Italian F1 Grand Prix 2019 Results: Charles Leclerc Wins Ferrari's Home Race

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2019

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 08: An aeronautical display is seen before the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 08, 2019 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Charles Leclerc won Ferrari their home race on Sunday, leading the 2019 Formula One Italian Grand Prix almost from start to finish.

The 21-year-old talent had to hold off both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who completed the podium for Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel finished outside the points after a spin and penalty, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen took eighth place.

Ferrari hadn't won at Monza since Fernando Alonso did so in 2010.

Here are the race results:

Leclerc and Hamilton had a battle into the first chicane, with the former coming out ahead, while at the back, Verstappen's car sustained damage to his front wing. He had to pit for repairs, making his comeback attempt even more difficult.

Red Bull's poor start got even worse when Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon made contact, with the latter going into the gravel. He would drop to 11th place.

Nico Hulkenberg made a great start and passed both Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel, although the latter soon reclaimed his position. The German spun off shortly after, however, before colliding with Lance Stroll on his return to the track.

The domino effect nearly took out Pierre Gasly, according to F1 writer Chris Medland:

Vettel had to pit for a new front wing, while the stewards took a look at the incident and gave him a 10-second stop-and-go penalty. With him out of the picture, Mercedes were free to target the leader, who lost ground to Hamilton until the Brit started to complain about the state of his rear tyres.

Verstappen was the fastest man on track on his new rubber, inching his way toward the top 10, but he couldn't get into the points before the pit window opened.

Hamilton tried for the undercut, but Ferrari responded, and Leclerc came out ahead, if only barely. Hamilton couldn't make the pass with DRS, as Leclerc got a tow from Hulkenberg, but the Renault driver also got in the way of the Monegasque.

The battle saw Hamilton run straight in a chicane after the two went wheel-to-wheel, giving the stewards even more work. They opted for a black-and-white flag, as a final warning:

In the background, Sainz left the pit lane with a loose wheel, ending his race and the battle for sixth place. That and a retirement from Daniil Kvyat led to multiple virtual safety cars, keeping the leaders close together and extending their fantastic battle.

Behind them, Bottas started to close the gap on fresher rubber. The Finn took full advantage of the battle at the front, which saw Leclerc lock up and go straight on the chicane himself.

F1 writer Will Buxton thought Mercedes had a decision to make:

But before they had the chance to implement tactics, Hamilton locked up, and Bottas overtook him into second place. Hamilton would pit for new tyres, bagging the fastest lap and the added point shortly after.

Bottas got within DRS range but locked up almost immediately, wasting his best chance for a late overtake. Instead, Leclerc saw out the race with maturity, bagging his second-ever win after last week's triumph in Belgium.

The next race will be in Singapore on September 22.

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