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Leclerc holds off unrelenting Mercedes pressure to triumph again

Published 08 Sep 2019, 20:06 IST
08 Sep 2019, 20:06 IST
CharlesLeclerc - cropped
Charles Leclerc during the Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc impressively held off near-constant pressure from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Italian Grand Prix to claim his second successive Formula One victory.

Ferrari driver Leclerc had too much pace for the Mercedes pair as he followed up his triumph at Spa by claiming the Scuderia's first win at their home circuit since Fernando Alonso in 2010, with Bottas and Hamilton settling for second and third respectively.

The Monegasque – on the hard compound – received a warning from the race stewards after he appeared to leave Hamilton insufficient space heading into the Della Roggia chicane on lap 23.

Championship leader Hamilton again complained about pole-sitter Leclerc's defence and failed to create a better chance for the overtake, with his hopes of winning over when he locked up his deteriorating medium tyres and was forced to skip the first two turns.

Hamilton's error freed Bottas, who was on a fresher set of mediums, to take a run at Leclerc, but even with the benefit of DRS the Finn was unable to get the job done as the 21-year-old clung on for victory.

Leclerc consequently moved up to third in the drivers' standings, while Bottas closed the gap to Hamilton - who posted the fastest lap - to 63 points.

Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:25 IST
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