Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas managed to check out early on in the race after Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly crashed out on the first lap, but the Finn will start at the back of the grid due to power unit penalties.
Bottas started out at the front of the grid as he secured the fastest lap in yesterdays qualifying session, with a 1:19.555.
It was a great getaway from both Bottas and Max Verstappen once the lights went out, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had a shocking start as he fell down from second to fifth. However, Gasly tapped the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren and the Frenchman lost his front wing around the Curva Grande. As a result, the Frenchman skimmed across the gravel before he hit the far barrier. The safety car was then deployed.
The Mercedes AMG safety car was finally recalled back to the pits at the end of the third lap. After weaving down the back straight, Bottas quickly bolted as he led into the Curva Alboreto. By the end of the fifth lap, Verstappen was out of DRS length from Bottas.
Despite being in DRS range, Hamilton struggled to overtake the McLaren of Lando Norris even with the Drag Reduction System being activated.
By lap 12, Bottas and Verstappen checked out in front as, third-place, Ricciardo was 10 seconds behind the Finnish Mercedes while Hamilton still remained in fifth place, stuck behind Norris.
Bottas controlled the pace in superb fashion, in the week when it was announced he will leave Mercedes at the end of the season. While, Verstappen and Ricciardo finished off the top three, respectively.
As points are awarded for the top three drivers (three points for first, two for second and one point for third), Verstappen has now increased his championship lead in the Drivers standings to five points above Hamilton.