All Formula 1 fans know how the starting grid is determined – qualifying. More specifically, 3 elimination rounds of 15 minutes. But what happens when all drivers in the final round don’t want to be the first one on track? Complete chaos is the answer. The 10 drivers waited to start their Q3 warm up lap until there was just 90 seconds remaining on the clock. As a result, they never made it back to the start line in time to actually start their qualifying run. As such, the grid was set by Q2 times, putting last week’s winner, Charles Leclerc, on pole.
LAP 1: When the lights went out, Leclerc pulled away in one of the cleanest starts all season.
LAP 7: Sebastian Vettel spun into the inside grass in Turn 7. While trying to get back on track, Vettel clipped the right rear wing of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. The FIA took issue with the incident and handed down penalties to both drivers for returning to the track in an unsafe manner – Vettel’s penalty as a 10 second stop and go, and Stroll’s as a drive-through.
LAP 19: Lewis Hamilton came to the pit lane from second place for medium compound tires. Hamilton and his Mercedes team were attempting an undercut on leader Leclerc.
LAP 20: Leclerc pitted as well, sneaking off the pit lane just seconds before Hamilton could reach him and he maintained the lead.
VIRTUAL SAFETY CAR – LAP 28: Carlos Sainz was forced to retire from the race when a loose wheel came off his car after his pit stop. The Spanish driver came to a stop at the exit of the pit lane and the virtual safety car was deployed.
VIRTUAL SAFETY CAR – LAP 31: The yellow flag waved again when Danill Kvyat came to a stop in the first chicane – ironically, right after his pit stop. The problem was an oil leak in Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
LAP 36: Still under pressure from Hamilton, Leclerc made a slight mistake in the first chicane as he locked up and bounced across the curbs. Hamilton wasn’t able to pass but managed to make up even more time.
LAP 42: Hamilton, having slid back to 0.9 seconds behind Leclerc, also locked up in the first chicane. Hamilton had to dive into the run-off area to avoid spinning out, and P2 went to Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas.
LAP 45: Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was forced to retire with a hydraulic problem.
LAP 49: Bottas continued to trail Leclerc, just outside of DRS range at 1.34 seconds.
CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 53: Charles Leclerc held on to win the Italian Grand Prix, much to the delight of the Ferrari fans in attendance. Notably, the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Nick Hulkenberg finished 4th and 5th respectively, their first Top 5 of the season.
- Charles Leclerc
- Valtteri Bottas
- Lewis Hamilton
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Nick Hulkenberg
- Alexander Albon
- Sergio Perez
- Max Verstappen
- Antonio Giovinazzi