Hamilton beats Schumacher's pole record

F1 Business Diary 2017 The Belgian Grand Prix

F1 Business Diary 2017 The Belgian Grand Prix

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Gran Prix at Monza on Sunday to take the lead in the Formula One drivers championship.

It's the fourth straight year that Hamilton will start first in Monza and it was the Mercedes driver's sixth pole overall on the track, breaking another record held by Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who had led the standings since he won the Australian season-opener in March, finished third in the final race of the European season and 36.3 seconds behind the victor.

Despite going behind Hamilton in the driver's standings with just a third of the season remaining, Vettel did not seem too concerned and even managed to enjoy himself in Monza, though he was left to rue his rocky start.

Force India's French rookie Esteban Ocon, chasing his first podium finish, grabbed second place off the line from 18-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll in the Williams but then faded and finished sixth.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton expects his title tussle with Sebastian Vettel to go the distance after he edged ahead of the German in the drivers' championship with victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

As for the rest of the field, the Red Bulls did a wonderful job via Max Verstappen whose auto let him down with no drive in the early part of the race.

"I think we were very solid, but they (Ferrari) have not performed in the way everybody expected".

Sebastian Vettel is also a three-time victor of this race, but his last win here came in 2013. "In amongst them I see there are Italians who have crossed from Ferrari to Mercedes, and bit by bit, year on year we convert a few more, it may only be a couple each time but I am grateful for those ones".

"We have a very strong auto and will have a very strong end of the season".

"We saw some great talent out there", Lowe said. "Tomorrow we can make up a lot of ground and you can overtake here".

Hamilton was incredibly consistent throughout the whole race, and he was leading right from the start until the end.

"To be honest, I was not aware of that", Vettel said.

"We have a good auto so we don't need to be afraid".

The final man in the top 10 is McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne, also impressive in the wet conditions, which do not expose the lack of power of the Honda engine as much as the dry does.

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