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Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton edges Ferrari to win Italian GP, extends lead

The Mercedes driver beat Raikkonen, who had started in pole, to tie Michael Schumacher's record of five Italian GP victories and extend his championship lead.

Reported by: AP , New Delhi [ Published on: September 02, 2018 21:06 IST ]
Image Source : AP

Mercedes' Hamilton wins his fifth Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton denied Ferrari a dream home win at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday as he overtook Kimi Raikkonen eight laps from the end to claim a fifth victory in seven years at Monza.

The Mercedes driver beat Raikkonen, who had started in pole, to tie Michael Schumacher's record of five Italian GP victories and extend his championship lead to 30 points over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who had a nightmare start.

Valtteri Bottas was third in his Mercedes, ahead of Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who received a five-second penalty.

Hamilton had started third, behind Raikkonen and Vettel after the Ferraris started on the front row, booking the top two places at Monza for the first time since 2000.

The championship leader put Vettel under pressure immediately but Vettel pulled clear and was alongside Raikkonen into the first corner.

Hamilton had another go on the outside heading into the second chicane, inching ahead of Vettel when they made contact causing Vettel to spin and lose part of his front wing.

The safety car was deployed and Vettel went into the pits for a new front wing, coming out 18th.

Both drivers complained on team radio but an investigation decided that no further action was necessary.

Moments after the safety car came in on lap four, Hamilton swiftly overtook Raikkonen on the straight but gave the lead back almost immediately at the second chicane.

Meanwhile, Vettel was powering through the field and had made it back into the top 10 by lap 15 and was up to fifth nine laps later. But the German's hopes of getting onto the podium were diminished when he was forced to make another pit stop and came out 10th.

Raikkonen pitted from the lead at the end of lap 20 and came out fourth, behind Hamilton, his Mercedes teammate Bottas and Verstappen.

Hamilton waited until the end of lap 28 to come in for fresh tires, handing the lead to Bottas who was ahead of a charging Raikkonen.

Hamilton emerged third and with his teammate holding up Raikkonen, the British driver was able to close the gap.

When Bottas eventually pitted at the end of lap 36, the fight was on, with Raikkonen holding a one-second advantage over Hamilton.

A few laps later Hamilton struck, coming around the outside of Raikkonen on turn one at the end of the straight to overtake the Finn and never looked back.

Behind them there was a scrap for third place culminating at the first chicane when Verstappen appeared to move into Bottas, forcing the Finnish driver onto an escape road.

Verstappen was furious when he was told he had been given a five-second penalty for his role in the incident on team radio, swearing and adding: "They're doing a great job of killing racing, honestly."

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