Vettel dominates Italian Grand Prix, Petrov out

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has continued his reign in the Formula 1 championship, claiming the Italian Grand Prix in style.

­McLaren’s Jenson Button finished second, while Fernando Alonso brought Ferrari third place on the podium at the home race.

Vitaly Petrov appeared on the starting grid of the Monza circuit wearing a black helmet in memory of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey squad, most of which perished in a fatal air crash on September 7.

But the Russian’s race was a short one, ending on the very first corner. HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi lost control of his car, crashing into Petrov’s Lotus Renault and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Pole holder Vettel was quick to regain the lead he lost to Fernando Alonso at the start and began increasing his gap from the rest of the pack with every lap.

Meanwhile, Button first dealt with battling Michael Schumacher of Mercedes and McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton.

And then, in the middle of the distance the Brit bypassed Alonso for second, but Vettel’s Red Bull was too far away as over nine seconds separated the drivers at the checkered flag.

Michael Schumacher’s duel with Lewis Hamilton became one of the main highlights of the race. Hamilton needed 29 laps of fierce attacks to bypass the seven-time world champion’s Mercedes, with the duo finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

It was Vettel’s eighth victory this year and the 18th GP triumph of the defending champ’s career. The German top the drivers’ standings, with 284 points in the bag.

But it was not all good news for Red Bull as Vettel’s partner Mark Webber, who crashed out of the race, lost his second place in the championship.

The Aussie was leap-frogged by the McLaren of Button and Hamilton, who have 176 and 172 points, respectively.

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