MONZA, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of five Italian Grand Prix wins on Sunday (Aug 2) and left much-fancied Ferrari in their rubber dust.
Despite a collision (judged a racing incident) between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton soon after the start which sent the Ferrari pilot to 18th, clever tyre management helped Mercedes to the win.
Hamilton twice overtook Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who had started on pole, stilling Ferrari fans’ hopes for a first Ferrari win in eight years.
Hamilton told the crowd on the main straight after the trophy presentations (Ferrari fans booing the British driver – sies!): “Today was so difficult. Negativity is never great, but that’s what powered me along.
”I actually accept it and I love being here in Italy… the track is incredible and it’s a such an honour to win here in front of such a great crowd.”
It was Hamilton’s sixth win of 2018, taking him to 256 Drivers’ points to his Vettel’s 226, with seven races to go. Mercedes has 415 points to Ferrari’s 390 in the Constructors’ standings.
Raikkonen had looked to be in with a chance of his first win in 108 races but the Finn, who seized back the lead after Hamilton passed him on lap four, was unable to hold off the Briton.
KUDOS TO BOTTAS, TOO
Raikkonen said later: ”I think the car was quick enough but our rear tyres went. It was a losing battle from that point. We did our maximum.”
Kudos, too, to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who led after Hamilton pitted and held position long enough to let his team mate catch up.