Aussie F1 star Daniel Ricciardo has won the Italian Grand Prix in a stunning McLaren one-two with teammate Lando Norris at Monza while title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton took each other out in a dramatic collision.
Sunday’s victory was McLaren’s first since 2012 and Ricciardo’s first since he was at Red Bull in 2018, when he won at Monaco. Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes.
It was a fantastic result for the 32-year-old from Perth who had suffered a dismal first season at McLaren but led from the start after a brilliant opening on Sunday.
After claiming the eighth win of his career, Ricciardo said: “Can I swear? About time!
“To lead from start-to-finish, none of us expected that. There was something in me on Friday and I knew there was something good to come this weekend.
“To get a one-two for McLaren is insane. I am, for once, lost for words.”
Yet despite McLaren’s superb result, the afternoon at the Temple of Speed will be remembered more for Hamilton’s collision with Verstappen.
After Hamilton left the pit-lane on lap 26, Verstappen drew alongside his championship rival at the Variante del Rettifilo.
Hamilton moved to his left to defend his position at the right-hander, with the Mercedes driver narrowly ahead for the ensuing left-hander.
Verstappen ran out of room, and ran over the kerb which launched his Red Bull out of control and into Hamilton’s Mercedes.
The rear of the Dutchman’s airborne machine ran over the top of Hamilton’s helmet, with the protective halo device absorbing the impact.
The front of Verstappen’s Red Bull was then beached in the gravel, and resting on Hamilton’s car.
A furious Verstappen said: “That is what happens when you don’t leave any room.”
The Dutchman jumped out of the cockpit and stormed away, without checking on Hamilton’s condition.
One lap later, Hamilton eventually emerged from his car, appearing to be unharmed.
The two men walked back to the paddock with the stewards now investigating the coming-together – their second in five races following the opening-lap crash at July’s British Grand Prix.
Ricciardo had started second, but took the lead from the start after beating Verstappen in the 430-metre charge to the opening chicane.
He led from Verstappen, Norris and Hamilton, with the Australian the first to stop for fresh rubber on lap 22 of 53.
Verstappen stopped the next time around, but was stationary for 11 seconds following a problem putting on his right-front wheel.
Norris pulled in on lap 24, with Hamilton in on lap 25, but the Briton’s stop was slow, and he emerged from the pits side by side with Verstappen.
The two then sensationally collided as they battled for a net-third.
The safety car was deployed for four laps with Ricciardo executing a perfect restart.
Norris had fallen behind Charles Leclerc, but delivered a gutsy move on the inside of the Curva Grande to move ahead of the Ferrari and secure a remarkable one-two finish for Britain’s most successful Formula One team.
The victory comes eight years, nine months and 18 days after Jenson Button won in Interlagos – Hamilton’s last race for McLaren before he moved to Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas, who started from the back following an engine penalty, finished fourth but was promoted to third after Sergio Perez was hit with a five-second penalty for gaining an advantage in his tussle with Leclerc.