Unbeatable Hamilton strolls to Italy win
It seems that only bad luck and unreliability can stop Lewis Hamilton from winning a third world championship this season, after he eased to victory in the Italian Grand Prix while his team-mate and title rival, Nico Rosberg, retired.
The Englishman was imperious at Monza, and is in the form of his life. 2015 will not be remembered with too much fondness, but it has been the year that Hamilton's unquestioned talent has been fully realised.
At the start, he drove away confidently and his pace over the opening 20 laps ended the expected challenge from Ferrari, who had high hopes of causing an upset and winning for the third time this season. Sebastian Vettel claimed second, but finished over 20 seconds behind Hamilton at the chequered flag.
Vettel's team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, who started second, failed to get off the line when the race began and sunk to last place. He battled back through, but he couldn't do better than fifth. For Ferrari, this was a disappointing afternoon.
His poor start had an affect on Rosberg. He was forced to avoid the stuttering Finn and fell from fourth to sixth. Any hope he had of chasing Hamilton ended after 50 metres.
The German, a renowned fighter, gave his all and did fought back to hold third, ahead of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. However, with two laps to go his engine, which was changed ahead of qualifying yesterday, gave up in a plume of smoke. His title hopes are all but over.
Elsewhere, Raikkonen's woeful start wasn't the only drama at the start of a largely drama-less race, as both Lotus drivers retired on the opening lap, to cap off a miserable two weeks for the team.
Romain Grosjean pulled off with a mechanical failure, while Pastor Maldonado was again involved in a first-lap incident, although on this occasion it wasn't his fault as he was avoiding other cars into the tight turn 1.
Red Bull struggled to recover from their grid penalties as Daniel Ricciardo scraped four points for eighth, allowing Force India to be the best of the rest with Sergio Pérez in sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. Marcus Eicsson impressively claimed two points for Sauber.
On track action was hard to find, with Raikkonen the main aggressor as he fought back through the field. But this race will be seen as a crucial weekend in Hamilton's campaign. The Englishman is now 52 points clear. A third world title is inevitable.
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