MONZA, Italy – Lewis Hamilton eased to victory in Sunday’s Formula One Italian Grand Prix, widening his lead in the World Championship in the process.
Hamilton beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with Felipe Massa finishing third for Williams while Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg forced to retire while running third just two laps from the finish. Hamilton’s point lead ballooned to 53 over Rosberg despite his left-rear tire being 0.3 PSI below the FIA’s standard for the race.
The race stewards reviewed the issue but did not penalize Hamilton.
Ferrari’s hopes of defeating Mercedes took a serious blow as soon as the start lights went out, when Kimi Raikkonen – alongside Hamilton on the front row of the grid – failed to get away cleanly and dropped to the back of the pack.
Vettel gave chase, but the German had no answer to Hamilton’s pace and the two-time world champion went unchallenged throughout the 53 laps as he brought his Silver Arrow home 25 seconds ahead.
Valtteri Bottas completed a strong race for Williams, narrowly losing out to teammate Massa to take fourth. Raikkonen was a distant fifth after fighting his way back through the pack. Force India were sixth and seventh, courtesy of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, split by the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson, completed the top 10.
After their podium return last time out in Belgium, it was a disastrous afternoon for Lotus, with both cars going out on lap one after drama at the opening turn. Romain Grosjean looked to make contact with Hulkenberg, causing rear suspension damage, while Pastor Maldonado ran heavily over the curbs and was forced to immediately pit to retire.
The only other DNF was Fernando Alonso, who pulled his McLaren Honda into the pits with technical issues on lap 50.