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Lewis Hamilton has congratulated Kimi Raikkonen on his pole position at the Italian Grand Prix, saying he simply could not match the pace of the Ferrari driver at Monza.

The Briton and Sebastian Vettel, his closest title rival now 30 points behind, collided on the opening lap with the German Ferrari driver sent spinning down to 18th place before recovering to fourth.

Lewis Hamilton gave it everything in his Mercedes - and was on provisional pole for a matter of moments - before Sebastian Vettel first and then Raikkonen bettered his time.

Ferrari had swept the front row at Monza, a week after Vettel's dominant Spa victory. Unfortunately, I was the one that spun around, which is ironic'.

"It wasn't as if I was really sacrificing my race as long as I was keeping Kimi behind", Bottas said. I don't know, we touched it was a brief moment.

Bottas finished third just ahead of Vettel and Verstappen, who would have been on the podium had he not received a five-second penalty for causing a collision with the Finnish driver.

"But I was happy to do it because for me I knew I would still get a chance to attack (Max) Verstappen".

"I'm really happy I've been able to extract more from the vehicle and hopefully make that little bit of a difference".

" I stuck it down the outside and made sure I was far enough alongside."
Racing resumed on lap four as the stewards announced they were taking no action, declaring it a "racing incident".

"We couldn't have imagined we would have that kind of lead", Hamilton said.

"I'm really really proud of them, because obviously when you're in a big sea of red and there's the booing and. you notice there's one guy standing there with a flag or there's a kid waving it and you can imagine being surrounded by that, feeling the heat on him", he said. "But I think given I was looking the wrong way after four corners and in last (place), finishing in fourth with effectively the same strategy as everybody else is a decent recovery with the damage we had".

"We are very fortunate to have capitalised on the different situations".

Once again, Vettel's temperament was called into question after a collision that some pundits felt might have been avoided; he viewed it differently, of course. Yesterday I was trying to figure out how aggressive you can be because my race is not really with Kimi, it's with Sebastian. I had the experience a few years ago of being on the inside and it didn't come off too well. If you get spun around there's not much you can do from there. "They gave us a lot of support and we didn't delver for whatever reason".