RED Bull youngster Max Verstappen was slammed after a devastating penalty triggered a meltdown worthy of Nick Kyrgios at the Italian Grand Prix.
As Lewis Hamilton sensationally dudded Ferrari, Verstappen was shafted from third place down to fifth thanks to a five-second penalty from the stewards for unfair defending that caused a collision with Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen swore and furiously told the Red Bull garage: “I gave him space! They’re doing a great job of killing racing, honestly.”
Hamilton sank pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen in an explosive visit to Monza, after the pair played hot potato with the lead following the early exit of Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari top dog Vettel spun out in the first lap — courtesy of a collision with the Englishman through the first chicane.
An early decision to pit Raikkonen led to his ultimate demise, as Hamilton chomped on his lead through the late section of the race, before eventually scraping ahead with eight laps remaining.
And it was another disappointing race for Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was sent spiralling midway through the race with an apparent engine failure, spelling disaster for the upcoming Grand Prix in Singapore.
Hamilton takes fifth Monza win, Verstappen blows up at F1
With Kimi Raikkonen’s tyres in the dumps, a move from Lewis Hamilton to rain on the Finn’s Italian parade looked imminent. The Englishman crept up slowly on the Ferrari star’s rear before making a lighting quick move out of the slipstream to overtake him on the outside of the first chicane with eight laps remaining.
Superior speed saw the four-time champ easily run home to take his fifth win at Monza.
Behind him, Max Verstappen was creating his own chaos.
The 20-year-old Dutchman was pulled up by the stewards for unfair defending, which resulted in a collision with the Mercedes star before the second chicane.
He was slapped with a five-second time penalty for moving in on his braking zone — and he wasn’t happy one bit.
“It’s (expletive). I gave him space!” a furious Verstappen told the Red Bull garage. “They’re doing a great job of killing racing, honestly.”
The penalty all but killed his chances of a podium spot as he attempted to defend a potential fourth place finish to Sebastian Vettel.
“I know I’m losing time to Vettel but I really don’t care,” he told his team.
Some fans thought the stewards were too heavy handed, but most agreed it was yet another case of the fiery youngster losing his cool.
He finished fifth behind Vettel, rounding out an overall disappointing trip to Monza for Red Bull.
Verstappen receives a 5 second time penalty for forcing Bottas off the track!
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) September 2, 2018
— Phill Tromans (@PhillTromans) September 2, 2018
Verstappen is one of the most dislikeable drivers I’ve ever seen in F1
— David Bytheway (@DaveBtwFIFA) September 2, 2018
Verstappen is a great driver but ignoring his team to help him finish 4th and then losing it to Vettel because he was being an idiot just shows he still has much to learn.
He will be a world champion eventually, but the petulant behaviour needs to stop.
— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) September 2, 2018
Terrific #MonzaGP. Hard not to feel for Kimi but Mercedes’ strategy was on the money.
Also, while Verstappen has the ability to be the future of F1, he’s sorely lacking in maturity. He has to learn that bit. Quickly.
— Yomi Kazeem (@TheYomiKazeem) September 2, 2018
— Ruud Gullit (@GullitR) September 2, 2018
Doomsday call for Kimi
Ferrari’s call for an early pit for Kimi Raikkonen may thwart the Finn’s charge for his first Grand Prix win in five years, according to Martin Brundle. The racing legend said he “wasn’t convinced” the Ferrari star’s tyres would go the distance as he began the 37th lap.
He sat just under a second ahead of a rampaging Lewis Hamilton in second at the start of the 40th with the Englishman inching towards a potentially devastating overtake to ruin the Scuderia’s home Grand Prix.
Kimi pits first, Ricciardo dudded
Ferrari opted for an early pit for Kimi Raikkonen in the 21st lap to cover a potential undercut and get the Finn on fresh soft tyres.
Hamilton’s team held the Englishman off from pitting. “Staying out, staying out, you have pace,” he was told over the radio.
“This is it. This is the critical moment. Mercedes have a critical decision to take,” Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle said.
Raikkonen set a speedy new fastest lap of 1:23:535 right out of the pits on his new rubber.
Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, was coming to a halt up the rear. The Aussie retired for the fourth time in six races after “hearing something break” in his Red Bull before smoke began billowing out behind him.
Christian Horner said he “wasn’t totally sure” if the problem was the newly fitted Renault engine in Ricciardo’s car. If he needs a replacement, it could spell disaster for the team ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, a race he has placed second in over the past three years running.
— F1 en Movistar+ (@movistar_F1) September 2, 2018
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Red Bull, though. Young gun Max Verstappen sat in third place and inches ahead of Valtteri Bottas towards the end of the race.
Vettel heartbreak on lap one
Kimi Raikkonen successfully held off teammate Sebastian Vettel’s bold overtaking effort through the first turn. The German was then victim to a massive move from Lewis Hamilton, who made contact with Vettel through Turn Four, forcing him to spin out and lose a piece of his front wing.
“That was silly, where did he want to go?” a frustrated Vettel said over the radio as he headed back to the pits for a replacement front.
