Hamilton glides to Monza victory

September 9th, 2012 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Monza, Sep 9 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix Sunday to take second place in the Formula One driver’s world championship behind leader Fernando Alonso.

It was the 2008 champion’s first-ever win at Monza, taking him to within 37 points of the Spaniard with seven races remaining.

“Thank you very much guys. Incredible job. So grateful for this opportunity, I really appreciate it,” Hamilton said on the team radio after his win.

McLaren was denied a one-two when Jenson Button, who won in Spa last weekend, lost the drive in his car due to a fuel pickup problem.

Sergio Perez in the Sauber put in some blistering final laps to overtake Alonso for second place, finishing 4.35 seconds behind Hamilton. Perez briefly led when Hamilton pitted but the Brit retook the lead on lap 29 and glided home thereon.

The Mexican qualified in 12th but fought his way through the field and carried more speed than his rivals into the final laps.

“Pretty good show guys for tactics, a great result,” Perez said.

Alonso completed the podium in third, more than 20 seconds back, extending his championship lead by ten points due to the retirement of Button, who had been his nearest challenger.

Felipe Massa rounded off an excellent weekend for him with fourth place, while 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth.

The German Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg came sixth and seventh, respectively, with Paul di Resta defying his five-place grid penalty to finish in eighth in his Force India.

Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel retired in sixth position when ordered to stop the car by his team to avoid damaging the engine. It was a miserable end to a frustrating race for the Red Bull driver, who had earlier been given a drive-through penalty for appearing to nudge Alonso off the track.

His teammate Mark Webber heaped more misery on Red Bull retiring on the penultimate lap with flat spots on his tires after skidding off the track.

Kamui Kobayashi finished ninth in the other Sauber with Bruno Senna rounding off the top ten in the Williams.

Further down the field there were impressive 14th and 15th place finishes for Caterham duo Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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