F1 2016 Italian Grand Prix Monza result: Hamilton second as Rosberg wins
PUBLISHED: 14:25 04 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:23 04 September 2016
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton salvaged second place in the 2016 Italian Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag at Monza.
The 31-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire made a poor start and slipped down to sixth on the long run to the first turn.
However, he clawed back four places to finish runner-up to colleague Nico Rosberg as the Silver Arrows claimed another podium one-two.
The German Mercedes star made it back-to-back F1 wins after his victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa with a superb drive in Italy.
Today’s victory was Rosberg’s first at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, his seventh of the 2016 season and the 21st of his F1 career.
Despite finishing second to Rosberg, Hamilton still heads his Silver Arrows colleague by two points in the drivers’ standings.
Sebastian Vettel claimed the third podium place in the provisional race results ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth for Red Bull with Valtteri Bottas sixth.
Hamilton later blamed himself for his poor getaway and not the team.
He said: “It’s tough to take when you lose a race because of such a poor start.
“From there it was just about managing the tyres during the first stint and I was delighted to get back up to second after the first stop.
“I kept pushing as hard as I could and came within 15 seconds of Nico when we crossed the line.
“I’m happy with my performance this weekend but after such an incredible qualifying day yesterday, it was disappointing to be unable to capitalise.
“I’m sure we’ll work on what happened at the start between now and Singapore.”
A slow start by Hamilton from pole position saw him slip down to sixth place on the opening lap, with Rosberg taking the race lead.
The world championship leader claimed one place back with a smart overtake on the outside into Turn 1 to pass the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo on lap two.
Hamilton clawed back another place after superbly overtaking Valtteri Bottas’ Williams on the run up to the first chicane on lap 11.
The Stevenage-born racer moved into second place behind Rosberg as the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel pitted on two-stop strategies.
The Mercedes man from Hertfordshire found himself back down in fourth place again when he switched from the soft tyre to the mediums on lap 25, with the two Ferrari cars ahead of him still to stop again.
The race order was Rosberg and then Hamilton again when Vettel and Raikkonen made their second stops, with 11 seconds separating the two Silver Arrows and Vettel 17 seconds further back.
Hamilton lost crucial seconds after a lockup down at Turn 1 and running over the bumps, and with 10 laps to go the gap between the front two was 12 seconds.
The three-time world champion was unable to respond and Rosberg took the Monza chequered flag for the first time with a 15-second advantage over his Mercedes team-mate.
Race winner Rosberg said: “It means so much to me to win here at Monza. The crowd were unbelievable over the entire weekend and especially during the podium ceremony.
“This win is incredibly special for me and standing up there and singing with thousands of people gave me goosebumps.
“The race went perfectly for me and after a good start I was able manage the gap between myself and the car behind.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to Singapore, which was our weakest race last year. Hopefully we’ve learnt lessons from 2015 and we’ll come back even stronger!”
Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, was delighted to claim a 1-2 finish.
He said: “The decisive moment was clearly the start: as Lewis dropped back to P6, Nico was able to take the lead and that set the pattern for their races.
“Nico did everything he needed to in just the right way: he managed the pace, kept the tyres in great shape and delivered a perfect one-stop race.
“As for Lewis, it was a balancing act for him as soon as he went into recovery mode: he needed to make the stint lengths in order to stay on the one-stop strategy but also fight his way back through.
“He judged it to perfection and limited the damage in terms of the points situation.”
Wolff added: “As for the start, we obviously changed the rules this year in order to make the process more manual and more variable, and we are seeing that play out.
“When you start from the front row, poor starts are more visible and good ones not so obvious, so we need to be careful jumping to conclusions.
“Lewis said on the radio that it was his fault but he also followed all his procedures in a good way – it’s simply not an easy thing to get right and there are a lot of different factors at play.
“But there is no blame game: we will come together, analyse everything, learn our lessons and keep on improving so we don’t find ourselves losing places off the line.
“But looking at the big picture, we have a perfectly balanced championship battle, with two points between Nico and Lewis after 14 races.
“The pendulum will keep swinging back and forth to the end of the season, I am sure; it will give us some more grey hairs but I think it will be a great fight for the fans to watch.”
Paddy Lowe, the team’s executive director, described it as a “very controlled drive” by Rosberg.
He added: “For Lewis, the start was clearly a bad one as he went from first to sixth before the first corner and that made it extremely difficult for him to compete for the win.
“He completed a perfect recovery drive to get back to second though and, with his fighting spirit, he didn’t give up on the win until it was clearly impossible.
“Clearly we need to analyse what happened to Lewis at the start and do better next time.
“After such a great qualifying lap yesterday we all share Lewis’ disappointment that he lost position.”
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