F1: Hamilton Beats Raikkonen To Win Dramatic Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead with a win in the Italian GP, passing Kimi Raikkonen in the final stages. Vettel recovered to fourth after an opening clash with Hamilton.

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Lewis Hamilton took the win over Kimi Raikkonen which is Ferrari's home track

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton consolidated his championship lead bringing home the 2018 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix. The Briton took the win in a late charge during the final stages of the race beating pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen to the chequered flag. The win comes despite Hamilton's incident on the opening lap with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, which dropped the latter down to P16. Vettel, however, recovered to P4 in the race, behind Valtteri Bottas. The other contender for P4, Red Bull's Max Verstappen attracted a 5-second penalty in an incident with Bottas dropping down to fifth.

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(Hamilton and Raikkonen collided on the opening lap bringing out the safety car)

The Italian GP started with drama right from the opening lap at Monza. Apart from the Hamilton-Vettel clash, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and Torro Rosso's Brendon Hartley collided as well ending the race for the latter. The safety car was deployed post the Vettel-Ham collision that led to Vettel spinning and losing his position and gave the Mercedes driver a chance to take the lead, albeit briefly. Vettel, meanwhile, had to pit after damage to his front wing but recovered early thanks to the safety car still deployed.

As the safety car went back to the pits on Lap 4, Raikkonen was back in the lead with Hamilton trailing behind closely. Raikkonen held on to the lead was most of the race extending a 2 second lead over the Hamilton's W09 by Lap 20. The Iceman was the first to pit between the race leaders, while Hamilton decided to stay out for an additional eight laps to extend his lead. Bottas was the last pit at a distant Lap 36 but managed to do so while in the lead holding off Raikkonen.

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(Hamilton passed Raikkonen on Lap 45 with the latter struggling with his rear tyre)

As Bottas took to the pits, Raikkonen was back in the lead with Hamilton closely behind once again. However, Raikkonen's rear tyre was wearing out faster which meant the driver had little luck pushing further over the Mercedes. At the start of Lap 45, the Mercedes drew alongside the Ferrari and passed the latter on the outside taking the lead. The pole-sitter did try to fight back into the Roggia Chicane but the reigning world champion was only extending his lead. A blister on Kimi's rear-left tyre only slowed his pace further.

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(Verstappen was awarded a 5 second penalty after his contact with Bottas)

Hamilton eventually took the win with a lead of 8.705s over Raikkonen, while Bottas was a distant third 14s off the race leader. Hamilton has increased his lead in the championship standings over Vettel by 30 points.

At the back, Haas' Romain Grosjean took P6 after an intense fight against Racing Point Force India's Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. The latter started at P14 in the race but finished eighth behind his teammate. Taking ninth was Renault's Carlos Sainz ahead of Lance Stroll of Williams in P10, taking his first points of the season.

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(Daniel Ricciardo made a smoking exit from the Italian GP at Monza)

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Apart from Hartley, McLaren's Fernando Alonso too retired after facing an issue on Lap 10 while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo faced engine troubles bringing an end to his race at almost half the race.

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