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By Olivier Ferret

8 September 2019 - 19:16
Race - Italian GP team quotes

Haas F1

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished 16th while teammate Kevin Magnussen retired due to a hydraulic issue in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, the 14th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Grosjean started 13th on a new set of Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires but quickly lost ground when he was hit from behind and forced down the escape road in turn one on the opening lap and rejoined in 16th. He was back to his original starting position by lap seven as a result of a pair of incidents ahead of him, but then spun in turn 10 on lap 10, requiring a stop to replace his flat-spotted tires. He took medium tires and resumed in 20th, then pitted a second time during a virtual safety car period on lap 31 for a new set of softs. Grosjean avoided trouble the rest of the way and crossed the finish line 16th.

Magnussen showed early promise of a points-paying finish when he held ground from his 11th place starting position, moving up to 10th by lap four and to eighth by the seventh tour around the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit. He was 10th when he pitted on lap 21 to switch from the soft tires on which he started the race for a set of mediums, resuming in 14th. He advanced to ninth by lap 30 and held that position for five laps until a brief lockup while defending through turn one on lap 35. His tires flat-spotted, he pitted for a set of soft tires and resumed in 15th. Nine laps later, Magnussen was called to the pits after the team detected a hydraulic issue and the car was retired.

With today’s results, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team remained ninth in the constructor’s championship with 26 points, eight behind eighth-place Alfa Romeo and 25 ahead of 10th-place Williams.

Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc scored the victory from the pole for the second consecutive race and the second time in his career in today’s Italian Grand Prix. He took the checkered flag by a margin of .835 of a second, beating the Mercedes duo of runner-up Valtteri Bottas and third-place-finisher Lewis Hamilton.

Seven races remain on the 2019 Formula One schedule. Next up is the Singapore Grand Prix set for Sept. 22 on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Romain Grosjean

“It was very complicated today. I was hit from behind into turn one and it picked up the anti-stall. I had to pull the clutch, release the clutch, and by the time I had done all that I was driving through the polystyrene blocks and was dead last through the first corner. I tried to push to come back, then I had a spin at Ascari. I came into the pits and asked the team to remove a fair bit of aero balance, as the car was very much on the nose. We did it, but the car was still over balanced. We pitted again and removed one percent of aero balance, and the car was still over balanced. Definitely something went wrong with the car today. We need to analyze everything, the balance we had today was definitely not what we had during the rest of the weekend. A lot to do.”

Kevin Magnussen

“I had a hydraulic problem at the end, so we had to retire unfortunately. Until then, it had been going okay. I was fighting to keep people behind, which is normal for me these days. That said, we had been in a good position and a lot of other people were having problems. It was just bad luck to have our problem at the end. On the positive, we were in the top ten from beginning to end – of our race at least. It wasn’t a true picture but at least we were going for it. It looked like we could do something, but obviously I’m gutted we had to retire at the end.”

Günther Steiner

“It was a very disappointing race. Kevin (Magnussen) started off running pretty well, but then it all went wrong when he locked up. The car was just difficult to drive. A hydraulic issue then meant we had to retire the car. Romain (Grosjean), it looked like he was hit at turn one, his car was out of balance after that. We’ll need to see what happened, but the car was just slow, there must have been something wrong with it. He couldn’t drive it. He tried to get the balance back on the pit stop, but it was not possible. We were slow. It’s a disappointing weekend for the whole team. We just need to regroup and keep on going until we find a solution to our lack of performance.”

Williams

- George Russell finished 14th and Robert Kubica 17th in the Italian Grand Prix
- George started 14th and Robert 15th on the grid, both on the medium Pirelli tyre
- George ran a one-stop race pitting for the hard Pirelli tyre on lap 23
- Robert ran a two-stop race, pitting first for the soft and then for the medium Pirelli tyre

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer

This was another action-packed race, during which our drivers battled with several cars. Robert enjoyed a good opening lap and got up to P13 before falling back as the race progressed. He eventually completed a two-stop race having flat-spotted a tyre whilst defending from Grosjean. George completed a more conventional one-stop race and almost managed to beat Vettel but unfortunately was overtaken on the final lap. Our straight-line speed made defending difficult, but George did a good job to hold on to P14, showing good pace relative to the cars around him.

