Monza (Italy), Sep 12 (IANS) Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix for McLaren, their first victory in nine years, as title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed out on lap 26 of the 53 lap race here on Sunday.
British driver Lando Norris, in the other McLaren, finished second with Mercedes’ Valteri Bottas sealing the podium position by finishing third. Ricciardo and Norris sealed the first 1-2 finish of the season.
Sunday’s results mean the gap between Verstappen (226.5) and Hamilton (221.5) at the top of the drivers’ standings is still five points.
Hamilton and Verstappen crashed out after a collision on lap 26, putting both title rivals out of the race.
The incident happened as Hamilton was exiting the pits when he arrived alongside Verstappen, the pair going side by side through the Variante del Rettifilo, but making contact, with Verstappen flying through the air and coming to rest on top of the Mercedes. Both drivers were unhurt, but out of the race, with the stewards set to investigate after the Grand Prix.
Ricciardo had taken an early lead after beating Verstappen, who started the race in pole position, to the opening corner. He maintained his lead throughout and with Verstappen and Hamilton out, did not face any challenge for the chequered flag.
Hamilton started fourth and moved up to third after fighting his way past Norris. He and Verstappen were wheel-to-wheel heading into the Variante Della Roggia but Hamilton was forced to divert off track, dropping back behind Norris.
Ricciardo won his eighth Grand Prix race while teammate Norris secured his best-ever race finish with P2, having been told to hold station behind his teammate in the final moments of the Grand’Prix. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was placed fourth.
Having started P19, Bottas claimed third, finishing fourth on the road’behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, before Perez had a five-second penalty added to his time for passing Leclerc off the track.