Monza - Lewis Hamilton has turned a poor start into a dramatic victory ahead of
his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix,
cutting the German's lead in their bitter battle for the drivers'
championship from 29 points to 22 with six races remaining.
Hamilton dropped to fourth on the opening lap, but recovered with a daring high-speed slalom to take second and then the lead.
finished 3.1 seconds ahead of Rosberg, who appeared to crack under
pressure after 29 of the 53 laps when he made a mistake at the first
A poor consolation for the German runner-up, it was the first time he had finished on the podium at Monza.
was booed when he stepped onto the podium as the fallout from his
controversial clash with Hamilton early in the Belgian Grand Prix a
fortnight ago effectively ended the Briton's race.
Felipe Massa came home third, 25 seconds adrift of Hamilton -- for his
first podium finish of the season -- ahead of his Williams team-mate
Finn Valtteri Bottas, Australian Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull
team-mate four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton's sixth win this year, his second at Monza and the 28th of his
career -- he needs just three wins to equal Nigel Mansell's British
record of Grand Prix successes.
For the first time in five years,
two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso failed to finish a race,
retiring his Ferrari with mechanical problems.
"Well done guys on the deserved one-two, it's a good result for the team," said Rosberg in a team radio message.
"Sorry to the guys on my side of the garage. It's a shame."
a bright near-perfect late summer's afternoon, it was Rosberg who made
the perfect start. As the lights went out, Hamilton appeared to be
bogged down without sufficient torque to pull away from his first pole
since Barcelona in May, allowing not only the German, but both Kevin
Magnussen, from fifth on the grid, and Massa to pass him and pull clear.
a lap, a partial answer emerged when Hamilton radioed in to report he
was racing without the use of his Energy Recovery System (ERS). The team
confirmed he had to wait for a re-set, but the Briton, keen to recover,
made swift inroads into his rivals' advantage.
Mercedes had changed the front wing on Hamilton's car on the grid before
the start, after a team member had, it was reported, caused some
Hamilton pushed hard but without doing enough before he
pitted and rejoining just behind Rosberg again. Yet despite his crew
advising him to sit tight until the final laps he pushed on and pressed
It paid off as Rosberg for the second time ran straight on at the first chicane and gifted the lead to the Englishman on lap 29.
had been warned to preserve their tyres to ensure they finished, a goal
that was removed from Alonso when he pulled up and retired, pointless,
for the first time this year.
It was his first mechanical failure
in a race since 2009 and left him to trudge back to the pits in front of
the disappointed tifosi.
"It's a mechanical failure and said to do it here in front of our people," said the two-time champion.