Why Sebastian Vettel is closer to F1 ban than you may think

Valtteri Bottas Charles Leclerc is a very tough racer

Valtteri Bottas Charles Leclerc is a very tough racer

Charles Leclerc is starting to show he might be the man to end Lewis Hamilton's dominance in Formula One come next season.

"What a race! I have never been so exhausted", gasped Leclerc as a sea of fans, starved of success at Monza since Fernando Alonso won in the red overalls, swept onto the pit straight to party below the overhanging podium with flags and flares.

"Vettel is clearly one of the greats of our sport, but at this tough time he really needs the support of the team to regain the confidence he seems to be lacking at the moment", said the former Ferrari technical director and strategist in his traditional post-race debrief.

Four-time champion Vettel, who has been at Ferrari since 2015, has yet to win a race this season whilst teammate Leclerc has won two.

"Thanks to everybody. I have no words".

Hamilton hounded Leclerc, especially after pitting at the end of lap 19 and emerging on medium tires. "I think the teams have a bit to play in everything". I did the best I could. "It was obviously very on the limit but I'm happy to race like this".

"But nevertheless they were just quicker today".

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Charles Leclerc's Ferrari leads Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes during the F1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Leclerc's teammate Sebastian Vettel had a miserable race as he was given a 10-second stop/go penalty early on for returning to the track unsafely after spinning off at the Ascari chicane and nearly causing an accident with Lance Stroll. After the session, which ended with only two cars producing lap times while the rest were timed out by the chequered flag, Hamilton had suggested Ferrari had been responsible for the outcome. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 505 points versus the 351 of Ferrari and 266 of Red Bull. "A good day for the team but not good on my side".

"I think since Austria it is clear you can go a bit further in the way we defend and overtake and the aggressiveness of us drivers", he said. Awesome drive by Daniel Ricciardo too.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was already due to start from the back of the pack, penalised for taking on a revised Honda engine this weekend. But he recovered to take points. As he rejoined the track, he collided with Racing Point's Lance Stroll, who in turn spun and consequentially forced Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly off and into the gravel trap as he rejoined. Stroll also suffered a spin from the contact with Vettel, and he too almost hit Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly when rejoining the track, which saw him receive the same penalty as Vettel. The incident resulted in Vettel being handed a 10-second stop/go penalty - the harshest before a disqualification - for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner, and he says he was unsighted as he tried to recover. I thought I had left a auto width. "He pushed me off".

Hamilton though did indicate that when he has less on the line, he may just meet Leclerc and others at their own game.

"There's some unsafe driving going on", declared Hamilton.

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