Lewis Hamilton succeeded taking his 28th career victory to rapturous applause on the podium in Italy today. He did not make it easy for himself after a poor start but drove back through from fourth place to take the win after Rosberg made two unforced errors.
As it happened…
The Mercedes duo secured a sixth front row lock out in 2014, and today at Monza it was Lewis Hamilton starting on pole with teammate alongside, followed by the Williams pair and McLaren pair providing Mercedes powerplants being the force to be reckoned with on this power circuit.
Start: On one of the most difficult first corners of the year with the tight right-left chicane it was Nico Rosberg that lead the field through as Hamilton got a dreadful start slipping down to fourth. Magnussen leapfrogged up to second place with Massa in third by the end of lap two. Hamilton reported on the radio that his car was stuck in "race start mode", hindering his early pace, but get back up to speed by lap four.
Lap 5: Massa gets a great tow on the approach to the Variante della Roggia on Magnussen and passes into second place. Magnussen bogs down on the exit allowing Hamilton to get through into third place. Chilton gets it all wrong on lap six at the Roggia and bounces over the kerbing and into the gravel to retirement – only his second non-finish in his career.
Lap 9: Rosberg made a completely unforced error out-braking himself into the first corner and running straight on allowing the chasing pair of Massa and Hamilton to close up by a further 0.8 seconds, no just 3.6 seconds behind. Then on the very next lap at the same corner Hamilton takes Massa on the outside and slots into second place to chase after his teammate.
Lap 14: Hamilton is putting fastest lap after fastest lap to close the gap to Rosberg which now sits at 1.9 seconds. Bottas who has a dire start going from 4th to 11th has been clawing back the packes and passes Perez for 8th through a DRS assisted pass on the home straight. Magnussen, still in fourth and now 11.6 seconds behind Rosberg leads a train of cars of Vettel, Button, Alonso, Bottas and Perez all under a second of eachother.
Lap 19: Vettel is the first of the front runners to make the expected single stop to the harder compound trye. Hamilton is now 1.2 seconds behind Rosberg, whilst Bottas overtakes Magnussen and now runs in fourth back to where he started on the grid.
Lap 24: Pitstops aplenty for the whole field now with Vettel making the undercut successful on Magnussen. It is "Hammertime" for Hamilton at Mercedes as Rosberg gets the call to pit and Lewis moves into first place – it is a 2.8 second stop for Rosberg.
Lap 25: Hamilton pits and it is a slick stop for both Mercedes drivers with a 2.7 second stop for the British driver. Meanwhile, previous to the Hamilton stop Bottas exited the pits into the aforementioned train of cars and was passed by Vettel, Magnussen and Perez – although quickly regained a position on Perez later in the lap.
At half distance the running order is Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Kvyat, Vettel, Magnussen, Bottas, Perez, Button, Alonso. Kvyat is running out of position being the only driver yet to stop.
Lap 29: Rosberg loses half a second on the pace allowing Hamilton to close up at the Parabolica. On the approach to the Rettifilo, Rosberg runs straight on again as Hamilton breezes into the lead. On the same lap, Alonso approaches the same corner and pulls up into retirement. At his fifth appearance at Monza for Ferrari it will be the first time he hasn't been on the podium, his first retirement from a race since Malaysia 2013, and has been 86 races since his last mechanical retirement (Malaysia 2010)!
Lap 34: Hamilton is stretching a lead over Rosberg with the gap now up to 3.6 seconds. Prior to Hamilton passing Rosberg he was told on the radio to hold station and save the tyres to the end to attack. Now, Rosberg has that message and appears to have more work to do on fuel saving. Stewards announce they are investigating Magnussen pushing Bottas off the track at the first corner…
Lap 37: No news from the stewards yet but Bottas passes Magnussen on the run down to the first corner. Just as that happens, Magnussen gets a 5-second stop-go penalty for forcing Bottas off the track. With no more scheduled stops he will have 5-seconds added to his finishing time.
Lap 41: A terrific battle between Button and Perez through all of lap 39 sees Button first pass Perez and then Perez gets it back. Then on the approach to the Rettifilo on lap 40 Ricciardo manages to get past Button. One lap later Ricciardo is at it again and passes Perez.
Lap 45: Ricciardo continues his move up the order, now having passed Magnussen, and starts chasing down teammate Vettel who is 2.5 seconds up the road, and encouraged to close the gap by his race engineer.
Lap 48: Ricciardo, on tyres seven laps younger than Vettel gets a great run down to the first corner but Vettel holds on to 5th place. Then on the approach to the della Roggia Ricciardo pulls out and gets Vettel on the exit.
Lap 51: Huge lockup for Hamilton into the first corner, but only loses four tenths to Rosberg chasing in second. Both Mercedes drivers are managing issues on their cars but seem to be holding station.
CHEQUERED FLAG: It is Hamilton who takes his sixth win in 2014 and another 1-2 for Mercedes this year. Massa returns to the podium for the first time since Spain 2013 ahead of teammate Valteri Bottas in fourth. Ricciardo finishes ahead of Vettel, with Magussen, Perez, Button and Raikkonen rounding out the top 10. Magnussen will actually be recorded in 10th place with his added five second penalty.
PODIUM: Massa is very well received onto the podium in third having been a Ferrari driver for many years. Rosberg received a lot of jeering from the crowd despite Jean Alesi trying to quieten the crowd. Hamilton though looks elated and clearly delighted to have won this race, along with an enormous cheer upon receiving the podium and saying some words in Italian to the crowd.