It was a race reminiscent of the Schumacher era: a German driver, supreme dominance and his “closest” rivals nowhere to be seen. But sadly for the Ferrari fans this is the era of Sebastian Vettel … in a Red Bull. Hopefully the Tifosi can at least be cheered by the reasonably impressive 2nd and 4th places for the Ferrari drivers, Alonso and Massa respectively.
The lap 1 loser was Jenson Button, but not quite as bad as Paul Di Resta’s lap – the Force India driver crashed out for the second race in a row.
Fernando Alonso made a pretty scrappy move over Red Bull’s Mark Webber on lap 3 and it wasn’t long before the inevitable
farce switch happened between Alonso and Massa on lap 8.
Lewis Hamilton, starting outside of the top 10, began his race on the harder compound tyres for the first phase of the race but struggled to keep up the pace … it was revealed on lap 12 that he had a slow puncture. Not a lucky weekend for Hamilton – even more so because his radio failed as well. Bet Alonso is wishing his radio had failed during qualifying yesterday (“You’re really idiots. Mamma mia guys” Ouch.)
Hulkenberg, who qualified in a miraculous 3rd, held up impressively in 5th right until the end of the race. We take our hat off to you, Nico.
Push push push PIT!
The majority of the field pitted around lap 22 / 23 (a track which invites the rare beast that is the 1 stop strategy). Vettel gradually pulled out a reasonably comfortable lead over Alonso, and that’s where things stayed pretty much.
The excitement came from the 2 stoppers Raikkonen and Hamilton who pitted, ended up far down the field, and spent the final 10 laps of the race scrapping their way back up the field (including with each other). Hamilton finally got past Raikkonen for, err, 11th place on lap 49. Hamilton eventually got himself up to 9th, which isn’t bad, but certainly nothing on Perez’s efforts last year at Monza (12th to 2nd).
He won for the first time at Monza 5 years ago in a Torro Rosso and today he did it again, albeit with rather blonder hair (absolutely no blonde moments in sight).
* that’s winner in Italian.
Monza – The Results
|1||Sebastian Vettel||1||Red Bull|
|3||Mark Webber||2||Red Bull|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||19||Toro Rosso|
|16||Adrian Sutil||15||Force India|
|18||Giedo van der Garde||21||Caterham|
|21||Jean-Eric Vergne||18||Toro Rosso|
|22||Paul Di Resta||14||Force India|