Championship contender Lewis Hamilton overcame a poor start to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
This was Hamilton’s sixth win this season and his 28th in Formula 1.
Just twenty-two points separate the Mercedes drivers and it shows how fortunes can ebb and flow between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Starting on pole position, Lewis Hamilton was slow away from the grid.
This removed any chance of a repeat of the collision between the Silver Arrows, which handed Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo victory in the previous Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.
Rosberg streaked away at the front as Hamilton fell behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and the fast-starting McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, who launched his way up from fifth on the grid to second place.
Hamilton struggled initially with his car becoming stuck in ‘RS mode’, but he soon got back to full speed and began to charge.
The 2008 world champion took advantage of Massa passing Magnussen at the second chicane on lap five to take third on the following run to the first Lesmo, before driving around the outside of Massa at the first chicane on lap ten.
By then Rosberg had already straight-lined the first chicane and Hamilton set about closing down his title rival further.
The Mercedes duo traded fastest laps initially, as Massa tried in vain to go with the leaders, but Hamilton then began to assert his speed advantage over Rosberg as the first half of the race wore on.
He closed to within 1.5 seconds of his Mercedes team-mate but could not leapfrog Rosberg in the pits as the leaders stopped on consecutive laps.
Hamilton was much quicker than Rosberg in the following laps on Pirelli’s harder tyre, and Rosberg gave the victory away to his team-mate by locking up his brakes and again straight-lining the first chicane on lap 29.
From that moment, Hamilton eased away to record his sixth victory of the season by just over three seconds.
Massa completed a lonely run to third place, thus recording his first podium finish since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas was the pre-race favourite to take that final podium spot, having qualified third, but a terrible start dropped him outside the top ten on the opening lap.
The Finn spent most of the rest of the race slipstreaming his way back through the field, usually passing rivals before the entry to the first chicane, and eventually made his way back to fourth place.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel lost fifth in the closing stages to Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel gambled on making an earlier pitstop than anyone else to gain track position, but could not make his hard tyres last well enough to hang on to the chequered flag.
Ricciardo benefitted the alternative strategy – running long in the first stint and stopping late – and made some impressively decisive passing moves as he recovered well from a poor start.
Vettel defended hard into the first chicane with five laps left to run, but was passed easily down the inside into the second chicane on tyres eight laps older than Ricciardo’s.
Magnussen finished seventh on track, but was penalised five seconds for forcing Bottas off the track at the first chicane during the Finn’s earlier slipstreaming charge, dropping McLaren’s rookie to tenth place.
Sergio Perez thus inherited seventh for Force India, after a close battle with the McLaren of Jenson Button, who ran sixth early on but lost track position to Perez at the stops.
The pair ran side-by-side through the Lesmos at one point, but Button could not force his way decisively back ahead of the Force India.
Kimi Raikkonen finished in ninth on a disappointing day for Ferrari at the Scuderia’s home race.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso started seventh, but recorded his first mechanical non-finish for five years after his F14 T suffered an ERS failure.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat should have inherited the final point for tenth when Magnussen’s penalty was applied, but the Russian frighteningly straight-lined the first chicane at high speed on the penultimate lap and trailed home P11, complaining of a brake problem.
So a great result for Team Brackley. Their seventh one-two finish this season. Just twenty-two points the difference between the Mercedes drivers.
It’s going to be an interesting fight for title honours with six races remaining.
Italian Grand Prix race results, after 53 laps:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h19m10.236s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 3.175s
3 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 25.026s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 40.786s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 50.309s
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 59.965s
7 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m02.518s
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m03.063s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m03.535s
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m06.171s
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m11.184s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m12.606s
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m13.093s
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1 Lap
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1 Lap
17 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1 Lap
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1 Lap
19 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2 Laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2 Laps
Fernando Alonso Ferrari ERS issue
Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari Spun off
1 Nico Rosberg 238
2 Lewis Hamilton 216
3 Daniel Ricciardo 166
4 Valtteri Bottas 122
5 Fernando Alonso 121
6 Sebastian Vettel 106
7 Jenson Button 72
8 Nico Hulkenberg 70
9 Felipe Massa 55
10 Kimi Raikkonen 41
11 Sergio Perez 39
12 Kevin Magnussen 38
13 Jean-Eric Vergne 11
14 Romain Grosjean 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 8
16 Jules Bianchi 2
17 Adrian Sutil 0
18 Marcus Ericsson 0
19 Pastor Maldonado 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0
1 Mercedes 454
2 Red Bull-Renault 272
3 Williams-Mercedes 177
4 Ferrari 162
5 McLaren-Mercedes 110
6 Force India-Mercedes 109
7 Toro Rosso-Renault 19
8 Lotus-Renault 8
9 Marussia-Ferrari 2
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0
Next race: Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay. September 19-21.