Lewis Hamilton took a major step towards a fifth Formula 1 title as he won the Italian Grand Prix this morning as he came out on top of a first lap clash with title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Kiwi Brendon Hartley was a victim of contact at the start and had his front right wheel ripped off his Toro Rosso before the first corner of the race. He started 16th and got squeezed between two cars and left with nowhere to go.

Meanwhile Hamilton made a dive at Vettel on the opening lap and the pair made contact, spinning the Ferrari driver around and dropping him to the back of the field. Stewards reviewed the incident but determined it a racing incident with no penalty handed out.

Pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen led the majority of the race but Hamilton, with fresher tyres, made the crucial pass with eight laps racing to ensure he collect maximum points in his Mercedes.

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Teammate Valtteri Bottas completed the podium while Vettel fought back to finish fourth with Red Bull's Max Verstappen fifth.

Hamilton's lead in the championship extended to 30 points with the win.

"Firstly I want to give it up to Ferrari who put up a great challenge this weekend," said Hamilton. "They really did an amazing job and have given us such a tremendous fight."

Hamilton says he was "inspired" by British flags in the crowd and harnessed the negative energy from the partisan crowd to turn the race around.

Raikkonen was disappointed not to be able to hold Hamilton off at the end.

"Disappointing but nothing I could do on those tyres," Raikkonen said.