The Monza win was massive for Daniel Ricciardo. His problems this year at McLaren were just starting to chew away at him and you could see he was thinking ‘what do I need to do?’ The weird thing is he’s been struggling with braking and Monza is the worst place for that! I actually think Lando Norris’s gaming background has been beneficial on this one. I never thought I’d say that, but Lando seems to have an extra sixth sense for when the car becomes loose and how it rotates in the braking zone, which I think comes from his virtual gaming. It’s taken Daniel longer to adjust in the real world, but good on him for sticking with it. It just proves, don’t give up.
It will be interesting to see how Lando deals with it now because suddenly he’ll have a team-mate on form and probably consistently so, which Daniel always was before. I’m sure Lando was thinking ‘dammit’ finishing second, but he is a team player. The biggest plus is for McLaren. There’s a long way to go for the team, but it did have a good car all weekend and it’s great to see that name back on the top step.
Aside from the McLaren feel-good factor, we also had the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Italy. When considering such moments I always put my helmet back on, so to speak. Max absolutely had a right to give that move a go. But under braking going into that chicane as Lewis came out of the pits he’d have known there was a good chance it wasn’t going to work out. Max judged it beautifully as they turned into the right and there was a gap there at that stage – but when they were about half way between the right and the left that gap disappeared. Drivers don’t intentionally use the big orange sausage kerb inside the left-hander because, well, you can’t at that chicane because you know the car will bounce you off the line you are on – so you never touch it! – but he could and should have gone to the left of it. Watching it back, Max was turning right so far into the corner and Lewis was taking the normal line, as was his absolute right.