The second race of the season started with rain washing over the tarmac and racers skidding off the track, battling hard to not only grab better positions but also to keep a solid grip. The battle between Mercedes and Red Bull continued with McLaren coming in close. Team Williams Racing was not so lucky as both its drivers could not finish the race.
Max Verstappen was ferocious right from the start and it was not very surprising, given his history with the track in Italy. Having started in third position, he quickly took the top spot, lunging ahead of Hamilton who was leading the pack at the start of the race. From then, the Dutch racer was in first position for almost the entire race. He managed to keep a healthy 5 second lead over Hamilton which only stretched to 22 seconds by the end of the race. There was a brief period where Verstappen slipped back as he had to pit and change to medium tyres. It was a historic moment as he finally finished in first place, making it his first podium in Italy.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton beautifully showcased why he is in a league of his own. After locking his front tyres and going off the track on turn 7 in lap 31 and then spending ages trying to reverse his machine, the 7-time world champion made a daring climb through the leaderboard to finish in second place and also clocked the fastest lap towards the end. Ferrari’s Leclarc was biting at the heels of Hamilton and looking for the slightest opening to overtake but soon slipped behind as the laps went on. He did manage to finish in fourth position, however.
Lando Norris had a solid race as he overtook rivals with great precision. McLaren made a good call asking fellow teammate Daniel Ricciardo to let Norris pass him and get fourth position. The young Briton finally finished the race in third place while Ricciardo finished sixth. Ricciardo faced fierce competition from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly for a while but sticking with wet tyres made Gasly lose a number of positions as the track became drier. AlphaTauri’s second driver, Yuki Tsunoda was not having a great time either as he kept violating the track limits and eventually got a black and white flag.
The wet track made many racers spin out, catch mud in their tyres and even crash. Nikita Mazepin, unfortunately, knocked Nicholas Latifi off the track, although it was not entirely his fault entirely. Latifi who was driving for Williams was the first but not the only person to be retired from the race. The biggest crash of the race, however, was when George Russel hit Valtteri Bottas during an overtake. Both cars crashed and left so much debris on the track that the race had to be stopped. Thankfully both the drivers were safe and it was only the cars that got damaged. Alpha Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was behind the two but managed to not get caught in the catastrophe. Mick Shumacher also managed to biff a corner in lap 4 and lost his front wing by going in a bit too fast. He could not even pit as the pit exit was covered in the debris of his own car.
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