Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton win leaves more Mercedes questions

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Lewis Hamilton claimed something of a strange victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this past weekend.

With all the backlash from the events at Spa two weeks ago still raging in the suburb of Milan, it was almost too surreal that a Nico Rosberg mistake should gift Hamilton the win.

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Conspiracies are now flying claiming it was an intentional move by the German to miss the first chicane with Lewis closing in and that, by giving Hamilton the win, it was some sort of retribution for what occurred in Belgium.

Personally I find that quite hard to believe given the nature of Rosberg's actions at Spa, intentional or not.

For him to show a ruthless side that we haven't seen before in Belgium and then somehow feel sorry for what he had done by letting Hamilton win in Monza would ask some serious questions about his temperament as a driver fighting for the championship.

Mercedes influence

Instead I think this points to the way Mercedes reacted after the incident at Spa. If there was ever any truth in the team backing Rosberg over Hamilton it has certainly been roles reversed since Belgium with Nico made to look like a naughty schoolboy.

There was something just not right about how the weekend played out in Italy, given the "free to race" line that has been used by Mercedes bosses all season long.

In fact, I would go so far as to say the team tried to indirectly avoid any kind of confrontation between its drivers by issuing the instruction to Hamilton to hold back after the only pit-stop and wait until the end.

On that strategy it would have been very hard for Hamilton to make up the time the team asked him to drop back by when the tyres were degrading and Rosberg would have had things under control.

Clinical Hamilton

Therefore I praise the move by Lewis to attack when he did on Rosberg, immediately after the stop, and ultimately, I believe, the strain and pressure that has been exerted on Nico since Belgium caused the error that let Hamilton through.

It wasn't just that move on Rosberg that was impressive about Hamilton on Sunday. After his poor start and initial problems with his Energy Recovery System, it would have been very easy for the thoughts of 'here we go again' to creep into Hamilton's head.

However, despite some initial concern, he managed to show patience and when the issue was resolved set about doing what he does best.

His move on Kevin Magnussen on the approach to the Lesmo bends proved the intuitive instincts are still there to attack at the first opportunity, yet it also showed bravery given the fact Magnussen may have been concentrating on trying to re-pass Felipe Massa, who had just overtaken him into the second chicane.

And the same applied with his move on Massa, the Williams, a car most believed would be a viable threat to Mercedes at Monza, had the pace in a straight line to hold Hamilton off for a while, but again with Rosberg pulling away out front, showed great patience to pull off the textbook move into the first chicane.

And from there the remainder of the race played out and Hamilton had his easy win and first since Silverstone.

What happens now?

If there is any truth in the conspiracy theory being floated around, then the question has to be where does the Mercedes fight go from here?

Surely Rosberg will not let the thoughts of the past few weeks continue as the season heads back to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix, and in a normal championship battle I would expect each man to be back fighting for himself at Marina Bay.

Yet the thought still lingers of just what Mercedes have laid down as guidelines for its two drivers.

Could it really be the gloves are not off until the Constructor's Championship is sewn up? If so then it will take away the edge and the excitement that we thought we would have in the final run to Abu Dhabi.

And that would be sad for Formula 1 to think the one thing most talk about, who will become world champion, is an afterthought this far into the season because Toto Wolff can't look past his bank balance.

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