Formula One

 
          === Hamilton revives his title hopes with Italian GP win ===
 
 Monza,  Italy (Sports Network) - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton gained ground in the
 Formula  One world  championship battle by winning Sunday's Italian Grand Prix
 in dominating fashion at Monza.
 
 Hamilton  started  on the  pole and  relinquished the  lead briefly during his
 first  pit  stop in the  53-lap race. He finished  4.3 seconds ahead of Sergio
 Perez from Sauber for his third win this season and the 20th of his F1 career.
 It's  also  the first time Hamilton  has won at this 3.6-mile, 11-turn Italian
 road course.
 
 "It's been fantastic to win here, and I'm just so happy for my team," Hamilton
 said. "It's been a fantastic day."
 
 Hamilton's  win at  Monza came one week  after he was involved in a horrifying
 multi-car wreck during the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton hit
 the  rear of  Lotus' Romain Grosjean after the two made tire contact. Grosjean
 then  sailed  over Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.  Perez was also involved in that
 crash.
 
 Grosjean was suspended for the Italian GP for causing the accident in Belgium.
 Jerome d' Ambrosio filled-in for him.
 
 Alonso  also bounced back in the championship title race. He finished third in
 Ferrari's  home  race and  improved his  points lead to  37 over Hamilton, who
 moved  up  from fifth  to second  in the  rankings. During  the final round in
 Saturday's  qualifying,  Alonso suffered a  broken rear  sway bar and ended up
 with a starting position of 10th.
 
 "It was a difficult race starting from 10th, but we knew that maybe we had the
 quickest car this weekend. We missed pole position yesterday, but today we had
 the pace to recover from position, so it was good for us."
 
 Perez  claimed his  third podium  of the  season and  matched his  career-best
 finish. He also placed second in the March 25 Malaysian Grand Prix.
 
 "It  was a  great race for me  and my team," Perez said. "It's unbelievable to
 have a podium here at Monza. It's really special."
 
 While  Hamilton  and Alonso  fortified  their  championship hopes,  Hamilton's
 teammate, Jenson Button, as well as Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark
 Webber took a big hit in points with seven grand prix remaining.
 
 Button started on the front row with Hamilton and ran in second for a majority
 of  the race, but Button experienced a fuel pick-up problem and retired on lap
 33. He finished 23rd and fell 78 points out of the lead.
 
 "I was never going to challenge (Hamilton) for the win, but it would have been
 great  for the team  if we could have finished first and second. But it wasn't
 to be," Button said.
 
 Vettel,  the  two-time defending  F1 world  champion, experienced a mechanical
 issue  that led to his retirement with six laps to go. Shortly before his race
 ended  prematurely, Vettel received a drive-through penalty for pushing Alonso
 onto the grass while the two were battling for position.
 
 Vettel  trails Alonso by 39 points following his 22nd-place result. He started
 on the pole and won at Monza last year.
 
 "We  lost some points  today, but we did the best we could," Vettel said. "You
 could see that our pace was not as strong as the leaders."
 
 Webber  damaged his car  when he hit the curb in the chicane with a handful of
 laps  left. He  finished two  laps behind  in 20th.  Webber is  now 47  points
 behind.
 
 Felipe Massa finished one spot behind his Ferrari teammate, Alonso, in fourth,
 while  Kimi  Raikkonen from Lotus  took the fifth  spot. Raikkonen moved up to
 third in points (-38).
 
 Mercedes  teammates  Michael Schumacher  and  Nico  Rosberg placed  sixth  and
 seventh,  respectively.  Paul  di  Resta  from  Force  India,  Sauber's  Kamui
 Kobayashi and Bruno Senna from Williams completed the top-10.
 
 09/09 13:45:10 ET

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