F1: Lewis Hamilton reigns at Monza, extends championship lead

Defending champion from Britain clinches 40th career title; cleared of tyre rule infringement charges

Monza (Italy): Lewis Hamilton’s 40th career victory in yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix was confirmed when the stewards at the race meeting decided to take no further action after investigating claims that his Mercedes car was running on tyres that infringed the regulations.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates          on the podium after winning the Italian GP in Monza yesterday. PIC/AFP
Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Italian GP in Monza yesterday. Pic/AFP

In a statement issued more than two hours after the race, the stewards said that they had determined the pressure in the tyres concerned were at the minimum start pressure recommended by Pirelli — when they were fitted to the car. This fact and the team’s adherence to safety procedures was sufficient evidence of Mercedes’ good intent to sway the decision in their favour.

Rosberg’s woes
As nearest rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg retired with a blown engine with two laps to go, Hamilton took full advantage after leading from pole position to the chequered flag.

His points advantage, with seven ‘flyaway’ races remaining after the last European race of the season, makes him a clear favourite to defend his crown and claim his third world title. The newly-blonde defending two-time world champion came home 25 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari with former local hero Felipe Massa finishing third for Williams, repeating his podium of last year.

Behind Massa, Finn Valtteri Bottas came home fourth in the second Williams ahead of Kimi Raikkonen — who stalled on the first row — in the second Ferrari and Sergio Perez of Force India. Nico Hulkenberg came home seventh in the second Force India ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Marcus Ericsson of Sauber and Daniil Kvyat in the second Red Bull.

Hamilton’s seventh win in 12 races this season extended his lead from 28 to 53 points over Rosberg ahead of Singapore in a fortnight.

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