Max Verstappen leads the championship by just five points arriving in Sochi, but Lewis Hamilton is poised to take back control at a Mercedes favourite track.

With only eight rounds remaining and little to separate the title race, the pressure is ratcheting up for crash-prone protagonists Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Former F1 driver and current IndyCar race winner Marcus Ericsson remembers racing Daniel Ricciardo as a junior in Macau, reflects on his five F1 seasons with Caterham, Sauber and Alfa Romeo, and talks about his transition to American open-wheel racing and the mental challenge of ovals.

Michael and Rob, two of the most gifted raw talents in modern Formula 1 podcasting, review the documentary Schumacher and embrace a 12-year-old meme as good content.

A fresh twist in the tense title tussle wasn’t enough to overshadow a drought-breaking win for Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren on a memorably afternoon in Monza.

Vanessa Nöcker, producer and director of the much-anticipated Schumacher documentary premiering on Netflix this week, takes us behind the scenes on the creation of the film and working with Michael Schumacher’s family from concept to completion, while we wrap up Daniel Ricciardo’s brilliant win for McLaren in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Daniel Ricciardo leads McLaren to its first one-two finish in 11 years in Monza after another Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton smash. Featuring Luca Manacorda from Motorbox.com.

Max Verstappen cracks the shits. Charles Leclerc gets the shits. Daniel Ricciardo is the shit.

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It might be tempting to think Daniel Ricciardo’s unlikely Italian Grand Prix victim was the beneficiary of another boilover crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, but the Australian’s drought-breaking victory was on the cards long before the title protagonists banged wheels in the first chicane.

Daniel Ricciardo has won his first Formula 1 victory in more than three years and McLaren’s first in nine after feuding championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen took each other out in a heavy crash.

Daniel Ricciardo won a thrilling Italian Grand Prix ahead of McLaren teammate Lando Norris after championship rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton came to blows again in a terrifying airborne crash.

The two title protagonists were kept separated in the first stint by Norris, who bottled Hamilton in fourth and split him from Verstappen’s fight with leader Ricciardo, but a slow stop by the Red Bull Racing mechanics conspired to drop the Dutchman off the lead battle.

Mercedes stopped Hamilton shortly afterwards, and his stop was also slow, dropping him onto the track alongside Verstappen as they entered the chicane, the Briton with the inside line and squeezing the Dutchman onto the apex at Turn 2.

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There’s nothing Timo Scheider won’t try. A karting champion before he was even allowed to race in his native Germany, he’s an endurance-race winner, a Le Mans podium-getter and a two-time DTM champion.

So when Extreme E beckoned as a new challenge, Timo had to be involved, and he’s now a key part of the team responsible for laying out the championship’s challenging courses as well as one of two nominated ‘joker’ drivers on call each weekend.

Timo caught up with James and Michael to explain how he was ‘stupid and crazy’ enough to reinvent himself as a track designer for Extreme E.

And we hear from series scientist Professor Richard Washington, key 2015 Paris Agreement architect Christiana Figueres and UN climate ambassador Lucas di Grassi about the race to zero emissions in the Extreme E workshop Tipping Point.

Max Verstappen will start from a most unlikely pole position in Monza after Mercedes’s expectations for a strong Italian Grand Prix unravelled.

Max Verstappen will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after Saturday sprint winner Valtteri Bottas is handed a grid penalty for an engine change.

Valtteri Bottas scored a light-to-flag victory in the season’s second Saturday sprint, but an engine penalty will promote second-placed Max Verstappen to pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Bottas’s 18-lap race was completely untroubled after a clean launch from the line, though the same couldn’t be said for teammate Lewis Hamilton. Starting from the second row, the Briton sunk to fifth behind Verstappen and both McLaren cars with a tardy start that left him crowded into the first chicane.

Pierre Gasly got caught up in the crush. The Frenchman zipped around the fading Hamilton’s outside at Rettifilo but in the process nudged the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, breaking his front wing. The AlphaTauri’s wing collapsed and dropped beneath Gasly’s car as he powered through Curva Grande, sending him careening through the gravel and into the wall, causing a two-lap safety car.

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Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice at the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Saturday’s Sprint, but Carlos Sainz will be lucky to take part in the short race after a high-speed crash.

Sainz lost control of the rear of his Ferrari powering over the left-hand curb entering the Ascari chicane, punching his car into the barrier at speed. The front of his car was wiped off in the collision, and the Spaniard came to rest spun backwards shortly down the road.

“That hurt a bit, but I’m OK,” a winded Sainz radioed back to his pit wall as the session was suspended to clear the wreckage. He was cleared of injury by the medical center, though he will be examined a second time half an hour after the session.

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Valtteri Bottas will start the Italian Grand Prix sprint race from the head of the grid after beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time of qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Saturday sprint at the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after just edging teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

The Finn started Q3 with a scruffy initial lap, leaving him fifth and 0.4s off Hamilton’s pace after dipping a wheel on the gravel at the Roggia chicane, but his second attempt was clinical, setting two purple sectors a the first to splits to beat Hamilton by just 0.069s.

Bottas is equipped with a brand-new power unit this weekend after Mercedes made a tactical change to sure up his allocation to the end of the season, which means the Finn will serve the back-of-grid penalty for Sunday’s race, but not before he gets an opportunity to score three points for a sprint victory beforehand.

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