Lewis Hamilton continued his strong form post-summer break as he claimed his most convincing win of the year so far at the Italian Grand Prix, claiming the championship lead for the first time this season in doing so.
The Briton's dominant weekend in Ferrari's back yard wasn't the only story, however, as NINE drivers were hit with grid penalties and plenty of ups and downs throughout the 53 laps of Monza, but when the chequered flag fell, who were the winners and losers this year at the 'Temple of Speed'?
An easy choice, given how the triple world champion was pretty much untouchable all weekend. Hamilton did the hard work in qualifying as he claimed a historic pole in torrid conditions as his main rivals struggled.
That meant, on Sunday, it was all about taking his Mercedes home which he did by over half a minute from Sebastian Vettel in third, despite turning down the engine with some 30 laps to go.
Most importantly, Hamilton now has the high ground with the championship lead for the first time this season and also become the first back-to-back winner in 2017, for Vettel and Ferrari catching him will be a very difficult task.
Once again, the Australian proved his incredible racing abilities both overtaking and maintaining an excellent pace as the Red Bull driver started 16th, but took his Red Bull to a well-deserved fourth making him the Driver of the Day.
At a time when his teammate is dominating the headlines for his bad luck and speculation over his future, this was another excellent reminder that Ricciardo also has all the skills to be a champion and his current contract does expire at the end of 2018.
After a disappointing Belgian Grand Prix and a hard qualifying session, Bottas was able to bounce back and finish the race second behind his teammate. Bottas was able to make quick moves to get ahead of Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon, and from that moment on it was a calm, steady race towards a well-deserved podium.
From the early stages of this season, Ocon has shown his ever-improving skills, justifying Force India's decision to take him over Pascal Wehrlein in the Mercedes junior ranks
After the crazy race with his teammate in Belgium, the Frenchman bounced back, claiming his best ever grid position starting the race third after being fifth fastest in qualifying. Although his fight at the top did not last long, the 20-year-old finished as best of the rest in a battle with Lance Stroll which was another key result in the already somewhat one-sided fight with Williams for fourth in the Teams' Championship.
Although Sebastian Vettel was able to make it to the podium, the Italian team surely came to Monza with better hopes. The Scuderia struggled for pace in the wet qualifying and lacked pace in the race, lucky that Red Bull, who were quicker, fell down due to grid penalties.
To make matters worse, Kimi Raikkonen drove the kind of race that has many questioning why Ferrari retain him as he struggled to pass Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon, needing an alternative strategy to do so and then losing out to a recovering Ricciardo to only finish fifth.
The result also dropped important Constructors’ points as the on-form Mercedes grabbed an unanswered 1-2. Such results would have been less painful have they come at a different location and not ahead of the Tifosi.
Another blow for the youngster after he saw a great start undone by unnecessary contact with Felipe Massa on lap three. Verstappen had a wonderful qualifying session before dropping back to 13th due to grid penalties.
The Dutchman could well have challenged Vettel for third after making up five places to sit eighth at the end of lap one, but in his eagerness and perhaps showing inexperience, he tried an audacious move on the Williams into the first chicane picking up a puncture as the two cars touched dropping him to the back.
He was able to recover and get his Red Bull into the points finishing 10th but for sure that was not the result he hoped for and the best one he could achieve.
Another weekend and yet more grid penalties for the British team as both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who's good run to Q3 went up in smoke come race morning, fell back.
McLaren kept eyes on the race as their drivers made their way up the grid with Vandoorne making it into the points, however, that would not last with troubles hitting both cars and forcing them to retire at different stages in the race.
Another disappointing weekend for the Briton as poor reliability and a growing spat with Alonso didn't help the under pressure Palmer. The Renault driver is not getting a chance to respond and prove his worth due to the problems and with the ever-increasing likelihood of losing his seat at the end of the year, he may never will.
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