Hamilton profits from Rosberg error to grab Italian Grand Prix win

Hamilton profits from Rosberg error to grab Italian Grand Prix win
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Published September 7th, 2014 - 19:00 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a poor start and profited from a mistake by team-mate Nico Rosberg to win the Italian Grand Prix in a seventh Mercedes one-two of the season.

It was a sixth victory of the season and 28th in all for Hamilton, who closes the gap to Rosberg in the drivers' championship from 29 to 22 points.

Hamilton benefited from a late-braking error on Turn One by Rosberg just over the halfway mark to grab back the lead he had lost immediately from pole position.

From then on there was no stopping the Briton, who won for the first time since the British Grand Prix four races back.

He has now gone one better than Jackie Stewart and is second behind Nigel Mansell (33) in the list of British grand prix winners.

The victory also helped make up for the disappointment of the last grand prix in Belgium when a collision with Rosberg early in the race left Hamilton out of the points.

"Today was another hard day, but I loved very minute of it," he said. Hamilton had put pressure on Rosberg before the German's mistake, seemingly against instructions over team radio to bide his time.

"It's advice, not you have to do this. They give me a bit of information and take that and decide how to use that," Hamilton said.

"I felt I had the pace at the time so I felt I had to use it now, I was certain it might not come again. I knew that was the best time to put pressure on him. I did it a couple of races ago and he doesn't seem to like it, so I'll try it a bit more."

Hamilton got off to a bad start, apparently caused by a power problem, and dropped from pole to fourth on the first turn, with Rosberg taking the lead. McLaren's Kevin Magnusson moved from fifth to second ahead of Felipe Massa in a Williams, but Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas began poorly and lost eight places from third to 11th.

Both Massa and Hamilton got past Magnusson on lap five, and the Briton snapped Massa five laps later on the outside of Turn One. Rosberg, who had lost some time after going straight on at Turn One a lap earlier, had to defend a lead of some 2 seconds before pitting for the first time on lap 25.

Hamilton came in a lap later and emerged still behind the German to be told over radio by his race engineer that "the race will be at the end" and to sit around two-and-a-half seconds behind Rosberg.

But just three laps later Rosberg, under pressure from Hamilton, again misjudged the same turn and had to slalom pass the obstacles in the run-off straight, gifting his team-mate the lead.

"It was a pity it didn't work out today, Lewis drove a great race and he deserved it, so it's all OK," Rosberg said.

There was disappointment on the same lap for home fans when Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who had been on the podium of the last four Italian grands prix, was forced to retire - a first mechanical failure for the Spaniard since 2009.

Hamilton soon stretched his lead to more than 4 seconds over Rosberg and took the chequered flag 3.175 seconds ahead. Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff had urged his drivers to race sensibly after the collision at Spa-Francorchamps, but Rosberg's mistake meant there was to be no risk of another overtaking incident.

"That was a perfect result, it was very exciting, there was no touching but still some great racing," Wolff said.

Rosberg "was under massive pressure from Lewis and Lewis deserved the win today. His pace was awesome and that's why he won it." Massa was just over 24 seconds back for third place and his first podium finish for Williams since joining from Ferrari to the cheers of Italian supporters.

Bottas fought back to end fourth, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo got past Force India's Sergio Perez, Magnusson and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in an impressive charge to finish fifth.

Magnusson crossed the line seventh behind Vettel but dropped to 10th after being handed a five-second penalty for forcing Bottas off the track, with Perez, McLaren's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen moving up a place.

Rosberg has 238 points in the standings, with Hamilton on 216, Ricciardo on 166, Bottas on 122, Alonso on 121 and Vettel on 106. Williams move to third in the constructors' championship on 177 points, ahead of Ferrari (162) and behind leaders Mercedes on 454 and Red Bull on 272.

The next race is the Singapore Grand Prix on September 21.

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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