After a very difficult start to the season, McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was finally back to his old best as the 32-year-old secured an emphatic victory at the temple of speed in Italian GP 2021. The Aussie, who started P2, got off to a tremendous start and took the lead in race in very first lap. After Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashed out later in the race post a shocking incident, there was no one stopping Ricciardo who went on to clinch his first win with his new team.
It was a special day for McLaren as Lando Norris finished second to wrap up a perfect day for the side. Although Red Bull's Sergio Perez finished 3rd, he was handed a five-second penalty during the race which gave the final podium position to Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also finished at an impressive fourth place at the team’s home GP. Sergio Perez had to settle for P5 post his penalty with Carlos Sainz taking P6. Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, George Russell and Esteban Ocon notably completed the top 10 in an action-packed race which saw as many as 5 drivers failing to make it through chequered flag.
Here is the complete classification:
Ricciardo’s famous shoey celebration is back
After winning the race, Ricciardo said, “To lead literally from start to finish I don’t think any of us expected that… I’ve just been a sandbagging SOB for the rest of the year! To not only win but to get a 1-2 - it’s insane!”
As soon as the Aussie had clinched the victory, fans had started to wonder if the famous shoey celebration (where Ricciardo pours champagne in his shoes and drinks it) will be back on podium. As it turned out, it did and in some style! While Ricciardo did the shoey, he had some company with Lando Norris and McLaren’s CEO Zak brown also joining him.
It was shame about the crash with Lewis and Max: Bottas
While Ricciardo and Norris taking 1-2 for McLaren was indeed huge, there was another major talking point of the race with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crashing out of the race post a controversial collision. Luckily, both the drivers came out of their cars safely but the incident is certainly going to be looked closely after the race to determine if any possible action needs to be taken against the two of them.
After the race, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas reacted on the incident while seeing it on big screen and said, “It was shame about the crash with Lewis and Max.” Overall, it was a good day for Bottas as he drove a fantastic race to finish P3 after starting from the last row.