Vettel salvages third at Monza despite damage

Vettel salvages third at Monza despite damage

Ocon started in third place and was second after the first corner.

If Sunday's race was a boring affair, there was at least plenty of sunshine in marked contrast to the steady rain that drenched fans and delayed qualifying for hours on Saturday.

Hamilton's teammate Vallteri Bottas finished second to give Mercedes a satisfying one-two victory.

But he saved the best until last. Red Bull's Max Verstappen suffered severe damage to his vehicle after colliding with Felipe Massa through the first chicane, and the German teenager was less than impressed by the Brazilian's actions: "What the **** was he doing?"

"I went off at Turn 1 and I think something broke", Vettel explained.

Can Hamilton seize opportunity?

Mercedes, whose drivers have won the last three championships, and Ferrari appear to be in a two horse race for the constructors' title this year.

As he started lap 10, Vettel was less than 10 seconds behind Hamilton but by the midway point of the race that gap had more than doubled to 22 seconds.

Hamilton led Bottas by almost half a second in the morning.

With dry weather expected for the race and the pace Mercedes showed in similar conditions on Friday, Ferrari may find it hard to beat Bottas.

Bottas, Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen all managed to claw their way up the grid after failing to fully acclimatise to the treacherous conditions during qualifying. "We've just gone from strength to strength", said Hamilton. "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 could not go the same pace".

"I know that we only get stronger, so I'm in a very, very positive mood", added the German. It was an important day; something did not come together.

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

But he said he was confident of recovering in the race. But Vettel said that he's not concerned about that right now. The vehicle is quick, we know that and you can overtake here - it should be a fun race.

Stroll and Ocon may not be easy for the Ferraris to pass.

"It's good for Sebastian that he has signed (at Ferrari).in the plan that I have coming up, in my five or six years that I have left in the sport, that piece of the puzzle is now in place", he said.

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