Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 at Monza F1, as Ricciardo tyre gambit pays off
Mercedes, led by Lewis Hamilton, took the top two podium steps at Monza’s Italian grand prix as nearly every driver chose a one-stop supersoft-soft strategy. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo adopted a different strategy, starting on a soft and moving to the supersoft for the second stint to move 12 places up from his starting position of 16th on the grid – the result of penalties. The Australian also set the fastest lap of the race, which was two seconds faster than last year’s equivalent, using the same tyres.
Dry conditions followed Saturday’s torrential rain with ambient temperatures of 28 degrees centigrade and track temperatures of 37 degrees centigrade. Hamilton also set the best time recorded on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tyre, with a 1m23.488s – not far behind Ricciardo’s 1m23.361s. Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas recorded the joint-highest number of laps (33) on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft in finishing second.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing, said: “After an unpredictable weekend… the race turned out exactly as we expected, with nearly all the drivers completing one-stop strategies. Daniel Ricciardo made excellent use of an alternative one-stop strategy to make up 12 places, and his fastest lap shows just how much quicker the car and tyre package is this year, despite the fact that Monza is mainly dominated by straights.”