Lewis Hamilton has moved to the summit of the Formula One championship for the first time this season following his victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton is now three points clear of rival Sebastian Vettel after beating the Ferrari driver on the Italian team’s home turf at Monza.
Here, we look back at the main talking points from Sunday’s race.
Hamilton has the momentum after Monza win
It had been 350 days since Hamilton last led the F1 standings, but following his second win in as many grands prix, and indeed his third from his last four, the Englishman has usurped Vettel at the summit with a crushing victory in Ferrari’s back yard. Hamilton has been in scintillating form since the summer break, securing back-to-back pole positions – surpassing Michael Schumacher’s all-time record – and crucially securing back-to-back wins, too. The slow, twisty nature of Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit may play into Ferrari’s hands, but the margin of Hamilton’s victory in Monza suggests Vettel will have his work cut out to stop him from marching towards a fourth world title.
When will the misery stop for McLaren?
McLaren endured another miserable weekend here after both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to make it to the end of the race. McLaren are desperate to split with their engine partner Honda and hope to be powered by Renault next year. To make the deal work, the British team need Honda to stay in the sport and power Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso. Whether the Japanese manufacturer will want to do so remains to be seen. McLaren expect their engine future to be resolved by Singapore, but whatever happens, expect Alonso to sign a new contract to stay with the British constructor.
Palmer “doesn’t care” about Alonso
Jolyon Palmer remains one of only two drivers yet to score a point this season, and the Englishman, 26, endured another disappointing weekend when he was forced to park his Renault with a mechanical issue. Palmer was also hit with a five-second penalty from the stewards after he was adjudged to have skipped the chicane while duelling with Alonso. The Spaniard said it was “karma” when he was informed that Palmer had retired. But speaking after the race, the luckless Renault driver protested his innocence. “I was ahead coming in the corner and he [Alonso] braked super late and forced me off the track,” Palmer said. “I’m sure it will be another talking point at the next race because Fernando is not very happy about it but I don’t care.”
Ricciardo reminds Horner of Mansell
Daniel Ricciardo won the fans’ award for Driver of the Day after he roared from 16th to fourth at the Temple of Speed. The Australian qualified third, but was bumped down the grid following penalties for engine and gearbox changes. Yet he completed a remarkable comeback by soaring past Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages and finished only four seconds adrift of Vettel in third. “He’s one of the best overtakers out there,” Ricciardo’s Red Bull boss Christian Horner said. “He has the ability to brake late and still make the apex. It was Nigel Mansell-esque.”
Ocon impresses again
Esteban Ocon, the 20-year-old Frenchman competing in his first full F1 season, delivered another impressive performance at Monza. Ocon was bumped up to third – following grid penalties for Max Verstappen and Ricciardo – and was second by turn one after he leapfrogged Lance Stroll at the start. Ocon eventually finished sixth, but his stock continues to rise. He is only three points shy of his experienced Force India team-mate Sergio Perez, and has finished in the top 10 at all but one of the races this year – a record which can only be bettered by Hamilton and Vettel.