Hamilton dominates at Monzaposted in F103 | 09 | 2017

    LEWIS HAMILTON DOMINATED the Italian Grand Prix in Ferrari’s backyard at Monza to wrestle the lead in the race for the Formula 1 World Championship from Sebastian Vettel. (Related: Hamilton cruises to Belgian GP win)

    Hamilton, who started from a record-setting 69th pole position, was never troubled, cruising to the 59th GP win of his career, and 39th from pole. He also led home Mercedes third 1-2 of the season, ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

    “This is obviously an incredibly exciting season; the last two races have been really strong for us as a team,” Hamilton said. “The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional.

    “Today, the car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint. As we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres. Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and get this one-two.

    Hamilton-Jump.jpg

    “It’s amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long, long time and claim the lead in the championship. But the fight will continue. The Ferraris have been really quick this season, especially on the high-downforce tracks.

    “It will continue to be really close between us, so it will be ‘ beast mode’ all the way to the last chequered flag.”

    Such was the domination by the two Mercedes that they were both able to turn their engines down early in the race as the Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen struggled to match their pace.

    While Hamilton and Bottas orchestrated a Mercedes display at the head of the field, Vettel, who entered the weekend leading his closet rival by seven points, struggled to finish a distant 36.3s behind the leader.

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    Hamilton's sixth victory of the year moves him three points clear of Vettel in the drivers' championship with Bottas a further 41 adrift.

    Starting from pole, he eased across to fend off the Williams of Lance Stroll, who started alongside him on the front row of the grid. As they headed into Turn 1, Esteban Ocon took advantage of of Stroll getting baulked to sweep around the outside and settle into second.

    As the cars came through the first right-left chicane, Bottas banged wheels with Raikkonen. After the Finnish pair swapped places, it was Bottas who eased himself into fourth place when he swept round Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the Parabolica.

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    On the third lap, Bottas moved into third, passing Stroll, then, one lap later, sped past the Mercedes-powered Force India of Ocon for second. Thereafter, the two Mercedes simply held station to comfortably finish 1-2.

    Drive of the day though came Daniel Ricciardo. Staring from 16th on the grid after receiving grid penalties, the Red Bull driver delivered s earring performance to finish fourth.

    Opting to start the race on the longer-lasting soft compound of Pirelli tyres, the Aussie emerged on fresh super-softs after his only stop. He then put a great move on Raikkonen for fourth, then set about chasing Vettel. Despite at one stage taking more than a second-a-lap out of the Ferrari, Ricciardo eventually ran out of laps and had to content himself with fourth.

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    Behind him, Raikkonen’s day started with him complaining of a problem with the rear end of his Ferrari. The Finn pitted early in a bid to leapfrog Ocon and Stroll, and while he got ahead of the Canadian rookie — whose stop at Williams was delayed by problems with his left-rear — Raikkonen then had to pass Ocon on-track. The Finn eventually finished fifth, a minute behind Hamilton, and 20s adrift of Ricciardo.

    Stroll, who challenged Ocon early in the race, finished by fending off a last-lap assault by team-mate Felipe Massa and the Force India of the fast-charging Sergio Perez. The two finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, behind Ocon in sixth.

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    Max Verstappen, whose race was essentially wrecked by a front-right first-lap puncture after contact with Massa, recovered for finish 10th, having rejoined the race in last place.  

    McLaren’s misery continued, with both Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso retiring. Vandoorne’s car suffered a power loss, which Alonso was asked to retire his car on the penultimate lap.

    There was further disappointment to for Jolyon Palmer. Battling for 10th place, the Englishman was told to retire his Renault by the team after it had discovered a problem.

    F1 —  Italian Grand Prix, Monza. Result:

    1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 53 laps

    2. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport +4.4s

    3. Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari +36.3s

    4. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer +40.3s

    5. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari +1m 0.0.s

    6. Esteban Ocon FRA Sahara Force India-Mercedes +1m 11.5s

    7. Lance Stroll CAN Williams Martini Racing-Mercedes +1m 14.1s

    8. Felipe Massa BRA Williams Martini Racing-Mercedes +1m 14.8s

    9. Sergio Perez MEX Sahara Force India-Mercedes +1m 15.2s

    10. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer +1 lap

    11. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas-Ferrari +1 lap

    12. Daniil Kvyat RUS Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap

    13. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport F1 +1 lap

    14. Carlos Sainz Jr. ESP Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap

    16. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari +1 lap

    17. Pascal Wehrlein GER Sauber-Ferrari +2 laps

    Retired:

    Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda

    Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari

    Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda

    Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault Sport F1

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    Jim McGill

     

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