Hamilton victorious at Monza

Lewis Hamilton was just in a class of his own at Monza following a dominant drive to win the Italian Grand Prix and seize the championship lead outright for the first time this season.

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

It was Hamilton’s sixth victory of the season and moves him three points clear of Vettel in the drivers’ standings 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 fourth place.

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

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.

Valtteri closed the gap but couldn’t get within two seconds off Lewis and ultimately finished second to secure Mercedes’s third one-two of the year.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo produced an impressive recovery drive from P16, running a very long stint on the softs to move up the order.

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 big amount 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.

The Iceman 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 tenth 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 ten, but was asked to retire his Renault by the team after it had discovered a problem.

So a perfect Sunday afternoon drive for Lewis Hamilton. No challenge from his rivals and he now becomes the new championship leader. Ferrari had no answer to the sheer speed from the Silver Arrows but the fight for the title is still on. Bring on the next race.

Italian Grand Prix, race results:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    53    1h15m32.310s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    53    4.471s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    53    36.317s
4    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    53    40.335s
5    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    53    1m00.082s
6    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    53    1m11.528s
7    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    53    1m14.156s
8    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    53    1m14.834s
9    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    53    1m15.276s
10    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    52    1 Lap
11    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    52    1 Lap
12    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso/Renault    52    1 Lap
13    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    52    1 Lap
14    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    52    1 Lap
15    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    52    1 Lap
16    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    51    2 Laps
17    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    50    3 Laps
18    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    49    4 Laps
–    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    33    Retirement
–    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    29    Retirement

Drivers’ standings:
1    Lewis Hamilton    238
2    Sebastian Vettel    235
3    Valtteri Bottas    197
4    Daniel Ricciardo    144
5    Kimi Raikkonen    138
6    Max Verstappen    68
7    Sergio Perez    58
8    Esteban Ocon    55
9    Carlos Sainz    36
10    Nico Hulkenberg    34
11    Felipe Massa    31
12    Lance Stroll    24
13    Romain Grosjean    24
14    Kevin Magnussen    11
15    Fernando Alonso    10
16    Pascal Wehrlein    5
17    Daniil Kvyat    4
18    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
19    Jolyon Palmer    0
20    Marcus Ericsson    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    435
2    Ferrari    373
3    Red Bull-Renault    212
4    Force India-Mercedes    113
5    Williams-Mercedes    55
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    40
7    Haas-Ferrari    35
8    Renault    34
9    McLaren-Honda    11
10    Sauber-Ferrari    5

5 thoughts on “Hamilton victorious at Monza

  1. Italian Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Lewis Hamilton heads the 2017 drivers’ championship for the first time this season after he led Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas to a dominant 1-2 finish in Sunday’s Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2017, humbling third-placed Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari on their home ground.

    Daniel Ricciardo battled his way through from 16th on the grid to take fourth place for Red Bull, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, while Esteban Ocon won a race-long tussle with the Williams of Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa to secure sixth for Force India.

    Ocon’s team mate Sergio Perez was ninth and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who dropped to the back in an early clash with Massa, recovered to complete the top ten.

    Hamilton dominated the race from the start, with Bottas riding shotgun from the third lap. The Finn made a poor start but redeemed himself by snatching back fourth place by passing Raikkonen’s Ferrari round the outside of the Parabolica at the end of the opening lap. Thereafter he made short work of fast-starting Ocon, who took second from front-row starter Stroll from the grid.

    As the Mercedes ran away and hid, Vettel had no answer for Ferrari and as Hamilton led Bottas home by 4.4s, after a minor scare when he thought his car lost power on the 43rd lap, the former points leader finished 36.3s behind him.

    Hamilton now has 228 points to Vettel’s 225, with Bottas still in touch on 197.

    Red Bull had a strong race after engine penalties had pushed them down the grid. Riccardo started on the soft Pirelli tyres, ran until the 37th lap on them, then came on like gangbusters on supersofts in the final stint. The Australian cut an 11.5s deficit to Vettel to just 4.0s by the flag, though the German told his team he’d had a problem from the halfway mark.

