GAP GOES UP WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE GONE DOWN

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Fer­rari and Se­bas­tian Vet­tel must be be­gin­ning to won­der what they have to do to erode Lewis Hamil­ton’s cham­pi­onship lead. Fer­rari again looked like it had the edge over Mercedes at Monza last week­end and yet found it­self fall­ing fur­ther be­hind in the points. Rain was Vet­tel’s un­do­ing – or, rather, pro­vided Hamil­ton with the chance to turn the ta­bles – ear­lier in the year, but this time it was wheel-to-wheel race­craft. As with wet-weather driv­ing, Vet­tel is good, but Hamil­ton is cur­rently bet­ter. Lewis’s first-lap move at the sec­ond chi­cane was bold, bril­liant and fair. It’s when the tide turned against Fer­rari – or was that when Kimi Raikko­nen beat Vet­tel to pole on Satur­day? Au­tosport has not been shy to point out Raikko­nen’s con­stant un­der­achieve­ment in re­cent years, but the Finn looked racy through­out the Ital­ian Grand Prix. He locked up de­fend­ing from Vet­tel at the first cor­ner and it was good to see him fight back and repass Hamil­ton after the Mercedes jumped him at the restart. The bat­tle between Hamil­ton and Raikko­nen was one of the best of the year. It’s dif­fi­cult to know how much Valt­teri Bot­tas’s de­lay­ing tac­tics hurt Raikko­nen’s chances (and tyres), but there can be lit­tle doubt that it was one of Hamil­ton’s finest F1 wins. Fer­rari still looks fast and Vet­tel should be able to close the 30-point gap to Hamil­ton, but he has to stop throw­ing points away. And stop giv­ing Hamil­ton half-chances, which the reign­ing cham­pion has been very good at con­vert­ing this sea­son. Con­grat­u­la­tions to 2016 Mclaren Au­tosport BRDC Award win­ner Lando Nor­ris on his Mclaren deal (see page 4). Nor­ris has been one of the most ex­cit­ing tal­ents in re­cent sea­sons and his F1 grad­u­a­tion is well-de­served. We just hope it’s not the the last we’ve seen of Stof­fel Van­doorne in F1. Over to you Toro Rosso or Sauber…

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