Italian Grand Prix: Hamilton takes championship lead as Monza mixes things up
Lewis Hamilton had a straightforward day on track at Monza as he took the lead in the drivers' championship from Sebastian Vettel.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
Essentially, this race was won in qualifying. There were so many grid penalties behind Lewis Hamilton in pole that the mixed-up, muddled pack had to shake itself out, leaving the leader to do his thing, win the race and take the lead in the championship standings. He made a few errors, ran wide a couple of times, but ultimately it didn't matter.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo just missed out on a podium place; and after looking good in qualifying, Max Verstappen's race was hampered yet again by a problem with his car - this time a puncture after a coming-together with Felipe Massa on Lap 3 - and he ended up in tenth.
Four stars out of five. Not exactly a vintage Hamilton performance, but one more than good enough to justify the point as he finds form in this second half of the season. Once he'd got away clean and could start to pull away from the pack, he was comfortable till the end.
PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE WEEKEND
Daniel Ricciardo, that cheeky chappie, did his best to be threatening as he spotted some potential for overtaking.
Shout-out too to Nico Hulkenberg, who didn't know he'd left his radio on, and it was left to his team to point it out to him.
MOVE OF THE RACE
Wheel to wheel round the Parabolica? It's brave and gutsy driving. Valtteri Bottas was majestic as he moved round the outside of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
Ferrari were looking for a good race day after a very disappointing qualifying session in front of their home fans, and Sebastian Vettel gave them something to cheer early on when he cleverly used the slipstream to get past Force India's Esteban Ocon and into a podium position.
Is it a tactical masterstroke to build cars that stay in one piece? If so, Mercedes and Ferrari deserve all the credit. What with grid penalties and enforced retirements, the quartet of cars had a good day today without having to try too hard.
Ricciardo drove very well today, finishing fourth after starting 16th, and was asked to speak a few words of Italian as a nod to his ancestral homeland. He did his best.
FACEPALM OF THE WEEKEND
When the yellow car moved in front, the Spaniard immediately claimed that he had gone off the track - and demanded that he get the place back.
The powers-that-be intervened, giving Palmer a five-second penalty.
And then the fates intervened, forcing Palmer to retire from the race altogether.
Alonso - never a man known for his calm demeanour - muttered about "karma" on his radio.
Not quite a celebrity spot, but the drivers' pleasure at seeing former - and future? - colleague Robert Kubica was nice to note.