Rosberg error hands Hamilton victory in Italy

Sun Sep 7, 2014 3:09pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA Italy (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton battled back from a troubled start to win the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg cracked under pressure and saw his Formula One championship lead cut to 22 points.

Rosberg, whose 29th lap mistake at the first chicane cost him the lead and the race, finished second as dominant Mercedes celebrated a first one-two since Austria in June and their seventh in 13 races.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was third for Williams in his first podium appearance since May 2013.

Rosberg, who now has 238 points to Hamilton's 216 with six races remaining after the end of the European part of the season, recognized his error.

"It's a terrible feeling to lose the lead like that but in the end Lewis was really quick in the whole race. He came like a rocket and I had to push and I made the mistake," he said.

With the sport taking a deep breath as the rivals lined up together on the front row, two weeks after they had collided in Belgium on the second lap, the start provided immediate drama.

Hamilton had taken pole position for the first time since May but problems with the car's start controls left him struggling to get away. He was fourth into the first corner as Rosberg led untroubled but kept his cool.

"I’m quite grateful today that I didn’t lose it, I didn’t end up crashing in the first corner, I didn’t end up touching anyone, I didn’t end up locking or anything like that. I managed to keep my composure," he said.   Continued...

Winner Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (L) of Britain celebrates on the podium besides second-placed team mate Nico Rosberg (R) of Germany at the end of the Italian F1 Grand Prix in Monza September 7, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi