Hamilton lets his driving do the talking

Lewis Hamilton presented a contrast in character after an Italian Grand Prix victory that proves he should remain with McLaren.

Motorsport News: Lewis Hamilton wins Italian Grand

If ever a weekend were to underline just which side Hamilton's bread is buttered then it was this one here in Monza.

Bombarded with questions over his future in the build-up, Hamilton shrugged them aside to grab pole and follow that up with his 20th career victory at one of the world's most famous racetracks.

At times post-race, however, it was hard to believe Hamilton had emerged triumphant, closing the gap in the title race to championship leader Fernando Alonso to 37 points after the Spaniard finished third.

In one sentence Hamilton declared himself "so grateful, so happy" to have won, but in another he claimed being on the podium was "hard to enjoy when you're being booed, but I don't care, I won".

As Hamilton took to the podium in front of a sea of tifosi, the colloquial term for Ferrari's fans, there were plenty of boos for the 27-year-old Briton, seemingly tempering his joy at finally taking the chequered flag at a venue he has long held in such high esteem.

Team-mate Jenson Button claimed last week the scene below the podium, in the wake of finishing second on three consecutive occasions, was more akin to a football crowd and difficult to take in.

Hamilton had a taste of that, but not hard to understand given he is a McLaren driver standing on top of the podium in Ferrari's backyard.

But after a near lights-to-flag success save for a few laps led by superb runner-up Sergio Perez (Sauber), a chirpy Hamilton said: "It's an incredible feeling, phenomenal.

"You never know what's going to happen when you come into a race weekend, but I've been so happy that it's just gone quite smoothly throughout the weekend and the guys have done a great job with the package.

"And this is Monza, one of the very historic circuits, one I have not won at before, so it's great to take another stepping stone in my career. I'm very thankful for all the support I've had."

But then shortly after, in another interview, Hamilton did not raise a smile once, initially batting away questions about the booing.

The suggestion from a team source is Hamilton is thoroughly frustrated with what has happened this week, notably after Eddie Jordan claimed he had already signed a contract with Mercedes.

When it was put to Hamilton on Monday whether this weekend was enough to keep him at McLaren, he said: "I'm not really focusing on next year, I want to focus on this year.

"This is one race at a time and I'm trying to take this team to the top.

"I'm trying to help them as they are trying to help me to win both championships.

"It is an incredible team and I have a great relationship with them, so I'm really looking forward to the future."

It should have been a McLaren one-two - which would not have sat well with the Ferrari fans - but Button retired with a fuel issue on lap 33 when trailing Hamilton by a handful of seconds.

Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel followed soon after with an alternator issue when running sixth, a repeat of the problem that scuppered his victory bid in the European GP in Valencia in June.

To cap a thoroughly miserable day for Red Bull. Mark Webber also retired a lap from home after flat-spotting his tyres in a spin which left his car vibrating dangerously, leaving the team without a point from a race for the first time in almost two years.

Button, who has dropped 78 points behind Alonso, said: "It would have been great for the team if we could have finished first and second, but it wasn't to be.

"I don't entirely know what caused my car to stop. I'm told it was a fuel system problem that we're still investigating.

"The engine cut out and I had to coast to a stop. These things happen."

Vettel and Webber have dropped to fourth and fifth in the standings - 39 and 47 points down respectively.

Sandwiching Hamilton and Vettel is Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, fifth here and now 38 points adrift.

Considering what unfolded at Monza, Alonso could not be happier, describing his Sunday as "perfect for the championship".

He added: "It was almost like a film with a happy ending, another podium finish, three of my closest rivals with no points and an increased lead over my closest pursuer."

Team-mate Felipe Massa was fourth, the Mercedes duo of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg sixth and seventh, with Force India's Paul Di Resta eighth.



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