Our attention now turns to the final set of flyaway races, which begins in Singapore in a couple of weeks. The races then come in quick succession as we make our way across the World.

George Russell

Our pace was surprising, especially considering Monza is one of the three worst circuits of the year for us with our straight-line speed. We definitely have some positives to take away, it shows that we did a good job with the set-up, with the tyres, with everything else in our control. I think we can be quite pleased with the result.

Robert Kubica

It wasn’t easy, overall the weekend was up and down. Generally, the race started pretty well, but then I struggled with the front-left tyre in the corners. We had a few battles and I tried to defend as much as I could, but I struggled to stay in the tow of the other cars. I tried my best and that’s how it is.

McLaren

Carlos Sainz

“It’s a shame to end the day that way. We obviously need to analyse what we could’ve done better in the pit-stop as a whole team, but honestly, this year the pit-stops have been great; our guys have been doing an outstanding job on the pit-wall and in the pit-box, so nothing to be concerned about. Heads up high.

“We’ve lost a potential P6, but we’ve gained a lot more this year with good strategies and good pit-stops. Let’s analyse and come back stronger.”

Lando Norris

“A decent race and a point is alright considering where I started, but you always want a little bit more. We got a bit unlucky: we boxed, we had the undercut on Perez, but then the Virtual Safety Car came out and he got a bit lucky to stay ahead and went on to finish in P7.

“I’m not suggesting we definitely would’ve finished there, because I think they still had better pace than us, but we could’ve finished better without the VSC. In the end, I didn’t think we had all the pace but we hung on, managed to finish the race and got a point – which was a good thing after last weekend in Belgium.”

Andreas Seidl - Team Principal

“It’s a disappointing race for us. Coming away with one very lonely point wasn’t the plan for today. On Carlos’ side, everything was running okay and he looked well-set to finish in P6, but unfortunately we had an issue with the front right wheel at the pit-stop, which caused us to stop the car. Lando’s Italian Grand Prix went as well as we could’ve expected. He drove a very good race to make up positions and finish P10 after starting P16.

“These last two races have been tough. We don’t have a tailored low-downforce package but the team has worked very hard with the tools they had available, and in both events we could’ve scored good points. It’s important for us to go back home now, review the issues, regroup, and focus on the races ahead, with the aim of recapturing the form we had before the summer break.”

Renault F1

Renault F1 Team recorded its best points haul since its return to Formula 1 in 2016 with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and Nico Hülkenberg fifth in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The double top five effort means the team takes home 22 points from Italy, the best return from a Grand Prix weekend since Fernando Alonso’s victory in the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix.

For Daniel, fourth place is his best result in Renault colours, while Nico equals his best finish for the team in fifth.

Nico made the brighter start at a raucous Monza, passing Daniel on the outside of Turn 2 on the opening lap and later Sebastian Vettel at Turn 4 to hold fourth position.

Vettel regained the place soon after before Daniel overtook Nico on the main straight. Both drivers then advanced a position after Vettel’s spin.

Nico pitted first on Lap 30 for Medium tyres, with Daniel boxing a lap later for the same compound. From there, Daniel enjoyed a quiet run to the flag with Nico holding on to fifth at the end.

Nico Hülkenberg

“I’m very pleased after that result. It feels nice to have a finish like this and hopefully it will bring some momentum for the remaining seven races. The team deserve it as it’s been a tough year for us with some difficult results and moments. It’s a nice reward for everyone involved for the hard work. For me, it was a straightforward race. I made a strong start with two overtakes and managed to hold good track position. From there it was about maintaining that, making no mistakes and keeping calm. I had some pressure at the end but I managed to fend that off. It was largely quiet and controlled and a very good team result with Daniel just ahead!”

