Belfast Telegraph

Lewis Hamilton keeps Italian GP win despite probe

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton sat back and listened to music as his emphatic Italian Grand Prix victory was left in the hands of Formula One's stewards.

Hamilton is closing in on a third title after moving 53 points clear of Nico Rosberg whose troubled weekend came to an end when his engine went up in smoke with only two laps left.

And such is the magnitude of Hamilton's lead he can now afford to finish second behind his Mercedes team-mate at each of the remaining seven races and still be crowned champion.

But for almost three hours in Monza, Hamilton's superb victory was shredded in doubt after a tyre pressure infringement.

As Hamilton popped his champagne cork to celebrate the 40th win of his career alongside Sebastian Vettel, who finished second for Ferrari, and the Williams of Felipe Massa occupying the final spot on the rostrum, his Mercedes team was summoned to the stewards.

Hamilton started the race with 0.3 psi (pounds per square inch) below the specified minimum pressure in his left rear tyre. But he was eventually declared the winner a little after 6pm local time when the fanatical fans who make this historic Monza venue one of the best on the calendar had long since departed.

"I didn't even notice it," Hamilton said of the investigation after his seventh victory of the campaign was ratified. "I was doing my engineering, listening to some music, just chilling. I wasn't really thinking about it.

"I just sat with the engineers, talking about what a great job they did, and trying to remember if there were any points we could improve on."

Hamilton, who held off the challenge from Vettel on the run down to turn one and from there never looked back, was cruising to victory.

But with five laps remaining his team mysteriously asked him to improve his pace. "We'll explain later", they said obviously wary of the imminent FIA investigation and a potential time penalty.

Belfast Telegraph


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