The move that won Hamilton the Italian GP

03 September, 2018, 18:46 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Vettel continues to outpace Hamilton, but gap shrinks

The Mercedes driver won after starting behind the two Ferraris, while title rival Sebastian Vettel finished fourth after a first-lap clash with Hamilton.

Pole-sitter Raikkonen made a good start and led for Ferrari as Vettel was attacked behind him by Hamilton, who took the outside line going into the chicane and found the pace to move narrowly ahead.

Hamilton sealed his 68 career victory with a clinical move around Kimi Raikkonen into Turn 1, having reeled him in with a succession of scintillating laps as Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas backed Raikkonen into the reigning champion's grasp.

A livid Sebastian Vettel accused championship rival Lewis Hamilton of not leaving him space.

"Unfortunately I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic".

By lap 11, Vettel was up into the points, and he would get as high as fourth before he would stop for a second time.

Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher's record of five Italian GP victories and extended his overall lead to 30 points over Vettel, who had cut the British driver's advantage to 17 points following last weekend's victory in Belgium.

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The Italian media and others surmised, however, that Raikkonen's uncompromising start may have had something to do with other matters off the track that left him in no mood to make life easy.

"For sure I think we had the speed [to win] but then the tyre went and there was nothing left in the end on the left rear", Raikkonen said after the race. "We still have a long way to go but I am definitely happy with the day's result".

Vettel had to pit for a new front wing and then fought through to fifth on the road, before gaining another place via a penalty for Max Verstappen.

"I was surprised when I got out", said Vettel. I'm sure you can always look at the data and see there's a little bit more but of course I'm pushing the auto as hard as I can and I'm really happy with the performance, really, this weekend.

The championship leader put Vettel under pressure immediately but Vettel pulled clear and was alongside Raikkonen into the first corner. "It doesn't help when you lose points but it's not the end of the world".

The race stewards investigated and ruled the crash a normal "racing incident" that merited no further action. I think ultimately, I am guessing, he may be locked up; I don't know.

"But then what can you do when you get spun around? I am sorry for our tifosi because they just deserved a different result today". We know we have a very strong vehicle, which was clearly demonstrated by the fact we monopolised the front row of the grid.

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