FERRARI’s home win by Charles Leclerc at Monza has left Lewis Hamilton saying the younger generation of drivers “get away with a lot more” in wheel-to-wheel battles.
The race featured a thrilling battle between the young Monegasque and five-times-world champion Hamilton.
The latter looked like the faster of the two drivers for periods and tried several passes without making any stick. Credit for that should go to Leclerc who defended robustly. At one point Hamilton had to use the run-off area to avoid a collision and Leclerc cut the first chicane but retained the lead.
After the race Hamilton said: “It doesn’t really matter what I think. I don’t really have anything to say about it. We’ve gone over and over it multiple times, it’s pointless me bringing it up. I avoided the collision, and just kept focusing on trying to get close again.
“It seems like the new generation get away with a lot more in that space, of how they manoeuvre their car compared to I’d say the more experienced drivers. But it’s good knowledge, now I know, and I look forward to the next one.”
Leclerc was put on an official warning at one stage when he was shown the black and white flag, but this carries no penalty.
Hamilton commentated: “We’ve just constantly asked for consistency. There was a rule put in place, and then it wasn’t abided by today.
“They used different consequences for the rule today. I don’t know why that was the case. I guess the stewards woke up on a different side of the bed this morning, I don’t know.”
He added: “I’m not unhappy. Of course, I don’t like to go backwards, but he (Leclerc) did a fantastic job today. I put on as much pressure as I could. We had a couple of close moments, I think we can probably talk about it in private together, but there’s nothing major, and we continue to race. I’m looking forward to more races together.”
Leclerc’s battling performance saw him take the chequered flag for the second week in a row while Hamilton dropped to third behind Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. It was Ferrari’s first win at Monza since 2010.
Daniel Ricciardo took a season’s best fourth place in his Renault ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg in fifth. Despite starting eighth Red Bull’s Alex Albon ended up in sixth, ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who just managed to hold off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who ended up eighth having started P19. Sebastian Vettel finished a distant 13th after spinning out of contention early on.
Leclerc said about his win: “I think if you have to win one Grand Prix with Ferrari it’s the Italian Grand Prix. From the beginning of the week it’s been absolutely crazy, I came here with my first win, and to win straight away the second one here in front of all the fans that have welcomed me extremely well after the first victory, is just unbelievable.
“I did a few mistakes, but at the end I finished first, so- very happy with this. But I need to be careful with the mistakes, obviously none of them made me lose position today,” he added.