Hamilton leads F1 Championship after winning Italian GP

Hamilton leads F1 Championship after winning Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton led home an easy Mercedes one-two at the Italian Grand Prix to take the lead of the championship for the first time in 2017.

He took the flag more than four seconds ahead of Bottas, with Vettel some 36 seconds back, for the first back-to back victories by a driver this season.

Behind the top five of Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo and Raikkonen; Ocon emerged victorious in an intense battle for sixth place involving Stroll and his Williams-Mercedes teamamate Felipe Massa.

Daniel Ricciardo performed magnificently to move up from 16th - following a grid penalty - to fourth, as Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll slipped back to sixth and seventh respectively.

Sebastian Vettel was left baffled by his weak showing at Monza on Saturday as the Formula One world championship leader qualified eighth fastest. Red Bull's max Vestappen came second and he was 1.148 seconds behind Hamilton. "I love the passion of the fans especially the Ferrari fans". And while Ferrari did join the Brackley squad on the podium in the past two editions, both saw Vettel finish more than 20 seconds down on the race victor. Ferrari closed the gap, with Vettel on Hamilton's tail throughout the race.

"To be honest, I was not aware of that", Vettel said.

"Fernando, back off, back off - we need to retire the auto." that was just after Ericsson was told he needs to retire as well on lap 52.

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

Conditions were terrible - the first session was stopped after just one lap for seven drivers and did not start again for more than two hours. "Tomorrow is the race and that is where it counts, and I am just going to run my race like I always do". It will be a long race on a track where you can overtake, so anything can happen. There are a couple of things we need to do better - auto balance, stability and braking, which is important round here to get the confidence. "We are the villains but some days I am really happy to be the villain and I don't mind". In some ways we were lucky to have it all dry for a change but a wet one always makes it that much more exciting.

Vettel said he felt he lacked the required confidence to extract the maximum from his vehicle around the high speed circuit.

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