Rosberg has Hamilton in his sights once again
German takes advantage of world champion’s slow start at Monza
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