Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes dominate finish in Ferrari's backyard
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 3, 2017 Updated: 8:59 PM
MONZA, Italy -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished out a dominate weekend to beat Ferrari on their home turf and take his first back to back win of the season at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
The three-time world champion has started the second half of the season strong after winning last week's Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton continued his commanding form from yesterday when he took his 69th career pole in heavy wet conditions to break the all time pole held by F1 legend Micheal Schumacher.
"it’s obviously an incredibly exciting season and the last two races have been incredibly strong for us as a team. We’ve gone from strength from strength and really shown real strength and depth and I think it’s the way we have come together in this second half so far is exceptional," said Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas joined his teammate on the podium finishing second to complete a Mercedes one-two in Ferrari's backyard.
"The car was so strong today. Like I said on the team radio, it was amazing today how quick we were and it was pure joy to drive. The pace was good, I enjoyed it and a perfect result for us as a team," said Bottas.
Sebastian Vettel finished third though it was damage limitation after starting sixth with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who made a hard push to catch Vettel in the closing stages on the race, finished fourth after starting from 16th.
Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen took fifth after becoming a victim of Ricciardo's late charge. Esteban Ocon brought home a strong finish for Force India in sixth after starting the race in third.
“I really enjoyed the race and I’m happy with our performance. At the same time I’m a little disappointed because I really wanted to finish on the podium today. But you have to be realistic and we didn’t have the pace to match Mercedes and Ferrari, so I think sixth place was the maximum we could achieve," said Ocon.
Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa finished seventh and eighth with the two teammates battling for position until the finish. Ocon's teammate Sergio Perez finished ninth followed by Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen who took the tenth and final points paying spot after receiving damage to his car from contact with Felipe Massa early in race.
Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished 11th and was 0.885s ahead of Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat in 12th. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg took 13th with Kvyat's teammate Carlos Sainz in 14th.
Magnussen's teammate Romain Grosjean took 15th with Pascal Wehrlein as the only Sauber to finish in 16th with teammate Marcus Ericsson having to retire his car before the end of the race.
McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were both forced to retire their cars after dealing with a weekend riddled with penalties.
“I had problems with upshifting from the very early stages of the race, which at some points was costing me a lot of time – almost a second a lap. We tried to fix the issue by changing some settings, but the shifting never worked as it should have, and it hampered my race," said Alonso.
Hulkenberg's teammate, Jolyon Palmer's day ended when he ran into a transmission issue on lap 29 and was forced to retire from the race.
The championship has now changed hands for the first time this season. Hamilton now leads Vettel by 3 points. The next round is Singapore with only 7 rounds left in the season.