Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Italian GP
Lewis Hamilton looks on as Nico Rosberg celebrates his Italian Grand Prix victory, Sep.4, 2016Reuters

Lewis Hamilton was a happy, buoyant driver going into the summer break of the F1 season, having gone on a winning run which saw him climb past his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and into pole position in the drivers' championship standings. A 19-point lead looked nice and comfortable for Hamilton as the season returned, but two wins in two races for Rosberg has brought the smile back onto the German's face, with the champion now looking the worried man.

An engine change forced Hamilton to start from the back of the grid in Belgium, which in turn meant he could only manage a third-place finish, with Rosberg taking the win with ease.

That cut the lead to just nine points going into the Italian GP, a race that Hamilton loves and has dominated in the past. And it looked like the defending champion would win a third consecutive title in Monza when he took pole, ahead of Rosberg.

However, that pole position was lost in a matter of seconds when Hamilton got off to a disastrous start, with the Mercedes driver finding himself back in sixth position. Rosberg took full advantage again, and went on to win the race, with Hamilton having to scramble for second.

"Obviously it was lost at the start," Hamilton told reporters. "To be honest, I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous of how the start went, so that's why I tried to put their minds at ease.

"I don't really know what happened at the start, though obviously I will try to understand it later. I did everything normal. But, yeah, it's hard to overtake here.

"I do remember a bunch of cars coming by but, as I said, I did the sequence, everything exactly the same and yeah, I think I just got lots of wheelspin."

Another mistake in the Singapore GP in two weeks and Hamilton will be the one needing to overtake again, as far as the drivers' championship race is concerned. The defending champion currently leads the standings by just two points, with Rosberg carrying all the momentum going into Singapore.

"It means so much to me to win here at Monza," Rosberg said. "The race went perfectly for me and after a good start I was able manage the gap between myself and the car behind. Our car has been amazing this weekend and I extend a massive thank you to the whole team.

"I'm looking forward to Singapore, which was our weakest race last year. Hopefully we've learnt lessons from 2015 and we'll come back even stronger."

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