The Briton extended his championship lead to 30 points
Lewis Hamilton celebrated one of the finest victories of his career after he went behind enemy lines to stun Ferrari and take a major step towards securing a fifth world championship.
The fanatical Tifosi supporters arrived in Monza for the Italian Grand Prix expecting to see Sebastian Vettel convert a Ferrari lockout of the front row into a crushing win.
Instead, they saw their number one championship contender fall out of the reckoning after just four corners following a clumsy opening-lap collision with his rival.
Then, they witnessed Hamilton deliver a sensational performance which climaxed in the Brit passing Kimi Raikkonen for his 68th career win. Vettel recovered from last to fourth.
“Given the sheer pressure that we are under, I will definitely consider this win to be right up there in my career,” Hamilton said.
“There are a lot of Ferrari fans out there, and you hear a lot of negative sounds, but that only encourages and energises me.
“When I spot the British flags amongst the Ferrari red, that is my fuel, and I get my positivity and energy from them. They are the miracle today.”
Vettel was at his commanding best seven days ago to win in Belgium, but his defeat here is a major setback in his championship quest, and from one which he will struggle to recover.
On a frantic opening lap, Vettel covered the inside at the second chicane, but Hamilton moved to the racing line and was ahead going into the corner. Vettel did not want to concede the place, and in doing so, thudded into Hamilton’s Mercedes before spiralling into a spin.
Vettel, who limped back to the pits for repairs, blamed Hamilton for failing to leave him enough room as they tangled. “Silly”, was the German’s verdict.
The stewards took no action, but Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, had made up his mind.
“I think it was 100 per cent Sebastian’s fault,” Rosberg said on Sky Sports commentary. “Hamilton gave him all the room. He’s not going to become world champion if he keeps doing these things.”
Indeed, it marked Vettel’s fifth big error of the season, while Hamilton has largely failed to put a foot wrong. It is proving the difference.
“I didn’t want to walk away with here leaving something on the table,” Hamilton said. “I love the wheel-to-wheel battles, and it is the thing I love most about racing.
“That was one tough race, but really fun and enjoyable. This season is shaping up to being one of the best.”
Bottas completed the podium positions. Max Verstappen was demoted to fifth after pushing Bottas off the track.