Daniel Ricciardo

“We deserved that today. It matches my best ever result here in Monza and to do it with Renault is great. I saw the battles happening at the front and I thought there could be a big opportunity to score strong points. I’m really happy for myself and also for the team. To get the team’s best result since returning to Formula 1 in fourth and fifth at a power circuit really complements Renault and their hard work. The race pace was really good and it’s a nice reward for the team. The result is long overdue this year; I’m very satisfied now!”

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal

“Today’s result is not only the best combined result for the team since its re-entry to Formula 1, but also a demonstration after Montréal and Spa the clear progress of the team and in particular on the power unit side that has been so openly criticised in the past. It is a demonstration that everything is so fluid with a competitive package. It is also an invitation to repeat these types of emotions, when our season has been far from a smooth ride so far. Our drivers have shown what they can do with a competitive car. They have been remarkable all the way through including in tricky situations. This result is good for the team as we also know there are very challenging circuits to come this season where we will be less competitive. But let’s take this for now.”

Red Bull

ALEX ALBON

“There were positives for me even though the race didn’t go as planned. It isn’t the easiest track for us and we had quite an unlucky weekend in the qualifying. I didn’t have a great start and had to fight my way back though the field. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace on the straights to overtake so I had to do my manoeuvres on the corners. That resulted in a lot of side by side action and at one point I just lost a bit too much grip going that wide so it started to get messy. I had a few offs and took a five second penalty. However, my race pace is getting better with the car and I feel I have made a good step up from Spa so personally speaking I am happy. Hopefully Singapore will be better for me as there will be more downforce and more corners. I think there is a lot more to come and I’m feeling more competitive.”

MAX VERSTAPPEN

“I got front wing damage under breaking into Turn 1 as everyone slowed up and I clipped Sergio’s rear tyre. We then pitted for a new front wing and the race was still on as I had really good pace in clean air. I managed to pass quite a few cars but we got unlucky with the virtual safety car as it came out the lap after I pitted and three or four cars which I had already overtaken were back in front of me. I passed them all again but it was pretty painful on my tyres and then at the end I got stuck behind Perez for the second time in the race. I just couldn’t get past him as he was so quick on the straights. We have made some steps forward with the pace of the power unit but we will of course keep working hard to improve even further. With what happened at Turn 1 coming through to eighth isn’t too bad and these things are always more likely to happen when you start at the back. The last two races were always going to be difficult for us and now I’m looking forward to having a more normal race weekend and starting closer to the front.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal

“It was a good recovery by both drivers in what turned out to be a difficult race. Alex lost a couple of places on the first lap and was fighting his way back through the field but he got run wide with Carlos Sainz which dropped him back behind a couple of cars. He started making up positions before unfortunately picking up a five second penalty whilst passing Magnussen, which he had to serve at his pit stop. Overall, it was a good recovery drive from Alex to come back up to P6. As for Max, he started the race from the back of the grid due to the engine penalty and he unfortunately incurred some front-wing damage at the first chicane. This meant he had to pit for a nose change on the opening lap, which the boys did in under 10 seconds and then the virtual safety car came out one lap later which was unlucky. Once he was in clear air, Max’s pace was equal to that of the leaders and he was able to make up some good ground despite a slight issue with the rev limiter in the tow which made it very difficult for him to overtake. Nonetheless, coming from the back of the grid to P8 with an extra pit stop and with Alex in P6, we leave Europe and now look forward to the final stage of the season starting in Singapore.”

Racing Point

SERGIO PEREZ

“Another good result and we scored some important points today. It was a great recovery from what has been a difficult weekend in the lead up to the race, especially with the problems in qualifying. I think everything worked out for us in the end thanks to a strong strategy from the team and some good timing with the Virtual Safety Car. It was a tough race, especially the last 15 to 20 laps with Verstappen so close and putting me under pressure. We just had to push as much as we could. We’ve taken some good steps forward with the car recently and I’m optimistic going forward with more parts coming for Singapore. Hopefully, that will put us back into contention to keep scoring regular points from now until the end of the year.”

