A poor start from Hamilton costs him dearly after he stormed to pole in Monza
Lewis Hamilton was almost half a second quicker than his teammate on Saturday, but was languishing down in sixth place at the end of the first lap.
Nico Rosberg on the other hand got away cleanly, and stepped up to the mark on Sunday when it counted. He knew that the Ferrari strategy would mean Hamilton would eventually jump them, and he pulled out enough of a gap in the opening stages of the race to prevent a late-race surge from Hamilton for the lead.
Verstappen and Gutierrez, who put in an impressive performance in qualifying to get his Haas into Q3, also had poor starts and rapidly fell down the order.
Despite the hijinks of the first lap, the race was largely a procession – but a faultless and controlled victory for Rosberg.
He’s now added Spa and Monza to his list of victories and this Championship is still well and truly open.
Ferrari back on form
After a few races where Red Bull stole best of the rest from the prancing horse, the team’s grand prix and huge support from the tifosi saw them back on form, though the gap to Mercedes remains.
Red Bull were disappointing over the course of the weekend and were comfortably beaten by Ferrari. They spent much of their afternoon racing the Williams of Valtteri Bottas who split them in fifth position.
The McLarens of Alonso and Button were quite racy in the closing stages of the race, but running well out of the points.
Williams have snatched fourth place back from Force India after the Indian team struggled for pace all weekend and finished in eighth and tenth after a strong showing in the Belgian GP.
Daniel brings some late race spice
Just when you thought the race was a bit of a procession, Daniel Ricciardo comes from a long way away to dive round Valtteri Bottas at turn one. A brave move from the Australian and a great deal of trust between the two not to collide with one another.
Felipe Nasr tried to bring similar confidence to a move on Palmer earlier on the race, but misjudged it at the same chicane and both cars suffered fatal damage in the tangle.
There’s two points in it with seven races to go
It wasn’t the most thrilling of races but it’s certainly kept the Drivers’ Championship alive.
This was Rosberg’s 21st win and momentum on a Sunday is now with him after the summer break.
Hamilton is sure to come back strong, though next up is Singapore – a race where last year Mercedes mysteriously lost all pace and were trampled by Sebastian Vettel. This is a Championship winning team and though they struggled to find answers for their struggles in 2015, it’s likely they won’t face the same issues this year.
What is clear is that we look set for some great dices as Formula One starts to wrap up the 2016 season.
2016 Italian GP results
- Nico Rosberg MERCEDES
- Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
- Sebastian Vettel FERRARI
- Kimi Raikkonen FERRARI
- Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL
- Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS
- Max Verstappen RED BULL
- Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA
- Felipe Massa WILLIAMS
- Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA
- Romain Grosjean HAAS
- Jenson Button MCLAREN
- Esteban Gutierrez HAAS
- Fernando Alonso MCLAREN
- Carlos Sainz Jr TORO ROSSO
- Marcus Ericsson SAUBER
- Kevin Magnussen RENAULT
- Esteban Ocon MANOR
DNF: Danill Kvyat (TORO ROSSO); Pascal Wehrlein (MANOR); Jolyon Palmer (RENAULT); Felipe Nasr (SAUBER)
The next race is the Singapore GP on 18th September