Leclerc holds off Mercedes to end Ferrari's Monza drought
Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the Scuderia Ferrari during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Leclerc holds off Mercedes to end Ferrari's Monza drought

Charles Leclerc fended off both Mercedes drivers to win in Monza, as Sebastian Vettel had a race to forget.

jacowen96
James Cowen

Charles Leclerc held off an immense challenge from Mercedes to take victory in an enthralling race at the Italian Grand Prix, to the delight of the Tifoso.

The Ferrari driver first withstood an intense challenge from Lewis Hamilton before having to hold off the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas towards the end of the race.

However, the Monegasque held his nerve against the full force of Mercedes to take a historic victory for Ferrari in Monza, their first since 2010.

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Leclerc comes of age whilst Vettel has horror show

After making a good start from pole, Leclerc was able to control the race in front of the two Mercedes, whilst Sebastian Vettel kept in striking distance of the German team in fourth.

But it turned into a race to forget for Vettel, with the German spinning off the exit of Ascari and carelessly re-joining the track, making contact with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.

It left Vettel with a 10-second stop and go penalty, putting the German out of the points and out of the running.

The lone Ferrari out in front, Leclerc, continued to hold off Mercedes in the first stint before Hamilton attempted the undercut on the Monegasque, pitting for the medium tyres.

Leclerc pitted the next lap for hard tyres, with the team concerned that mediums would not get to the end of the race, which set up an enthralling battle with Leclerc able to get out in front, with an epic wheel-to-wheel scrap ensuing between the pair.

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Leclerc was handed a warning for his driving after Hamilton was run out of road heading into turn four, having to run wide at the chicane, but Hamilton’s best efforts came to nothing on the straights with Ferrari's power keeping Leclerc ahead.

A mistake at the first corner from the Brit let teammate Bottas go through, who was able to mount a challenge on the race leader on fresher medium tyres.

But it was too late for the Finn, with Leclerc, to the delight of the Tifosi, able to take his second race win in a row and moving ahead of his teammate in the standings.

Hamilton takes fastest lap as Renault show incredible pace

Hamilton finished third after pitting for soft tyres and setting the fastest lap of the race, whilst Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenerg finished an incredible fourth and fifth place in a very solid day for the team.

Alexander Albon finished sixth for Red Bull, with Sergio Perez finishing an impressive seventh in his Racing Point.

Max Verstappen recovered from a bad start after losing his front wing to finish eighth from the back of the grid, with Antonio Giovinazzi finishing in the points in ninth at his home race for Alfa Romeo.

McLaren driver Lando Norris rounded off the points in tenth, whilst team-mate Carlos Sainz retired after his wheel wasn’t fitted properly during his pit stop.

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