Rosberg claims first Driver of the Day award

© XPB 

Nico Rosberg has been voted Driver of the Day for the first time this season, after the Mercedes racer cruised to victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

Linin up second on the grid, Rosberg made what he described as "an awesome start" to jump pole sitter Lewis Hamilton off the line.

With his team-mate and title rival out of position, the German was able to control the race from the front to claim his 21st career win, the first at Monza.

Rosberg had to wait for his seventh victory of the season to pick up his first Driver of the Day award. The 31-year-old makes it back-to-back trophies for Mercedes after Hamilton took the honours at Spa-Francorchamps one week ago. Having closed the gap to just two points in the title fight, Rosberg becomes the eight winner of the award this year.

Max Verstappen remains the most successful driver in that category, having been elected Driver of the Day four times (Spain, Canada, Austria, and Great Britain). Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo topped the vote count at Hockenheim, while Daniil Kvyat - then driving for Red Bull - won it for his podium finish in China.

Other previous awardees this season are Haas' Romain Grosjean in Australia and Bahrain, Renault's Kevin Magnussen in Russia, and Force India's Sergio Perez in Monaco and Baku.

The Driver of the Day award has been introduced this season as a way to increase engagement with the fans, who are asked to vote for their star performer after each race on the official F1 website.

DRIVER RATINGS - 2016 Italian Grand Prix

RACE REPORT: Rosberg wins at Monza to cut Hamilton gap to two points

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