Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg returned to winning ways at the Italian Grand Prix after teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton made a sluggish start from pole position.
Once the lights went out, Rosberg jumped to the lead of the race, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel following his countrymen into the first chicane.
The two drivers went head-to-head into the second chicane before Rosberg asserted his authority at the front, building a comfortable buffer to the four-time world champion.
Behind, Hamilton was on a recovery mode, passing Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas to move up to fourth.
Ferraris, however, were running much further up the road, forcing Hamilton to switch to a one-stop strategy.
The move paid off, allowing Hamilton to catapult into second place, without having to overtake the Scarlet cars on track.
Vettel, nevertheless, managed to end a podium drought for Ferrari, finishing third at Scuderia’s home turf in Monza.
Kimi Raikkonen finished a few seconds adrift in fourth, with Ricciardo completing the top five after a late pass on Bottas.
Teammate Max Verstappen, likewise, passed Force India’s Sergio Perez in the final five laps of the race to finish seventh, having slipped outside the top 10 after a poor start.
Williams’ Felipe Massa, who failed to make into Q3 yesterday, was classified ninth with Nico Hulkenberg collecting the final point in 10th.
The Grove based outfit outscored Force India by five points, which puts them back into fourth place in the constructors championship with seven races to go.
Haas again finished on the cusp of the points, with Romain Grosjean finishing 11th and Esteban Gutierrez classified 13th.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer were involved in an early collision, both cars retiring from the race soon after due to accidental damage.
Pascal Wehrlein stopped on track with a technical problem, while Daniil Kvyat was the fourth and the final driver not to be classified.
by Rachit Thukral