Italian Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo seals Monza victory as Verstappen & Hamilton crash out

daniel ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren made a long-awaited return to the top step of the podium at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, completing a one-two with teammate Lando Norris as title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton took one another out.

Ricciardo was fastest off of the front row, overtaking and then leading from Verstappen as Hamilton managed to get a jump on Norris.

Indeed, the Mercedes man had an early opportunity to get ahead of the Dutchman at the second chicane of the first lap but, as we saw in Imola earlier this season, Max isn't one for yielding and he managed to keep the Briton behind as Hamilton bounced through the corner, with Norris then profiting to take back third place.

Ricciardo, Verstappen, Norris, Hamilton was the top four, then, and the real fun would begin about 20 laps later around the first set of stops.

Leader Ricciardo pitted first, with Verstappen opting to go a lap later in a bid to overcut. However, whilst the Aussie's stop was flawless the Dutchman's was anything but, taking 11 seconds thanks to a jammed tyre.

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That, of course, played into Hamilton's hands as simultaneously he'd overtaken Norris on track, and now was looking at a net second position behind Ricciardo if he could keep the hammer down.

Norris was next to pit after Verstappen, before Hamilton would come in another lap later - though his stop, too, was a little stickier than he'd like.

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And, indeed, it was that factor that led to another potential defining moment in this season's title battle. 

Coming out of the pitlane, Lewis re-lost his position to Norris whilst Max ran up the outside of him into turn one. Side-by-side they'd go into the chicane but that would not be the formation coming out of it, with space limited Max hopped across the sausage curbs, landing on the rear of Lewis' Mercedes and ending both their races there and then.

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Another big moment in the championship, and the first coming together where both have seen their races ended - surely this will only up the ante further in the races to come with five points now the size of Verstappen's lead after Saturday's Sprint result.

This, though, was naturally cheered greatly in the McLaren garage with Ricciardo in the lead and, after the Safety Car had left the track following the Max/Lewis accident, Lando Norris quickly made it a one-two by dispatching of Ferrari man Charles Leclerc.

Indeed, Ferrari didn't quite have the pace that the Tifosi in attendance would have wanted to see for them to challenge for the race win, with Sergio Perez moving past them into third and a resurgent Valtteri Bottas in fourth after he'd started this race down in 19th.

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The Finn was flying, in fact, and perhaps looked the biggest threat to McLaren's chance at a first victory in 2012 but Perez's presence in front of him brought his charge to a halt, as we entered the final 10 laps.

By this point, Norris had got onto the McLaren radio to ask whether it was best he didn't attack his teammate, which he was told categorically it was, and the papaya-clad team were beginning to look good for a famous one-two victory.

Indeed, a famous one-two victory it was, with the joy all too plain to hear after the chequered flag on both Ricciardo and Norris' radio messages.

daniel ricciardo

A great result for the McLaren team after so long away, and another race this season that will live long in the memory. 

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