While there was plenty of incredible drives that occurred at Monza, all eyes were on Lewis this weekend. All the other 21 drivers on the grid were looking to maximise their performances and have the best weekend they could – Hamilton HAD to have a great weekend, no doubt about it.
The furore of Spa has been and gone. The dust has settled, and whether you are for, or against, the outcome, its water under the bridge. What was left was the undeniable fact that Hamilton was 29 points behind teammate Nico Rosberg and needed to start to chip away at that gap as soon as those red lights went out.
But when they did, Lewis’ Mercedes stuttered. He dropped to fourth from pole position, while Rosberg powered into the lead. It wasn’t a terrible start, but it put the Brit on a tentative back foot once more.
Then the race became all about what he could salvage, and salvage he did. Kevin Magnussen was quickly dispatched and Felipe Massa became the main prey. The overall speed of the Mercedes was no match for the sheer grunt that Williams could produce on the straights, and at the first chicane Hamilton pounced, around the outside and through in a move only Lewis could put together and make stick. Game on.
Only the game we’ve wanted and needed – one of the Mercedes passing the other in a legitimate move – didn’t happen once again. We’ll never know if Hamilton had the guile to take the lead, if Rosberg had legitimately cracked under pressure. Again it was an incident that could, and would, fuel the conspiracy theorists and sceptics.
Try as you might to justify it from any view, there’s some cold hard facts for all to see; Lewis Hamilton won. Lewis Hamilton finished in front of Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton chipped away at that title lead.
The second half of the season is underway, and we’ve got a war on for the championship. Long may it continue.