Italian GP: Hamilton vrooms to victory, takes title lead from Vettel
MONZA: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton took the outright championship lead for the first time this season with a dominant victory in the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was in total control at Monza, leading team-mate Valtteri Bottas to a one-two.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third and is three points behind Hamilton.
It is a crucial milestone for Hamilton as F1 next heads to Singapore, where Ferrari are expected to dominate.
The victory was Hamilton's sixth of the season - Vettel has only four - and it capped a perfect weekend for him.
He scored a brilliant pole in treacherous wet conditions on Saturday — more than a second clear of the next fastest driver — to take his tally to 69, one more than Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton's victory was among the most straightforward of the season. He fought off a brief challenge from Williams driver Lance Stroll, a remarkable second on the grid, on the run down to the first corner and disappeared into a race of his own.
The fight was all behind him, as Bottas and the Ferrari drivers set about fighting up from their unusually low grid positions. The Finn, who started sixth, was up to fourth on the first lap behind Hamilton, Force India's Esteban Ocon, another star of qualifying, and Stroll, who dropped a place in a tussle at the first corner. Bottas got Stroll into Turn One on lap three, Ocon in the same place a lap later, to give Mercedes total control of the race, which they never surrendered. Vettel limited the damage to his title hopes as much as was possible in the circumstances, passing team-mate Kimi Raikkonen around the outside into the first Lesmo on lap three, Stroll a couple of laps later before picking off Ocon into Turn One on lap eight.
The German, though, was no match for the Mercedes at Ferrari's home race - generally dropping at least half a second a lap - and his focus in the second part of the race became holding off Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian, who qualified third but started 16th after being given a grid penalty for using too many engine parts this season, put in a brilliant recovery from his lowly grid position. He picked his way through the slower cars in the first part of the race, pulling off a series of his trademark aggressive overtaking moves, and ran a long first stint to give himself fresher tyres for the final stint than the Ferraris ahead of him.