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REPORT: Lewis and Valtteri Storm to a Monza 1-2

REPORT: Lewis and Valtteri Storm to a Monza 1-2

Lewis Hamilton claimed a supreme victory in the Italian Grand Prix, leading home a Silver Arrows 1-2 at Monza.

'This is obviously an incredibly exciting season'

Lewis led away from pole and dictated the race to score his sixth win of the 2017, and more importantly, take the lead of the Drivers' Championship for the first time this season.

The triple World Champion now heads title rival Sebastian Vettel by three points at the top of the standings.

"This is obviously an incredibly exciting season; the last two races have been really strong for us as a team," said Lewis.

"The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional. Today, the car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint. As we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres.

"Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and get this one-two. It is amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long, long time and claim the lead in the championship.

"But the fight will continue, the Ferraris have been really quick this season, especially on the high-downforce tracks. It will continue to be really close between us, so it will be 'beast mode' all the way to the last chequered flag."

'What I'm really happy about is the one-two for the team!'

Valtteri charged his way from P4 to complete a third 1-2 for the Silver Arrows in 2017. Valtteri had to fight his way past Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, sweeping around the outside of his fellow Finn at the Parabolica.

He then dispatched Lance Stroll in the Williams and Force India's Esteban Ocon and set off in chase of Lewis, ultimately crossing the line 4.4s back.

"Starting fourth, finishing second - I'm quite happy with that," said Valtteri. "What I'm really happy about is the one-two for the team!

'Monza is definitely one of the best - if not the best - podiums in Formula 1'

"From my side it was a good race, even though I lost one position at the beginning. Luckily, I got it back quite quickly and could then overtake the Williams and the Force India.

"After that the pace was great and I was really enjoying it - the car war so strong today. It was amazing to be on the podium.

"Monza is definitely one of the best - if not the best - podiums in Formula 1. It's such a great atmosphere, so much noise, so many people - I wish everyone could experience it. Looking forward, we know that we still have a lot of work to do, the races ahead will be a close battle with Ferrari."

'I'm absolutely delighted with a one-two finish here in Monza'

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team boss Toto Wolff hailed a near faultless performance, but stress there is still a long way to go in the 2017 championship.

"I'm absolutely delighted with a one-two finish here in Monza, at such an important and historic race," said Toto. "The main thing is we took 43 points for the constructors' championship and 25 points for the drivers' today - Lewis is now in the lead, but ultimately it's the positions in Abu Dhabi that count.

"But every bit of momentum matters, and we've had a good seven days in that respect. Lewis delivered a perfect weekend - from the impressive pole position to a faultless race drive today. As for Valtteri, he bounced back from the disappointment of Spa in a great way; racing hard against Kimi, then picking off Stroll and Ocon, before pulling away from the field for a very strong second-place finish.

"We have made the most of our opportunity this weekend and it was important to do so because we know Singapore will be more like a case of damage limitation for us. We will approach the next race with healthy scepticism, leave no stone unturned and aim to deliver every bit of performance that we can.

"If the Team delivers another perfect performance like this weekend, that will be a very good starting point."

'This season has been an exhilarating rollercoaster ride'

Silver Arrows Silver Technical Director James Allison was delighted after a 'flawlessly executed' victory. Singapore is the next stop for the team, and James fired a warning that the team must be ready for the challenge.

"This season has been an exhilarating rollercoaster ride and we have won races by the skin of our teeth, others where we have lost by similar margins," said James.

"But this was the most comprehensive of our eight victories so far this season. It was a 1-2, flawlessly executed by the team, a dominant performance and delivered on the home turf of our main competitor; all that makes it a pretty memorable day.

"Aside from the emotion, though, these points count the same as any others and put us in the lead of the drivers' table for the first time as well as building our lead in the constructors' standings.

"We know that sterner challenges await us in the races to come, so we need to bank these points, move on and make sure that we don't relinquish either championship lead from now to Abu Dhabi."

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