Recapping all of the news and notes following raceday at Monza, Crash.net F1 Digital Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- Lewis Hamilton’s charge to victory at Monza on Saturday saw him pull 30 points clear of title rival Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship, marking his biggest points advantage this year. It also marked Hamilton’s fifth win at Monza, drawing him level with Michael Schumacher’s win tally at the circuit.

- The result saw Mercedes extend its perfect record at Monza in the V6 hybrid era, acting as its fifth straight victory in Italy. In fact, today’s race was the first at Monza since 2013 where Mercedes did not lead every single lap.

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- Ferrari’s hopes of a first win on home soil since 2010 were dashed in the closing stages when Hamilton passed Kimi Raikkonen with nine laps to go. Raikkonen had been on course for his first win in Ferrari colours since 2009, only for his tyres to fade, leaving him a distant second at the chequered flag.

- Valtteri Bottas managed to recover from a difficult start to the weekend to take third place, marking his first podium since Hockenheim. Bottas helped back Raikkonen up towards Hamilton at the start of the second stint, with his points haul allowing Mercedes to move into 25-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship.

- Bottas finished fourth on track ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but both drivers gained a place following Max Verstappen’s five-second post-race penalty for causing a collision with Bottas. Verstappen was highly critical of the ruling, saying the stewards were “killing racing.” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said the matter would be discussed in the next drivers’ briefing in Singapore.

- Verstappen claimed he received the penalty as the FIA had already warned him about cutting the chicane at Turn 1 earlier in the race, but Whiting said this was incorrect, with the penalty being completely unrelated to the corner cut earlier on.

- Verstappen was the sole Red Bull driver to finish as Daniel Ricciardo suffered his four DNF in the last six races, parking up at the side of the track after 24 laps. Despite fears of an engine issue, Renault confirmed Ricciardo had in fact suffered a clutch failure.

- Vettel felt aggrieved following the first-lap clash with Hamilton, but FIA race director Charlie Whiting said he felt it was a "classic racing incident." The stewards investigated the incident, but took no action, deeming neither driver to be wholly responsible for the contact.

- Romain Grosjean finished as the lead midfield driver in P6 for Haas, lifting the team above Renault to P4 in the constructors’ championship. However, he was later disqualified following protest from Renault over the floor on the Haas car.

- Grosjean’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, suffered damage on the opening lap and did not pit under the Safety Car. He came in after the restart for Mediums, but struggled for pace, ultimately finishing as the last classified driver.

- Grosjean’s disqualification sees Sergey Sirotkin rises into the points for Williams, meaning that all 20 drivers would have scored points this season. It is also WIlliams’ first double points finish since last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

- Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was left angered by Fernando Alonso’s on-track moves at the restart, claiming the Spaniard had pushed him over the kerbs, leaving his car with damage. “I think his approach is a bit different because he knows he is not going to be in Formula 1 next year so it looks like he is behaving more aggressive than he was before,” Gasly said. The incident was not investigated by the race stewards.

- In the sister Toro Rosso, Brendon Hartley retired before the first corner after contact with Marcus Ericsson. Hartley said the move “wasn’t that aggressive,” but the contact was enough to damage his front-right tyre and force him to retire from the race, as well as sparking the only Safety Car of the race.

- Fernando Alonso retired early from the race due to a loss of power, marking back-to-back retirements for the Spaniard. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished the race 13th, continuing his run without points since Baku in April.

- FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed there was no investigation from the stewards into a possible unsafe release by Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel’s car following his pit stop at the end of the opening lap, despite videos showing him being released into the path of Marcus Ericsson, who was forced to slow down.

- Monza reported a four-day attendance of 183,000, with a raceday figure of 87,000. The track welcomed 185,000 fans over the same period in 2017.

 

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