Leclerc ends Ferrari's 9-year wait for Italian GP win

Leclerc ends Ferrari's 9-year wait for Italian GP win
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco, right, leads the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas at the start of the Formula One Italy Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Sunday, Sept.8, 2019. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA Via AP)

MONZA, Italy (AP) — Charles Leclerc ended Ferrari’s nine-year wait for victory at its home circuit as he held off the Mercedes duo to win the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, securing his second successive Formula One victory in the process.

The 21-year-old Leclerc, who started from pole position, was roared on by the passionate Ferrari tifosi as he crossed the line 0.8 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas and 35.1 ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari’s last win at Monza came in 2010 through Fernando Alonso.

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 almost causing an accident with Lance Stroll.

The four-time world champion finished 13th.

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