Rivals collide, allows McLaren to win Italian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, holds off Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W10, for the lead as the two drivers almost collide at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix Sept. 8. (Photo courtesy of Interceptor73 on Creative Commons)
By Jesus Coronel

Title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had a very dramatic crash on Lap 26 of the Italian Grand Prix on Sep. 12.

As Hamilton was exiting the pit lane, Verstappen was in position to overtake him but then was left very little room on Turn 1 and by the time he made the move, he hit the kerb on Turn 2, lifting him into the air and hitting Hamilton in the process.

Verstappen was furious that Hamilton didn’t leave him enough space at Turn 1, stating to his team radio, “This is what he gets for not leaving me space.”

The radio message refers back to when the two title contenders had a massive collision back at the British Grand Prix July 18.

Verstappen received a three-place penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in three weeks for causing the incident.

The incident left the door open for the McLaren team to fully capitalize and take charge of the race.

For the first time this season, they took their first win in nine years as Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix.

His teammate Lando Norris came in a career-high second place, giving McLaren their first 1-2 finish in 11 years.

“To lead literally from start to finish I don’t think any of us expected that,” Ricciardo said in the post-race interview. “To not only win but to get a 1-2 — it’s insane.”

The result propelled the team ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship battle to 14.5 points for third place.

Hamilton and Verstappen’s teammates were able to get points but it was Valtteri Bottas, who recently was announced to join Alfa Romeo next year, that would score more points by finishing third.

“I’m glad we got more points than Red Bull,” Bottas said. “From my side it was a good race.”

Sergio Perez initially finished in third, but a five-second penalty that he received for gaining an unfair advantage for overtaking Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc demoted him to fifth.

Mercedes now leads the constructors’ championship by 18 points while Verstappen still leads the drivers title by five points. 

The championship contenders are looking to rebound in the next race after the events that occurred in Monza.

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