Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 10

Monza saw Lewis Hamilton performing at the very peak of his powers. He may not have started from pole or topped any of the practices, and may only have led 18 laps, but it was a weekend where he firmly had the second-fastest car. Canny strategy from Mercedes brought him back into the frame for victory before excellent tyre management and a ballsy move for the lead delivered Hamilton his fifth Monza victory.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 7

It was a tough weekend for Valtteri Bottas at Monza. Difficulties on Friday saw him change setup for FP3, only to go in the wrong direction and revert to his Friday settings for qualifying. A distant fourth in qualifying, Bottas played a crucial role in Hamilton’s win, acting as a roadblock to Kimi Raikkonen. He picked up an unexpected podium finish after Max Verstappen’s penalty, but lacked the outright pace at Monza to really be a threat at the front.

Singapore #2 Winners & those who quite didnt make the cut

Video Thumbnail: 

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 6

Another missed opportunity for Sebastian Vettel. Quick in practice, a mistimed final run in Q3 meant he could not get the tow he wanted, leaving Vettel P2 on the grid behind Raikkonen. A sluggish start allowed Hamilton to close before the run to the second chicane, where Vettel left acres of space, giving his title rival the chance to make a lunge, resulting in contact. After spinning, Vettel fought back well to take P4 after Verstappen’s penalty, but knows the first lap loss is really all on his hands - as is the 30-point gap to Hamilton in the championship.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari - 9

We were just nine laps away from the Raikkonen victory the F1 world is eager to see. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Impressive in qualifying in his charge to pole and solid through the first stint, keeping Hamilton at bay, what undid Raikkonen was his inability to pass Bottas after stopping and his tyre management struggles. Blistered rears allowed Hamilton to battle past, leaving Raikkonen without answer. A strong weekend, but it doesn’t change the fact a massive chance passed Kimi by. Again.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull - 6

Another weekend where it’s difficult to score Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull was off the pace at Monza, but Ricciardo’s engine penalty meant he’d be starting down the order anyway. A decent start saw him rise up the field well before an apparent clutch issue forced him to retire before half-distance. He’ll hope for better in Singapore where victory should be within reach.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 6

Monza went better than expected for Verstappen. 1.5 seconds shy of pole on Saturday, the Dutchman was braced for a lonely Sunday, only to get the jump on Bottas on the opening lap and put himself in contention for the podium. Bottas had the pace to get ahead in the second stint, forcing Verstappen to get creative with his defensive moves - only to get too creative, push Bottas off, and get a penalty. It was fair, despite Verstappen’s gripes, and his impetuous protest of not giving up the place only acted to cost him another place to Vettel.

Sergio Perez, Force India - 8

Force India would be fourth in the constructors’ championship had it not been forced to start from zero after its takeover. It’s a remarkable achievement nonetheless, with Sergio Perez on-song once again. Starting 14th after Force India’s Q1 faux pas, Perez survived contact with Kevin Magnussen to rise through the order with a long first stint before a late pit stop, showing his prowess for tyre management once again. P8 at the flag became P7 after Romain Grosjean’s disqualification. 

Esteban Ocon, Force India - 8

Ocon didn’t appear to quite have the pace of Perez at Monza, finishing just one second ahead despite reaching Q3 and starting six places ahead of his teammate. It was nevertheless a well-executed race from the Frenchman, who battled past Carlos Sainz Jr. in the first stint before being classified as the top midfield driver in P6 following Grosjean’s exclusion. A job well done.

Lance Stroll, Williams - 9

Williams hasn’t had many chances to score points this year, but you have to give credit where it is due to Lance Stroll for capitalising on the opportunity that arose at Monza. After making Q3 for the first time this year, Stroll held his own in the race and didn’t suffer a stream of cars passing him by. Two points for P9 in the final classification is well-deserved after his best performance of the year.

