Hamilton counting on Bottas support to distance Vettel

Lewis Hamilton is counting on the support of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as he looks to consolidate his place at the top of the Formula One drivers' standings.

Victory at the Italian Grand Prix sent Hamilton three points clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel as he scaled the summit for the first time this season.

Bottas made it a Mercedes one-two by finishing ahead of Vettel and the Briton is hoping to mount some repeat performances with his team-mate in the remaining seven races.

However, he suggested the Finn remains firmly in the title hunt despite being 41 points off the pace.

"Having the one-two has obviously helped bridge more of a gap and the more we can perform like this the more we can really concrete that constructors' title, which the team are pushing," said Hamilton.

"Of course, that helps bridge the gap between myself and Sebastian. He's generally had a relatively comfortable lead most of the year, I think sometimes at 20-something points.

"I'm three points ahead. I'll take that and I'm happy with that. I guess the plan for the next races is to try and extend that.

"[Valtteri has] done a fantastic job today and we're going to continue to push together. Valtteri's got the opportunity - if he does the job - to win more races as well this year so the battle is still strong between us all."

Hamilton became the first driver to win back-to-back races this season with his victory at Monza, but he expects Ferrari to be the team to beat next time out in Singapore.

"I know it's not easy for the Italian fans to accept, but I think ultimately we did the better job this weekend, collectively, as a team. But it's still close and there's still a long, long way to go," he said.

"We're going to another track next that the Ferrari should be quite quick at, with the extra downforce they generally are able to add on, so the fight will continue.

"It's been a long, long time that Sebastian has been leading the championship, so with all the ups and down to now be just slightly ahead is a great feeling."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was thrilled with his team's dominance as they claimed a third one-two of the season.

"It was really a faultless race for us," Wolff told Sky F1.

"We had no problems whatsoever. We were gently excited about our pace and collecting those valuable points looking ahead to Singapore was very important."

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