Hamilton crushes rivals to win in Italy

By on Sunday, September 6, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton increased his championship lead to 53 points with an emphatic performance in the Italian Grand Prix as Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg retired.

Hamilton dominated the entire weekend to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 25 seconds, while Felipe Massa inherited the final spot on the podium when Rosberg’s engine failed with three laps to go.

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Pole man Hamilton held the lead into Rettifilo as Vettel slotted into second, while Kimi Räikkönen did not move and dropped to the back of the pack.

Hamilton soon hammered out an advantage, leading by 2.1s after two laps, while Rosberg set about making ground after completing the opening lap in sixth position, having had to avoid Räikkönen off the line.

Hamilton increased his lead to the tune of half a second a lap while Vettel also moved clear of Massa, who had Valtteri Bottas and Rosberg in close contention in the battle for third place.

Rosberg stopped prior to Massa and was able to jump the Brazilian when he too switched to Prime tyres a few laps later. Bottas stayed out longer but emerged behind the pair when he made his stop, dropping to fifth.

Vettel slipped 15 seconds behind Hamilton by the time he made his stop on lap 25, while the Briton responded the next time around to switch to Primes.

Hamilton upped his lead gradually while Rosberg initially took half a second out of Vettel, before the gap stabilised around the four second barrier.

With five laps remaining Mercedes urged Hamilton to push as hard as he could, informing him “don’t ask questions, we’ll explain later.”

Rosberg gained on Vettel but with three laps remaining his engine failed at the Roggia chicane, eliminating him from proceedings.

Hamilton eventually crossed the line 25 seconds clear of Vettel, while Massa edged out Bottas by just 0.3s to take the final podium place.

Räikkönen recovered to fifth position via a late move on Force India’s Sergio Pérez, with the other VJM08B in seventh courtesy of Nico Hülkenberg.

Daniel Ricciardo was eighth for Red Bull, while Marcus Ericsson and Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10.

Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen collected 11th and 12th for Toro Rosso, while Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was 13th.

Jenson Button took 14th while Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi completed the finishers, after Fernando Alonso retired late on.

Neither Lotus drivers made it around the first lap, with both suspected of sustaining damage at the Rettifilo chicane.

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