Report – The Italian Grand Prix proved a bitter pill to swallow for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team leaves Monza with a meagre two points courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen’s ninth place. Fernando Alonso failed to finish, after a technical problem saw him retire at the start of lap 29.
At the start, the two Maranello team drivers were unable to make up any places and after the only pit stop they dropped a few. When he retired, Fernando was lying tenth, the position that Kimi then took over. The Finn had a difficult start but fought back in the second part of a race that featured plenty of battles. The Finn crossed the line in tenth, but was promoted to ninth, as McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen had to add a 5 second penalty to his race time.
Lewis Hamilton took his sixth win of the season, the 28th of his career, crossing the line ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The German thus maintains the lead in the championship, while Felipe Massa was third for Williams. The next round is in Singapore in a fortnight’s time.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||50.309s|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||59.965s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m02.518s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.184s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.606s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.093s|
|14||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|15||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|17||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham/Renault||1 Lap|
|18||Jules Bianchi||Marussia/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|20||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||2 Laps|
|–||Max Chilton||Marussia/Ferrari||Spun off|
Raikkonen: Ferrari struggle inevitable – “We knew this place was going to be difficult because of the long straights. We hoped to have a better race for the team and the fans, but there were not really issues and this is where we ended up. I’m expecting to be in a more forward position at the next few races, so hopefully that’s the case. It was difficult to overtake here. Maybe with a few more laps, I could have got a few guys, but then they probably would have been able to get the position back again on the next straight on this kind of circuit. The balance was okay, but we were just lacking grip and speed, so that’s what it was. We could get close to the people, but when you are following people closely you lose so much downforce and the car gets so loose that it’s very tricky to pass them. Anyhow, the speed in a straightline is not where we want and it’s a bit difficult from that side already. So when you close and try to get a good speed out of the corner it gets even trickier. That’s what it was really.”
Kimi Raikkonen – “We knew this would be a difficult weekend and today in the race, we saw the proof of that. Overall, I was happy with the handling of the car and the balance was good, but we lacked speed down the straight and I didn’t have much grip. As soon as I got close to the cars ahead of me, I lost aerodynamic downforce and the car was sliding all over the place. I think I did the most I could today, even if unfortunately I was unable to get the result I would have wanted for our home race, for the team and all our fans. Now we must think of the upcoming races and continue to work nonstop, because we are coming up to tracks that should better suit the characteristics of our car”.
Fernando Alonso – “After a long run of trouble-free races, it’s a real shame I had to retire just here in Monza, in front of all our fans. I would have liked to have put on a very different race for them. In the first stint we were competitive, but when you find yourself in a group of cars where everyone is using DRS, overtaking becomes nearly impossible. After the pit stop, I found myself at the back of a train of cars and at that point we changed the strategy, deciding to drop back from the group to conserve the tyres and try and attack at the end of the race. But then came the problem with the ERS system. It’s never nice for the team to have a reliability problem, because the guys work night and day to give us the best car possible. What happened doesn’t change my will to win and in order to try and have that happen soon, we will continue to work as hard as we can, always giving our all.”
Marco Mattiacci (Team principal) – “In Formula 1, as in sport in general, there are days to forget and this was certainly one of them. Unfortunately, we had no way of predicting the problem that affected Fernando’s car, but I am sorry that it happened right here in Monza at our home race. Even though we are making progress, we knew that these last two races would be very difficult. Therefore, while it’s impossible to accept a result like this, now our only thought is to get back to being competitive as soon as possible. First and foremost, we must continue to work and to improve, because I’m sure the working practices put in place these last few months will help us get back to the top.”
Pat Fry – “On a weekend which we knew would suit the characteristics of our opponents’ cars, trying our best was unfortunately not enough. Having pulled off a brilliant passing move on Perez round the outside at first Lesmo, Fernando then spent the whole first stint in a group of cars all doing the same lap times, with all the drivers benefiting from the DRS effect on those cars ahead of them. Unfortunately, his race ended after the first stop, because of a failure within the ERS system. Even if it’s been a long time since we’ve had a reliability issue, this incident shows how important it is to continue to focus on this aspect. Thanks to a good getaway, Kimi managed to make up one place at the start and another by passing Hulkenberg on lap 6, but he could not make up enough ground to attack those in front. We finished in the points with him, however it’s disappointing that we were unable to do more for the fans. Now, all we can do is look to the future and try and do well starting with the very next Grand Prix in Singapore.”