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Fernando Alonso wins Formula One Italian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso celebrates a home victory for his team, Ferrari, at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He’s the first Ferrari driver to win in Italy since Michael Schumacher in 2006.

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Fernando Alonso celebrates a home victory for his team, Ferrari, at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He’s the first Ferrari driver to win in Italy since Michael Schumacher in 2006.

MONZA, Italy — Fernando Alonso recovered from a poor start to win the Italian Grand Prix for home team Ferrari on Sunday and revive his Formula One title chances.

The Spaniard lost the lead to McLaren's Jenson Button at the first corner but regained it after the pit stops to hold on for a 2.9-second victory.

Felipe Massa of Ferrari was third and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel came fourth.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who finished sixth, took the points lead with 187. Lewis Hamilton of McLaren was eliminated on the first lap and fell to second with 182. Third-place Alonso has 166, Button 165 and Vettel 163.

Hamilton's left front suspension broke after contact with Massa's Ferrari, ending his race.

"I only have myself to blame," Hamilton said. "I tried my best and some things just don't go your way."

Alonso said his 24th career victory came second only in importance to his Spanish GP win in 2006 as it gave him hope of a third world title with five races left.

"We made the right choices in the right moments," Alonso said after his third victory of the season. "With the result we gain some confidence and motivation for the whole team not to give up. (But) we need to remain calm. We need to find some consistency, that would be the key."

Alonso was making his debut at Monza for the Italian team. He tied five-time series champion Juan Manuel Fangio for eighth all-time on the F1 career victory list. A huge heart-shaped Ferrari banner was unfurled in front of the podium before the champagne came out.

"I never imagined that it was so good," said Alonso, who won here for McLaren in 2007. "A very emotional week."

Spanish team HRT said a radio engineer was being treated for injuries after he was hit by driver Sakon Yamamoto's car during a pit stop. The team the unidentified engineer "remained conscious" and "the situation is under control."

CHASING CHASE: Four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had his hands full with Denny Hamlin for part of last year's Chase for the Championship. And Johnson has no doubt that will again be the case as Hamlin, the top seed going into the 10-race Chase with 5,060 points and coming off of Saturday's win at Richmond, tries to fulfill the potential he was tagged with when Joe Gibbs Racing hired him before the 2006 season.

"I look to how he ran in the Chase last year. He was very, very strong through all of those races and had a problem at California that kind of took him out," Johnson said. "Maybe I took for granted with how well Denny ran last year that he would just be there (in contention). That's been the reality to me, that he's going to be one of the guys to race for it."

Sprint Cup points

With 10 races to go. Only these drivers are eligible in the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Denny Hamlin 5,060—

Jimmie Johnson 5,050 10

Kevin Harvick 5,030 30

Kyle Busch 5,030 30

Kurt Busch 5,020 40

Tony Stewart 5,010 50

Greg Biffle 5,010 50

Carl Edwards 5,000 60

Jeff Burton 5,000 60

Matt Kenseth 5,000 60

Jeff Gordon 5,000 60

Clint Bowyer 5,000 60

Up next

Sylvania 300, 1 p.m. Sunday, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon.

TV: ESPN

fast facts

Sprint Cup points

With 10 races to go. Only these drivers are eligible for the title in the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Denny Hamlin 5,060—

Jimmie Johnson 5,050 10

Kevin Harvick 5,030 30

Kyle Busch 5,030 30

Kurt Busch 5,020 40

Tony Stewart 5,010 50

Greg Biffle 5,010 50

Carl Edwards 5,000 60

Jeff Burton 5,000 60

Matt Kenseth 5,000 60

Jeff Gordon 5,000 60

Clint Bowyer 5,000 60

Up next

Sylvania 300, 1 p.m. Sunday, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon

TV: ESPN

Fernando Alonso wins Formula One Italian Grand Prix 09/12/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:34pm]

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