Lewis Hamilton immediately jetted into the lead in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza and never once gave it up, eventually crossing the finish line a dominant 25.042s ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The win also helped the Briton extend his lead over teammate Nico Rosberg in the championship standings, who was running third when he suffered an engine failure and was forced retired from the race.
Ferrari may have had a better shot at defeating the Silver Arrows in front of the die-hard Tifosi in Italy had their planned strategy not immediately gone out the window when the lights went out. Kimi Raikonnen, who had qualified second behind Hamilton, couldn’t get his car off the line and dropped to the very rear of the field before turn 1, leaving Vettel to fend for himself up front.
As Raikonnen worked his way through traffic, Vettel chased Hamilton. The Ferrari couldn’t come close to the pace of the Mercedes, however, and was unable to challenge the Silver Arrow throughout the 53-lap race.
Behind them an intense battle for the third was in full swing. Williams drivers Valteri Bottas and Felipe Massa raced in tandem for much of the day before Bottas eventually tried to challenge Massa for third with 3 laps to go. Massa was able to fend off his Finnish teammate for the podium spot, crossing the line just 0.3s in front of him.
Raikonnen, meanwhile, eventually made his way up to fifth after overtaking Force India’s Sergio Perez. Behind Perez was the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in eighth, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in ninth and Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat rounding out the top ten.
Hamilton now leads Rosberg in the driver’s standings with 252 points to Rosberg’s 199, while Vettel trails in third with 178. Hamilton will be looking to extend that lead with a repeat of last year’s win when F1 heads to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix later this month.