Hamilton dominates Italian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton produced a dominant drive to win the Italian Grand Prix and seize the Formula 1 world championship lead outright for the first time this season.

The Mercedes driver led away from pole and dictated the race from the front, crossing the line 4.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel third, 36.3s behind the leader.

It was Hamilton’s sixth victory of the season and moves him three points clear of Vettel in the drivers’ championship with Bottas a further 41 adrift.

Hamilton made a good start from pole, moving right across the track to defend from Lance Stroll and leading into Turn 1.

Esteban Ocon, starting third, took advantage of Stroll getting baulked to sweep around the outside and settle into second.

Further back, Bottas banged wheels with Kimi Raikkonen as they came through the first chicane, eventually making a pass stick to take for fourth.

Raikkonen snatched the position back at the second chicane, but Bottas then swept around the outside of Parabolica to reclaim the place.

Bottas then took third on lap three from Stroll before breezing past Ocon the following lap to move into second before setting off in pursuit of Hamilton.

The Finn closed the gap but couldn’t get within two seconds off his team-mate and ultimately finished second to secure Mercedes’s third one-two of the year.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo produced an impressive recovery drive from 16th, running a very long stint on the softs to move up the order in the first.

Ricciardo emerged on fresh super-softs after his only stop and put a great move on Raikkonen for fourth, then set about chasing Vettel, taking chunks of time out of the Ferrari driver but ultimately running out of laps.

Earlier in the race Raikkonen, who complained of a problem with the rear end of his car, had pitted early in a bid to leapfrog Ocon and Stroll.

He partially succeeded, getting ahead of Stroll who was delayed in his stop with a sticky left-rear tyre.

But he had to pass Ocon on track, launching an attack on the approach to the first chicane to take the place and going on to finish fifth, ahead of Ocon.

Stroll challenged Ocon in the closing stages but couldn’t make a move stick, and in the end he held off a spirited attack from Williams team-mate Felipe Massa to take seventh with Sergio Perez failing to take advantage of the squabble to end up ninth.

Massa survived contact with Perez and Max Verstappen early in the race to take eighth.

Verstappen was furious with Massa when they collided at Turn 1, the contact giving the Red Bull a front right puncture and dropping him back to the field.

But he recovered to take 10th but only after brief contact with Kevin Magnussen on the approach to the second chicane after he’d passed the Haas at the start of the lap.

It was a miserable race for McLaren, with Stoffel Vandoorne retiring after reporting “no power” and team-mate Fernando Alonso following suit on the penultimate lap at the request of the team.

Jolyon Palmer was on the fringes of the top 10, but was asked to retire his Renault by the team after it had discovered a problem.

Italian GP result

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes531h15m32.310s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes534.471s
3Sebastian VettelFerrari5336.317s
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault5340.335s
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari531m00.082s
6Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes531m11.528s
7Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes531m14.156s
8Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes531m14.834s
9Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes531m15.276s
10Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault521 Lap
11Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari521 Lap
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Renault521 Lap
13Nico HulkenbergRenault521 Lap
14Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault521 Lap
15Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari521 Lap
16Pascal WehrleinSauber/Ferrari512 Laps
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda503 Laps
18Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari494 Laps
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Honda33Retirement
Jolyon PalmerRenault29Retirement

Drivers’ standings

1Lewis Hamilton238
2Sebastian Vettel235
3Valtteri Bottas197
4Daniel Ricciardo144
5Kimi Raikkonen138
6Max Verstappen68
7Sergio Perez58
8Esteban Ocon55
9Carlos Sainz36
10Nico Hulkenberg34
11Felipe Massa31
12Lance Stroll24
13Romain Grosjean24
14Kevin Magnussen11
15Fernando Alonso10
16Pascal Wehrlein5
17Daniil Kvyat4
18Stoffel Vandoorne1
19Jolyon Palmer0
20Marcus Ericsson0
21Antonio Giovinazzi0

Constructors’ standings

3Red Bull/Renault212
4Force India/Mercedes113
6Toro Rosso/Renault40

Hamilton dominates Italian Grand Prix

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