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Rosberg's Italian win cuts Hamilton's lead

dpadpa 4/09/2016 By Jens Marx

A slow start by triple world champion Lewis Hamilton has gifted the Italian Grand Prix to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg has capitalised on a starting error from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to win the Italian Grand Prix and close the gap in the world title chase to two points.

Hamilton was on pole on Sunday but a disastrous start saw him drop to sixth as Rosberg, from second, the Ferrari's of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas in Williams and Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fifth, all flew past him.

Rosberg could then control the race from the front and claimed his first win at Monza, and 21st overall, in 1 hour 17 minutes 28.089 seconds.

Hamilton recovered to second, 15.070 seconds behind, but could not chase the victory while third went to Vettel in Ferrari's home grand prix.

World champion Hamilton now leads the standings on 250 points with Rosberg on 248 ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix on September 18.

Hamilton was looking to match Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio with three triumphs in a row having matched Fangio and Ayrton Senna with a record five Monza poles with a dominant performance in Saturday qualifying.

But on race day it all went wrong at the start and he soon found himself playing catch-up in search of his 50th career win.

Rosberg took full advantage and, after the hectic dash to the opening turn, used the superior power of his Mercedes to open up a gap of more than six seconds to Vettel.

Rosberg maintained his led over Vettel at more than four seconds when the German driver pitted again on lap 34 and Raikkonen followed his teammate a lap later.

That left Rosberg leading Hamilton by around 11 seconds, a margin which the Brit managed to close but only very gradually until he made a chicane error on lap 41.

That was not enough to open the door to Vettel in third but ensured there would be no miraculous comeback and Rosberg could coast home to his second successive victory and seventh of the campaign.

Behind the podium places Raikkonen was fourth, Ricciardo fifth and Bottas sixth.

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