Hamilton conspicuous by absence at Monza media events

Posted September 02, 2018

Raikkonen's pole position at Monza, the fastest lap in F1 history, means Ferrari have been quickest in every dry session since the summer break.

The Italian team is expected to be setting the pace at Monza as well, even though it's been eight years since they last won the Italian Grand Prix, with Mercedes winning it four times in a row since 2014. This was also the first time Williams reached the Q3 this season.

Sebastian Vettel suffered a spin but still put Ferrari on top of the practice timesheets for their home Italian Grand Prix yesterday while Sauber's Marcus Ericsson walked away from a spectacular crash.

Hamilton - excused media engagements on Thursday due to a mystery personal commitment - did six laps in that 90-minute session and was only 11th while Vettel, who was slowed by a problem with his car's Friday gearbox, was 17th.

After Sebastian Vettel cut his World Drivers' Championship arrears back to 17 points, the German will be eyeing back-to-back Formula 1 one wins for the first time since the opening two races of the season.

"We speak after", the German replied.

"I wanted to run but we had to check the auto first, it was good that we got out this afternoon".

"In future, the negative is only a positive for me, because I turn it around".

Ahead of the latest chapter in an absorbing year, we have combined with Opta to pick out the key numbers ahead of the 14th race on the F1 calendar.

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Bottas eventually pitted at the end of lap 36, leaving Raikkonen and Hamilton to battle for the lead.

Brendon Hartley toys with the crowd at Monza.

Mercedes than had to bring strategy into play.

Hamilton set about reeling Raikkonen in, slicing at least a second per lap out of the gap until he's right on the Finn's gearbox with 20 laps to go.

Ferrari's concern was not to be beaten to a pit stop by Hamilton, as the Mercedes would then likely jump ahead. He stated that they will try to be neutral to both their drivers but everything remains to be seen in Monza.

"When we take that decision, and there is no time frame, you will be the second to know". Bottas then pitted, giving Raikkonen clear air, but his tyres were in trouble.

"When we take that decision, and there is no timeframe, you will be the second to know".

Ericsson completed three full somersaults as the front of his auto completely disintegrated following the force of the devastating impact.

Mercedes were thrilled. "You are the man, you are the man", Hamilton's engineer Peter Bonnington said over the radio after the victory.

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