F1: Hamilton’s bad start hands race to Rosberg

Nico Rosberg took full advantage of a calamitous start by team mate and rival Lewis Hamilton after he slipped from pole to sixth on the first lap.

Roberg controlled the race from the front and victory gives him fresh hope in the Formula One championship battle — cutting Hamilton’s lead to just two points.

Hamilton was looking to extend his lead over Rosberg at the Italian Grand Prix after qualifying nearly half a second quicker than his fellow Mercedes driver but he quickly dropped down the order after failing to get away cleanly.

Hamilton fought his way back up the order but couldn’t catch the flying German.

Sebastia Vettel joined them on the podium and his Ferrari team mate Kim Raikkonen was fourth, bringing joy to the Italian team’s fans.

After the race, Hamilton told the crowd: The start wasn’t great but it was still a great day for Mercedes and I’m proud to be part of it.”

By starting at the top of the field Sunday, Hamilton equaled the record of Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio in claiming a fifth career pole at the legendary Monza track.

Earlier Saturday it was announced that former F1 champion Jenson Button will not be on the F1 grid in 2017.

And Williams driver, Felipe Massa, said earlier this week that he would be retiring at the end of the 2016 season.

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