Car 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda won the exciting 2021 Italian Grand Prix for his 11th F1 win. This is his 1st win & 2nd Top 3 of 2021. 2nd Place Car 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes posted his 2nd Top 3 of 2021. 3rd Place Car 4 Lando Norris Mclaren Mercedes posted his 1st Top 3 of 2021.
4th Place Car 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari followed by 5th place Car 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 63. 6th Place Car 3 Daniel Ricciardo Mclaren Mercedes followed by 7th place Car 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda. 8th Place Canadian Car 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes followed by 9th place Car 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault. Lastly in the Top 10. Car 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault, in 10th place. Canadian Car 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes finished in 20th place due to 1 lap crash. This was a good race, as it looks like Mercedes has competition this season. Max Verstappen & Lewis Hamilton had contact off the start, both continued. Max Verstappen did go off the track onto the grass a little bit & continued. Lewis Hamilton completely went off track in a gravel trap but was able to engage the reverse & back out.
2021 Italian Grand Prix – Sunday Press Conference Transcript
1 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3 – Lando Norris (McLaren)
(Conducted by Martin Brundle)
Q: Max, congratulations, that was a wild afternoon, but you had it covered; a great victory.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, it was very challenging out there, especially in the beginning. It was very hard to stay on track to be honest; it was very slippery. And then of course with the tyres degrading in the wet and then choosing the right moment to go onto slicks is never easy. I think we managed everything well. And then a little moment on my restart…
Q: That was so close?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, but everything else went really well today, so of course very happy with that.
Q: What happened on that re-start? Just trying to warm the tyres?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, a little moment when I was just trying to warm it with throttle, but luckily we didn’t spin.
Q: But you had a wonderful run down to the first corner on the original start to take the lead.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, I was surprised myself. Last year we had been struggling a little bit off the line but we had worked really hard to make that better and you saw it in Bahrain but now in these tricky conditions I think we did a great job.
Q: Lewis just took the fastest lap towards the end, so he is still a point ahead of you in the world championship, but you are right back in there.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, but it’s a long season, so let’s stay calm.
Q: Lewis, where do we start on that race? Congratulations for bringing it back in second place.
Lewis Hamilton: Thank you. First, congratulations to Max. He did a fantastic job today. Just solid work from him and also to Lando – what an awesome job and so good to see McLaren back up there. On my side it was not the greatest of days. It’s the first time I’ve made a mistake in a long time but I’m grateful I was able to bring the car home still.
Q: Take us through that error at Tosa. You were passing some lapped cars?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, there was only one dry line and I guess I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get by everyone. Coming to the inside, I could see it was wet and I was trying to stop but the thing wouldn’t stop and it sent me off. A bit unfortunate but I’m really, really grateful that we got to get going again and to get some points for the team was really important today.
Q: So, during the red flag break, did you ever imagine that you would still be leading the world championship and that you would finish second?
Lewis Hamilton: I wasn’t thinking about. I was just trying to get over the gutting feeling it is when you make a mistake and just moving on from it and just learning real quick and you don’t have time to dwell on it so that’s what I did – get back into the racing spirit. I didn’t know whether or not we would be able to overtake, because again, offline was going to be wet, but still had some great battles with all the guys.
Q: Lando, on the podium again, second time. Whoa, that was… you were really having to defend hard but your pace was so strong.
Lando Norris: Thanks. I’m happy. I think a nice recovery after yesterday. It was a long race. A tough one but I didn’t start so well, y’know. It was a tough start but I came back through. I had good pace. I tried hanging on to second but Lewis was a bit too quick for me today so… yeah, it’s nice to be fighting these guys. It’s nice to be there on merit and there on pure pace – and hopefully we can have some more in the future.
Q: With Lewis in your mirrors, you kept your head. There was a lot of pressure there, and you were talking about a bit of clutch-slip – so you were managing a few things]
Lando Norris: Yeah. That was my knee-pad, was hitting my clutch-paddle so that was my own mistake. We opted to go on the Softs for the restart and I had good pace for the first 10 or 15 laps but I knew I was going to struggle a lot towards the end – especially with Lewis behind me. It was not going to be an easy one. But I tried. I held on for two or three or four laps but in the end I just couldn’t hang on – but I’m happy with third. I’m not disappointed.
Q: Well, the fans appreciated it. They voted you driver of the day.
Lando Norris: They did? I didn’t think I had any fans! But thank you very much.