LANCE STROLL

“That’s a tough one to take. We should have scored good points today. It all went wrong when Vettel came back on the track very aggressively and hit me. I’m quite upset with him for what happened. I tried to avoid him by going to the left but he just kept moving forward and eventually we made contact: I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did everything I could to avoid him and I was even cautious with the yellow flag. I lifted off and he just came back on at Ascari and there was really nothing I could do, even at the speed I was going. He clipped me, I spun and then I was pointing the wrong way. When I was coming back onto the circuit myself, I got penalised for no fault of my own. It’s just a disaster really. I couldn’t see Pierre: I was just trying to get off the racing line and away from the dangerous position Vettel forced me into. We were looking pretty strong in seventh, with a decent gap to eighth, pulling away from the McLaren, and keeping the Renaults in sight. It was looking like a pretty smooth race from there, but it just goes to show how quickly things can turn around. There’s a lot of racing left this year and more improvements to come. This one is going to sting for a day or two. I think there were a lot of points up for grabs, but that’s racing.”

OTMAR SZAFNAUER, CEO & TEAM PRINCIPAL

“We had a quick car today and really should have brought both cars home inside the points. Sergio made the most of the car’s pace and delivered a long first stint on the medium tyres before making his pit stop under the first Virtual Safety Car. He drove a very strong race thereafter and was always under pressure, especially in the final stint where he had to resist the challenge from Verstappen. Seventh place from P18 on the grid is an excellent turnaround. Lance’s race was destroyed when Vettel hit him in the Ascari chicane on lap seven. The subsequent undeservedly harsh penalty dropped Lance out of contention for the points. It’s a real shame because he had made a super start and was running comfortably in seventh place at the time. It was very unlucky: he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time!”

Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly

“Starting from P17 we knew we had a tough race ahead of us. It was quite an eventful day, we had a really good start and ended the first laps in 13th position. Things were looking pretty good until Stroll went off the track and re-joined just as I was passing, so I had to avoid him by going into the gravel and lost two positions and a lot of time. It cost us at the end of the race, as we finished only three seconds from P9. It wasn’t ideal, but I think we showed some good performance all weekend and we had the pace to finish in the points starting from the back of the grid. I’m looking forward to a clean weekend in Singapore without any penalties to be able to extract the most I can there.”

Daniil Kvyat

“It was shaping up to be an amazing race today, we were fighting Red Bull Racing at the time of my retirement, so good points were on the table for us. However, this is our sport unfortunately, and sometimes you can do a great job but something in the car gives up and you have to pull over. I was putting in the same lap times with those around me and was on fresher tyres, so I was confident I could finish well inside the top 10. It’s a big shame to miss out on valuable points, but we have been having quite a few strong Sundays lately, so we know we can fight for good results. Let’s think of Singapore now.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)

“It was a frustrating afternoon for us as a team. We had a car that showed tremendous pace when we were in clear air and we were capable of scoring some pretty big points. Our first laps were good and we managed to take advantage of a few incidents. Unfortunately for Pierre, he lost a lot of time having to run off track to avoid a collision with Stroll as he was coming back onto the track. That cost Pierre some positions and potential for a better result. As for Dany, he had a really strong race, we planned to go long and use the pace of the car in the middle of the race in clear air, and he was pushing hard. The virtual safety car came at the right time, so we pitted both cars and would have taken a big advantage from that, but once Dany left the pits we saw some smoke and then in the data we realized he had an oil leak. We decided to stop him on track to preserve the car for future races. It was unfortunate as P7 was possible for Dany. On the positive side, the car is showing good pace, so we are happy to head to Singapore, a track where historically we’ve shown good performances. We’re confident we can take our learnings from earlier in the season and roll out with a good package to be competitive there.”

