Lewis Hamilton Wins The Italian Grand Prix – REPORT AND DRIVER INTERVIEWS

lewis hamilton press event

Lewis Hamilton Wins The Italian Grand Prix – REPORT AND DRIVER INTERVIEWS

What a race! What a race? We all knew that the 2018 Italian Grand Prix would be an action-packed race but no one could have predicted the start.

Kimi Raikkonen started in the lead however all drivers seemed to have a great start – keeping up with each other, especially the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Manoeuvring round the turns, the two came close however one close was too much with the two bumping – in turn Sebastian Vettel spun and ended up at the back of the grid.

Coming into the pits, Sebastian Vettel had a front wing change and started to make his way through the grid whilst his closest rival, Lewis Hamilton remained right behind Kimi Raikkonen – putting the pressure on Ferrari.

Strategies were key for all teams and Ferrari brought in Kimi Raikkonen first, leaving Hamilton out in the lead who widened the gap allowing Mercedes to bring in Bottas into play who delivered a great result for the team.

It was a battle packed race (click here to see LIVE race updates) and with race-winning moves, Hamilton claimed the win – winning at the Italian Grand Prix.

Some would say this is Karma – remember Ferrari saying to Sebastian “we got them on their home ground” after winning Silverstone?

Overall, a wonderful race and plenty of action for fans around the world – keeping the battle going strong, we’re going to have a wonderful second-half of the season.

Check out the driver interviews and reaction below. Photos from around the paddock at the weekend can be seen near the bottom of the post – enjoy!

Lewis Hamilton Wins The Italian Grand Prix – REPORT AND DRIVER INTERVIEWS

MERCEDES – DRIVER INTERVIEWS

LEWIS HAMILTON

lewis hamilton and valtteri bottas

Lewis Hamilton: “That was one tough race, but a really enjoyable one – I’m very, very happy. This afternoon has shaken off to be one of the best.”

“It’s so close between Ferrari and us, this race was really down to who makes the least mistakes and who looks after their tyres the best.”

“Valtteri did a great job extending his stint which enabled me to close up to Kimi. It was really great team work today, a great pit stop, great communication with the team. It was an intense first lap, we all got off to similar starts.”

“When we went into Turn 4, I was a bit surprised that Sebastian chose the inside and did not go for the outside. That was my opportunity and I had to make sure that I was far enough alongside him.”

“We touched for a brief moment and my car was slightly damaged afterwards, but fortunately I was able to continue and keep up with Kimi.”

“Once I had closed the gap to Kimi on my second stint, I could see that his tyres were blistering, so I started to take care of my tyres and made sure that I didn’t blister mine.”

“When Valtteri then came in for his pit stop it was a bit harder to keep up with Kimi, but I knew that my tyres were in better shape.”

“I had to push as hard as I could to close the gap, particularly through the Lesmos and Ascari. But this track is really just incredible, it’s such a phenomenal circuit to drive with all it’s high-speed corners and the fact that you can follow through the corners and the chicanes make it one of the best tracks in the world.”

“It’s always a real privilege to win in Italy. But we need to keep our heads down, work hard and make sure that we put up a good fight in Singapore!”

VALTTERI BOTTAS

Valtteri Bottas: “It was a very successful day – both for me and for Lewis – and it feels good to be back on the podium. We knew the Ferraris were going to be quick today, so we wanted to give 100 per cent and put them under pressure.”

“We knew we had to work together as a team today and that worked out very well for us. After what happened in the first lap with Sebastian, I knew that there was a good chance for me to get to the podium today.”

“But it was still not an easy race; I did a very long first stint, trying to keep Kimi behind me on old tyres. I managed to still extract decent lap times out of the tyres so that Kimi never really got close enough to be able to overtake.”

“Ultimately, this strategy helped both Lewis’ and my race. After the long first stint I had the chance to take the fight to Max on fresh rubber and ended up on the podium.”

“It was a really good team effort today and we managed to get more points than Ferrari even though we started behind them. But we know we have to keep pushing in order to be able to put them under pressure.”

TOTO WOLFF

toto-wolff

Toto Wolff: “This is what makes racing so special: the points are given out on Sunday, not Saturday, and today we were all privileged to enjoy a fantastic race-long between two champions.”

“Lewis didn’t put a foot wrong today – he put his car in the right place each time, was patient when he needed to be and took a fantastic win, his fifth here in Monza.”

“But we must not forget Valtteri today: he drove a great race and deserved his podium finish this afternoon. For us, P1 and P3 is a fantastic result and a great reward for all the hard work the teams in Brixworth and Brackley have put in over the past weeks; last week, we struggled with the tyre management; today, it was the Ferrari that blistered the soft tyres.”

“This afternoon, I think we had the fastest car on race pace – although we must be a little cautious because we didn’t see Sebastian’s pace without damage – but we were able to put pressure on Kimi all through the race.”

“We got the strategy just right: with Kimi and Lewis at the first stop, we were ready to do the opposite of Ferrari – then extended the stint to have the biggest offset of tyre life when Kimi pitted.”

“And with Valtteri, it was exactly the same: it was the right strategy to leave him on track, building the offset to Verstappen so he could attack in the final laps with fresher tyres. And that’s exactly what he did to get his podium.”

“Overall, it was a very good day for the team at every level. We have Singapore coming next, which has not been our strongest track in past years. But we will be turning over every stone in the next weeks to find even more performance and pushing flat out to build our lead in both championships.”

FERRARI – DRIVER INTERVIEWS

KIMI RAIKKONEN

kimi-raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen: “Our car was really good today. The first set of tyres was ok, while the second one didn’t last as long as we had expected.”

“There wasn’t much we could do, we had to push all the time and there was no single moment in which we could take it easy and look after the tyres.”

