Rosberg pounces on Hamilton at Monza

Rosberg had gone from 43 points ahead of Hamilton after Barcelona to trailing him by 19 going into the mid-season break, but successive wins has tilted momentum back in his favour and a seventh win of 2016 represents his best tally in a single season.

Rosberg - cropped

Nico Rosberg leads into the first corner at Monza during Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Nico Rosberg closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One standings to just two points as a shocking start ruined the reigning champion's Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton was a class above his Mercedes team-mate on Saturday, qualifying almost half a second quicker than the German, but a sluggish launch opened the door for Rosberg to dominate at Monza, taking his first win at the 'Temple of Speed'.

Rosberg had gone from 43 points ahead of Hamilton after Barcelona to trailing him by 19 going into the mid-season break, but successive wins has tilted momentum back in his favour and a seventh win of 2016 represents his best tally in a single season.

Read: >Formula One to be sold next week

The Silver Arrows' Saturday dominance, and consequent one-stop strategy, meant Hamilton did not have to fight the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen for second place, Vettel beating his colleague to the lower step on the podium. A three-four finish at its home race will do little to lift the pressure on the famous constructor, however, after being outpaced and out-strategised all weekend.

This race weekend has been notable for announcements that the retiring Felipe Massa and Jenson Button will leave F1 at the end of the season - possibly temporarily in the latter's case. The Brazilian placed ninth for Williams, with Button finishing 12th.