With the Italian Grand Prix over and done with, the Badgerometer fires up, and looks back at our Top 5 stories to come out of Monza!
One rule for Tonio, another for Bruno.
We get it with HRT, or Hipania, or whatever they go by these days. They are a team with a foothold in F1 but aren’t really going to get any success, in broader terms, anytime soon. In Italy, home hero Tonio Luizzi lost his Spanish machine on the run into the first chicane, skipped across the grass and thudded into the rear end of the top ten – namely Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov.
The problem that Badger has is where’s the consistency from the stewards from race to race. Luizzi will now get a five place grid penalty for Singapore (24th minus 5 = erm…still 24th in F1), but let’s look back two weeks previous to Bruno Senna’s negotiation of La Source in Belgium. He barged into Jaime Alguersuari and ended the young Spaniard’s race – and only got a drive through. It was the Brazilian’s over eagerness that caused one accident there, and set of a chain of others two further down the grid.
Come come stewards, play fair.
Jenson has never driven better.
We don’t just mean this weekend – Jenson is currently in a rich vein of form right now. Canada, Hungary, Belgium and now Italy, the Frome flier knows his way around the 2011 McLaren. What made Monza impressive was the fact that he recovered from his regular poor start – at one point he was as low as seventh – to move into podium contention, nabbing second off of Fernando Alonso.
He even credited his pass on Michael Schumacher as “the bravest of my career”, stating that he shut his eyes when passing the German!
Jenson is relaxed outside of the car and determined in it right now. It’s the sign of a driver in a happy place right now, and with a little but more hard work from the McLaren boys for the rest of the season, securing second in the championship race has to be the Brit’s target.
The title race is over. Fact.
In the next round in Singapore, if the cars finish in the right order we’ll be looking at the sport’s youngest ever double-world champ in Sebastian Vettel. This season he has been on another level, which can be seen by the way he’s amassed points and wins like it’s a game. Let’s not forget just how dominate he’s been – if China and Canada had finished one lap early each, he would have won the first eight races of this season. He’s 112 points ahead of Fernando Alonso, with 150 the maximum the score the Spaniard can hope for. Game over.
But the last two wins, in Spa and Monza, are the most impressive, as these tracks are where Red Bull have traditionally been off the pace. Thanks to some Newey wizardry – it was mind-bending to see Vettel slowest in the speed traps, but fastest on the track – a bit of bravery and some luck with Pirelli tyres, it’s two poles and two wins for the young German instead. Simply wunderbar.
Red Bull puts it all into perspective.
Red Bull team principle Christian Horner dedicated the team’s victory to former staff member Erin Pezzella, who worked for the Milton Keynes based squad in their accounts department for 5 years. She lost her life to cancer in the week building up the Grand Prix. She was 31.
The Schumacher-Hamilton scrap was fan-bloody-tastic.
It finally happened, only 18 months after it as first spoken about – Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher finally battle it out on an F1 racetrack! Although the multiple champ has been there or thereabouts in relation to his younger British counterpart, it was on Sunday we finally saw what these two could get up to. And it didn’t disappoint.
Schumacher made an excellent fast start to move from 8th to 4th before the Luizzi incident – Hamilton didn’t fare as well and dropped from 2nd to 3rd. After the restart, Michael caught Lewis napping and jumped him into 3rd place, and what followed was nearly 30 laps of a brilliant game of cat-and-mouse. At high speed.
Say what you like about Schumacher – when it comes to defending a position he has still got it. Lewis could not find a way past that would stick, trying to pass on the inside and outside of probably the widest Mercedes the German marque has ever built. On lap 12 the Brit got past at the Parabolica…only for Michael to take the place back at Curva Grande. It started to become more and more fascinating, especially when Button caught and passed them over the course of a lap, and Ross Brawn made a radio cameo asking – no, telling – the veteran German to watch his driving. Twice.
The main talking point is the “double move” that Schumacher may, or may not, have pulled on lap 21. We’re sitting on the fence for this one. For us, it was old fashioned racing at it’s best, with a sprinkle of Old Lion vs Young Lion on top. Classic stuff. And if it wasn’t for this battle, we may have had another Valencia on our hands.