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Hamilton calls Mercedes F1 car ‘a dream to drive’ after Monza domination

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Lewis Hamilton was quick to thank the Mercedes Formula 1 team after delivering his most dominant display of the 2017 season so far, winning Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix to move into the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time this year.

Hamilton led all but one lap at Monza on Sunday en route to his sixth win of the season, heading up a one-two finish for Mercedes as Valtteri Bottas came home second.

Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel was a distant 36 seconds back in third place for Ferrari, with Mercedes making its engine advantage count at the high-speed Monza circuit.

“I’m happy. We did a great job, the team did an exceptional job this weekend,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race.

“Valtteri also did a great job. We owe it all to them.”

The dominant win over Ferrari at its home race led to Hamilton facing a hostile reception on the podium in front of the passionate Tifosi, with the three-time world champion not missing the opportunity to make a cheeky comment.

“Mercedes power is definitely better than Ferrari power. It worked well this weekend,” Hamilton smirked, before opening up on Mercedes’ demolition job.

“I think it’s all just to do with the team pulling together and trying to maximize everything from the car, and Valtteri and myself doing the best job we can with the car.

“But today the car was fantastic and really a dream to drive.

“A big thank you to all the fans who came out today, grazie a tutti, and I look forward to coming back here next year.”

Carb Day: Tony Kanaan is fastest in final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500

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Tony Kanaan wants to put legendary driver and team owner A.J. Foyt back into Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan took a big step toward achieving that goal in Friday’s final practice for Sunday’s 102nd running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Kanaan was fastest of the 33-driver field, with a best lap around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at 227.791 mph, more than 2 mph faster than the second-fastest driver, Kanaan’s former teammate, Scott Dixon (225.684 mph).

Foyt won a record-tying four Indy 500’s as a driver. It’s been nearly 20 years since he also won as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack behind the wheel.

Marco Andretti was third-fastest (225.200 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (224.815), Charlie Kimball (224.712), 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (224.083), Will Power (223.942), Danica Patrick (223.653), Spencer Pigot (223.584) and Ed Jones (223.556).

Other notable driver speeds included:

* Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th fastest (223.219 mph).

* Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden was 15th (223.186 mph).

* Helio Castroneves, hoping to earn a record-tying fourth 500 win, was 17th (222.913 mph).

* Graham Rahal was 21st (222.526).

* Former 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was 26th (221.916 mph), followed by rookie Robert Wickens (221.821 mph), carrying the mantle for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with James Hinchcliffe having failed to qualify for the race.

* The biggest surprise was 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who was 32nd fastest (221.374 mph).

We’ll have the full speed grid, as well as full driver quotes, shortly. Please check back soon.

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