Lewis Hamilton took the first back-to-back race victory of the year at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in today’s Italian Grand Prix, and more importantly took the championship lead from Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team had looked dominant all weekend, much to the disappointment of the Tifosi, and Hamilton converted his record breaking 69th pole position into a race win, ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas.
The two races of the second half of the season so far have swung in the favour of Hamilton, but surprisingly today marks the first time he has lead the championship this year so far. Vettel has had fewer wins, but up until this point has scored more consistently than Hamilton.
“This is obviously an incredibly exciting season; the last two races have been really strong for us as a team,” commented Hamilton.
“The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional. Today, the car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint. As we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres.”
Bottas recovered from a mediocre qualifying session in the rain, where he finished fourth fastest, to bring home a solid one-two for the team.
“Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and get this one-two. It is amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long, long time and claim the lead in the championship.”
Hamilton thinks the title fight is far from over, especially given that the Scuderia Ferrari team is typically strong on the next few tracks Formula One will visit.
“But the fight will continue, the Ferraris have been really quick this season, especially on the high-downforce tracks. It will continue to be really close between us, so it will be ‘beast mode’ all the way to the last chequered flag.“