F1: 2011 Italian Grand Prix: Hamilton finishes off the podium at Monza
PUBLISHED: 14:35 11 September 2011 | UPDATED: 07:14 12 September 2011
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton could only finish fourth at Monza in today’s 2011 Italian Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Hertfordshire finished just off the podium, having started the race from second on the grid.
Reigning F1 world champion and championship leader Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag for Red Bull from pole position for his 18th grand prix victory – and second in Italy.
Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Jenson Button edged ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso for second place.
Alonso, who stormed through from fourth place on the grid to lead into the first corner ahead of pole-sitter Vettel and Hamilton, claimed the final step on the podium.
After a titanic tussle with the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher in the opening half of the race, Hamilton crossed the finish line fourth.
The McLaren pit told Hamilton over the radio: “Cracking effort, Lewis. When in clear air you were as quick as anyone. Pity you lost so much time behind the Mercedes.”
The Herts-born 2008 F1 world champion closed in on the back of Alonso’s Ferrari in the closing laps – but ran out of time to take third place.
Such was his pace in the final laps he clocked the best lap time of the entire race – a 1m 26.187s on lap 52.
Schumacher finished fifth and Felipa Massa sixth for Ferrari.
The F1 circus heads to Asia next for the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix on September 25.
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