Lewis Hamilton drove like a man possessed on the way to his first-ever win at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Sunday afternoon.
“It was pretty trouble free, I don’t think I had any problems,” Hamilton said. “I got a good start for once, so very very happy with that.”
Hamilton was in control the entire Italian Grand Prix and held off Ferrari, which was hoping to score a big victory on its home track. The Italian team posted respectable results with Fernando Alonso finishing third and Felipe Massa fourth, albeit 20.5 and 29.6 seconds off the pace respectively. Sergio Perez was runner up in the race. Hamilton was pretty much out front from start to finish, only giving up the lead briefly during a pit stop.
“This is a very historic circuit and, when I was driving, I was thinking that all the greats have won here so to finally get a win here is just the icing on the cake,” Hamilton said, adding that he has always enjoyed coming to Italy despite not having the greatest results in past. “I hope this is the start of something good in the future.”
The win at Monza slips Hamilton into second place in the F1 World Championship standings. Leading the way is Alonso, who has a 37-point gap back to his nearest competitor. From there, only two points separate the next three drivers. Hamilton has 142 points, Kimi Räikkönen is next with 141 and one point ahead of two-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel, who says he knows there is much work to do in his quest to win a third consecutive title.
“We know that we have to work hard. We know we are not fast enough on tracks like Monza, but having said that there is absolutely no reason to be depressed,” Vettel said. “We have seen that during a race so much can happen so I would say our chances for the championship are still excellent.”
The next stop on the Formula 1 schedule is the Singapore Grand Prix, a night race on Sept. 23.