The Day As It Unfolds

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Takes Championship Lead in Ferrari’s Home Country

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Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Italian Grand Prix has helped him lead the 2017 F1 Drivers’ Championship Standings by 3 points, overturning his 7 point deficit with Vettel. The British took a commanding win at Monza on Sunday, leading his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to a 1-2 finish. Hamilton claimed his fourth victory at the Italian track, ending the race a full four seconds ahead of team-mate Bottas. Third place went to Sebastian Vettel, who ended nearly 30 seconds behind in his Ferrari. Also, Hamilton set a new record with his 69th pole on Saturday becoming the first driver to claim back-to-back wins in 2017.

“For Lewis Hamilton, this felt like the moment that everything changed,” Oliver Brown wrote in the Daily Telegraph. “Here at Monza, the temple of speed that represents consecrated ground for the teeming swarms of Ferrari tifosi, he achieved a victory so crushing that it turned this season’s world championship fight on its head. In arrears to Sebastian Vettel all year, he vanquished his arch-rival by over 36 seconds to surge three points clear. As plumes of lurid red smoke engulfed the back straight, he offered the broad smile of a man quite happy, for once, to play the pantomime villain.”

Lewis Hamilton was booed during the interviews with the top three drivers from the Italian GP.

“From a rain-lashed qualifying to a race staged in the seductive glow of late summer in Lombardy, Hamilton stood supreme all weekend, irrespective of conditions. Having enjoyed three weeks of down-time in Cuba and Barbados, he has returned to the Formula 1 grindstone revitalised, determined to give no quarter. His stated mission to turn Vettel’s smile upside down has worked. The German, for all the love that washes over Ferrari’s No 1 driver at the Italian Grand Prix, appeared chastened by the scale of his eclipse in third.”

The Guardian’s Giles Richards also noted Hamilton’s enjoyment at spoiling Ferrari’s party at their home race. “The Mercedes driver was booed by a fiercely partisan crowd, desperate to see a Ferrari win at the Scuderia’s 70th anniversary race, as he revelled in a dominant victory,” he said. “Hamilton’s evident pleasure was understandable. His win, a run from pole to flag during which he barely put a wheel out of place, leaves him in front of his title rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with seven races remaining.”

“The season has ebbed and flowed between the two drivers and this is the first time one of them has taken back-to-back wins, after Hamilton’s victory at the previous round in Spa. The Briton, though, was taking nothing for granted.”

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