Franz Tost (Team Principal)

“We started the race from P12 with Daniil and from P17 with Pierre. Both drivers had a reasonably good start and we finished the first lap in 12th and 14th position. Everything was under control in the first few laps, we started on Prime tyres to stay out as long as possible, to then switch to the Options later. Unfortunately, Pierre’s race was negatively impacted by Stroll, who forced him to go through the gravel trap to avoid a collision, losing a lot of time and possibly car performance as well. During the virtual safety car, we decided to bring both cars in to change to the Option tyre and everything worked well. When Daniil re-joined the race, he was in P6 and had great pace, so I think he could have finished in P6 or P7 if he didn’t have to retire due to an oil leak. Pierre then got stuck behind Norris and wasn’t able to overtake him, so he could only finish in 11th position. It was a very disappointing race weekend for us as we expected much more, so we have to analyse everything to come back stronger and more competitive in Singapore.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director)

“Today’s race was difficult for us, with some unfortunate incidents. Gasly started from the back of the grid as planned with penalties for taking our Spec 4 PU. He moved up a few places, but then after he was pushed off the track by Stroll, he dropped back down the order and finished just outside the points. As for Kvyat, he had to retire the car at the side of the track and currently, along with the Toro Rosso engineers, we are investigating the exact nature and location of the oil leak. We still acquired plenty of data from running all four cars with our Spec 4 PU, which will be useful as we prepare for Singapore.”

Alfa Romeo

A career-best finish, in front of your home crowd, while being pushed every inch of the way by the support of your fans: we are of course talking about Antonio Giovinazzi, who showed his mettle in an exciting Italian Grand Prix. The man in car #99 didn’t put a tyre wrong all Sunday, fighting in the top ten from lights to flag and bringing home two points. It was a special weekend for Antonio, supported warmly by his Fan Club, who were out in force on the grandstands, and by his family, who proudly watched the race in the team’s hospitality building.

It was, finally, a reward for the hard-working Italian, a result everyone in the team welcomes. It came at the end of a busy but incredible weekend in which we were amazed by the support we received inside and outside the paddock. We lost count of the Alfa Romeo Racing t-shirts and caps we saw on the grandstands and in the Fan Zone; we were overwhelmed by the reception wherever we went with Antonio, Kimi and Fred. There was love for the team all around.

We chose to celebrate Italy and the Monza weekend as well. We were delighted to host the paddock media in our hospitality, just before the race, to share a taste of Italy with the best pasta, mozzarella and wine, courtesy of our partners Eccellenze Campane. Antonio himself, as the local favourite, contributed to the party by taking a turn behind the kitchen counter and preparing food for our guests. It was a great occasion to bring the paddock together in a relaxed atmosphere. But when the racing started, the man from Martina Franca was fully focused on the job at hand – and the results showed it.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal

“Scoring two points in our home race is a good way to say thank you for all the support we received this weekend. Antonio drove a really good race in front of his home fans and had to keep a cool head under pressure to bring home P9, repaying the faith everyone in the team has put in him. Hopefully, this result can provide further motivation for him to finish the season strongly and help the team in the standings. Sadly, Kimi didn’t have as memorable a race. Coming back from a pitlane start was always going to be a tough task, but as we put the wrong tyres onto his car his hopes of points were put to an end.”

Kimi Räikkönen

“Well that was a sh** weekend. First my mistake in qualifying which unfortunately meant that we had to change gearbox. Then we decided to also change engine and start from the pitlane, but we had the wrong tyres on and with the penalty my race was more or less over. Looking forward to Singapore, as it can’t get worse.”

Antonio Giovinazzi

“It was a positive day for Italy today. I want to dedicate the two points to all the Tifosi here. I am so happy with the result, and I am also happy to see Ferrari do something very special for our country with their win. It’s a great feeling to score points as the only Italian driver in my home race. Starting on softs and changing to mediums turned out to be the best strategy, but I had to do my best to keep the McLaren of Norris behind. It was a difficult race, but a lot of our work has been rewarded, especially after Spa. We have to keep working and fighting like this. I am pleased for everyone in the team and for all my fans.”

Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport claim a double podium in Monza

- Valtteri came home in second, just 0.835s behind race winner Charles Leclerc
- Lewis finished the race in third, collecting the extra championship point for fastest lap
- Today’s result marks the eighth podium for Lewis at the Italian Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher for most podiums at the race
- Lewis (284 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 63 points from Valtteri (221 points)
- Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (505 points) lead Ferrari (351 points) by 154 points in the Constructors’ Championship

Valtteri Bottas

I was trying everything to get close enough to Charles to make a move on him in the final laps, but the Ferraris were very quick on the straights this weekend, so it was difficult to get close enough. I was pushing as hard as I could, but every time I got really close, I started to lock-ups the fronts. While it’s disappointing that we didn’t win, our performance today was actually quite promising. We came to Monza expecting this to be one of the most difficult races of the season for us, but we could really challenge the Ferraris, so that’s good to see. It was a good race overall from that perspective and I think we can leave Italy with a positive feeling. On paper, the upcoming races should play a little more towards our strengths and I’m looking forward to a good fight with Ferrari and Red Bull over the next weeks.

Lewis Hamilton

Congratulations to Charles today, he did a great job, especially considering the pressure Valtteri and I were putting on him. The Ferrari was very quick in a straight line, so it was difficult to stay close to them. I think it just wasn’t our day today, it’s always disappointing to follow another car so closely but not be able to take the lead. But in the end, we’re leaving Italy with more points in the Constructors’ Championship and ultimately that is what matters. I’m not looking to the next race thinking it will be easy for us; instead we’re going to go to the factory next week and go through the same process, looking for ways to improve our car, improve our processes over a race weekend, and I hope that I can do a better job in Singapore. I personally cherish this battle between Ferrari, Red Bull and us, so I want it to continue.

Toto Wolff

First of all, congratulations to Charles, he drove a strong race and overall Ferrari had the strongest package this weekend. We threw everything at them today and as I said before the race, if you gave me second and third in Monza, I would have taken it. Of course, we wanted to win but you can see how happy the Tifosi are about the first Ferrari victory here in a while. Spa and Monza turned out to be as difficult for us as we expected, but we still achieved solid results and come away with a good batch of points heading into the flyaways, extending our lead in both championships. Singapore is up next, and we should be strong there, but so should Red Bull. We are looking forward to showing what we can do in the upcoming races.

Andrew Shovlin

It’s frustrating that we managed to spend almost the entire race with a car right behind Charles today and failed to find a way to get through but that is sometimes the way it goes. We had to try and undercut with Lewis when a gap appeared behind the Renaults but with the low degradation here, it’s not as powerful as at some other tracks. Lewis made a good move into Turn four, but Charles defended aggressively and realistically, that was Lewis’s best chance to win. Lewis pushed the tyres hard for most of that stint, so it wasn’t a surprise when they started to drop off at the end. We were able to send Valtteri long to build an offset in tyre life, but it wasn’t enough to give us the speed to pass and after that we didn’t have anything else to try. We know where we need to work; our qualifying pace has dropped from where we were at the start of the season and we need more speed in a straight line. We’ve known that for some time now but having weekends like the two we have just had will motivate everyone in Brackley and Brixworth to get on top of these weaknesses. It’s Singapore next which is a very different challenge to this place, and it is also a tricky circuit to get right but we are hungry to get back to winning so will be working hard this week to make sure we can arrive in the best possible shape.

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc and Scuderia Ferrari sent the fans wild, as they packed out the Monza circuit in their thousands to witness the Maranello squad take a win at this track for the first time since 2010. This was Charles’ second ever F1 win, coming just eight days after the first one in Spa-Francorchamps. The Monegasque spent the whole race fending off the advances of the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who joined him on the podium in that order. This was win number 237 for the Scuderia, its 19th at Monza. Sebastian Vettel’s day was not so memorable. He spun at the Variante Ascari on lap 6 and then had to fight his way back from last to 13th at the flag.

