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Grid drops galore at Monza as only four drivers start where they qualified

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A combination of wet qualifying and penalties for more than one-third of the Formula 1 field has resulted in a topsy-turvy grid for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix (NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 7am ET).

With Monza being a power-hungry circuit, teams running Renault and Honda power units have opted to take penalties for fresh parts here knowing the chances of a big result were never that good, giving themselves a boost for Singapore.

The only Renault or Honda-powered driver not taking a penalty today is Daniil Kvyat, who rises from 14th in qualifying to eighth on the official starting grid.

Here’s a run-down of who has penalties and why at Monza.

Sergio Perez
Qualified: P8
Penalty: Five places for a new gearbox
Starts: P12

Max Verstappen
Qualified: P2
Penalty: 20 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P13

Nico Hulkenberg
Qualified: P12
Penalty: 10 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P14

Carlos Sainz Jr.
Qualified: P15
Penalty: 10 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P15

Daniel Ricciardo
Qualified: P3
Penalty: 20 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P16

Jolyon Palmer
Qualified: P17
Penalty: 15 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P17

Stoffel Vandoorne
Qualified: P10
Penalty: 25 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P18

Fernando Alonso
Qualified: P13
Penalty: 35 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P19

Romain Grosjean
Qualified: P20 (allowed to start despite setting no time in Q1)
Penalty: Five places for a new gearbox
Starts: P20

Propping up the grid is Romain Grosjean, who received dispensation to race from the stewards at Monza as he failed to set a time in Q1, and therefore did not qualify.

In short, only four drivers will start where they qualified: Lewis Hamilton, Sainz, Palmer and Grosjean.

2017 Italian Grand Prix – Starting Grid

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Lance Stroll Williams
3. Esteban Ocon Force India
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
7. Felipe Massa Williams
8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
9. Kevin Magnussen Haas
10. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
11. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber
12. Sergio Perez Force India*
13. Max Verstappen Red Bull*
14. Nico Hulkenberg Renault*
15. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso*
16. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull*
17. Jolyon Palmer Renault*
18. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren*
19. Fernando Alonso McLaren*
20. Romain Grosjean Haas**

* After grid penalties applied
** Permitted to start by the stewards after failing to qualify

F1: Lewis Hamilton roars back from starting 14th to win German GP, regain points lead

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Heading into Sunday’s German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton wasn’t given much of a chance after qualifying so poorly (14th) one day earlier.

But in one of the most significant rallies of the 2018 Formula One season, Hamilton roared back to not only win at Hockenheim, but also regain the lead in the F1 drivers championship standings at the halfway point of the season.

Ditto for Mercedes in the Constructors Championship.

“It was so tough out there,” Hamilton told Sky Sports/ESPN. “Conditions were perfect for business time. When it rained, I knew I’d have a good position, but you never know what’s going to happen behind the safety car.”

Despite rainy conditions for part of the race, not to mention wet overall conditions that caused a number of drivers to spin, Hamilton won the 66th race of his F1 career (44th with Mercedes AMG Petronas) in a time of 1:32.29.845 and took home 25 points for his fourth win of 2018.

It’s the furthest back a driver has come from back in the pack to win since Fernando Alonso started 15th and won the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.

The win comes just a couple days after Hamilton re-signed with Mercedes AMG through the 2020 season, leading him to pay an immediate return on investment, so to speak.

“It’s obviously very, very difficult (to win) from that position and highly unlikely, but you’ve always got to believe,” Hamilton said. “I said a long, long prayer before the race started.

“When we did the parade lap, I could see how much support we had and I just wanted to stay collected and stay calm. The team did such a great job today, the car was fantastic, I’m so grateful.

“I would never have thought you could do something like that today, but I kept pushing and kept believing and it happened, so I really manifested my dreams today. Thanks to God.”

It was also the 125th F1 podium finish of Hamilton’s career.

To make the win even sweeter, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished second, the first time in German GP history that homeland team Mercedes has finished 1-2.

It’s Bottas’ fifth podium of the season, all being runner-up finishes.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third, 6.5 seconds behind Hamilton, followed my Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. For Raikkonen, it was his 28th podium since his last win.

Sixth through 10th were Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley.

Kevin Magnussen finished 11th, followed by Carlos Sainz, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso was the last running car, finishing 16th.

Failing to finish (17th through 20th) were Lance Stroll, pole sitter Sebastian Vettel (who made a mistake and crashed), Sergey Sirotkin and Daniel Ricciardo.

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