A collision with Ferrari's Felipe Massa sent Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes into the gravel trap [GALLO/GETTY].

Lewis Hamilton, Formula One championship leader of McLaren Mercedes, has crashed out of Italian Grand Prix on the first lap after colliding with Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

The impact broke the McLaren's front right suspension and sent Hamilton into the gravel trap.

Hamilton's front right tyre made contact with Massa's car as the two tussled for the inside line at the Monza circuit. Hamilton went off at the next corner with his McLaren unable to steer right.

Massa's Ferrari appeared undamaged and he continued in third place, riding shotgun behind Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso and McLaren's world champion and early race leader Jenson
Button.

Hamilton, the 2008 champion, leads the standings with 182 points, three better than Webber with five races remaining after Italy.

Source: Agencies