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) September 2, 2018
Hamilton made a move on Raikkonen, capitalising on his slipstream on the straight to take the lead immediately after the Safety Car period ended in the fourth lap. But the Englishman was repaid the favour shortly after when the Finn blasted through the second chicane to retake first place.
At the back of the pack, New Zealand star Brendon Hartley was sent spiralling out of the race with suspension damage.
Horner: Max was shocked
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner admitted Max Verstappen was “shocked” to hear Daniel Ricciardo was leaving the team after the Aussie announced a surprising move to Renault for the 2019 season.
Verstappen will be Red Bull’s No. 1 driver as Pierre Gasly slots into Ricciardo’s old spot at the team.
“He was shocked and asked ‘why would he do that?’” Horner said in the pits before the race. “They’ve had a good relationship and I really think he’ll be sad to see him go.”
Kimi takes pole, reporter goes nuts
Kimi Raikkonen has put Ferrari on pole position for their home Italian Grand Prix with Formula One’s fastest lap ever.
Unhappy teammate Sebastian Vettel completed the front-row sweep for Sunday’s race, with championship leader and 2018 winnerLewis Hamilton a close third for Mercedes on Saturday.
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo suffered grid penalties and the Red Bull driver will start back in 15th place.
Vettel is 17 points adrift of Hamilton in the standings with eight rounds remaining and can expect Raikkonen to give him every assistance when race day comes.
Raikkonen’s stunning lap of one minute 19.119 seconds, at an average speed of 263.587kmkm/h, smashed the track record of 1:19.525 set by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya for Williams at Monza in 2004.
“I couldn’t think of a better place to be on pole,” said Raikkonen, who appeared to benefit from an aerodynamic tow after running behind his teammate on track. Vettel ended up 0.161 slower.
And it was all a little too exciting for this reporter, who couldn’t help but drop a hilarious F-bomb before interviewing the Finn.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
“Kimi Fucking Räikkönen, you did it” ?? pic.twitter.com/5kIfQc52x9
— Verena (@miezicat1) September 1, 2018
It was the Finn’s first pole position since Monaco last year, the 18th of his career and Ferrari’s first at Monza since 2010, when they last won at the track outside Milan.
The 38-year-old, who has not won since he was at Lotus in 2013, also became the oldest pole-sitter since Britain’s Nigel Mansellin 1994.
Ferrari’s last front-row lockout at Monza was in 2000, when Michael Schumacher and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello were first and second on the grid. Vettel thought he had the pole and exclaimed “Yes!” as he crossed the line only to be told he was second fastest to the teammate following behind. “We speak later,” he said.
“Clearly I wasn’t happy, but I don’t tell you why,” explained the German when asked by reporters later what he planned to discuss.
“To be honest it was not a tidy lap and I think the other laps were actually better ones.
“I lost time pretty much everywhere.
Hamilton, who was booed by some of the Ferrari fans with their banners and flags dominating the main grandstand, had been fastest after the session’s first flying laps — also with a record time — and congratulated Raikkonen. “We knew they had the pace this weekend and it was going to take something special to catch them. It’s generally been that gap all weekend. It was amazing how intense it was and that’s how racing should be,” said the Briton. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas joined him on the second row, with Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen fifth and Romain Grosjean sixth for Haas.
Canadian Lance Stroll, whose billionaire father now owns the Force India team, gave struggling Williams their best qualifying of the season with 10th place. McLaren’s Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, whose teammate Fernando Alonso clashed on track with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in the second phase of qualifying, could not say the same after setting the slowest time.
He will avoid starting at the back of the field, however, with Ricciardo, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber’s Marcus Ericssonall having grid penalties.
Ericsson escaped unscathed from a huge crash on Friday.
— with AAP
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Ferrari, 1 minute, 19.119 seconds.
2. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Ferrari, 1:19.280
3. Lewis Hamilton, Britain, Mercedes GP, 1:19.294
4. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Mercedes GP, 1:19.656
5. Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull, 1:20.615.
6. Romain Grosjean, France, Haas F1, 1:20.936.
7. Carlos Sainz, Spain, Renault, 1:21.041.
8. Esteban Ocon, France, Force India, 1:21.099.
9. Pierre Gasly, France, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 1:21.350.
10. Lance Stroll, Canada, Williams, 1:21.627.
11. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Haas F1, 1:21.669
12. Sergey Sirotkin, Russia, Williams, 1:21.732.
13. Fernando Alonso, Spain, McLaren, 1:22.568.
14. Nice Hulkenberg, Germany, Renault, No time.
15 Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Red Bull, No time.
16. Sergio Perez, Mexico, Force India, 1:21.888.
17. Charles Leclerc, Monaco, Sauber-Ferrari, 1:21.889.
18. Brendon Hartley, New Zealand, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 1:21.934.
19. Marcus Ericsson, Sweden, Sauber-Ferrari, 1:22.048.
20. Stoffel Vandoorne, Belgium, McLaren, 1:22.085