Ricciardo and McLaren back!

At the end of a race marked by a collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo ended three years and 67 races of famine at the Italian Grand Prix. The Australian is ahead of his team-mate Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas, who took advantage of a penalty against Sergio Pérez to step onto the podium.

Once again, Monza has reserved a crazy scenario! But, unlike the 2021 edition, thehe Italian Grand Prix smiled at the McLaren team. Almost nine years after Jenson Button’s success in Brazil, the Grove team returned to first place on the podium thanks to Daniel Ricciardo. The “papaya orange” single-seaters even did better with Lando Norris who took second place, his fifth podium and the best result of his career. A victory that the « Honey Badger » went to seek with the nerve and talent that is his, who hasn’t been able to express himself as much as he wanted since joining McLaren at the start of the season. In fact, as soon as the lights went out, Daniel Ricciardo took the advantage over Max Verstappen when, just behind and with a desired start on hard tires, Lewis Hamilton remained behind Lando Norris, just like during the sprint qualification disputed this Saturday. A first round which, however, was not carried out without a hitch. Returning cavalierly to the track in the second chicane, Antonio Giovinazzi collided with Carlos Sainz Jr’s Ferrari before spinning. The Italian driver then caused a short neutralization by the virtual safety car. Victorious at Monza last year, Pierre Gasly had a very different race. Started from the pits after changing the engine and modifying its settings following his exit from the track this Saturday, the Rouennais retired in the fifth round for technical concerns. A race to forget for AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda not having been able to take the start.

Ricciardo in mastery, Hamilton and Verstappen cracked

While Daniel Ricciardo led the way at the head of the race, holding Max Verstappen firmly to over a second, Sergio Pérez led the field by moving up to sixth place. On the Mercedes side, Valtteri Bottas gave everything to erase his start from the back of the grid, entering the points zone after only thirteen laps, while Lewis Hamilton has long stuck behind his compatriot Lando Norris. At the same time, Esteban Ocon logically received a five-second penalty for having closed the door too violently on Sebastian Vettel, not avoiding contact between the Alpine and the Aston Martin. At the forefront, wanting to put too much pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen made a mistake in the first chicane, giving the Australian a little more air. The race then took a strategic turn from the start of the 23rd loop. It was at this point that Daniel Ricciardo chose to make his only pit stop, throwing cascading saves with Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and then Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver did not spend too long on the track with worn tires after giving in to his compatriot. After losing nearly ten seconds when stopping, Max Verstappen tried to force the passage against Lewis Hamilton and could not avoid a spectacular collision which left the two title contenders on the floor. The race was then neutralized and everyone who had not dived into the pits changed their tires.

With Ricciardo and Norris, McLaren reconnects with its glorious past

Once these stops were made, the hierarchy stabilized for a while with Charles Leclerc who took the opportunity to insert his Ferrari in second place between the two McLarens. However, the Monegasque could not resist Lando Norris during the restart at the start of the 31st round. At the same time, his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr tried to resist Valtteri Bottas for fifth place but failed to hold out for very long against the only Mercedes still in contention. In great difficulty, Charles Leclerc also gave in to Sergio Pérez and Valtteri Bottas. There was great tension between the Finn and the Mexican. The latter was sanctioned with a five-second penalty for having gained an advantage from going off the track in the second chicane. At the forefront, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris gave their all in the last fifteen laps to distance their pursuers. An instruction which was perfectly executed since Daniel Ricciardo crossed the finish line as the winner, even taking the point of the best lap in the race in the last loop. Lando Norris did not fall for a McLaren double ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Starting in the last row, the Finn was able to get through the drops to get on the podium for the benefit of the five seconds added to the race time of Sergio Pérez, who fell from third to fifth place behind Charles Leclerc. The Mexican is ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, George Russell and Esteban Ocon, who complete the Top 10. In the championship, Max Verstappen retains first place with five points ahead of Lewis Hamilton while Lando Norris is nine lengths behind Valtteri Bottas, third.


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