Sebastian Vettel reeled off another dominant Formula 1 victory in the Italian Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso won a battle for second place. In further good news for Vettel, erstwhile title threats Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were left squabbling (spectacularly) over minor points after early incidents.
Raikkonen had to pit for a new front wing after bumping into Sergio Perez at the start, while an early slow puncture put Hamilton onto a two-stop strategy, hampered further by radio problems. The recovering Lotus and Mercedes then ended up in the same place on track late on having an epic battle both with each other and the midfield traffic.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h18m33.352s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +5.467s 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +6.350s 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari +9.361s 5. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +10.355s 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +10.999s 7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +32.329s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +33.130s 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +33.527s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +38.327s 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +38.695s 12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +39.765s 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +40.880s 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +49.085s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +56.827s 16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1 laps 17. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault +1 laps 18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 laps 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 laps 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 laps Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:25.849 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 35 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1 World Championship standings, round 12: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 222 1. Red Bull-Renault 352 2. Alonso 169 2. Ferrari 248 3. Hamilton 141 3. Mercedes 245 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 191 5. Webber 130 5. McLaren-Mercedes 66 6. Rosberg 104 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 79 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 31 8. Grosjean 57 8. Sauber-Ferrari 17 9. Button 48 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Ricciardo 18 14. Hulkenberg 17 15. Vergne 13 16. Maldonado 1
Kimi Raikkonen – 11th: “When I lost the front wing I had to come in and change to a new one meaning an extra pit stop which we hadn’t planned. It’s not just the time in the pits, but you have to work your way through the field afterwards. We did a pretty good job of that and the car felt good, surprisingly good given where we were on Saturday. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do after the start to the race we had.”
Romain Grosjean – 8th: “It isn’t easy to follow another car with the aero configurations that we had for the race here but we got the best result we could have done having started in P13. Unfortunately we had a poor pit stop where we had an electronic problem and the light didn’t turn to green, so we lost a few seconds there. I think we could have come out in front of the two McLarens and the Toro Rosso, which would have made things a bit easier for a stronger result. I had a good battle with Lewis on the last lap. I think we did the best we could here in Monza and I hope that for Singapore we can get back to the level of performance that we had in Budapest.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “If you want to be competitive for the Championships you need to be able to fight every weekend at the front on Saturday as well as on Sunday. The positive from this weekend is that we showed fantastic race pace and both drivers drove exceptionally well. Romain withstood great pressure and performed great overtaking moves on both McLarens. Kimi fought back from a first lap incident in a superb display of his talents. The negative from this weekend is that we couldn’t qualify where we needed to be. The results at the end of the race aren’t rewarding for the team, but there are plenty of positives to take from the final European race of the season and we head to the final flyaway races with plenty of fight.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Our damage was done yesterday by our poor qualifying positions. We actually had good race pace today and if you compare Kimi and Sebastian Vettel’s races, after Kimi’s first stop we only lost a second to Seb and we gained four seconds on Fernando [Alonso]. Seb won the race and Fernando finished second, so that gives an illustration of what could have been. We obviously will be dissecting where we lost the pace on Saturday and have some solace that we don’t visit another circuit of this level of downforce for the rest of the season as it certainly wasn’t beneficial for us in terms of qualifying. Starting where we did put us in the middle of the pack where incidents happen on the first lap and that was the case for both our drivers, but both made great recoveries.”