equaled his best Italian GP result since the 2006 grand prix.
- Sergio Perez gained the most positions in the race having started 14th. He finished eighth on the road but gained a place after the race.
- Romain Grosjean who finished sixth was disqualified after the race, thereby promoting Sergey Sirotkin in the points with the Russian registering his first career point. It is a first-time ever that every driver has scored a point in a F1 season – the results stands provisional though as Haas has decided to appeal the FIA’s decision.
- The last time a driver got disqualified from the race was Williams’ Felipe Massa in 2015 Brazilian GP for his tyres being too hot at the start of the race. The initially wanted to appeal but dropped the plan later on.
- Raikkonen scored his 18th career pole and first pole since 2017 Monaco GP. It was also his first Italian GP pole since the 2006 season.
- It was Brendon Hartley’s fifth retirement of the season as he couldn’t even complete the first corner as he was taken out by Marcus Ericsson.
- With the DQ of Grosjean, Racing Point Force India scored 14 points to take their tally to 32 points in two races as it beat Toro Rosso with 30. Both Perez (46) and Esteban Ocon (45) leapfrogged Fernando Alonso (44) to sit in the Top 10.
- Williams also scored its first double point of 2018 with Lance Stroll in ninth and Sirotkin in 10th. It is the team’s first since the 2017 Malaysian GP which was 20 races ago.
[Check: Belgian GP stats]