Q: Max, many congratulations. That was a very impressive win in what were at times very difficult conditions. How satisfying is it to win a race like that?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, it’s never easy a race like this; it’s quite stressful out there to make the right calls. The key, I think, was to have that good launch, which was also a bit of a surprise to me! After last year, where we always struggled in the wet, over the winter and the beginning of the year we definitely made some improvements with that and today it was very good. But then after that, to make the right call from intermediate to slick tyres was not easy, because I saw a few guys ahead of me on slicks tyres but they were struggling a lot. But even on the intermediates… they were finished, so to keep on going was difficult, a lot of sliding around, so if you would go a few centimetres off line you could lose the car, so not easy out there. But once we put on the slicks all fine. But then of course we had the red flag, with so much debris into Turn 2, so basically the advantage was gone. And then I had my moment on the restart. That was a big one. Some secret tyre warming going on, but after that it was fine.
Q: In terms of setting up the win, how important was it for you to take the lead at the first start?
Max Verstappen: You always try to make the best start possible and once I saw the launch was very good of course you go for it. But of course it was very important around here.
Q: Lewis, that was a very eventful for you. What’s your overriding emotion after that race?
Lewis Hamilton: Grateful. Max did a great job today and so did Lando. I think juts really grateful for the lesson. I didn’t get away the best at the start, it was very tricky conditions at the start. But we’re only human, so just that bit of a mistake was one to learn from. I’m just grateful I could get going again and get back into the race. It’s not how you fall; it’s how you get up. Really awesome to get back to second. I had a good battle with Lando towards the end. I definitely didn’t know I would be here when I was facing that barrier.
Q: It wasn’t only Lando that you were battling with. How much did you enjoy the charge back up the field?
Lewis Hamilton: Oh, I loved it! Honestly, that’s how my career actually started when I was younger. When I was a kid coming through we had a really dodgy old go-kart, so I was always starting at the back. So it just took me back to my roots. It’s a really hard track to overtake on, but I think that Turn 2 kerb changed the balance in some way and I think it worked well for that dry condition we were in.
Q: Lando, coming to you. Well done on taking your second podium in Formula 1. The last 24 hours have been an emotional rollercoaster for you. How do you sum-up the weekend?
Lando Norris: On the whole I’m very pleased with the… with myself but the team as well. I think apart from Q3 it was a pretty perfect weekend, I want to say. We improved the car a lot over the first couple of days, from Friday into Saturday, and through the sessions and so on and we didn’t start on the best foot – but we improved a lot. I felt like I did a very good job in qualifying. Was the first time I only had to do one run in both Q1 and Q2, so I did good enough laps to save the tyres, give myself a good opportunity into Q3 and be pretty close to pole position and then, effectively almost P3 and then get put down to P7. It was near-perfect from my side, and the team’s. I think we did a very good job. I was disappointed yesterday so to come back to third today after a pretty eventful race for myself and, I’m sure, the others as well, was rewarding for myself, but more importantly, the team.
Q: Did you enjoy that battle with Lewis?
Lando Norris: It was tough. We made the decision to go on the Softs. I wasn’t so confident to get the tyres working. It’s not an easy track to overtake on – Lewis might say otherwise! – but I think it was the right decision. Apart from Max’s little moment, I though Charles was going to drive ahead of Max on the restart, as he was off-track, so didn’t take advantage of that but he had a lot of wheelspin on the restart when Max went, and that’s the fault of the Mediums and their decision. We made our decision to go on the Softs, I got a good launch, good restart and got ahead of him. I pretty much started saving the tyres from lap one after the restart, knowing that the last couple of laps were going to be pretty tough. And they were. Especially with Lewis at the end. I think a lot of focus is the last couple of corners, getting the deployment right, using the battery in the right way. So, I was trying to save up as much as possible. In the end, I didn’t have enough rear tyre out of the last two corners and the chicane to hold him behind but I tried. It was a nice little battle. It’s nice to be racing unusual cars, I guess for us, a Red Bull, a Mercedes, and Ferraris and things like that. It’s nice to be going up against them. Hopefully we can have some more of that in the future.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC) This is for Max and Lewis. Max, you’ve seen you had the fastest car in Bahrain, you saw what can happen if things don’t go quite right; Lewis, you’ve seen what you’re up against with Max and Red Bull after two races now. What sort of headspace are you two in as you look forward to a championship fight that the rest of us have massively high anticipation for?
Max Verstappen: It’s a very long season. We just have to keep on working very hard. I’m very happy with the result, of course, today but that’s today. I’m of course going to be happy about today, but tomorrow, we start again. We have to keep on improving because there’s still a lot of work to be able to keep doing this the whole season.
And enjoying racing this guy?
Max Verstappen: Oh course. If I would be driving P10, it’s not enjoyable. It’s great to be fighting against Lewis, Mercedes who, I think, as a team, they have been so dominant and they’re very difficult to beat. So to be able to sit here now, now two races in a row, we were very, very competitive, that’s very promising but no guarantees.