    Verstappen had a coming together with Massa on the third lap which sent him pitwards for a replacement front wheel and tyre, but like Ricciardo he set several fastest laps, and recovered beautifully to 10th.

    Between them, Raikkonen took a very distant fifth, some way ahead of a fierce fight between Ocon’s Force India, Stroll’s Williams, and their respective team mates. Only 3.6s covered the quartet by the finish.

    Kevin Magnussen was a disgruntled 11th for Haas, pushed out of 10th as he and Verstappen collided in the second chicane, and he had Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso less than a second behind him. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg likewise narrowly led Carlos Sainz’s sister car home for 13th. Romain Grosjean suffered front wing damage on the opening lap and trailed in 15th, ahead of final finisher Pascal Wehrlein who had a brush with Sauer team mate Marcus Ericsson.

    Ericsson had to retire near the finish, as did a very unhappy Fernando Alonso, who had a clash with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer which earned the Briton a five-second penalty. Palmer did not finish either, while Stoffel Vandoorne’s quest for a point in the other McLaren also ended in the pit lane.

  2. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was impressed by Jolyon Palmer cutting the chicane and commented that the race stewards was “having a Heineken” during the Renault incident. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Fernando Alonso believes the Italian Grand Prix stewards must have been “having a Heineken” during his incident with Jolyon Palmer at Monza.

    The McLaren driver sent angry radio messages to his team after Palmer jumped the second chicane as they fought for 12th position early in the race, the Briton deciding not to give the place back.

    Renault driver Palmer eventually got a five-second time penalty but later retired with car problems. When Alonso was informed the Briton had exited the race, he replied that it was “karma”.

    The Spanish driver, who has having gearbox problems, said Palmer giving his place back should have been a no-brainer and reckons the stewards were too slow to react.

    “When we arrived at the chicane we were side-by-side, we braked late and I managed to take the chicane, but he didn’t and he jumped it and stayed in front,” said Alonso.

    “Usually that’s something that’s very clear in the rules: when two cars are side-by-side at the chicane and one gets to take it and one doesn’t, you give back the position, but this time the FIA must have been having a Heineken.”

    He added: “It’s not my interpretation and seeing what the stewards think this time. But anyway, being fighting for 16th and 17th it doesn’t matter. But I think the spectators want to see something normal, not a party.”

    Alonso also believes the five-second penalty was not enough.

    “No, because then you lose 10 seconds, and the problems we had with the gearbox were because of the heat and having Jolyon in front another three or four laps… If grabbing the football with your hands is a penalty, it should always be a penalty,” he added.

    The McLaren driver also retired on the penultimate lap in order to be able to replace his faulty gearbox without penalty in the next race in Singapore.

    He said the problem, which struck around lap 5, was making him lose a lot of time every lap.

    “We were losing 1.5 seconds per lap so it was a complicated race,” he added.

  3. This was a challenging race for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel. The four-time world champion eventually finished third but mentioned that he couldn’t trust the car under braking. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was struggling with a steering problem in the final third of Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix that meant he didn’t trust the car under braking.

    Vettel finished a distant third behind Mercedes pairing Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and lost the lead of the world championship, with an off at the first chicane causing some damage.

    He said that this affected his pace in the last 20 laps of the 53-lap race at Monza, allowing the charging Daniel Ricciardo to close to finish just four seconds down.

    “I went off at Turn 1 and I think something broke,” said Vettel. “The left side of the steering was a bit down and I couldn’t trust the car on braking.

    “It is a braking track, so the last laps didn’t show the pace I could have done.”

    Vettel believes Ferrari was half-a-second a lap slower than Mercedes on pace at Monza, but insists he is not concerned by this after what he called an “up and down” weekend.

    As Monza is an unusual track with very low downforce, long straights and few corners, he is not reading too much into the result.

    “We probably lacked half a second per lap today but there are not all the parts you can judge,” said Vettel.

