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Hamilton eyes Italian F1 GP hat-trick

dpadpa 1/09/2016 Jens Marx

World champion Lewis Hamilton wants a 'three-peat' at the Italian Grand Prix while Ferrari need a boost in their fortunes before home fans.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is seeking a hat-trick of wins at Monza while Ferrari are looking for a first home victory for six years in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton retained his lead in the drivers' championship after finishing third at last weekend's Belgian GP from a last-row start due to grid penalties for engine part changes.

But the Briton's lead has been reduced to nine points by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg after the German's victory at Spa-Francorchamps.

Formula One moves from one classic track to the next with the switch from Spa to the high-speed Monza circuit for what is the last race in Europe of the F1 season.

Hamilton dominated last year, taking pole position, setting the fastest lap and leading every lap to win. Rosberg retired with three laps to go after an engine failure.

Another pole for Hamilton would equal the record five in Italy set by Juan Manuel Fangio and Ayrton Senna.

"Spa was about as good as damage limitation can get, I think," Hamilton said.

"Now we go to Monza - a track I know well from so many racing categories throughout my career and one it's impossible not to love.

The speed, the history, the atmosphere ... it's just so iconic in every way.

"Standing on that amazing podium, looking out over a sea of fans on the straight, has to be up there as one of the most-incredible experiences a sportsman can have."

Rosberg was untroubled in Spa on the way to his sixth win of the season to end Hamilton's four straight victories.

"I'm really enjoying the battle out there right now. We've got several cars in the mix now which is exciting for us and also the fans," he said.

Ferrari have not won in Monza since Fernando Alonso in 2010, although Sebastian Vettel is a three-time Italian GP winner, with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, and was second last year in his first season with the Italian team.

Renault's Kevin Magnussen hopes to be given the all-clear to race after needing hospital treatment for a minor ankle injury following his huge crash in Spa.

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