Nico Rosberg capitalized on a starting error from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the Italian Grand Prix Sunday and close the gap in the world title chase to two points.

Hamilton was on pole but a disastrous start saw him drop to sixth as Rosberg, from second, the Ferrari's of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas in Williams and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo all flew past him.

Rosberg could then control the race from the front and claimed his first win at Monza, and 21st overall, in 1 hour 17 minutes 28.089 seconds. Hamilton recovered to second, 15.070 seconds behind, but could not chase the victory while third went to Vettel in Ferrari's home grand prix.

World champion Hamilton now leads the standings on 250 points with Rosberg on 248 ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix on September 18.

"It is a very special day for me, I'm very happy to finally win here," Rosberg said. "It was all down to the start, I had an awesome start and it was all from there.

"I feel a part of me is Italian because I have a lot of friends and grew up with the culture so it's special."

Hamilton was looking to match Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio with three triumphs in a row having matched Fangio and Ayrton Senna with a record five Monza poles with a dominant performance in Saturday qualifying.

But on race day it all went wrong at the start, with what he admitted on team radio was his own error, and he soon found himself playing catch-up in search of his 50th career win.

"The start wasn't great but it was still a great day for Mercedes and I'm proud to be a part of it," Hamilton said.

Rosberg took full advantage and, after the hectic dash to the opening turn, used the superior power of his Mercedes to open up a gap of more than six seconds to Vettel.

Both Ferraris had started on super-soft tyres and stayed with the red rubber when they pitted on laps 16 and 17 respectively. Rosberg and Hamilton, who started on softs, changed to mediums on laps 25 and 26 with the intention of seeing out the race on a one-stop strategy.

Rosberg maintained his led over Vettel at more than four seconds when the German driver pitted again on lap 34 to emerge with softs and Raikkonen followed his team-mate a lap later.

That left Rosberg leading Hamilton by around 11 seconds, a margin which the Brit managed to close but only very gradually until he made a chicane error on lap 41.

That was not enough to open the door to Vettel in third but ensured there would be no miraculous comeback and Rosberg could coast home to his second successive victory and seventh of the campaign.

"This is the best podium in the world," Vettel told the Ferrari fans who cheered him at the award ceremony after some boos rang out for the Mercedes pair.

"We are working very hard, Mercedes do a very good job so you have to say well done and show them respect. I'm sure Ferrari will come back and keep fighting. We will succeed."

Behind the podium places Raikkonen was fourth, Ricciardo fifth and Bottas sixth. Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sergio Perez (Force India), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Nico Huelkenberg (Force India) completed the top 10.

Romain Grosjean's Haas finished just out of the points in 11th while Jenson Button, the day after it was announced he would not drive for McLaren in 2017, was 12th, one ahead of Esteban Gutierrez in the other Haas.

Fernando Alonso was 14th with McLaren, though did claim the fastest lap with a late display of pace, while Carlo Sainz (Toro Rosso), Kevin Magnussen (Renault) and Esteban Ocon (Manor) were the other finishers.

Manor's Pascal Wehrlein, who started 13th after brilliant qualifying, saw his race ended with smoke coming from his car on lap 28. Felipe Nasr's Sauber and Joylon Palmer in a Renault retired early after their vehicles were damaged in an early collision, and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat stopped late on.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.