Mercedes Pushing to Overcome Ferrari’s ‘Small Advantage’ at Monza - Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton said it is an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Schumacher after winning the Italian Grand Prix for a record-equalling fifth time, and dealing Sebastian Vettel another championship blow.

Ferrari was hopeful of ending an eight-year wait for a win at its home track after taking the front two places on the grid at the Italian GP for the first time since 2000 but pole-sitter Raikkonen was overtaken by Hamilton eight laps from the end and the Mercedes driver held on, much to the disappointment of the passionate Italian tifosi fans.

Ferrari had the quickest cars at Monza and Vettel and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen had locked out the front row and were expected to win. I left him space, but it was me who was the one who spun around.

Nevertheless, a great win for Hamilton, whether the collision with Vettel was his fault or not. I left him room.

Bottas said: "I was really trying to do everything I can to get to the podium - as a team, we take this result".

"It's only half the job done, tomorrow is a very important part, so hopefully we can get another great result, said Raikkonen, who will start in pole position for just the second time in his F1 career".

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was third, ahead of Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who received a five-second penalty. "Obviously his auto at that point feels a lot better than mine with nobody in front and I had nowhere to go".

Mercedes team members spray champagne at Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrating after winning the Formula One Italy Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack in Monza Italy Sunday Sept. 2 2018
Vettel demands answers from Ferrari

"We couldn't have imagined we would have that kind of lead", Hamilton said. "But I think given I was looking the wrong way after four corners and in last (place), finishing in fourth with effectively the same strategy as everybody else is a decent recovery with the damage we had". "His auto at that point feels a lot better than mine with nobody in front, and I had nowhere to go".

"I think there was enough space between us".

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

"For sure [I'm] down at the moment, mostly for the people". I had the experience a few years ago of being on the inside and it didn't come off too well. "It wasn't really a case of "let's just go around and save the tyres for the last moment", we had to go, and unfortunately it didn't pay off today".

Once again, Vettel's temperament was called into question after a collision that some pundits felt might have been avoided; he viewed it differently, of course.

"It is very, very easy to allow it to get to you, to allow it to have an impact on your life and have you think about it, all these different things". They know who they are.

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