Nico Rosberg cruises to victory after Hamilton gets bad start in Italy

BY foxsports • September 4, 2016

Nico Rosberg reduced the gap to points leader Lewis Hamilton after the German took his seventh win of the 2016 Formula One World Championship in Monza, Italy, on Sunday. It was his first win at the Italian circuit.

The Mercedes teammates started on the front row, with Hamilton on pole, but the Brit had a poor start off the line and dropped to sixth place on the opening lap.

However, the duo got to start the race on the soft tires, as the team chose to run them during Q2 on Saturday knowing that their car would be quick enough on them to advance to Q3.

Meanwhile, the rest of the top 10 had started on supersofts, and so Hamilton bided his time picking them back off as he knew that - bar Rosberg - all the cars in front of him would likely be on a two-stop strategy.

Thus, even though the Ferrari teammates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were able to please the Italian fans by running second and third respectively most of the race, after their second stop they dropped to third and fourth behind Hamilton.

Rosberg came into the Italian GP nine points behind Hamilton. However, with his race win to Hamilton's second-place finish, he has now reduced that gap to just two points.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo ran close all race long for fifth place, with the Australian crossing the line ahead after a late move into Turn 1 six laps from the end.

Behind them, Felipe Massa scored points in his final Italian GP, while the Haas F1 teammates finished just outside the points, even though Esteban Gutierrez had made the team's first Q3 appearance on Saturday. Fernando Alonso made a late stop in his McLaren for supersoft tires so that he could have a shot at setting the fastest lap of the race in the closing laps, which he did, taking it away from Raikkonen.

On the podium, Vettel was as jubilant as race-winner Rosberg, as Sunday's performance seems to indicate that Ferrari's new engine upgrade has moved them back ahead of Red Bull.

Retirements from the race included Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr, who tangled early, and Pascal Wehrlein and Daniil Kvyat, who retired due to mechanical issues. Nasr was given a time penalty for the incident with Palmer, which mattered little as he had suffered a puncture in the incident, while Kvyat retired shortly after being handed a penalty for speeding in the pits.

Formula One will be back in action in two weeks time for the Singapore GP.

Unofficial race results: