19 December 2018

Hamilton takes F1 in Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix virtually unchallenged from pole position Sunday and moved ahead of Sebastian Vettel to take the lead in the drivers' standings. reports that Hamilton finished nearly five seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas while Vettel came third in his Ferrari, more than half a minute behind.

Hamilton now has 238 points, three more than Vettel with seven races remaining in what has developed into a riveting Formula One season.

The 32-year-old Briton, seeking his fourth world title, made a perfect start from his record 69th pole position to lead Bottas home for his sixth win this year, his third at Monza and the 59th of his career.

Having won in Belgium last Sunday, Hamilton also became the first driver to score back-to-back victories this year. It was Mercedes' third one-two this year and the team's 39th overall.

Vettel had led the standings all season but Ferrari struggled in rainy qualifying conditions Saturday and couldn't match Mercedes' race pace, either, on a Monza circuit featuring long straights and high speeds better suited to Mercedes' power.

After getting out of his car, Hamilton first greeted Bottas then jumped into a crowd of Mercedes team members. The British driver was met with a mix of cheers and boos during Monza's famed podium celebration, with a sea of red-clad Ferrari fans invading the track.

"You know what? I love it here in Italy and I love the passion of the Ferrari fans," Hamilton said on the podium. "We don't get to see this energy anywhere else, apart from maybe Silverstone."

The Ferrari supporters were hoping for more on a weekend celebrating the automaker's 70th anniversary.

"Mercedes power is definitely better than Ferrari power," Hamilton said. "So it worked well this weekend."

Bottas also praised Mercedes' teamwork. "The car was so strong - it was amazing how quick we were and it was a pure joy to drive. A perfect result! No drama," he said.

After a brilliant start to the season, Vettel has now won just one of the last seven races.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, having climbed through the field after starting 16th with a grid penalty.

Kimi Raikkonen crossed fifth — exactly where he started — in the other Ferrari.

2017.09.03 / 22:19
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