Mercedes F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton Wins the 2018 Italian Grand Prix
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix from third on the grid, using a one-stop tire strategy and good tire management overall. Hamilton started on the supersoft tire -- which had been used to set the fastest lap in Formula 1 history on Saturday, courtesy of Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen -- before switching to the soft tire on lap 28.
After contact with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari half a minute into the race, Hamilton got up to second on the first lap behind Raikkonen and was able to extend his first stint after his rival pitted for the soft tires on lap 20. Even though he rejoined behind Raikkonen still, he could use his fresher tires to close the gap and then managed them well before making a late overtake to claim victory, after the Ferrari driver experienced blistering on one of his well-used tires.
Vettel, in last position after lap 1 due to the collision with Hamilton, was able to recover and finish in fourth place by the flag thanks to a supersoft-soft-supersoft two-stop strategy.
Following intermittent rain on Friday and Saturday, the Sept. 2 race was dry and warm -- adding another unknown element to tire strategy, given the absence of dry running up to this point.
"Today’s race conditions presented a marked contrast to qualifying and practice, which gave the teams another challenge as they had not run in similar conditions so far this weekend," said Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing.
"Consequently they had to keep a flexible approach towards tire strategy in the absence of solid data, but as it turned out the tires were capable of a one-stop strategy when correctly managed -- despite the intense demands of Monza, which resulted in the fastest lap in Formula 1 history yesterday. Lewis Hamilton managed his tires perfectly and made the most of his later pit stop to make a great overtake near the end of the race."