Hamilton wins dramatic Italian GP

Hamilton held off a hard-charging Perez to the win as Alonso took third.

Lewis Hamilton stayed safely clear of an incredible charge from Sergio Perez to win the Italian Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso stretched his Formula 1 points lead by coming through from 10th on the grid to third.

Alonso benefited from his closest title rival Sebastian Vettel being penalised for forcing him off the road as they battled mid-race and later retiring with a mechanical problem.

For much of the distance it looked like a straightforward McLaren one-two was in prospect.

Although Felipe Massa made a great start to immediately pass Jenson Button for second and then pressure Hamilton into the first chicane, the poleman was soon able to ease away. Button then overtook the Ferrari for second just before their pitstops.

But with 19 laps to go, Button was forced to park his McLaren on the approach to the Parabolica, with what was initially diagnosed as a fuel pressure problem.

That brought Massa back up to second, but with Alonso catching him.

The championship leader had gained two places off the start, before overtaking Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Raikkonen in quick succession.

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel then proved tougher opponents, though both were eventually conquered by the Ferrari. Along the way, Alonso ended up on the Curva Grande grass as Vettel defended - a move that would earn the champion a drivethrough penalty.

Vettel still looked set for sixth until being ordered to stop his car due to a developing technical problem five laps from home.

Massa gave Alonso an easy pass into second place, but by then a new threat was looming.

Unlike all the frontrunners, Perez had started on the hard tyres, allowng him to run until lap 29 before his first pitstop.

He rejoined in sixth, benefited from Vettel and Button's problems, and then started lapping 1.5 seconds faster than the hard-shod leaders as he thrived on the medium rubber.

Both Massa and Alonso were easily overtaken, and Perez then charged off after Hamilton.

The Mexican would run out of time to catch the McLaren, but still claimed his third podium of an excellent season.

Alonso and Massa finished third and fourth, ahead of Raikkonen's Lotus, which held off two-stopping Mercedes duo Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

Mark Webber recovered from a slow start to get into the top six, only to spin his Red Bull out of the Ascari chicane in the final laps and then retire.

Force India's Paul di Resta took eighth, while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg's charge from the back ended with a late technical problem.

Kamui Kobayashi in the second Sauber and Bruno Senna's Williams completed the points-scorers after a last-lap problem for Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo. The latter's team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne retired in dramatic style with an apparent suspension breakage approaching the Rettifilo.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The Italian Grand Prix
Monza, Italy;
53 laps; 306.720km;
Weather: Sunny.

Classified:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h19:41.221
 2.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     4.356
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    20.594
 4.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    29.667
 5.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    30.881
 6.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    31.259
 7.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    33.550
 8.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    41.057
 9.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    43.898
10.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    48.144
11.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +    48.682
12.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    50.316
13.  d'Ambrosio    Lotus-Renault              +  1:15.861
14.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
15.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
16.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
17.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
18.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
19.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
20.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    2 laps
21.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    3 laps
22.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    6 laps

Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.239

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Button        McLaren-Mercedes             32
Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari           8


World Championship standings, round 13:

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso       179        1.  Red Bull-Renault          272
 2.  Hamilton     142        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          243
 3.  Raikkonen    141        3.  Ferrari                   226
 4.  Vettel       140        4.  Lotus-Renault             217
 5.  Webber       132        5.  Mercedes                  126
 6.  Button       101        6.  Sauber-Ferrari            100
 7.  Rosberg       83        7.  Force India-Mercedes       63
 8.  Grosjean      76        8.  Williams-Renault           54
 9.  Perez         65        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         12
10.  Massa         47
11.  Schumacher    43
12.  Kobayashi     35
13.  Di Resta      32
14.  Hulkenberg    31
15.  Maldonado     29
16.  Senna         25
17.  Vergne         8
18.  Ricciardo      4

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Issue: 176 | April 2014

Toyota’s striking new Corolla driven this month; plus, the new Datsun Go takes on the best in the segment.
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