Lewis Hamilton wins Italian GP as Nico Rosberg suffers major title blow

时间:2019-08-29 责任编辑:陶仗森 来源:澳门拉斯维加斯 点击:21 次

It had been, everyone agreed, one of Lewis Hamilton’s most commanding victories. It was a stroll in Monza’s royal park, a saunter in the Lombardy sunshine, as he won the Italian Grand Prix by 25 seconds.

George Lucas, the director of Star Wars, was trackside and he must have been disappointed by the flatness of the production.

Meanwhile Italy’s beloved tifosi, who had been so animated on Saturday when Ferrari’s drivers qualified second and third on the grid, now sat sullen and silent; they could have been a still-life painting.

The story, such as it was, occurred, off the track, though it was trailed eight laps from the end when the Mercedes team instructed Hamilton to push. He was as bewildered as everyone else.

Until then it had been an almost perfect afternoon, a warm blessing of an Italian afternoon.

Kimi Raikkonen, making a rare guest appearance on the front row of the grid, alongside Hamilton, was the man most likely to upset the British driver by getting a flying start. But the Ferrari was left motionless when the lights went out, and watched in horror as the other cars streaked past, leaving him at the back of the field, though he recovered well to finish fifth.

Nico Rosberg, Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate and only rival for the world championship, immediately fell back from fourth on the grid to sixth. It was the fourth time the German had lost positions on the opening laps in as many races.

Hamilton’s advantage in qualifying had been just 0.2sec but he was so smoothly superior on Sunday that after five laps his advantage over Sebastian Vettel was growing towards three seconds. After 11 laps he was six seconds ahead and looked serene.

The action behind him seemed of little consequence to him; it seemed of little interest to anyone, in all fairness given Hamilton’s swaggering ascendancy.

There was stuff going on. Jenson Button, who started in 15th, made such good headway that he was soon up to 10th. But then this dog of a car, with its hopeless Honda engine, remembered its humble capabilities and slid backwards, to 14th. Fernando Alonso retired with three laps remaining.

At least McLaren fared better than Lotus, whose race was over within a few minutes of the start. Both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado had contact with other cars on the first former. It was Grosjean’s eighth retirement of the season.

There was better news for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who started 19th because of a 25-points grid penalty for changing parts of his engine. But he finished eighth, with his team-mate Daniil Kvyat 10th.

Neither was it a wasted afternoon for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who for the third race in a row scored points, finishing ninth.

There was a decent drive, too, from Max Verstappen, who started at the back of the field and had to serve a drive-through penalty as a punishment for a break-up of his bodywork during qualifying. He finished 12th, one place behind his Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.

The Force India cars of Sergio Pérez and Nico Hulkenberg both finished in the points, sixth and seventh respectively. Further up, there was another sound result for the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas, who were third and fourth. Massa was promoted to third after Rosberg’s engine gave up in the closing stages of the race.

Vettel was second, but 25.042sec behind Hamilton, whose calm was only broken in the final circuits when Mercedes got on the radio and told him not to ask questions but just to push for the remainder of the race, which then ended in rather surreal circumstances.

The news came fast. And it came from Joe Bauer, the FIA’s technical delegate, who said: “The measured minimum tyre starting pressure of the left-hand rear tyre of car 44 [Hamilton’s] was 0.3 PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure and the measured minimum tyre starting pressure of car number 06 [Rosberg’s] was 1.1PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure. I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.” There were a few blank looks when that landed.

Hamilton knew nothing about it – or about Rosberg’s accident, at the end of the race. He said: “I am not aware of it. I have no comment to make.”

When, some two and a half hours later, the news came through that no further action would take place Hamilton’s face was wreathed in smiles.

This was his seventh win of the season, and the 40th of his career. And the accident that prevented Rosberg from finishing meant that Hamilton’s lead in the table jumped from 28 points to 53.

That looks like a mountain to climb for the German. The British driver’s previous two titles were not decided until the end of the season but this one could be wrapped up much earlier than that.

He is now just one chequered flag behind his idol, Ayrton Senna, with 41 wins, in the all-time list. But before he or anyone else could enjoy that he would have to wait through the investigation by the stewards

Tyres had been the dominant feature of Formula One since the by Vettel and Rosberg in the last round in Belgium two weeks before. It was the hot topic at the start of the week and it was so again at the end, with real fears that the world champion could be disqualified.

It would have been a sad end to what could be the penultimate race at the greatest F1 venue of them all, though there are still hopes that Monza will do a new deal with the sport’s chief executive beyond 2016.

It would have been a sad end for Hamilton too. He is the outstanding driver in . But he remains strangely incident-prone, and that is the only thing that gives encouragement to his rivals.