Lewis Hamilton makes Italian Grand Prix 2017 history, sets a new record and leaves the Prancing Horses galloping far behind. Hamilton storms to the top of the podium and the drivers championship. Monza delivers on a weekend to remember for all the right reasons from the record spectator turn out to the glorious sunshine to a nail biting qualifying. Valtteri Bottas comes in second. Find out more in this thrilling Italian Grand Prix Report from our Luxury and Motorsport Advisor, Sanesh Balasingam, reporting live from Italy.
The sun was out in full force on what was a glorious Italian summer’s day, the perfect weather for racing. After Saturday’s rain soaked afternoon, that threatened to push qualifying to early Sunday morning, the Italian sun, like the famous Italian ‘tifosi’ was out in full force. When it comes to motor sport fans, the Italians really do – do it better. Sunday began with a record number of spectators, 93,000 to be exact, almost all of whom came out decked in red. The roar of the fans when the Ferrari’s came out of the track was thunderous. Red smoke permeated the air around the track. All of this however was not nearly enough to help the Prancing Horses gallop to the top of the podium. In fact the Silver Arrows of Hamilton and Bottas had such a staggering pace that they crossed the finish line more than thirty seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
This weekend, like the last, had Lewis Hamilton’s name written all over it. Even more special was Hamilton beating the great Michael Schumacher to clinch his sixty-ninth pole, one ahead of the German legend. Hamilton further cemented his name in the record books by being the first driver of the season to win in back to back races. He humbly took to the podium against a sea of chants for Ferrari and graciously accepted his trophy, thanked the fans and celebrated with Bottas and Vettel. The mark of a true champion. With seven races left in the season and Hamilton being tied to Mercedes through 2019, its anyone’s guess how many more records will be smashed by the Brit. He is ahead in the leaderboard, taking back the lead from Vettel with a clear shot of winning the drivers championship. With the grit, determination and pace he has, it is very likely that the Brit may seal more than just his fourth world championship.
Ferrari celebrated their seventieth anniversary with a bang. More than thirty Ferrari’s both classic and modern including the Ferrari 250 California, the La Ferrari Aperta and the iconic Ferrari Enzo graced the Monza circuit in a parade lap before the start of the race. Ferrari held a separate, private function that saw the likes of Donatella Versace, Sergio Marchionne, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Francesca Michielin attend. Speaking of celebrity star power, the Monza grand prix weekend was packed with celebrities in attendance including Kit Harrington and Liam Cunningham, both of whom are Game of Thrones superstars. Alessio Romagnoli and Fabio Borini, who play for AC Milan were decked out and on the starting grid posing for pictures with ardent fans.
Italy has always been a very special weekend in the grand prix calendar and it clearly delivered in a way the can only be summed up as Italian style. Monza is living proof that when it comes to motor racing, the Italians really do it better! Forze Italia!
Sanesh Balasingam is a classic car aficionado and an ardent fan of the Formula One. He is as fascinated with the mechanical aspects of a car as he is with racing it. If he isn’t on or near a track, he is on a plane, bound for yet another exciting destination. Follow him on Instagram @sanesh_86