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Formula 1

Hamilton wins at Emilia Romagna as Mercedes seal title

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton closed in on yet another title by winning at Imola despite a poor start while Mercedes claimed the constructors' title.

Hamilton wins at Emilia Romagna as Mercedes seal title
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Lewis Hamilton won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Mercedes wrapped up a record seventh consecutive constructors' title with another one-two after Max Verstappen spun out.

Hamilton dropped from second to third behind Verstappen before the first corner, but the combination of a strategy call and the deployment of the virtual safety car put the runaway championship leader in command of the race.

Bottas, who started on pole, pitted on lap 20 of 63 at Imola just after Verstappen, who was in second place at the time, for a switch from medium to hard tyres.

Hamilton stayed out for a much longer stint on mediums and built up a big lead before a timely, brief deployment of a virtual safety car when Esteban Ocon retired on lap 31 played right into his hands.

The six-time Formula One world champion pitted and went on to seal victory, with Bottas second after Verstappen's race was ended by a puncture on lap 52 in a dramatic twist.

Mercedes win again

Verstappen had capitalised on a mistake from Bottas, who suffered floor damage, to move into second on lap 43 but ended up in the gravel and George Russell crashed out behind the safety car soon after.

Hamilton and Bottas pitted for soft tyres and the Brit, who broke Michael Schumacher's record of 91 F1 race victories last weekend, saw out another win following a restart with just six laps to complete.

Daniel Ricciardo took third place behind Bottas as Mercedes celebrated yet another title, with Hamlton closing on being crowned champion for a record-equalling seventh time with four races to go.

Daniil Kvyat took fourth spot in a frantic finale, with Charles Leclerc completing the top five in a chaotic first F1 race at the iconic Italian track since 2006.