Rosberg Wins at Monza to Close Gap

Nico Rosberg claimed an easy victory in the Italian Grand Prix to close the gap on championship leader Lewis Hamilton to 2-points.
Hamilton got stranded at the start and quickly became engulfed by the pack behind. He clawed his way back to finish in second with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth.

THE START MATTERS

 Not for the first time this season Hamilton had dominated qualifying but failed to capitalise on Sunday.The Englishman appeared to move quickly off the line but failed to get traction for a quick getaway, fast becaming swamped by the Ferrari’s, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton pushed hard in the fast Mercedes and passed Ricciardo on Lap 2 and Bottas on Lap 11. And with Mercedes running a one-stop strategy the two Ferrari’s got out his way when they had their first of two stops on a contrary strategy.

Hamilton went about hunting down Rosberg but by that time the gap was too large – eventually finishing 15.07 seconds behind.

After the race and a frosty handshake with Hamilton, Rosberg reflected on his first win at the iconic Monza.

“A very special day for me I am am very happy to have finally had a win in Italy,” he said.

“It was all down to the start, I had an awesome start and that made the win from me and it was all there.”

“I’m feeling great the race is on with Lewis, it is always going to be a great batte and I look forward to what is to come.”

Hamilton, however, quickly laid blame for his performance.

“It was the start. I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous of how the start went.”

“I don’t really know what happened. I will try to understand later. It’s hard to overtake here.”

FERRARI BEST OF THE REST

With Mercedes in a race of their own, Ferrari ran the race without challenging the frontrunners or being threatened themselves.

A podium finish will have appeased the boisterous Italian supporters for now but the Prancing Horse will again be tested when the teams head to Singapore for the next round where traction rather than pace is critical.

But in the meantime, Vettel was soaking up the podium finish.

“We are trying, working very hard,” said Vettel

“I am sure Ferrari can come back, I can’t make any promises about when but I know that we will.”

“Keep believing, we believe in it: we will succeed.”

BEST OVERTAKE OF THE YEAR

In a race absent of much action, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo again demonstrated why he is one of the most skillful drivers in the field with a breathtaking pass on Bottas described as the “best overtake of the year” by Sky’s Martin Brundle.

On faster super soft tyres, the Australian chased down Bottas on soft tyres to come from a long way behind to take fifth place through Turn 1 on lap 47.

On the team radio after the race Ricciardo said: “that was good fun, cheers guys.”

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