Lewis Hamilton got his World Championship campaign back on track with a superb win in Italy – despite a glitch at the start dropping him to fourth place.
Lewis had to fight his way back to second place behind Nico Rosberg, and was then able to pass his team mate when the German ran straight on at the first chicane.
“At the start there’s a button that you press which engages the launch sequence and for the formation lap it didn’t work,” said Hamilton. “I thought ‘no problem, I’ll just put it on for the race,’ and then when I got to the grid I put it on and again it didn’t work. It’s very, very strange, I’ve never really had that happen before.
“Anyway, I tried to pull away as fast as possible. The RPM was all over the place, and fortunately I managed to not lose too many places. We never practice a start like that where you don’t have the launch sequence in; we always practice in a launch sequence to optimise it. So I had no idea really what I was supposed to do, so I just floored it and hoped for the best…”
After the pit stops Lewis was told by engineer to hang back by 2-2.5s and save his tyres for the end of the race, but instead he took the initiative and closed in on Rosberg, hoping to take advantage of his new rubber.
It worked, for just three laps later on lap 29 with the gap down to 0.7s Nico again ran straight on at the first chicane, having just adjusted his brake balance. By the time he had zigzagged through the escape road barriers Hamilton had got ahead. Lewis insisted that he hadn’t gone against instructions.
“I didn’t ignore the team’s orders. I have a great relationship with my engineer and he’s constantly in touch with me throughout the race and really guiding me. If I’m losing a bit of time here or there, he’s telling me so that I know how to correct it. They want to win just as much as me so they’re just trying to guide me to what they think but at the end of the day, I was the one out there and they had to really decide: OK, I can back off here and keep the tyres but the calculation might be better the other way. I knew that if I applied the pressure, an opportunity would eventually come.”
Regarding the turnaround in his fortunes he said: “I’ve generally felt like I’ve always been in good shape. But I came here with a positive attitude. Hoping just for no issues. I guess the cool thing about today is that I had another serious one and I managed to pull through it. Again, all those experiences I’ve had kind of have prepared me for it today and I’m still looking for one of those weekends where we don’t have any troubles. Clearly today I had the pace on everyone and on Nico and I felt that way all weekend. So, I’m going to make sure that’s the case moving forwards.”