Lewis Hamilton says one "key move" in the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix was instrumental in allowing him to claim a fifth-place finish.
Although he qualified fifth fastest, Hamilton suffered a back of the grid penalty for taking a new whole Mercedes power unit ahead of the Monza race - as his third unit is undergoing investigations following the first-lap impact it suffered during his tangled with Fernando Alonso in Belgium.
Clever strategy and one crucial overtaking move allowed the British driver to bank 10 points for a fifth place, as teammate George Russell started second and finished third.
Hamilton on "key move"
Starting on the Medium tyres, Hamilton's strategy was to run long at Monza, especially after a Daniel Ricciardo-led DRS train formed in the early stages.
After Pierre Gasly triggered pitstops in trying to undercut Ricciardo - which failed - Hamilton was vaulted up the order, and passed Alonso for sixth place.
On Lap 34 of 53, he pitted to trade in for a fresh set of Softs, and emerged in 12th place - still in the Ricciardo train.
Lando Norris was on a similar strategy, but pitted two laps later, with Hamilton's move coming out of Turn 1.
As Gasly and Norris fought over position, Hamilton took a tight line into the first part of the chicane, to give him better drive and traction out of it.
As the AlphaTauri and McLaren squabbled, Hamilton gained two positions - and quickly passed Ricciardo for sixth - which then became fifth once Sergio Perez made a second pitstop.
"This was a key move, because I think if I hadn't pulled that off, then I would have been two places back," explained Hamilton to media including RacingNews365.com.
"[It's] just about timing, and you don't always get it right.
"I saw Lando coming out and I was like: 'This is the one moment we have the chance.'
"Unfortunately for him, he was getting challenged by someone else [Gasly] around the outside, so I cut across and it felt great."
Racing in midfield is "1000" times better
Hamilton also spoke at his satisfaction at having racing his way through the field to score the result - especially after Alonso said he was only able to start and race from pole on the grid.
'[It's] 1000 times more enjoyable, battling with people," he said in response to a question from RacingNews365.com.
"When I started my first go-kart was old, it was all bent and buckled and we always had to start at the back with old tyres.
"Its what I've always enjoyed doing, and so starting today, just having those battles is way more fun than starting first for example.
"It is a different challenge, but I much prefer it.
"When you win, it is something completely different and you feel proud for everybody but I love the idea of moving forwards.
"So I felt like I climbed up a ladder and progress is a good feeling."
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