Ricciardo Triumphs After Hamilton-Verstappen Collision Drama

Ricciardo Triumphs After Hamilton-Verstappen Collision Drama Photo: TT
Mclaren driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, left, celebrates with third placed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland after winning the Italian Formula One Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided and crashed out as Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first Grand Prix victory in four years with a McLaren one-two at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Ricciardo had not won since Monaco in 2018 and had endured a difficult start to his first season at McLaren since his off-season switch from Renault.

The Australian was challenged by teammate Lando Norris, who has exceeded Ricciardo this year, but he picked up the pace towards the end to win and claim an extra point for fastest lap on the last.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas claimed third to round out the podium but the crash between Hamilton and Verstappen was a huge talking point.

The incident, which occurred on Turn 2 of lap 27, could have been much worse if not for Formula 1’s halo safety device as Verstappen’s Red Bull landed on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Both drivers were ruled out of the race after the incident where Verstappen came up on Hamilton’s left without enough space and became airborne after contact.

Hamilton said: “We were obviously just ahead, we had a bit of a slow stop, came out, braking into Turn 1 I made sure I left a cars width on the outside and I was ahead going into the corner, and next thing I know, I guess Max went over the second kerb or something like that he obviously knew he wasn’t going to make the corner and he drove into me.

“So, next thing you know, he’s just on top of me. So, definitely unfortunate and well speak to the stewards after this I’m sure.

Verstappen, who was heard on the team radio saying “that’s what happens when you don’t give space”, was handed a three-place grid drop for the next race in Sochi for the incident.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “We are disappointed with the three place grid penalty, but accept the stewards decision. We felt what happened between Max and Lewis was a genuine racing incident. You can argue for both sides but ultimately its frustrating and disappointing to see both cars out of the race in what is proving to be an exciting championship.

“The main thing today is that the halo ultimately did its job and certainly this isn’t the way we intended to finish the race.”

Verstappen was less contrite about the incident, reiterating his belief Hamilton did not give him enough space.

“I thought we were going to have a nice fight into Turn 1, through Turn 2,” Verstappen said. “But as soon as I was next to him, he just kept on squeezing me more and more to the left.

“I still thought well just have enough space to make it into Turn 2, but unfortunately, he ran me a bit too much out of road, so then I clipped the sausage kerb and that’s why we touched.”

The result means Verstappen stays top of the standings with 226.5 points, ahead of Hamilton on 221.5, while Bottas and Norris remain third and fourth respectively, with Ricciardo up to eighth with 83 points.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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