2017 Formula One Italian Grand Prix — Race Results

Following yesterday’s qualifying giving us a grid order no one expected, today’s Italian Grand Prix fell short of the mark. Mercedes continues to write 2017’s narrative but not without Ferrari taking home a well-deserved podium on its home turf.

Lewis Hamilton led today’s race from jump street following his record-setting performance yesterday. Hamilton secured his sixth race win of the season, taking the championship lead by three points. Surprisingly, this is the first time Lewis has led the championship all year. Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas tucks behind for the one-two, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel trailed behind in third.

Hamilton drove a very straightforward race with only mild contention from Williams’ Lance Stroll off the line. It wasn’t long before Hamilton drove off into the distance, as is typical for the Briton. A fantastic weekend for the 3-time champion in his bid to keep the title fight alive. With Singapore in two weeks time, today’s victory comes at a crucial point in the season.

Those missing yesterday’s qualifying session will have noticed two unfamiliar faces behind Lewis: Lance Stroll for Williams and Force India’s Esteban Ocon. Stroll took to a fantastic start at the beginning of the race, even threatening Hamilton for position. With Stroll’s attempt to overtake shirked by Hamilton, second place fell into the hands of Ocon heading into Turn 1.

Valtteri Bottas drove his own banger of a race today. Starting from fourth, him and fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen butted heads through the first chicane for position. Raikkonen reclaimed fourth heading into Turns 5 and 6, only for Bottas to fight back for position heading into Parabolica.

Closing in on Lance Stroll in third place, Bottas snatched the position on the third lap. Esteban Ocon fell victim to the Finn on the following lap for second place. He too set off into the distance, chasing down his Mercedes teammate who was well and truly in the lead. Bottas continues to prove his worth to the team and is only 44 points behind Hamilton.

To say today wasn’t Ferrari’s day would be a gross understatement. While Sebastian Vettel may have limited the damage done his title hopes, he trails Hamilton by three points. Vettel passed teammate Raikkonen on the third lap, followed by Stroll soon after. The German driver picked off Ocon on lap eight heading into Turn 1 for third spot. Ultimately, Vettel was unable to match the pace of the Mercedes’ up ahead and settled for third in today’s race.

Sebastian Vettel may have taken a third place victory in today’s race, but it wasn’t an easy win. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo drove an impressive race in recovering from 16th on the grid. Picking through the slower cars in the early stages of the race, and would eventually put the moves on Raikkonen for fourth. As said, today wasn’t the best for the Tifosi or Scuderia Ferrari.

Ricciardo set off to chase Vettel ahead of him, taking chunks of time out of the Ferrari’s lead but fell victim to time. With two or three more laps the finish may very well have looked different. Max Verstappen on the other hand seems to have crossed one black cat too many. The odds were against him, as it’s been for majority of the season. With a fantastic start off the line from 13th, he leapfrogged to eighth on the first lap.

Despite the impressive comeback, it all came to a head for the Dutch driver following a tussle with Felipe Massa. Tackling the first chicane on the second lap, the two drivers collided with Verstappen coming out the loser. Damaging the front wing and suffering a tire puncture forced Max to pit, rejoining the race in last.

Verstappen snagged 10th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who didn’t take very kindly to Max’s daring overtake in Turn 1. Stroll and Ocon slipped further behind the faster cars but managed sixth and seventh, respectively. Both drivers continue to impress with every succeeding race and are quickly making a name for themselves. Stroll even fended off his more experienced Williams teammate on the last lap, an impressive feat for the rookie.

It was the usual affair with McLaren: no points on the board and both cars retiring from the race. Stoffel Vandoorne’s race ended after complaining of no power. Fernando Alonso followed suit not long after, retiring at the team’s request on the second to last lap.

Things aren’t looking good for one of the sport’s most successful teams, but that may change next year. Fernando Alonso has alluded to an option being on the table for 2018. While he may be referring to driving for a different team, the safe bet is a new engine supplier for McLaren and Renault may be that supplier. Only time will tell.

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