2017: Round 13/20, Italian GP, Monza

MERCEDES DOMINATE IN FERRARI’S BACK YARD

Hamilton takes points lead with back-to-back victory

1st     LEWIS HAMILTON      Mercedes
2nd    VALTTERI BOTTAS     Mercedes
3rd     SEBASTIAN VETTEL  Ferrari

Wet qualifying plus a plethora of penalties produced a scrambled grid at the Temple of Speed. Although Hamilton superbly won pole, alongside him was the youngest-ever front row qualifier, Williams teenager Lance Stroll. Esteban Ocon’s Force India came next, then Bottas in P4. After a brief tussle with his fellow Finn, Valtteri took just three laps to dispense with the two interlopers and take-up station behind the fleeing Hamilton. Seventy minutes later the Silver Arrows crossed the line 4s apart to record a storming 1-2 finish, their third of the season. While Williams had performed unusually well in the qualifying downpour, Ferrari equally surprisingly had not, only able to occupy the third row of the grid due to the engine/gearbox penalties taken by the Red Bull pair, relegated from P2 and P3. It took Vettel until lap eight to assume P3, 9s behind the leader, so to ultimately finish 36s behind Lewis verified Ferrari’s poor race pace at their home circuit. Worse still, on lap 41, the flying Ricciardo passed Räikkönen for P4, and at the flag was closing swiftly on Vettel, now slightly hobbled by a lap 40 excursion. Many superb passes highlighted Ricciardo’s brilliant drive from P16, not least the one on Räikkönen at Rettifilo. Verstappen’s tale of woe continued, this time recovering to P10 following a lap 2 clash and puncture. Williams and Force India fought long and hard over P6 to P9, ending honours even with 10 points apiece
Incidentally…
Hamilton’s 69th pole set a new all-time record, while his race victory – the first back-to-back win this season – nudged him ahead in the points table for the first time. Despite Ferrari’s low-downforce Monza misery, the Scuderia were expected to bounce straight back in high-downforce Singapore. Off-track, all the talk was about whether McLaren would dump Honda, and by switching to Renault, retain the services of Fernando Alonso.

The Championship Chase
Hamilton 238, Vettel 235, Bottas 197, Ricciardo 144, Räikkönen 138
Mercedes 435, Ferrari 373, Red Bull 212, Force India 113, Williams 55

RS
Formula 1 All the Races