AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly joked that he will have one or two sleepless nights thinking about Daniel Ricciardo’s defence during the Italian Grand Prix.
Gasly started fifth behind Ricciardo after they had both been helped up by grid penalties for Max Verstappen Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Lando Norris got a poor start from third, and he was passed by both Ricciardo and Gasly off the line as the Australian climbed up to the podium places behind Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
It took just a few laps for Verstappen to make his way past his two former Red Bull team-mates, before clearing both Russell and Leclerc to take a comfortable win from seventh on the grid.
It was much less straightforward for the McLaren driver, who was forced to defend for his life from Gasly.
The Frenchman did manage to get ahead momentarily, but the 26-year-old locked up going into Turn One and sailed off the circuit, so he was obliged to give it up.
Norris pitted much later than his rivals on the one-stop strategy, and he was able to get past both of them so, having been trying so hard to get past one McLaren, Gasly found himself being overtaken by the other.
Eventually, Ricciardo suffered a heart-wrenching reliability failure that denied him a chance of scoring points at the venue he won at last year.
Gasly, the winner in Monza in 2020, inherited eighth place as a result, scoring points for the fifth time this year in what has been a tough campaign for AlphaTauri.
After spending so much of the race staring at the back of Ricciardo’s car, the Frenchman fears that he will be seeing it at night too.
“I’ll definitely have nightmares of Daniel’s rear wing over the next couple of days,” quipped Gasly after the race.
“I spent I don’t know how many laps behind him, but it felt like a lifetime.
“I tried everything, but he didn’t do one single mistake.”
Norris recovered to seventh, while neither Fernando Alonso nor Esteban Ocon scored points for Alpine, so McLaren closed the gap to 18 points in the fight for fourth in the championship.