Hamilton holds off Perez to win in Italy

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza Sunday. Hamilton now trails series leader Fernando Alonso by 13 points in the standings. Photo courtesy of Sutton Imagesports

MONZA, Italy- After seeing his McLaren Mercedes teammate Jenson Button win the last Grand Prix race a week ago in Belgium, Lewis Hamilton won the pole the previous day, and dominated the race to win the Grand Prix of Italy at the famous Monza circuit Sunday. Sergio Perez led a last minute charge to finish second, while tifosi hero Fernando Alonso took third and now leads by 13 points in the world championship over Hamilton with seven races to go.

Hamilton took the lead right from the beginning as Felipe Massa challenged the Englishman at the first turn but failed to overtake, while Alonso moved quickly up from 10th to sixth within one lap. The race was clean until lap nine when Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso broke his suspension at the end of the start finish line and launched into the grass. Massa’s hope for higher then second was dashed on lap 19 as Jenson Button passed the Brazilian and to make matters worse, the Ferrari began to experience telemetry problems. Hamilton only managed to lose his lead once in the race, as Perez ‘s first pit stop was late and the Mexican had a small amount of time to give team Sauber their first lead in a race in quite some time.

Sebastian Vettel caused a stir on lap 29 as the defending world champion pulled his Red Bull too far over to cut Alonso off at Curve Grande, as the Spaniard was attempting to pass. Vettel suffered a drive through penalty but it did not matter as he retired on lap 48 with an alternator failure.

With ten laps to go, Hamilton held a 12 second lead over Alonso, but it was Perez who started accelerating his Sauber to pass Massa for third, and with six laps to go, overtook Alonso to trail Hamilton by only 9.4 seconds. But as Perez kept chopping time off Hamilton, the race ran out of laps, and Hamilton’s victory now launches him into second place in the world championship standings, with Kimi Raikkonen in third ahead of both Vettel and Mark Webber. Hamilton meanwhile cherished the moment at this legendary track.

“It was a fantastic race and this is a fantastic place to win a race. Thanks to everyone.” He said.

Grand Prix of Italy- Top ten final results

1 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes

2 Sergio Perez (MEX)  Sauber

3 Fernando Alonso (SPA)  Ferrari

4 Felipe Massa (BRA)  Ferrari

5  Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)  Lotus Renault

6 Michael Schumacher (GER)  Mercedes

7   Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes

8    Paul Di resta (GBR) Force India

9    Kamui Kobyaschi (JPN)  Sauber

10   Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams

World Championship Standings- Alonso- 179 points; 2. Hamilton- 142; 3. Raikkonen- 142; 4. Vettel- 140; 5. Webber- 132; 6. Button- 101; 7. Nico Rosberg-83; 8.Romain Grosjean- 76; 9. Perez-65; 10. Massa- 47.

Mark Gero

A 12 year veteran writer who has covered race weekends for RIS for three years. Also did the same for motorsport.com.For the last two years, I have been a member of AARWBA.

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Volume 2012, Issue 7, Posted 10:49 AM, 09.09.2012