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, excited for the battle. I think this is really the first time in a long time that Red Bull have had a championship-winning car, so I think it’s going to be close all the way through the year – and it’s just going to be, hopefully, more and more of these battles.
Q: (Christian Nimmervoll – motorsport.com) Question to all three drivers – but probably starting with Max. Max, when you had the situation at the restart, do you think that Leclerc was actually entitled to go past? Because we have a situation earlier in the race where Pérez was off track, got passed by two drivers and they didn’t have any sanctions. So do you think he needed to brake in that situation? And probably the opinion of the other drivers as well.
Max Verstappen: I was off track for a bit – but once I was back on the track of course I was driving slow because I was recovering, getting my steering wheel straight – but then I don’t think you can pass any more. I think when you see a car drifting like that in front of you, first of all, I think you just back-out, because you don’t know where it’s going to go. I don’t know. It’s seconds. Maybe you have a chance of two or three seconds to do it. It’s so tricky out there with tyres. You don’t want to also react to it – maybe you spin yourself. It can happen.
Lewis, any thoughts on this?
Lewis Hamilton: I don’t even know what happened. I was way back!
Lando, did you see?
Lando Norris: Oh yeah, I had a great view of it. Quite funny actually. I think Charles could have gone past him in my opinion. At that stage Max was out of control and going left and Charles kind-of just hit the brakes and slowed down and stopped. At some point he has to go past Max because he was facing the barrier for a lot of the corner. I don’t know. We have to maybe ask the guys in charge what the exact ruling is for going off, as off-track, all four wheels off the track and example of yesterday – but at the same time Max was going very slow, so it was like Leclerc… Charles could have driven past him at the point. I’m not sure. I think if I was in P2, I would have gone for it, because you have a chance at winning then. It’s a risk worth it.
Q: (Alex Kalinaukas – Autosport) Lewis, just about the incident where you were stuck in the gravel at Tosa. It seemed to take you a while before you sort of got the wheel turned and then reversed out so can you explain what was going on at the time and why it took a bit longer than maybe you would have liked to get out of there?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, it just wouldn’t go into reverse so I was holding the reverse button and it took forever to engage. I didn’t think it was going to work. I tried reversing and then tried to kind of do a burn out spin to get going again and I was back in the barrier so then it took a long time again to get back in reverse. And when I was reversing, I was like I’ve just got to keep going backwards and work my way out in reverse and if I hadn’t done that I would probably still have been there now so I’m grateful for it.
Q: (Giles Richards – The Guardian) Lewis, I know you’ll be disappointed after what you said was a tiny mistake but nonetheless it was a great performance to come back to second. How would you rate a performance like that compared to say, for example, some of the easier wins you have had in your career? How much satisfaction can you glean from coming back from what looked like to be sort of almost race-ending mistake?
Lewis Hamilton: Thank you Giles. You’re right up against the camera so we can only see your forehead. I think, in life, when you experience whatever form of adversity in terms of challenges or mistakes and mishaps or whatever barriers you find that you have to get over or hurdles, it’s always more satisfying when you overcome them. It’s not the mistakes that define you, again it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up and I think definitely in that moment, for me, you know I don’t make too many mistakes and it was gutting in that position but I honestly feel like these things happen for a reason and the others did a fantastic job, but I remember just sitting there, looking at the barrier and I refused to think that the race was over. I refused to believe that the race was done. I could have obviously just turned the car off and got out but I’m grateful that I didn’t. I’m grateful that I did do a reverse and then after that just kind of getting out the car and trying to switch the anger and turn it into positive energy so that I could get back in and race forwards. It’s an amazing lesson to be sent and experience.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – The Race) Lewis, you obviously talked of your reaction to the mistake there at the hairpin, but what about afterwards because I think that dropped you a lap down when you had to come in afterwards and then obviously the red flags re-set the race for you so I guess that was the second defining moment that set up the charge thereafter so what was going through your head when you sort of had to work out what was still on the table?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, once I got going again, again, a lot of relief but of course I knew I had been in the gravel for minutes so I had no idea how far behind I would but of course I knew that I probably would be a lap down and when I found out that was I was a lap down I didn’t know what I was going to be able to do but it was such tricky conditions out there, it was inevitable something was going to happen at some stage further up in the race, everyone switching over to the slick tyres and you could say there was a really fortunate moment in the race that allowed us to get back on the same lap and then back into the race so again, just really grateful for it.
Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) Just for Lewis, I guess this is 19 points gained. You could have walked away with zero. I know it’s early days but how important do you think that will be in this championship, which looks like it’s going to be pretty close between you two and Max, were you a bit miffed when you saw that Lewis had crossed the line second, given he started the re-start in ninth?
