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Daniel Ricciardo Wins 2021 Drama-Filled Italian Grand Prix


McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo won a drama-filled 2021 Italian Grand Prix with McLaren teammate Lando Norris finishing second and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas claiming third place on the podium.

Unlike last week’s 2021 Dutch Grand Prix snoozefest, this week’s grand prix at Monza provided all sorts of drama as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen started on pole position after Bottas won the sprint race qualifier but had to start last on the grid after taking a penalty for installing a new engine. That left Ricciardo alongside Verstappen on the front row and the Australian beat Verstappen to the first corner and led the race outright from the beginning.

Seven-time defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton started in fourth place and remained in fourth, with Norris sandwiched between him and Verstappen, for the first 23 laps – when the drama began during pit crossovers. Ricciardo entered the pit first and left without incident, moving Verstappen briefly into the lead with Norris second and Hamilton third.

Verstappen then came into the pit on the next lap but his pit stop went awry as he sat for 11 seconds after the pit crew encountered an undisclosed problem, and he emerged in 10th place while Norris went into the lead and Hamilton moved into second.

Norris then took his turn at a pit stop and it was uneventful as Hamilton now led the race, but when Hamilton came into the pit for his stop on the next lap, it was a bit slow and he emerged just in front of Verstappen, who then plowed over Hamilton on the ensuing corner – with Hamilton’s halo protecting him from Verstappen’s car and rear tire as it hopped over him. The crash took both Hamilton and Verstappen out of the race and race officials will assess the incident and issue any penalties in the post-race time frame.

With both Hamilton and Verstappen out of the race, it gave free reign to both McLaren drivers and they remained unchallenged for the remainder of the race with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finishing third on the track but assessed a five-second time penalty for an earlier in-race infraction and that awarded Bottas the final podium position.

Verstappen maintains his five-point lead – 226.5 to 221.5 – over Hamilton in the overall 2021 Formula 1 driver’s championship standings while Bottas solidifies his third place position with 138 points.

2021 Italian Grand Prix Top 10

1] Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
2] Lando Norris McLaren
3] Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
4] Charles Leclerc Ferrari
5] Sergio PĂ©rez Red Bull
6] Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari
7] Lance Stroll Aston Martin
8] Fernando Alonso Alpine
9] George Russell Williams
10] Esteban Ocon Alpine

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