Start. Charles got off the line well, leading Hamilton and Bottas into the first chicane. Sebastian found himself blocked in and that allowed Nico Hulkenberg to get ahead at the Roggia Variante. The German regained the fourth place on the next lap and began to close on Bottas. However, on lap 6, Sebastian lost control of the SF90 at the Variante Ascari and spun. As he returned to the track, he did not see that Lance Stroll in the Racing Point was coming through and the two of them collided. Vettel therefore had to pit to change the front wing, fitting Hard tyres, but the 10 second stop and go penalty he was given for the incident meant that he dropped to the back of the field.

Very close fight. Leclerc managed to maintain a small lead over Hamilton, up to the point when the Englishman pitted for fresh tyres, going from Soft to Medium on lap 19. The team reacted, bringing in the Monegasque next time round, taking the brave decision to send him back out on Hards. The number 16 SF90 came out just ahead of the Mercedes, but with Leclerc’s tyres not quite up to operating temperature yet, Hamilton was able to attack him at Roggia. Charles defended and so a duel fought out to the thousandth of a second began. First Hamilton and then Bottas managed to close on the Ferrari, but a combination of a bravura performance from the driver, the speed of the SF90 and the benefit of the new Power Unit introduced here in Monza, along with the aero package specifically tailored for this track, meant that his rivals never really got a chance to overtake. But the battle went on for 33 relentless laps without a moment’s respite.

Closing stages. In the final part of the race, Charles managed to fend off Bottas, crossing the line to win on the wings of enthusiasm of the tifosi who packed the stands. Bottas was just 850 thousandths of a second behind. Sebastian also stopped again, fitting the Mediums on lap 41, after which he made up six places to finish 13th. The Formula 1 World Championship resumes in a fortnight’s time in Singapore.

Charles Leclerc

“There are no words to describe the emotions I felt during the race, after the race, or on the podium. It felt ten times stronger than anything I have ever experienced in my whole career. It was very special.

When I arrive at a race weekend, I usually don’t think about winning, I just try to do the best job possible and tell myself that the results will come. But to be honest, seeing all of the support from our tifosi here in Monza this weekend, the only thing I could think of was winning and that’s what we did, so I am very happy.

The race was exciting. The first stint was quite controlled, but the second stint was a bit less strong on my side, because I had to focus on the car behind me a lot as the gap was closing. It was very difficult and I had a lot of pressure on me.

I’d like to thank the whole team for all their hard work. Nothing would be possible without them. It was a shame for Seb, who definitely had the potential to be on the podium with me. For the next few races, we have to keep our focus, our motivation, and hopefully the results will follow.”

Sebastian Vettel

“It’s been a good day for Charles, so congratulations and well done to everybody. Obviously my day did not go well. On lap 6 I lost the rear, which was my mistake, which is why I am not happy with my day. I got a good start, but then I had nowhere to go and so I lost the position, before getting it back again and catching up to the cars ahead of me.

Then came the spin on lap 6 and the race was obviously ruined for me. Then I struggled to rejoin the track as I was on the grass and I couldn’t see Lance.

I still love what I do, but of course when you don’t do well, knowing what you are capable of, then you can’t be happy.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal

“This is probably the best podium of the whole Championship and you’ve got such a view of it from the pitwall that you cannot miss it. This is something you’ll remember for years. It’s not the first victory I have experienced in Monza, but it’s something you never get used to. It’s so special with all our fans and even more so after such a long race defending and battling.
Coming here we knew we could be competitive, but we also knew there was no margin for error.

Again today we have seen how close it is between us and our competitors and so I am happy we were first past the chequered flag this afternoon. Two wins in a row after such a difficult start to the season, really means something for the team.

Charles drove fantastically and defended very well, making very few mistakes. If anything, pressure is a boost for him. The win is very well deserved!

It’s a shame for Seb who could have had a good race today, as he was closing the gap to Bottas. He made some mistakes, but that’s Monza. You drive at such high speed and you have such a light car because of the low downforce package and braking is so difficult.

The whole team did a flawless job, also in terms of strategy, because I think switching to hard tyres was a brave decision. It proved to be the right choice, and it paid off.”

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