F1 2014 Italian Grand Prix result: Hamilton beats Rosberg to win at Monza
- Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton battled back from a problem on the start line to win the 2014 Italian Grand Prix at Monza ahead of Mercedes rivals Nico Rosberg.
The 29-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas racer from Hertfordshire recovered from a poor start to take the chequered flag at Monza, with Rosberg second in Italy. It was the Silver Arrows team’s seventh one-two this year.
Hamilton said: “Big congratulations to the team for our performance this weekend. We said we wanted a one-two and we got it today; this result is important for everyone.”
The 2008 F1 world champion added: “It was a difficult race for me though. The launch sequence didn’t engage properly for the formation lap and then again for the start. I tried to pull away as fast as possible, basically I just floored it and hoped for the best!
“Fortunately I didn’t lose too many places and was able to get past Kevin [Magnussen], then have a good battle with Felipe [Massa].”
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The key moment of the race though came on lap 29 when Rosberg, then leading, drove straight on at the first chicane under pressure from Hamilton, who took advantage of his sparring partner’s mistake.
Hamilton said: “When I closed up to Nico, I didn’t want to hold back as the car felt good and I knew from experience that the only chance would be at the start of the stint when the tyres were fresh so I went for it.
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“I’m really pleased with the win, it’s feels like I have some momentum back as we go into the final races.”
Felipe Massa finished third today (Sunday) for his first podium for Williams, with Valtteri Bottas fourth after a slow first lap.
Then came the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel in fifth and sixth respectively, the Australian overtaking his German team-mate on fresher tyres in the closing laps.
Today’s result was Hamilton’s sixth grand prix win of 2014 and the 28th of his F1 career. It also cut Rosberg’s lead in the FIA World Drivers’ Championship to 22 points.
Both Mercedes drivers ran the same strategy, starting on the medium tyres and pitting one lap apart, Nico on lap 24 and Hamilton on lap 25, to change to the hard tyres and race to the end.
Rosberg admitted he was second best to Hamilton at Monza. He said: “Lewis was quicker this weekend, so he deserved the win. That for sure is very disappointing for me.
“I had a lock up in Turn One and I decided to go straight to avoid a flat spotted tyre. That cost me the lead. But he was very quick behind me, so I had to push all the time.”
Rosberg added: “But I need to see the positive things from today. Second place is still good and I lost only seven points to Lewis, so this could have been much worse.
“It’s also a great result for the team, the first one-two since Austria. So I’m happy for everybody in our team and I have to thank everyone again for this great Silver Arrow. We were the strongest team at this unique circuit.”
On pole, Hamilton made a slow start due to an electrical problem with his car and dropped down to fourth place off the line.
He complained of an issue with his energy recovery system (ERS), with the Mercedes radio reporting “it’s in a muddle”.
As a result, Hamilton was overtaken by fast-starting Mercedes partner Nico Rosberg, McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Massa and Hamilton both took Magnussen on lap five to move into second and third respectively behind race leader Rosberg.
With Hamilton’s software glitch solved, he set a fastest lap as he tried to cut Rosberg’s lead.
An unforced error saw Rosberg overrun the first chicane and he had to zig zag through the bollards on the escape road, losing valuable seconds.
Another brilliant, and high-risk, overtaking move on Massa at the first chicane, going round on the outside and then inside, saw Hamilton skilfully move into second place.
Hamilton continued to slash Rosberg’s lead and by lap 15 the gap was down to 1.5 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas, who dropped down to 11th after a slow getaway from third on the grid, carved his way through the field in his super-quick Williams to climb into the top five before pitting for fresh tyres. The Finn dropped down to ninth after stopping for tyres though, but recovered to finish fourth.
Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes drivers to pit and Hamilton briefly took the race lead on lap 24.
Hamilton dropped down to second place after his stop for tyres a lap later, but then closed right in on his German team-mate, putting the world championship leader under intense pressure.
With Hamilton within DRS range, Rosberg cracked, braking too late into Turn One and driving straight on at the first chicane for the second time.
Hamilton took full advantage of Rosberg’s error to go P1.
The Hertfordshire-born F1 driver put his foot down to pull more than 4.6 seconds clear of his Mercedes rival.
There was disappointment for the Tifosi when Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso stopped at Turn One with a car failure, the Spaniard’s first retirement of the season.
At the front, the gap between Hamilton and Rosberg was 4.3 seconds with 18 laps to go, setting up another fight to the finish, with Lewis told to look after his tyres to make them last to the end of the race.
The Mercedes drivers posted very similar laps with the gap 4.4 seconds with 10 laps remaining. The pair stayed in the same order until the end.
Mercedes now have a lead of 182 points in the Constructors’ Championship – 454 points in total – with both drivers 50 points or more ahead of third place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Team head Toto Wolff said: “Lewis had fantastic pace this weekend and his qualifying lap laid the basis for his win.
“He was in a league of his own this afternoon in terms of speed, but it wasn’t an easy race for him after the problems at the start.
“But he stayed calm, took his opportunities and delivered the goods.
“Nico also drove a strong race and took a good second place.
“It’s fantastic to take our seventh one-two of the season, we have been waiting a while for this one.”
Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe added: “It was fantastic to score another one-two finish again. There was a lot of expectation because of the long gap since we last did it in Austria, even though the car has had the potential to do so.
“It wasn’t an easy race, though. The first stress point came when we had to change Lewis’ front wing after it sustained slight damage on the grid.
“Then at the race start, Lewis’ systems for the start would not engage the correct mode, which meant he had the wrong engine settings and lost three positions off the line.
“He did a great job to recover, and pulled off a very classy pass on Massa into the first chicane.
“He had the better pace overall today and closed in on Nico, until Nico’s mistake in Turn One.”
Lowe added: “We had briefed both drivers to take the long route if they made a mistake under braking, rather than locking up and trying to make the corner.
“This was because a flat spot could have severely compromised the one-stop strategy, so Nico did absolutely the right thing – but it also cost him the lead.”