Sergey Sirotkin, Williams - 8

A point at last for Sergey Sirotkin. Yes, it was only scored after Grosjean’s disqualification, but that shouldn’t detract from the impressive display the Russian put in all weekend at Monza. Starting 12th, Sirotkin jumped into the top 10 on the opening lap before dropping back through the race, albeit only to 11th at the flag as he kept a number of fast cars behind him. An excellent weekend that sees him finally get on the board in F1.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault - 6

Hit with a 10-place grid penalty for causing the first-corner pile-up at Spa, Renault bit the bullet and stockpiled a fresh power unit for Nico Hulkenberg, leaving him last for the start at Monza. Renault rolled the dice and moved him onto Softs under the Safety Car on Lap 1, hoping Hulkenberg would make it to the end, but it was not possible. A second stop dropped the German to P14 at the flag.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault - 7

Sainz did all he could for Renault at Monza, with the team lacking the pace to fight with Haas or Force India. After reaching Q3 and making a good start to run sixth, Sainz was picked off by both Force Indias through the race, as well as the recovering Vettel, leaving him P9 at the finish. A decent enough display though, with some crucial points in the constructors’ championship too.

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso - 7

Gasly has shown few signs of taking his foot off the gas since his 2019 Red Bull deal was announced. After squeezing through Q1 in the close-fought session, he managed to score an unlikely Q3 berth despite Honda’s deficit around the high-speed Monza circuit. His race was compromised early on though after going wheel-to-wheel with Fernando Alonso and getting forced onto the kerbs, causing damage to his car that left him lacking downforce for the rest of the race. Another display that saw him punch above his weight, though. 

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso - 5

One-tenth of a second was all that separated Gasly and Brendon Hartley in Q1, yet the difference ended up being seven places on the grid. The result of being P16 on the grid and in the thick of the pack is that collisions are more likely, and contact with Marcus Ericsson left Hartley with terminal damage that prevented him from even getting to the first corner.

Romain Grosjean, Haas - 8

Naturally we can’t dock Grosjean any marks for being disqualfied, so instead we have to applaud an excellent race and weekend for the Frenchman as he continues to try and stake a claim for a 2019 seat. Vettel was the only driver to pass him, with Grosjean finishing two seconds clear of Ocon at the chequered flag before getting chucked out of the final classification.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas - 6

A more difficult weekend for Magnussen in the sister Haas, much of which stemmed from the run-in with Fernando Alonso on Friday which denied him a spot in Q3 (as did a mistake on his first run, though). Rear tyre damage after the first lap fracas forced Magnussen to pit, albeit not under the Safety Car, leaving him last by some distance. The Medium tyres didn’t work as hoped, meaning Magnussen ultimately crossed the line as the last classified finisher.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren - 6

Back-to-back DNFs for Alonso after an engine issue forced him to retire in the early stages of Sunday’s race at Monza, but points were always going to be a stretch for McLaren. He did well to reach Q2, but the fracas with Magnussen on Saturday and then with Gasly on Sunday didn’t warm the outgoing Spaniard to any of the current grid…

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren - 5

Another rough weekend for Vandoorne. As Alonso again led the charge for the team, Vandoorne ailed to his seventh Q1 knockout in a row, and never looked like scoring points. Struggles with right-rear blistering limited the Belgian to finishing 13th and a lap down at Monza.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber - 5

Following his scary practice crash on Friday, Ericsson was left at the rear of the grid due to an engine change penalty. The Swede’s faint hopes of points at Alfa Romeo’s home race faded after the clash with Hartley, leaving him with damage and a puncture, after which point his pace was never enough to concern the top 10.

Charles Leclerc, Sauber - 6

A quiet weekend for Leclerc despite the hubbub around a potential move up to Ferrari for next year. Running P14 after the first stint, the Sauber driver managed to get the undercut on Gasly and gained a place after Hulkenberg’s strategy backfired, and ultimately finished on the fringe of the points in 11th after Grosjean’s exclusion.



Loading Comments...