Lewis Hamilton enjoys being the 'villain' as Ferrari miss out at Monza

Sebastian Vettel on his past present & future

Sebastian Vettel on his past present & future

For the first time this year, Vettel slipped to second in the drivers' standings after finishing third at the Italian Grand Prix, over 30 seconds off new championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton pulled away cleanly from his historic pole, and fourth in a row at Monza, and was never challenged as he drove to the chequered flag with the minimum of fuss.

With the latest race that saw Hamilton and his partner Valtteri Bottas securing a one-two finish, the Briton finally reached the top place in this season's Driver Standings. "The car was pulling to one side and I didn't trust the car under braking anymore, so I just tried to control the gap".

If Monza may go down as the obvious turning point in the season, the moment Hamilton hit the front, the driver suggested the really significant moment was further back. It worked well this weekend.

While the Italian press insisted that it was a 'cold shower' for Ferrari at home, Mercedes boss Niki Lauda believed it was just a fundamental setup mistake made by the home team.

But it was Bottas, in the sister Mercedes, who led Hamilton at the so-called Temple of Speed with Vettel in third and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth. "The car felt fantastic". I'm sure there are plenty of reasons but I don't want to get too technical today.

The Ferrari supporters were hoping for more on a weekend celebrating the automaker's 70th anniversary.

"The first lap was okay but then I struggled a lot behind..."

Hamilton's only hiccup came when he skidded onto the edge of the gravel briefly midway through the race.

The memorable display took his tally of pole positions up to 69, surpassing seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher as the most successful one-lap driver ever in Formula 1. Under penalties imposed on the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, the Quebec Lance Stroll will start alongside Hamilton on the first line.

Three-time world champion reached his second straight victory, and he now has 238 points, three more than Vettel. On the other hand, Bottas had a poor start and Raikkonen passed him.

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