Charles Leclerc on back-to-back wins: I've never dreamed of something like this!

Charles Leclerc ended Ferrari’s nine-year wait for a home win as the Monegasque driver held off unrelenting pressure from Mercedes to register his second Formula One win at Monza.

Charles Leclerc impressively held off near-constant pressure from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Italian Grand Prix to claim his second successive Formula One victory.   -  Getty Images

Charles Leclerc enjoyed a thrilling victory at the Italian Grand Prix as he held off persistent pressure from the Silver Arrows to claim his second straight Formula One victory, having sealed his maiden triumph at Spa last weekend.

The 21-year-old was shown a black and white flag as a warning by race stewards after appearing to squeeze out Lewis Hamilton midway through the race, while the championship leader complained of "dangerous driving" as he struggled to find a way past the Ferrari driver.

Deteriorating tyres saw Hamilton run wide and Valtteri Bottas move into second, but even with the assistance of DRS the Finn was unable to get close enough to attempt a move on Leclerc.

 

Speaking after the race, an elated Leclerc said: "It was extremely difficult, they were quicker than us I think. They had two cars to fight us with as well – Valtteri went longer [on his first set of tyres]. But we managed the race well and I'm happy to take home the win.

"I think if you have to win one grand prix with Ferrari it's the Italian. From the beginning of the week it's been crazy - coming here after my first win, to get the second one straight away is just unbelievable.

"I've never dreamed of something like this before. It's above everything I ever imagined in my career to have a podium like that."

- There was no way past Leclerc, says Bottas -

Bottas and Hamilton, who finished second and third respectively, took a very different view in their assessments.

"I think we had a good strategy. We could go pretty long with the first stop and get close to him at the end," said Bottas. "But I am gutted. There was no way past. Always when I was getting close the front started locking because of the lack of downforce.

"They are so quick on the straights as well, but I tried and i think that was the best we could do today."

 

Hamilton added: "Congratulations to Ferrari and Charles. There was a lot of pressure from Valtteri and me, then my tyres just went off a cliff. Even if we did get closer, we couldn't have passed.

"We got strong points for the team and we pull away from Ferrari in the constructors and that's all that matters.

"I'm just trying to do better in each race, I've had a healthier [championship] lead in the past. Some improvements can be made to myself and my set-up, but it was a great race."

- Vettel 'can't be happy' with form after Monza mishap -

Sebastian Vettel endured a dismal Italian Grand Prix and admitted it is impossible for him to be happy due to his recent form with Ferrari.

The four-time world champion finished 13th after a pair of costly errors. He span out at the Ascari chicane on lap seven and drove into Lance Stroll's Racing Point when he re-entered the track, damaging his front wing and receiving a 10-second stop/go penalty.

The German, who is yet to win a race this season, slipped behind Leclerc and into fifth in the drivers' standings as a consequence of the result.

 

"Obviously, I'm not happy with it, I can't be happy with my day," said Vettel.

"I thought we had a good start, then nowhere to go. I lost a position and got it back, re-connected to the cars ahead and then lost the rear and couldn't catch it, as simple as that. But obviously not happy and after that the race was obviously gone.

"Of course, I still love what I do. But when you're not doing well – you can't do well – then you can't be happy."