F1: Hamilton closes the gap in Spa win

Vettel then moved ahead with 1m 21.546s on the supersofts, with Raikkonen's 1m 22.097s leaving him fourth as Bottas jumped up to the top with 1m 21.406 and Hamilton to second on 1m 21.462s.

Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in both of Friday's opening practice sessions on the high-speed Monza circuit, which favors Mercedes' stronger power.

However, that might be hard at a power-hungry Monza circuit where engine performance is crucial, in a Renault-powered Red Bull which Ricciardo accepts is nowhere near the level of Mercedes and Ferrari on these tracks. So you can say that we lost out on some points.

Ferrari are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company's first racing vehicle and are holding a demonstration of cars from across the decades ahead of the race.

"I'm made aware of who contacts the team, and that's down to a great relationship that I have with Toto", Hamilton said ahead of this weekend's race at Monza, Motorsport.com reports.

"Well happy 70th. Hopefully it won't be a happy one on Sunday!" "We're doing everything we can to spoil their weekend".

Back in 2004, Juan-Pablo Montoya recorded the fastest lap in F1 history at the track - clocking an average speed of 162.95 miles per hour (262.24 kph) in a Williams vehicle. Hamilton, who had gone into that weekend looking for blood, will be similarly fired up to score a repeat of that result. "The long run race is definitely not so easy". We are not yet where I think we can be but we should be a bit better tomorrow.

Granted, Alonso's title challenge in 2012 went to the last race, but that was largely down to the skills of the Spaniard, allied to a freakish season in which the race wins were spread out between a number of drivers allowing for a title challenge despite not having the quickest package.

After Hamilton's dogged victory, the onus now switches to the shoulders of Vettel as his team still harbour hopes of an unlikely constructors' title come November.

"Next race we need to get at least those seven points again", said Hamilton.

"There are some things I learned from Spa and we learned as a team and I as a driver", Vettel said. Our long-running wasn't ideal. We are ok, but we are not quite where l think we can be. "But there is always that balance between the show and allowing them to race and pushing each other, and artificially controlling it, which we don't like to do".

"There are a couple of things we need to do better - vehicle balance, stability and braking, which is important round here to get the confidence".

"For sure we'll be quicker than today, how much?"

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  • Essie Rivera