Charles Leclerc beats Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to end nine-year title wait at Monza

Monza: Charles Leclerc withstood an intense challenge from first Lewis Hamilton and then Valtteri Bottas to win a breathless Italian GP for Ferrari.

Sending the Tifosi wild at the sight of the home team's first Monza win since 2010, Leclerc kept Hamilton at bay for most of the race - despite a wheel-to-wheel scrap and then an error at the first chicane - before the world champion made a mistake of his own and Bottas took over Mercedes' challenge.

But Leclerc did not buckle when faced with the other Mercedes over the closing laps, following up from his maiden win at Spa last week with a stunning second on his Monza debut with Ferrari.

"I'm really pleased I witnessed that drive first hand," said Sky F1's Martin Brundle. "It was an extraordinary drive. Under intense pressure, he kept it all together with both Mercedes' coming at him."

A jubilant Leclerc said: "If you have to win one grand prix for Ferrari, it's the Italian GP," reports Sky Sports.

Hamilton fell to third but did claim an extra bonus point for the fastest lap after a late pit stop. Bottas marginally closes his team-mate's big title lead to 63 points, with seven races to go.

But it was a day to firmly forget for the other Ferrari driver - Sebastian Vettel.

The German finished outside the points in 13th after spinning out of fourth early on and then collecting a 10s stop-and-go penalty for forcing Lance Stroll off the track as he rejoined the circuit.

That allowed Renault to further capitalise on their strongest weekend of the season with Daniel Ricciardo taking fourth and Nico Hulkenberg fifth. The four-five result is Renault's best result since their full return to F1 in 2016.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was eighth from the back of the field after engine penalties - with his recovery drive made even more impressive given he had to stop for repairs at the end of the first lap for first-chicane contact. Sergio Perez too drove strongly from the rear of the field, from 18th to seventh for Racing Point.

By James Galloway

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