Mon, Sep 3, 11:11am by Staff Writer
It was a monumental afternoon in Monza as far as the Drivers’ Championship was concerned, with Lewis Hamilton taking the chequered flag at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver is now 30 points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with seven races left this season.
Hamilton is $1.53 to win the Drivers Championship at Sportsbet, ahead of Vettel who is priced at $2.37.
The pre-race favourite, Vettel’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen in fact won pole position for the race, before finishing in second.
Hamilton won with more than eight seconds to spare to claim a win at the Monza circuit as an underdog.
It was a tough race for Vettel, who spun out in the first lap after colliding with Hamilton through the first chicane.
A pit stop by Raikkonen early in the race allowed Hamilton to take the lead through the late section of the race, and he stayed there with eight laps to go.
Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen was left seething at the finish line when he was assessed a five second penalty for unfair defending against Valtteri Bottas.
That penalty dropped the Dutchman from third to fifth, as he was furious in the Red Bull garage.
Monza was no kinder for Ricciardo, who experienced engine failure mid-race and retired for the sixth time this season.
It has been a disappointing season for Red Bull, with Verstappen in fifth position in the Drivers Championship on 130 points and Ricciardo on 118 points in sixth spot. They have each had one race victory this season, but also nine retirements between them.
In the Constructors’ Championship, it is Mercedes who extended their lead to 25 points after Hamilton and Bottas’ podium finishes.
They are now $1.50 to win the Constructors Championship, with Ferrari priced at $2.50.
The next Grand Prix takes place in a fortnight in Singapore, a track where Sebastian Vettel is a four-time winner.
Lewis Hamilton was victorious last season at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and maximum points again in this race would make it very difficult for Vettel to catch the Brit in his pursuit of a fifth Drivers Championship.
Formula One Sportsbet Markets
Lewis Hamilton $1.53
Sebastian Vettel $2.37
All other drivers $501
Red Bull Racing $101
All other constructors $501
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