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Hamilton beats Raikkonen to Monza win after Vettel crash

Hamilton beats Raikkonen to Monza win after Vettel crash

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Hamilton beats Raikkonen to Monza win after Vettel crash

Hamilton beats Raikkonen to Monza win after Vettel crash

Kimi Raikkonen could not cling on as Lewis Hamilton pounced late in the day to win a thrilling Italian Grand Prix and extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 30 points after the title rivals collided on the opening lap at Monza.

Raikkonen and Vettel started on the front row as the Tifosi had dreams of winning a first home race since 2010, but the collision at the Ascari Chicane left Vettel to fight from the back of the grid and allowed Mercedes to control the fight at the front.

In what is likely to be a running theme in the remaining races, Valtteri Bottas was sacrificed in order to back Raikkonen into Hamilton, who made his move with eight laps remaining after another 'sensational wingman' performance from the Finn.

Raikkonen was ultimately denied what would have been his first grand prix win in 109 races - a wait that will go on despite him clocking the fastest lap in F1 history to take pole position on Saturday.

Hamilton's 68th grand prix victory is his fifth at Monza - equalling Michael Schumacher's record tally.

Stewards saw no reason to take action over the first-lap incident, but it appeared that Vettel may have been able to give Hamilton more room and serves as another moment of the German harming his own hopes of a fifth world title with an on-track error.

He had been expected to eat further into Hamilton's lead this weekend but must now make up more than a race win's worth of points with just seven races remaining - with a trip to the Singapore Grand Prix next up, scene of last year's momentum shifting crash for the Ferrari man.

Bottas had a reward of sorts as he took third place after a battle with Max Verstappen, who finished ahead on track but with a five-second time penalty for hitting the Mercedes man which also promoted Vettel to fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo's race from the back of the grid ended in yet another power unit failure, while Fernando Alonso's final Italian GP ended early in similar misery.

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