Charles Leclerc was effectively gifted pole position at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix after qualifying saw drivers queuing up to find a tow and running out of time to set a final lap. But he turned it in to a home victory for Ferrari – just.
It was Ferrari’s first home win for nine years – and Leclerc’s second in a row – but he had to work hard – sometimes with slightly dodgy blocking tactics – to keep first Hamilton and then Bottas at bay, with Mercedes even trying an undercut to get in front.
Leclerc got a black and white warning flag for pushing Hamilton wide as he defended after a mistake following the pit stops, and cut the chicane on lap 35, but Hamilton’s battle with Bottas came to an end as his Medium tyres went off and he had to pit, but not before Bottas had passed him to continue the fight with Ferrari.
Bottas continued to challenge Leclerc, but not with the ferocity of Hamilton and, despite fresher tyres, was unable to pass Lecler who took the win, with Bottas second and Hamilton third.
But despite the Ferrari Mercedes tussle at the front, it didn’t involve Vettel who had a nightmare race, losing control as the Ascari chicane and rejoining badly and hitting Stroll’s Racing Point. Which gave him a 10 second penalty and saw him finish in 13th place.
Behind the front three it was the Renaults of Ricciardo and Hulkenberg in fourth and fifth, Albon in the Red Bull in sixth, Perez in the Racing Point in seventh, Verstappen’s Red Bull in eighth, Giovinazzi in the Alfa in ninth and Norris in the McLaren in 10th.
It’s off to Singapore in a fortnight, where Ferrari will probably struggle to continue their winning ways on a very different track.