Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton 'couldn't have imagined' win before race

Italy Grand Prix Marcus Ericsson crash

Italy Grand Prix Marcus Ericsson crash

"We didn't expect that, we expected a much more challenging situation but the vehicle felt good, we managed to get a good tow throughout qualifying and that helped us", said the teenager.

Hamilton, though, sits 17 points ahead in the championship.

The title rivals clashed on the first lap at Monza, the German spinning to the back after hitting Hamilton as the Mercedes passed him around the outside of the second chicane. "I don't think anybody wants purposely to take a stupid amount of risk and damage somebody else's vehicle and yours too at the same time". Obviously he wants to win, I want to win.

"There's been a lot of negativity, but there were a lot of British flags out there today". Thanks to Valtteri too! It didn't feel right but I tried to just focus. "It will be a very close fight tomorrow and, like every race weekend, we will be giving it everything we've got".

"I think it (the car) was quick enough but unfortunately our rear tyres went", said Raikkonen, who at least had a fitting location for his 100th podium in Formula One.

"I was quite surprised when I got out of the vehicle how bad it was".

We're about an hour and 20 away until lights out.

The race stewards investigated and ruled the crash a normal "racing incident" that merited no further action.

Ford Scraps Plans to Offer Next Focus in US — Losing Focus
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The thrilling victory was a fifth in a row for Mercedes at Monza, the historic circuit inside a former royal park near Milan, and one of Hamilton's most successful.

Raikkonen, third, found himself 2.6sec behind compatriot Bottas before Hamilton pitted after 27 laps and rejoined third.

While earlier this season many reports claimed Raikkonen's days were numbered and that he would be replaced by Charles Leclerc come the end of the season, if not even during this season, those have quietened down of late.

He charged through to finish fourth behind Valtteri Bottas, as a time penalty dropped Max Verstappen from the podium to fifth.

Hamilton's day could have been a frustrating one as Raikkonen drove with aplomb but with eight laps remaining he seized his chance, the Briton sliding down the outside and making the move stick at the next corner. Fernando Alonso stopped his McLaren with an unconfirmed problem on lap 10, while running in the points, while Daniel Ricciardo pulled a smoking Red Bull over exiting the second chicane just before mid-distance.

When he attacked at the chicane, Verstappen squeezed him. The five-second time penalty meant that Bottas got his third place after all, with Sebastian Vettel also promoted to fourth ahead of Verstappen in the final results.

Max Verstappen nearly claimed his sixth podium of the season but a five-second penalty for a coming together with Valtteri Bottas meant he ceded third place to the Finn to complete a good day for Mercedes.

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