Ros­berg has Hamil­ton in his sights once again

Ger­man takes ad­van­tage of world cham­pion’s slow start at Monza

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Nico Ros­berg moved to within two points of Lewis Hamil­ton in the F1 ti­tle race after tak­ing ad­van­tage of the world cham­pion’s ter­ri­ble start to win the Ital­ian Grand Prix.

Hamil­ton was widely ex­pected to cap­ture his 50th ca­reer vic­tory and third in suc­ces­sion at Monza after dom­i­nat­ing in qual­i­fy­ing on Satur­day.

But a woe­ful getaway saw the Bri­tish driver fall to sixth by turn one, and while a one-stop strat­egy en­abled him to leapfrog the Fer­rari duo of Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen to fin­ish sec­ond, it was Ros­berg who cruised to the che­quered flag with Vet­tel com­plet­ing the podium.

“It is a very spe­cial day for me, I am very happy to have fi­nally won here in Italy,” said Ros­berg on the podium. “You guys are un­be­liev­able and it makes it phe­nom­e­nal to be up here.

“It was all down to the start. I had an awe­some start and that made the win. I am feel­ing great. The race is on with Lewis. It is al­ways go­ing to be a great bat­tle and I look for­ward to what is to come.” Hamil­ton added: “Look at this crowd. This is the best crowd we get all year. This is in­cred­i­ble. “The start wasn’t great, but it is still a great day for Mercedes-Benz and I am proud to be a part of it. It should have been a big­ger race be­tween Fer­rari and us this week­end but hope­fully in the fu­ture it will be.” Hamil­ton, 31, was bid­ding to be­come the first driver since the great Juan Manuel Fan­gio in the 1950s to claim a hat-trick of con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries at the so-called Tem­ple of Speed. But a poor start, which cost Hamil­ton prob­a­ble vic­to­ries at the open­ing two rounds in Aus­tralia and Bahrain, re­turned to haunt him yes­ter­day. Gob­bled up by Ros­berg, both Fer­rari driv­ers and then the Wil­liams of Valt­teri Bot­tas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo on the long run down to the open­ing chi­cane, Hamil­ton was left fac­ing an al­most im­pos­si­ble task of win­ning for a third year on the trot in Italy.

JUMP­ING FOR JOY: Nico Ros­berg cel­e­brates his vic­tory at Monza

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