Vettel cruises to Italian GP victory

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Sebastian Vettel closed in on his second drivers’ championship with victory in the Italian Grand Prix yesterday as team-mate Mark Webber failed to finish.

Jenson Button was second and Fernando Alonso third as Lewis Hamilton’s race was compromised by a long scrap with Michael Schumacher, who finished fifth.

Felipe Massa came home sixth ahead of Jaime Alguersuari — who had started 18th — Paul di Resta, Bruno Senna and Sebastien Buemi.

At the start, Alonso got the jump from fourth to dive down the inside in to the lead in a repeat of the Spanish Grand Prix, while Hamilton had to yield to Vettel, allowing Schumacher to come through in to third.

A big crash caused by Tonio Liuzzi brought out the safety car as he lost control and slid across the grass towards turn one, sideswiping Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg. Rubens Barrichello was also caught up in the incident but was able to continue.

Schumacher managed to pass Hamilton on the restart and proceeded to defend vigorously for a number of laps, allowing Button to close up.

One move put Hamilton on the grass and Button’s momentum took him easily through, before he went round the outside of Schumacher at Ascari later on the same lap.

Hamilton seemed set to finish fourth once he finally cleared Schumacher, but a late charge added excitement as he got within half a second of Alonso but couldn’t find a way through on the final lap.

Vettel’s win means he now has a 112-point lead in the championship and could theoretically seal the title at Singapore in two weeks’ time. — Reuters