Hamilton dominates to Italian GP victory

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Nazionale di Monzait

Lewis Hamilton crushed all hope early on at Monza by sprinting away to lead the Italian Grand Prix from start to finish. Sebastian Vettel did salvage the Ferrari fans by finished second, ahead of former Ferrari man Felipe Massa in the Williams.

The grid for this Italian Grand Prix was again considerably mixed up due to penalties, with basically all four Renault powered cars starting from the back of the grid. At Red Bull Racing for instance, they played similar tactics as McLaren did at Spa-Francorchamps, opting to combine penalties for two new engines at once.

Verstappen furthermore was to a complete a 5s stop-and-go at the end of the first lap for an unsafe release in Q1 during qualifying on Saturday.

As the lights went out, all cars thundered away, except for Kimi Raikkonen who struggled to get off the line, entering the first chicane in last place, despite having started the race from the front row of the grid.

Vettel slotted into second place behind Hamilton, with Massa third, ahead of Bottas, Perez and Rosberg down in 6th. Hulkenberg was into 7th, followed by Ericsson, Button and Sainz.

By the end of lap two, some already made considerably progress, with Raikkonen impressively moving up into 11th place. Daniel Ricciardo was 12th with Alonso in the second McLaren 14th. By this time, both Lotus cars retired from the race already, likely encountering issues from contact with other cars through turn 1 on the first lap.

Button however soon started to lose positions, lacking the top speed to defend his 9th place. Raikkonen was the first to get past, and within 5 laps Button dropped down to 13th, 4 seconds ahead of team mate Alonso.

On lap 12, Sainz pits and takes a 5s stop-and-go penalty for exceeding the limits of the track to gain an advantage. He subsequently switched from medium to soft and rejoined the track in last place.

At the end of lap 19, following several failed attempts to get past Bottas, Nico Rosberg pits from 5th, having just set the fastest final sector time. He switched to mediums and is followed into the pits by Massa one lap later. It turned out to be one lap too late for Williams as Massa found himself behind Rosberg after the stop.

Another 3 laps later, Bottas changes to medium to come back out behind Massa, followed by Perez to change tyres on lap 24. Vettel pits the next lap, with Hamilton on lap 26.

On lap 29, Raikkonen was the last man to change from soft to medium, with only Ricciardo and Alonso not having stopped. Both men however did start on new medium tyres, so their long first stint is rather logical. The Aussie in the Red Bull pitted two laps later.

By lap 33, Hamilton leads Vettel by 19 seconds. Rosberg is another 5s further down, followed by Massa, Bottas, Perez, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Ericsson, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Verstappen, Sainz, Nasr, Button, Alonso, Stevens and Merhi.

6 laps from the end, Hamilton is told to up his pace and push, even though he's 22 seconds ahead of Vettel in second place. Hamilton wondered why, but his engineer responded "we'll explain at the end".

2 laps later, Nico Rosberg's Mercedes engine went up in flames. It was an engine at the very end of its life which the team opted to install into the car after an oil leak was found on Friday with the newer specification. Alonso at the same time also retired.

Still, after 53 laps, Hamilton emerged on top, a comfortable 25 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa finished third, despite a close challenge by his team mate in the final few laps.

Results

Pos.DriverCountryTeamTimePts
1Lewis HamiltonGbrMercedes AMG1:18:00.68825
2Sebastian VettelGerFerrari+25.042s18
3Felipe MassaBraWilliams+47.635s15
4Valtteri BottasFinWilliams+47.996s12
5Kimi RäikkönenFinFerrari+68.860s10
6Sergio PerezMexForce India+72.783s8
7Nico HulkenbergGerForce India+1 Lap6
8Daniel RicciardoAusRed Bull Racing+1 Lap4
9Marcus EricssonSweSauber+1 Lap2
10Daniil KvyatRusRed Bull Racing+1 Lap1
11Carlos SainzEspToro Rosso+1 Lap0
12Max VerstappenNedToro Rosso+1 Lap0
13Felipe NasrBraSauber+1 Lap0
14Jenson ButtonGbrMclaren+1 Lap0
15Will StevensGbrMarussia+2 Laps0
16Roberto MerhiEspMarussia+2 Laps0
17Nico RosbergGerMercedes AMGDNF0
18Fernando AlonsoEspMclarenDNF0
NCRomain GrosjeanFraLotus F1DNF0
NCPastor MaldonadoVenLotus F1DNF0