“For sure we wanted a better result, but this is what we’ve got; we did our best but it was not enough. It’s easy to say what we should have done in an ideal world, but we did what we thought was right and I think there was nothing wrong.”

“Second position is not ideal, but we take it; I think that we were lucky to finish the race, on the rear left tyre there was no rubber left. In the next races it’s going to be close pretty much everywhere.”

“We keep doing our best and hopefully it will be enough for when we come to the last race.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL

sebastian-vettel

Sebastian Vettel: “At the beginning I tried to overtake Kimi in Turn 1 and 4, but I couldn’t. He opened the brakes, which he had the right to do, so I moved aside and opened a gap to Lewis.”

“Then I had room left and no chance anymore. So, when I touched Lewis, I span around and that was unfortunate, as my car got quite some damages.”

“It could have gone differently, but obviously it wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, our race was compromised and it was a shame, but then I tried to do my best and had a decent recovery from the back.”

“All in all, it could have been even worse. It’s disappointing of course, because we had the pace and we definitely could have won.”

“There are many points to win back now in the championship, but we still have time to improve and we have the margin to recover. I am sorry for our tifosi because they just deserved a different result today.”

MAURIZIO ARRIVABENE

Maurizio Arrivabene: “Definitely not the result we were looking for to give to our fans, who supported us in fine style all weekend, for which I thank them on behalf of the entire team.”

“After the collision at the second chicane, Kimi had to fight two opponents on his own, while Seb, in a badly damaged car, fought his way up the order.”

“We know we have a very strong car, which was clearly demonstrated by the fact we monopolised the front row of the grid. Now, the important thing is to react as a team, in an orderly and determined fashion, without ever giving up.”

“There is still a long way to go in the championship and we are already preparing for the next challenge in Singapore.”

RED BULL RACING – DRIVER INTERVIEWS

MAX VERSTAPPEN

max-verstappen

Max Verstappen: “I think if you look at the car performance, we’ve done a really good job in being that competitive on this track today.”

“I don’t think it could have been better for us and finishing third on the road was a good result. Unfortunately we had a penalty and I was put back to fifth. I think I gave Valtteri enough space on the left so he didn’t need to go off the track.”

“The rule says that as long as you give the other driver a car width space, it should be enough. That’s what I did, but he clipped my wheel at Turn 1 and he had to go straight on.”

“I don’t agree with the penalty, but the decision is taken and we can’t do anything about it. Of course after I heard about the penalty I was even more determined to keep my track position. I’ve tried to do the best race I could and I had to fight hard for it as we are so much slower on the straights.”

“Before the race I thought fifth would have been the best possible result for us, but after a good start and keeping the Mercedes behind, we were in third position, so I gave it everything.”

“Looking at the positives, the car was performing very well today and in terms of pace we were competitive.”

“In general keeping a Mercedes behind you on this track is a very positive sign and hopefully we can keep this momentum going to Singapore where our car is usually strong.”

DANIEL RICCIARDO

daniel-ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo: “It’s been another frustrating race for me. I passed Stroll and looked in the mirror to see if I was clear of him but I couldn’t see that well.”

“I then realised that was because there was a lot of smoke coming out the back of the car and when I reported it to my engineers they asked me to stop.”

“I feared it could have been something to do with the power unit but after we got the car back to the garage and the guys investigated, they suspect it’s a clutch issue.”

“It’s been a frustrating period of races but hopefully we can change some things on the car, improve the reliability and aim for the podium in Singapore.”

MCLAREN – DRIVER INTERVIEWS

FERNANDO ALONSO

fernando-alonso-with-carlos-sainz

Fernando Alonso: “This weekend we performed much better than we expected and I think we had the possibility to take some points today, so it’s a shame that we had to retire so early in the race.”

“Also, we were planning to change the engine at Spa or here and get a penalty at a track we knew was going to be difficult for us in terms of performance, but surprisingly we were good, so we chose not to take it here.”

“In the end, we didn’t score any points here so it’s double pain, as we’ll have to take the penalty later in the season.”

“The car was misfiring from the start of the race in Turns Seven and Eight, and unfortunately in the end it switched off and I arrived rolling into the pit-lane.”

“It’s a true shame. Let’s see if we can make the car more robust for the coming races.”

STOFFEL VANDOORNE

stoffel-vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne: “It was a pretty decent race for us today, considering the performance we had on Friday. We made a good step on Saturday, went into the race and beat a few cars that we maybe didn’t expect to beat. That was positive.”

“Our race pace was pretty good. We were stuck behind a Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Pierre (Gasly) and the Renault of Nico (Hulkenberg) but with our strategy we managed to undercut them and make it work.”

“Anyway, we knew that Spa and Monza would be two difficult races for us, even though the latter turned out to be maybe slightly better than expected.”

“Next stop Singapore – hopefully we’ll have more performance there.”

SAUBER – DRIVER INTERVIEWS

MARCUS ERICSSON

marcus-ericsson-australian-2018

Marcus Ericsson: “It was not the best weekend for me. To be honest, this was quite a tough race – I had a good start however, shortly after I was touched by another car which caused a puncture on my rear left tyre.”

“I had to pit and from that point on, it was a difficult race. I look forward to Singapore now and am confident that we can fight back there.”

CHARLES LECLERC

charles-leclerc

Charles Leclerc: “It was a challenging race. We lost quite a bit of time because of the contact. After we undercut our competitors with our strategy, we did manage to get ahead but this was too late for us to advance to a top-ten position.”

“Our pace was quite good so it’s a shame not to finish in the points. Nevertheless, it was a good race and I look forward to getting back in the car in Singapore.”

PHOTOS FROM THE PADDOCK – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

lewis hamilton and valtteri bottas

kimi-raikkonen

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

x x

Share: