Daniel Ricciardo leads McLaren one-two at Italian GP


It was a wild one at the Italian Grand Prix. For the first time since 2012, McLaren has finally tasted Formula 1 victory again—with a one-two finish at that.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris lined up on the starting grid at P2 and P3, respectively. Ricciardo overtook polesitter Max Verstappen right off the line, and from that dream start, he would eventually lead the entire race en route to victory.

Norris claimed P2 from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after the safety-car period ended on lap 31, and held onto it until the checkered flag for his best-ever race finish. McLaren’s result gave us the first one-two of the 2021 Formula 1 season, and with Ricciardo logging the fastest lap of the race and scoring a point during Saturday’s sprint qualifying, the Woking team brought home 45 points to move to third in the constructors’ standings.

“Crazy, what an awesome day! We really set the tone from the start of the weekend. I think anyone that’s seen the demeanor this weekend, they’re not surprised,” said Ricciardo, whose ‘shoey’ made the inevitable comeback during the podium celebrations. “I’m really stoked that it turned into a victory. A big thanks to the team. Not only winning, but a one-two’s incredible. A lot of hard work went into this and we really earned it out there. I’m really, really happy.”

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“It’s an amazing result, I’m so happy for everyone. It’s our first one-two in 11 years!” Norris said. “Another podium for myself, a win for Daniel, but more importantly, a one-two. So that as a combination is the coolest thing in the world. So, huge congrats to everyone and well-deserved.”

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The other big talking point of this race—and of this season, perhaps for years to come—is the tangle between championship contenders Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on lap 26. The two came together at Turn 2 right after Hamilton came out of his pit stop, ending in a crash that saw Verstappen’s Red Bull on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes. No driver was hurt—thanks to the halo structure—but post-race, Verstappen was issued a three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Russian GP.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was still able to score points for Mercedes after a superb display that saw the Finn recovering from P20 all the way to P3. As it stands, Mercedes is now 18 points clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship. Verstappen, Hamilton, and Bottas hold on to their top three spots in the drivers’ standings.

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