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Hamilton 40th win ties him with Sebastian Vettel and Aryton Senna

Lewis Hamilton Wins The Italian Grand Prix Continuing To Dominate Formula 1

Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

Italian Grand Prix

By Steve Aibel

@steveaibel

Lewis Hamilton took another big step toward his third Formula 1 Driver’s Championship with a win at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s dominant victory was his 7th of the season and 40th in his career. Teammate Nico Rosberg failed to finish due to an engine failure and now tails Hamilton by 53 points. It is safe to say that the championship stands fully in Hamilton’s court unless something extreme happens to the British driver.

Hamilton 40th win ties him with Sebastian Vettel and Aryton Senna

Hamilton 40th win ties him with Sebastian Vettel and Aryton Senna

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took second position, 25 seconds behind the victorious Hamilton. After a strong qualifying performance by both Raikkonen and Vettel (2nd and 3rd), Ferrari was hopeful for a very strong home race for the wildly supportive Italian Tifosi. Raikkonen, however, failed to get away at the start, leaving his beleaguered SF15-T motionless at the front of the grid. He was fortunate that Nico Rosberg and the rest of the grid did not plow into his rear end. By the time he got the car moving, Raikkonen was at the back of the field and essentially had no chance of a podium finish. Raikkonen did eventually work his way up to 5th leaving one to wonder where he would have finished without the botched start.

Vettel seems like he has been a Ferrari favorite for years

Vettel seems like he has been a Ferrari favorite for years

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas battled fiercely for the final podium position with Massa snipping Bottas by a mere 3 tenths of a second. This was a good showing for Williams on a track that always suits the team well. Massa, always a fan favorite of the Italians was warmly received at the podium celebration.

Felipe Massa still adored in Italy

Felipe Massa still adored in Italy

And what a celebration it was. Monza typifies what Formula 1 means to fans. While there is talk of Monza losing the race as contracts negotiations drag on with no resolution in plain sight, Sebastian Vettel explained what the loss would mean to the Formula 1 fan. Vettel explained that losing this race would be “ripping our hearts out.” He explained well how the emotion that flows through this venue makes Monza one of the ultimate Formula 1 tracks and venues.

Lewis Hamilton agreed, stating that the “sea of fans” is unbelievably Monza. Finally Felipe Massa, who drove for Ferrari and was popular with the Tifosi, said that Monza is “part of our blood and we cannot lose these types of races.”

The Tifosi at Monza epitomize F1

The Tifosi at Monza epitomize F1

Monza is important to F1, that much is clear. Bernie Ecclestone gives preferential treatment to teams such as Ferrari, Williams, Mercedes and Red Bull in the form of extra bonus money from the F1 coffers. It might be time to consider granting similar status to tracks that have supported the series for exceptional lengths of time.

The actual race was firmly in Hamilton’s hands right from the start. The only drama for Lewis occurred in the closing stages as Mercedes pit control offered a cryptic message to the driver urging him to up the pace and push to the end. Hamilton wondered in the cockpit, what could possibly be wrong where the pitlane was asking him to push “harder” to the end while having a huge lead. Hamilton mentioned that he felt like he was juggling with 3 balls and they threw a 4th ball in.

It was found that both Hamilton and Rosberg were under FIA investigation for having tires underinflated on the grid before the race started. Hamilton was down .3 psi and Rosberg down 1.1 psi. The FIA quickly resolved this explaining that the tires were properly inflated and lost slight pressure when the tire warmers were unplugged. So in reality, there was no issue.

So why the pressure to up the pace for Hamilton?

Mercedes received this information late in the race and was worried about the possibility of a 25 second penalty. This could have handed the victory to Vettel had the FIA issued a penalty which they had done over the weekend in GP2.

The teams now prepare for the final stretch of flyaway races starting with Singapore in two weeks. Red Bull has pronounced that they will not be racing with Renault power in 2016. Renault has not yet to announce their intentions for the 2016 season but they appear to be involved in takeover talks with Lotus. These will be stories that will unfold in the next month.

Haas F1 Team has expressed their interest in naming drivers in the month of September. With a win by American Alexander Rossi in the GP2 race at Monza, it would seem as if Rossi is doing all he can to land a ride with the Haas.

Alexander Rossi win at Monza in GP2 should get the attention of Haas F1 Team

Alexander Rossi win at Monza in GP2 should get the attention of Haas F1 Team

But the big story remains Lewis!

Lewis Hamilton: a dominant force in F1

Lewis Hamilton: a dominant force in F1

Hamilton will tie both Sebastian Vettel and Ayrton Senna in all time Grand Prix wins with his next victory. If this 41st victory happens in Singapore, he will have tied Senna in the identical number of races and will trail only Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost. With a championship to put away and record books to rewrite, Lewis Hamilton still has plenty to work for in 2015.

Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 252
  2. Nico Rosberg 199
  3. Sebastian Vettel 178
  4. Felipe Massa 97
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 92
  6. Valtteri Bottas 91
  7. Daniil Kvyat 58
  8. Daniel Ricciardo 55
  9. Romain Grosjean 38
  10. Sergio Perez 33
  11. Nico Hulkenberg 30
  12. Max Verstappen 26
  13. Felipe Nasr 16
  14. Pastor Maldonado
  15. Fernando Alonso
  16. Carlos Sainz Jr.
  17. Marcus Ericsson
  18. Jenson Button 6

 

Constructors’ Championship

  1. Mercedes 451
  2. Ferrari 270
  3. Williams 188
  4. Red Bull 113
  5. Force India 63
  6. Lotus 50
  7. Toro Rosso 35
  8. Sauber 25
  9. McLaren 17
  10. Manor/Marussia 0

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