F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads going into the first corner during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads going into the first corner during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads going into the first corner during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa steers his car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (front), Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) compete during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain , right, overtakes Williams driver Felipe Massa of Brazil during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 7 , 2014. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari come together prior to turn one during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Adam Pretty via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Brazil's Felipe Massa steers his Williams car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 7 , 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing holds off Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Force India during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari crashes out the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Course marhsalls recover the crashed car belonging to Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Williams driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, front, and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steer their cars during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia won the race, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany finished second and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland third. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Adam Pretty via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) competes with Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (L) before he takes the escape road for the second time during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (back) takes the lead as Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (R) takes the escape road for the second time during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • A combo of photos taken on September 7, 2014 shows (From up L) Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton taking the lead as Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg takes the escape road for the second time during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Adam Pretty via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • McLaren Mercedes' British driver Jenson Button (R) steers his car next to Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez (L) during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez steers his car during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Williams' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas drives over the kerbs as he competes with McLaren Mercedes' Danish driver Kevin Magnussen (L) during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel (L) steers his car next to Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (R) during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Italy F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy , Sunday, Sept. 7 , 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Lewis Hamilton (C) of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates his victory with second placed Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany and Mercedes GP and third placed Felipe Massa (R) of Brazil and Williams following the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 7, 2014 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Bryn Lennon via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • (LtoR) Second placed Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg, winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and third placed Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa celebrate on the podium after the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONZA-ITA-RACE
  • (LtoR) Second placed Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg, Mercedes team member, winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and third placed Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa celebrate on the podium after the Italian Formula One Grand Prix motor race at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
  • Image Credit: F1.com
In the two weeks it's taken Formula One to move from Belgium to Italy, fleet-footed rumor has outrun the driver transfer market – Fernando Alonso can't issue enough denials of a departure from Ferrari, McLaren isn't sure what it wants to do with its drivers, Lotus has found out why it stinks this year and that the problem can't be fixed this year, and Nico Rosberg is said to have donated a team-ordered six-figure fine to charity to atone for his Belgian waffling. Oh, and Lewis Hamilton regained his pole-grabbing form.

That's how the Mercedes AMG Petronas man found himself at the head of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix, ahead of his teammate Rosberg by a quarter of a second. And because the high-po Monza circuit loves a high-po Mercedes engine, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa lined up in third and fourth for Williams, followed by Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button in their McLarens. Alonso flattered the Ferrari again, lining up seventh, followed by the Infiniti Red Bull Racing duo of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, but Sergio Perez in the Sahara Force India would make it seven out of ten for the Mercedes HPP engine program.

When the lights went out to start the race, Hamilton – and a few other top drivers – discovered that the work of recovery wasn't finished.
The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton's Merc suffered a glitch in its race start software, robbing power and throwing his engine rpms all over the place. Immediately swamped, he managed to fall only to fourth place while he got the software reset over the opening few laps. Rosberg was the beneficiary, taking the lead into the first turn, followed by Magnussen – who'd jumped up to second from fifth – and Felipe Massa. Magnussen's Mercedes-engined McLaren doesn't have Silver Arrows or Williams pace, though, so he held up the drivers behind while Rosberg took off up the road.

Both Massa and Hamilton got past Magnussen on Lap 5 and took off after Rosberg; by Lap 10, when Hamilton got past Massa, the gap to Rosberg was around 2.2 seconds. It should have been more, but a lap earlier Rosberg out-braked himself into Turn 1 and had to take the escape road, losing time while he weaved through the polystyrene obstacles.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

Rosberg held the lead through the first and only round of pit stops. Hamilton couldn't close on Rosberg, though, seemingly unable to get closer than 1.3 seconds behind. On Lap 27 of 53, Hamilton's race engineer told him that the race would be at the end, when tires would go off, and that Hamilton should drop back to a 2.5-second gap to get the tow and maintain downforce. The Brit ignored him, finding some extra juice to press the attack and narrow the gap to less than a second. At the beginning of Lap 29, Rosberg outbraked himself again into Turn 1 and had to weave through the escape road, losing so much time that Hamilton passed him. One lap later, Hamilton had put Rosberg 2.6 seconds behind him. Over the remainder of the race he got that out to more than four seconds, but crossed the line in first, ahead of his teammate, 3.2 seconds ahead. Conspiracy theorists immediately wondered if Rosberg hadn't let Hamilton through, another repayment for Belgium. Hamilton suggested it happened just because Rosberg "doesn't seem to like" pressure.

Felipe Massa took an untroubled third place, returning to the Monza podium for the first time since 2010, also the first time not in a Ferrari uniform.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

The second recovery drive came from Valtteri Bottas, who finished in fourth. The Finn fell from third to tenth at the start and worked some tremendous passes, usually into Turn 1, to make his way up the order. It took him 12 laps, from passing Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen to move up to ninth, to Lap 21 when he passed Magnussen to take fourth. Then he had to do it again after his pit stop on Lap 25 when he re-emerged in ninth place. That déjà vu recovery drive took him 14 laps, passing Sergio Perez to take eighth on Lap 26, and finally getting past Vettel on Lap 40 to re-secure fourth.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

He was followed him by yet another outstanding recovery drive turned in by Daniel Ricciardo. The Belgian Grand Prix winner had been off the pace all weekend, qualified outside the top ten and then languished there in the race until after his only pit stop on Lap 27. Then he turned on his end-of-race pace – we don't know where he gets it – and started clawing his way forward starting with a pass on Räikkönen on Lap 34 to take ninth place. He put some terrific moves on both Perez on Lap 41 and his teammate Vettel on Lap 47 at the second chicane, and that last one secured a well deserved placing that probably no one thought he would pull off. He was followed to the flag by teammate Vettel, who gambled on an early pit stop on Lap 19 for hard tires, then couldn't defend his position when Ricciardo came blasting through on fresher rubber.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

Magnussen crossed the line in seventh but got relegated to tenth. For the second race in a row the stewards punished the Dane for the same infraction from Belgium, forcing a driver off the track. In Belgium it was Alonso, in Italy it was Bottas through the first chicane. Hit with a five-second penalty, he slid to tenth in the classification.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

Perez took eighth, followed by Button in ninth after a battle between the Force India and the McLaren that went at least three rounds and lasted numerous laps. The former teammates would pass and repass, and get side-by-side and two-up into corners, keeping it clean the whole time – possibly aided by Perez's race engineer repeatedly telling him to "Keep it clean." Perez somehow pulled it off on delicate rubber and while having to save fuel.

Räikkönen closed out the top ten on track, but got moved up to ninth after Magnussen's penalty. Ferrari put on a show for home fans on Friday, its drivers getting up to third and fourth in Free Practice 3. Come qualifying, that mojo had gone into hiding, and come the race the scarlet team was nowhere: Alonso retired on Lap 29 because of an Energy Recovery System issue, Räikkönen labored around the circuit exposing the underpowered engine behind him. Alono's exit, his first since Malaysia last year, means he didn't bring home and points for the first time in 2014.

The 2014 Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton's win shrinks the Driver's Championship gap to his teammate to 22 points, Rosberg on 238, Hamilton on 216. Ricciardo in third place slid back to a 72-point deficit to the leader with 166 points. Mercedes AMG Petronas recovering its one-two finish technique puts more daylight between it and Infiniti Red Bull Racing, 454 points to 272 points. Williams did a number on Ferrari, jumping out to 177 points against 162, while Force India with 109 points closed in on McLaren with 110.

Formula One returns to its globe-trotting ways at the Singapore's street circuit of in two weeks. We'll see you then.

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