Lewis Hamilton: I think, without doubt, getting back to second and getting these points today will be very valuable through the season. If I’d lost 25 points today, that would have been hard to recover with the fact… based on the fact that Red Bull – it’s the first time that they’ve had a championship-winning car, their car is incredible fast. They were faster than us this weekend, definitely in qualifying trim but it looks like a little bit also in race trim. But I don’t know if they made a couple of mistakes, I think they did, Max did in qualifying for example otherwise he would have been on pole. But we’ve got a real close battle which we love the fact that it’s a close battle and it’s great to see McLaren back up there after such a long time, it’s great to see Ferrari looking strong so there’s going to be a lot of exciting races up ahead and challenging for all of us in so many different ways.
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) Same question to both Max and Lewis: could you just talk us through what happened at the first corner where you touched, and from your perspectives please and what did you make of what the other driver did in that incident?
Max Verstappen: I don’t think we touched.
Lewis Hamilton: We did. We did.
MV: We touched?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah.
Max Verstappen: I need to see the video then.
Lewis Hamilton: I think my endplate got damaged. I don’t know exactly.
Max Verstappen: Alright. From my… I didn’t think we touched so I don’t know. I need to watch the video again.
Q: Max, just talk us through the hundred meters leading up to the corner as well, from your perspective and then we’ll come to Lewis.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, so I had a good launch so I was just gaining speed, speed, speed but then you go to turn two and it’s a bit difficult to judge your braking point, with the tyres, cold tyres, you don’t want to out-brake yourself because this track, with all the gravel around and stuff, it’s easy to damage your car and we went in to turn two of course, side-by-side but it’s difficult to expect the grip on the first lap. I also ended up a bit wider than I wanted and then Lewis was also there but at one point these yellow sausages to yeah. Then I saw Lewis had to go over them.
Lewis Hamilton: I didn’t get a good start. Max got a better start than me and then I think I was slightly ahead going into turn two but I was basically avoiding us coming together. Max was just coming and coming and coming across. Of course, we had that touch and I had to use the exit, take those big kerbs but I’m grateful I just got it through it and didn’t damage much more than the endplate.
Italian Grand Prix 2021 – Race Results
2021 April 18 Grand Prix of Italy Circuit: Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, 1st Grand Prix 1980, Number of laps 63, Circuit Length 4.909 km. Race Distance: 309.049 km Lap Record 1:15.484 Lewis Hamilton (2020)
Position Car Driver Team Laps Status
|1. Car 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 63 2:02:34.598 – Running|
|2. Car 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 63 – Running|
|3. Car 4 Lando Norris Mclaren Mercedes 63 – Running|
|4. Car 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 63 – Running|
|5. Car 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 63 – Running|
|6. Car 3 Daniel Ricciardo Mclaren Mercedes 63 – Running|
|7. Car 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 63 – Running|
|8. Car 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 63 – Running – Canadian|
|9. Car 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 63 – Running|
|10. Car 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 63 – Running|
|11. Car 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda 63 – Running|
|12. Car 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 63 – Running|
|13. Car 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 63 – Running|
|14. Car 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 62 – Running|
|15. Car 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 61 – DNF|
|16. Car 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS Ferrari 61 – Running|
|17. Car 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS Ferrari 61 – Running|
|NC. Car 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 30 – DNF|
|NC. Car 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 30 – DNF|
|NC. Car 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 0 – DNF – Canadian|
2021 Driver Standings
POS DRIVER NATIONALITY CAR PTS
|1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 44|
|2. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing Honda 43|
|3. Lando Norris GBR Mclaren Mercedes 27|
|4. Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 20|
|5. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes 16|
|6. Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 14|
|7. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Mclaren Mercedes 14|
|8. Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing Honda 10|
|9. Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Mercedes 5|
|10. Pierre Gasly FRA AlphaTauri Honda 6|
|11. Yuki Tsunoda JPN AlphaTauri Honda 2|
|12. Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine Renault 2|
|13. Fernando Alonso ESP Alpine Renault 1|
|14. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 0|
|15. Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 0|
|16. George Russell GBR Williams Mercedes 0|
|17. Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Mercedes 0|
|18. Mick Schumacher GER HAAS Ferrari 0|
|19. Nikita Mazepin RAF HAAS Ferrari 0|
|20. Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Mercedes 0|
2021 Constructor Standings
POS TEAM PTS
|1. Mercedes 60|
|2. Red Bull Racing Honda 53|
|3. Mclaren Mercedes 41|
|4. Ferrari 34|
|5. AlphaTauri Honda 8|
|6. Aston Martin Mercedes 5|
|7. Alpine Renault 3|
|8. Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 0|
|9. Williams Mercedes 0|
|10. HAAS Ferrari 0|
Next Event: May 2, 2021 Portugal Grand Prix 2021