Lewis Hamilton says the reason he pushed at the start of his second stint in the Italian Grand Prix was because he felt holding back "wasn't the way forward".

After re-joining from his pit stop behind Nico Rosberg, Hamilton's engineer suggested he should wait and then try to attack his team-mate at the end of the race. However, the Briton had other ideas, and responded by setting a new fastest lap.

Rosberg then made a mistake and for the second time overshot the first chicane, handing Hamilton the lead, which he held to the flag.

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"It was a difficult race today," Hamilton explained. "At the end, [my race engineer] said I should stay back, but knowing from experiences and also particularly this year [what has happened], I knew that wasn't the way forward. So I chose another route."

Asked to elaborate, he replied: "The car felt good and it was the closest I had been at that point [to Rosberg]. And just really during the previous stint I knew when I was behind others, when I was behind Nico and I got closer to him on the older tyres, it was very hard to stay with him. I knew the only chance would be at the start - and so I did [take the chance]."

Hamilton started from pole, but a poor start - due to a problem with the race start mode - dropped him down to fourth and put him on the backfoot.

"For whatever reason at the start, there is a button that you press, that engages the launch sequence for the formation lap and it didn't work.

"Then I thought no problem I will just put it on for the race. Then when I got to the grid and put it on, again it didn't work. It is very, very strange. I have never really had that happen before. Then there was a different sequence of lights that was on, that aren't on usually.

"I tried to pull away as fast as possible. But the RPM was all over the place and fortunately I managed to not lose too many places.

"We never practice a start like that where you don't have the launch sequence in. You always practice with the launch sequence to optimise it. So I had no idea what I should really do. I just kind of floored it and hoped for the best."

Hamilton then passed Kevin Magnussen on lap 4 and Felipe Massa on lap 9 to haul himself back up to second, before he eventually got Rosberg after the stops.

"A big congratulations to the team today," Hamilton continued. "They said they wanted a one-two and we got it today."

Hamilton now cuts Rosberg's lead in the Drivers' Championship from 29 points to 22 with six races remaining - including the double points scoring finale in Abu Dhabi.