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2014 F1

Hamilton responded brilliantly to a difficult start to win Italian GP

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Lewis Hamilton pressured Nico Rosberg into a mistake and overtook his Mercedes teammate and rival to win the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, adding another chapter to their heated rivalry.

The key pass came about midway through the race as Hamilton had recovered from a poor start to pull up right behind Rosberg.

Clearly feeling Hamilton’s presence behind him, Rosberg drove straight through the Monza circuit’s first chicane at the end of the main straightaway and was slowed as he slalomed through obstacles.

All Hamilton had to do was stay on the track and he easily passed Rosberg and then cruised to his sixth victory of the season and 28th of his Formula One career.

Hamilton also cut Rosberg’s championship lead from 29 to 22 points with six races remaining.

Rosberg crossed 3.1 seconds behind, and Felipe Massa of Williams was third, a distant 21.8 seconds back.

Valtteri Bottas in the other Williams finished fourth and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was fifth.

It was a disappointing day for the Ferrari drivers before their home “tifosi” — fans — as Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth and Fernando Alonso’s race ended midway through due to a technical problem that resulted in the Spaniard pulling to a stop at the end of the main straightaway.

Conditions were ideal, with skies clear and the temperature at 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) inside the royal park that contains the track.

Hamilton and Rosberg qualified 1-2 and fans had anticipated a battle between the pair at the first corner.

At the Belgian GP two weeks ago, Rosberg finished second after crashing into Hamilton early and sending his teammate out of the incident-packed race.

But at the start Hamilton had a technical problem and dropped to fourth heading into the first chicane behind Rosberg, McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Massa.

Hamilton rebounded by passing Magnussen with Massa’s help on the fifth lap then overtook Massa around the outside through the first chicane on lap 10 and began to reduce Rosberg’s lead lap after lap.

Meanwhile, Rosberg lost time when he drove straight through the first chicane on lap nine — a harbinger of things to come. Up next is the Singapore GP in two weeks. (Associated Press)

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