    “I am not worried by the gap, Monza is specific place and if you have that bit of confidence it makes a difference.

    “We knew it would be a difficult race, perhaps we expected to be closer. It’s not nice to see them winning but with third we gave everything we had. I am very positive right now.”

    Despite the bad result and losing the points lead after back-to-back victories for Hamilton at Spa and Monza, Vettel remains confident in Ferrari’s ability to challenge Mercedes in the remaining seven races of 2017.

    “You could say it was a bad day, but I know the team is on the right way and there is a lot of stuff that is going to improve,” said Vettel.

    “Overall, it has been amazing to see where we are, but I know we will get strong so I am in a positive mood.

    “I’m not worried. I know that there is still a long way to go and we have the people behind us, so it is a great feeling.”

  4. Mercedes “found a different kind of stability” at Monza according to Valtteri Bottas. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes “found a different kind of stability” with its W08 in Monza, which allowed the Silver Arrows to thoroughly dominate the Italian Grand Prix.

    Having started fourth and seen off an early challenge from the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, Bottas fought through to finish four seconds behind race-winning teammate Lewis Hamilton, capping off a dominant Mercedes showing.

    The pair’s nearest rival, Ferrari’s erstwhile points leader Sebastian Vettel, finished more than half a minute behind the Finn despite running the same strategy as the Mercedes cars.

    On the podium, Hamilton said the W08 was “a dream to drive” in the race, while Bottas labelled the car’s pace as “amazing” and added that driving it was “pure joy”.

    “The car was so well-balanced today and so strong,” Bottas said post-race. “For sure we were quick in the straight lines, but this weekend we were also quick in every single corner of a track.

    “We found a different kind of stability this weekend that we have not had before.”

    However, he added: “We can’t rely on that again, it will be a completely different case in Singapore next weekend.”

    Hamilton, who for his part enjoyed a trouble-free run to victory from pole position, admitted he was surprised by the margin his outfit had over Ferrari – especially after the Italian team had run Mercedes close in practice in dry conditions.

    “Not sure why the pace of the Ferraris was closer [before], especially in practice,” he said.

    “Today the car felt fantastic, particularly on the first stint – I guess because we had a bit of breathing space, it was easier to extend the life of the tyre.

    “Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and to get a 1-2 here. I know it is not easy for the Italian fans to accept but ultimately we did a better job this weekend as a team, but it is still close and a long way to go.”

    Like his teammate, Hamilton – who now leads the title race by three points over Vettel – conceded that Ferrari was likely to mount a much stronger challenge next time around, in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    “We go to another track next where Ferrari should be quick with the extra downforce they can add on.

    “But it is amazing to have the back-to-back wins, it is a long, long time that Seb has been leading the championship.”

  5. Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen says the inconsistency of penalties in Formula 1 annoys him more than the actual move by Max Verstappen that put him on the grass in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

    Verstappen had just passed Magnussen for the final points-paying position when they arrived at the Roggia chicane in close proximity.

    Verstappen edged over to the right just as Magnussen was moving alongside, causing the Dane to run on to the grass and take to the escape road. While he didn’t complain much about the move itself being dangerous, Magnussen did believe that Verstappen should have been penalised.

    “I was annoyed, but only because there was no penalty,” he said. “That was pushing someone off the track. It is racing, stuff happens, but at least the penalty should be the same for everyone, that is my point.

    “This was on the braking, he didn’t leave me enough room so I went on the grass and missed the corner. I had run-off there, but if not it would have been the end – I’d be in the gravel or in the wall.

    “I didn’t have a great chance to pass him back in that corner, so there was no reason for him not to give me the space, perhaps he just didn’t judge it right, but my point is the penalties should be the same for everyone.

    “P11 is probably the best result we could’ve got, but it’s still annoying when you’ve run in the points the whole race and get done at the end. But we weren’t fast enough.”

    When asked about it after the race, Verstappen shrugged off the incident: “To be honest, I don’t really feel it was an incident, also I don’t really care.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

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