Nico Rosberg has cut Lewis Hamilton’s title advantage to just two points after capitalising on the Briton’s poor start to win the Italian Grand Prix.
Rosberg’s seventh victory of the year, one more than his Mercedes team-mate, was effectively secured at the start when pole-sitter Hamilton slumped to sixth place by the first corner.
Opening up a 15-second advantage over the sister Mercedes as Hamilton made his way back up the order to second place, Rosberg was only briefly headed during the first pit-stop phase as his one-stop strategy worked to perfection.
Ferrari ran a two-stop strategy and finished third and fourth with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen respectively with Vettel returning to the podium for the first time since June’s European GP.
The Scuderia have now cut Red Bull’s advantage over them in second place in the standings to 11 points.
Two drivers who will definitely not be on the grid in 2017, the retiring Felipe Massa scored points in ninth in the second Williams while McLaren’s Jenson Button, who is taking at least a year’s break, ended outside in 12th.
Italian GP result, 53 laps
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:17:28.089
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +15.070
3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +20.990
4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +27.561
5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +45.295
6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +51.015
7. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +54.236
8. Sergio Perez, Force India, +64.954
9. Felipe Massa, Williams, +65.617
10. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +78.656
11. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +1 lap
12. Jenson Button, McLaren, +1 lap
13. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +1 lap
14. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1 lap
15. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +1 lap
16. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +1 lap
17. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +1 lap
18. Esteban Ocon, Manor, +2 laps
DNF Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
DNF Pascal Wehrlein, Manor
DNF Jolyon Palmer, Renault
DNF Felipe Nasr, Sauber