• Italian Grand Prix

Monza win 'phenomenal' - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012 « Alonso hails 'absolutely perfect Sunday' for title hopes | Result important for my future - Massa »
Lewis Hamilton secured his third win of the season at Monza © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton described his victory at Monza as "phenomenal" as he won the Italian Grand Prix for the first time.

Having secured pole position on Saturday, Hamilton converted that in to a lights-to-flag victory ahead of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso to give McLaren its third consecutive victory. Hamilton said that Jenson Button's victory in Spa had convinced him he could win this weekend and added that he was pleased to finally be successful at Monza.

"It's an incredible feeling," Hamilton said. "It's phenomenal, you never know what's going to happen when you come in to a race weekend and the guys have done a great job with the package - I knew that from the previous race with Jenson's pace, I thought that means I've got to do the same here - and the guys did a great job.

"This is a very historic circuit; when I was driving I was thinking that all the greats have won here, so to finally get a win here is just the icing on the cake. I hope this is the start of something good in the future coming here as I've not had the best results in the past. And also in the future we'll maybe have a little more support here."

Having cut Fernando Alonso's advantage over him to 37 points in the championship standings and moved up to second place, Hamilton said he still saw it as a tall order to win the title.

"It's going be incredibly tough. Fernando just let the cat out of the bag and said they've got a lot of upgrades coming to the next race so I'm going to go back to the factory and hope that the guys are doing the same, which I trust they will be. We've got seven more races so this is just one step; tomorrow we start again and try to attack in the next race.

"I think Ferrari were as quick as us this weekend - at least as quick as us this weekend - I think if Fernando had a better qualifying I'm sure he would have been up there with me and made the race perhaps a little bit harder than it was. But I think Ferrari seem like they're very, very quick and we need to stay on it to continue to compete with them."

Hamilton also added that he was never concerned by Sergio Perez's pace as the Sauber closed to 4.3s behind by the end of the race.

"I was cruising for the last 20 laps. I had a 14 second gap, at the time I think it was Felipe who was behind and even though I was cruising he was going slower than me. Then I heard Fernando had overtaken and Fernando began to catch so I just pulled out a little bit more time and matched his time to keep it relaxed and then [Perez] started catching me at a second a lap so probably the last four laps I started pushing a little bit more just to maintain a little bit more the gap."