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Hamilton takes championship lead over Vettel as Mercedes master Italian Grand Prix at Monza

The two Mercedes drivers were a class apart at Monza with Lewis Hamilton’s win giving him the lead in the F1 drivers’ standings.

Image: Luca Bruno

LEWIS HAMILTON CRUISED to a dominant victory in the Italian Grand Prix to move ahead of main Formula One championship rival Sebastian Vettel for the first time this season.

Hamilton has been playing catch-up ever since Vettel won two of the year’s first three races, but it is the Briton who now leads the drivers’ standings by three points.

After qualifying on pole, Hamilton was able to control the race as the two Mercedes proved a class apart at Monza, pulling clear of the field as Vettel completed the podium.

Valtteri Bottas quickly moved up from fourth on the grid to second – a position that never came under threat as the reigning constructors’ champions eased to a third 1-2 of 2017.

The only consolation for Vettel came through his ability to secure third place, having started the race from sixth.

Yet the momentum in the championship battle is undoubtedly with Hamilton, the first man to win back-to-back races this year.

Daniel Ricciardo performed magnificently to move up from 16th – following a grid penalty – to fourth, as Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll slipped back to sixth and seventh respectively.

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