Hamilton fights back in Italy to resurrect title hopes

Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last week for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last week for Mercedes
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Lewis Hamilton stormed back from a terrible start to take victory at the Italian Grand Prix and boost his 2014 World Championship title hopes.

Following the dramatic and controversial Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, tensions were running high within the Mercedes team and between their two drivers, Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Having qualified on pole at the famous Monza track, Hamilton made a disastrous start to Sunday’s race, allowing Rosberg to take the lead as the Briton slipped down to fourth.

Hamilton kept his composure, however, as he brilliantly fought his way back into the race before a mistake from Rosberg handed the lead back to Hamilton, who then cruised to a vital and potentially season-defining victory.

The 29-year-old said: “I made a poor start but just kept on fighting as hard as I could. Nico seemed to missed his braking into the first chicane and I managed to take the lead. I was very keen not to let it go!”

Rosberg still leads the race for the 2014 World Championship by 22 points with six rounds of the season to go.

Although disappointed not to win, the German was satisfied with his performance at Monza, saying: “I made a small error which lost me the lead. If that had not happened then I do think I could and would have won. Lewis gained a few points on me but the season is far from over and the race for the title is very much on.”

After the disappointment of Spa, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was happy with the one-two finish, saying: “This is a great result for the Silver Arrows and is a deserving reward for our hard working staff in Brackley and Brixworth.”

Felipe Massa finished third for the Williams team – his first podium of the season.

Sergio Perez was the leading Silverstone-based Sahara Force India driver as he finished an impressive seventh while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg struggled to 12th.

The Bicester-based Toro Rosso team were also out of luck. Fading brakes caused Daniil Kvyat to miss the first chicane in the closing stages of the race, halting his charge for points. The Russian finished 11th with his team-mate, Jean-Eric Vergne, 13th.

Standings: 1. Rosberg 238; 2. Hamilton 216; 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 166; 4. Valterri Bottas (Williams) 122; 5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 121; 6. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 106.

Next race: Singapore, September 19-21.