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Ricciardo leading GP as contenders crash out

Seal Media Group, Australia

Halfway thrrough the race, the McLaren is on track for the race win. Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Sprint Qualifying of the 2021 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN ITALIAN GRAND PRIX 2021™ Live & Free on Kayo Freebies. No Credit Card. No Brainer. Join Now.Carnage as championship contenders crash out crash outThere have been unbelievable scenes with championship leader Max Verstappen and his chief rival Lewis Hamilton crashing out of the race. The two championship contenders got tangled up with each other halfway through the race, when Verstappen tried to overtake Hamilton on a chicane. There wasn’t enough room for Verstappen to pass through and his wheels collided with Hamilton’s, causing both cars to go off the track and the Red Bull to sit skewed partially on top of the Mercedes. It resulted in scary images of Verstappen’s right rear tyre appearing to bump Hamilton’s helmet. The race stewards will investigate the crash after the race to determine if it was a racing incident or if either driver was to blame. A safety car was deployed with 29 out of 53 laps completed. The crash is good news for McLaren, with Ricciardo leading the race after he had a slick pit stop after 23 laps, coming out with hard tyres. Ricciardo takes race lead after sensational startThe Australian started second on the grid and passed Max Verstappen on the first strait, overtaking him into the first corner. Ricciardo is leading a Grand Prix for the first time since 2018 as he hopes to achieve his first podium with McLaren and first race win since his days with Red Bull. Verstappen is second, Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris is in third, followed by Lewis Hamilton. However, Ricciardo will have to be careful after he went a bit too wide on the Parabolica on two consecutive laps. A third strike would result in a warning. It was a chaotic start after Hamilton bumped into Verstappen on the first chicane, but neither car was damaged. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi spun off the track on the opening lap, causing a large amount of smoke and gravel to puff up around him. He has copped a time penalty for the incident. Last year’s race winner Pierre Gasly and his AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda are both out of the race already after they had issues with their cars in the lead up to the race. Ricciardo aiming for podium finishDaniel Ricciardo is determined to get back to his best and achieve a podium finish at tonight’s Italian Grand Prix. He will start on the front row of the grid at Monza alongside his former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen after a sensational performance in qualifying. Ricciardo finished third in the qualifying sprint but was elevated to second due to Valtteri Bottas copping a 20-place grid penalty for Mercedes replacing his power unit. The Australian has struggled in the first half of the season but is desperate to make the most of his position high up on the grid. “Yesterday was good but I definitely tried to just keep a lid on it,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports before the race. “Today’s the all-important one. I certainly appreciated that yesterday was a good day but I’m certainly more focused on today now.”Ricciardo has started well in several races this season and is hoping to overtake Verstappen on the first lap if he can. “I’ve got clear vision down to T1, so hopefully make the most of that,” he said. “The first stint, the start will be very dependent on how we go there and then the pit stops. That’ll probably change the order perhaps.”Ricciardo was buoyed by his return to form in qualifying and is hoping to convert that into his first podium with McLaren. “Yeah, eyes forward. I want to be up on that box today, there’s no more truth than that,” he said. “It’s (his best form) definitely coming. Even if it’s still not there as much as I’d want it on the lap time, I know internally behind the wheel how I feel and that’s definitely getting to a closer place to where I want it to be.“I feel good. I was excited for this weekend. Monza’s definitely one I always get up for. I’ve just been feeling a little better since the August break so happy with that.”The race will get underway at 11pm (AEST). Italian Grand Prix starting grid 1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull2) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren3) Lando Norris, McLaren4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes5) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari7) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo8) Sergio Perez, Red Bull9) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin10) Fernando Alonso, Alpine

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