- At Monza, Lewis Hamilton clocks the DHL Fastest Lap for the second time this season
- In qualifying. Kimi Räikkönen sets the fastest average speed in Formula 1 history
- Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo share the lead in the DHL Fastest Lap Award
Lewis Hamilton sets DHL Fastest Lap at Monza
Lewis Hamilton celebrated his fifth Italian Grand Prix victory and extended his lead to 30 points over Sebastian Vettel who finished fourth in the Ferrari home fixture at Monza. Despite starting from only third position, Hamilton still ended up on the top rung of the podium thanks to a brilliant driving performance and an inspired Mercedes strategy.
While pole-sitter Kimi Räikkönen was busily retaining his lead at the start, Hamilton and Vettel came into contact. The Ferrari driver spun and found himself at the back of the field, but Hamilton was able to continue in second place. When Räikkönen came in for his change of tires on the 20th lap, Mercedes opted to extend the first stint, and this proved to be the better strategy.
Räikkönen was unable to use his fresh tires to best effect because he re-emerged behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas who was also playing the long game. Hamilton eventually pitted on the 28th lap and shortly thereafter set the DHL Fastest Lap with a time of 01:22.497 minutes.
Räikkönen was forced to tail his fellow Finn until the 36th lap when Bottas finally turned into the pit lane. Hamilton had meanwhile been exploiting the situation, closing on the Ferrari driver with each successive lap of the Royal Park. And on the 45th of these, he eventually overtook Räikkönen, whose tires were by now almost shot. When Hamilton took the checkered flag, he had widened the gap to a full nine seconds.
“That was one tough race, but a really enjoyable one,” said Hamilton. “I’m very, very happy. Once I had closed the gap to Kimi on my second stint, I could see that his tires were blistering, so I started to take care of my tires and made sure that I didn’t blister them. When Valtteri then came in for his pit stop it was a bit harder to keep up with Kimi, but I knew that my tires were in better shape. It’s always a real privilege to win in Italy.”
Fastest laps: FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2018
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 01:22.497 - on lap 30
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 01:22.505 - on lap 51
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 01:22.907 - on lap 39
- Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 01:23.515 - on lap 28
- Sergio Pérez (Force India) 01:23.529 - on lap 43
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 01:23.609 - on lap 41
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 01:23.768 - on lap 44
- Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) 01:23.768 - on lap 52
- Carlos Sainz (Renault) 01:24.056 - on lap 52
- Nico Hülkenberg (Renault) 01:24.059 - on lap 47
History: Fastest Laps at the FORMULA 1 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton’s DHL Fastest Lap of 1:22.497 minutes was the fastest race lap at Monza for 13 years. However, the lap record is still maintained by Rubens Barrichello and dates from 2004, when the former Ferrari driver clocked a red-hot time of 01:21.046 minutes.
The weekend did, however, see a new record set in qualifying. Kimi Räikkönen booked pole position with an average speed of 263.587 km/h – the fastest time ever in Formula 1 history. The previous record was held by Juan Pablo Montoya with an average speed of 262.242 km/h, also at Monza in the first qualifying session for the 2004 race.
Bottas and Ricciardo share lead in DHL Fastest Lap Award
Lewis Hamilton joins Max Verstappen on a score of two fastest race laps this season. Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, each on four best times, remain tied at the top of the DHL Fastest Lap Award. Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel each have one DHL Fastest Lap to their account.