by H. Mayor – photo: f1.com | A perfect storm for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes was conjured up in the home of Ferrari with a historic pole record, the undisputed dominance of both its single-seaters and an authoritative final triumph which changes the order of the World Championship and erects a new leader and clear favourite for the final title. Ferrari has come out of Monza a weaker rival exuding a certain feeling of inferiority, perhaps not so much for the change in leadership but for the seemingly unbeatable level that Mercedes has reached once again at this critical point in the championship.
Spa and Monza, two very demanding circuits technically, have changed the course of the championship. One just has to look at the last four races to realise how the dynamics of the competition have shifted: Hamilton has raised 23 points over Vettel and three out of four victories have been for the Briton. Italy, Ferrari’s feud, has seen the culmination of this turnaround: Both of Mercedes’ cars flew over the others achieving the first and second positions and relegating Vettel to third. This third place didn’t come easy either, Vettel had to fight it out with an ever more efficient Ricciardo, who also made the headlines at the weekend. On top of this, Hamilton broke the 68 World Championship poles’ record which Schumacher held since 2006
A seemingly effortless dominance
The race at Monza was pretty straightforward for Hamilton. He went from a short rift with the impetuous Stroll at the start to quickly open up a fair distance with everyone else. From then on, Mercedes golden boy just had to comfortably manage his advantageous position with the precious help from Bottas behind. A seemingly effortless dominance.
The excitement came a bit later: Ricciardo barged in from the back to end up in fourth position after a bitter fight with Vettel who just about managed to come on top. Also to note is the remarkable recovery of Force India. Monza’s high speed track also brought to light the technical limitations of others such as Renault, Toro Rosso and especially McLaren, in this, a key weekend for the outfits.