Sunday, 8 September 2013

Italian Grand Prix: A race of two halves...

It wasn't the most exciting of races in Monza. The race started well, with no shortage of excitement as drivers jostled for position, some making contact. Hamilton's race was damaged even more than by qualifying, as he went through the first corner. He drove over a couple of bits of carbon fibre and in a few laps was suffering with a slow puncture. After an early pitstop he was down to nineteenth and watching his race and Championship challenge disappearing.

It was a race for Red Bull to simply scoop up and chalk up as another first and second, however Sebastian Vettel could be seen to have damaged Mark's race, right at the start. Webber had one of his best starts in a long time, finally managing to get away from the grid faster than his teammate. The problem for Mark was Sebastian's aggressive defence, which allowed Felipe Massa to hurtle up the outside and take the second place. As they went through the first chicane Vettel was leading, with Massa following up in second and Webber having to defend against Alonso.

Vettel's win was well deserved, since there were times when he had to preserve the engine and gearbox by short shifting and easing off. Webber was unfortunate not to be able to beat Alonso to second place and it is worth considering that if Sebastian hadn't held him up he may well have made Red Bull's result a clean sweep.

After the start, the race settled in to a processional affair, with the threat of rain bringing a little hope that things might get mixed up. Rain stayed away and it took until around the forty-third lap of fifty-three for excitement to be injected back in to the event. Kimi Raikonnen and Lewis Hamilton, despite fighting it out for eleventh place, were fighting like their careers depended on it. Lewis eventually got past Kimi and then began forging his through the pack in the final laps to finish ninth and pick up some points.

The driver that suffered the most this weekend was quite obviously Paul Di Resta. After everything else that he had to deal with during practice and then qualifying, his race was over very quickly. He was involved in an incident, approaching the second chicane, in which he found himself in a tight spot, squeezed to the point that he lost his front wing and left front wheel. A torrid weekend for some, but a great weekend for Red Bull Racing, who may well have just about sealed the Championship.

The Result:
1.deSebastian VettelRed Bull1:18:33.352
2.esFernando AlonsoFerrari+5.467
3.auMark WebberRed Bull+6.350
4.brFelipe MassaFerrari+9.361
5.deNico HülkenbergSauber+10.355
6.deNico RosbergMercedes+10.999
7.auDaniel RicciardoToro Rosso+32.329
8.frRomain GrosjeanLotus+33.130
9.ukLewis HamiltonMercedes+33.527
10.ukJenson ButtonMcLaren+38.327
11.fiKimi RäikkönenLotus+38.695
12.mxSergio PerezMcLaren+39.765
13.mxEsteban GutiérrezSauber+40.880
14.vePastor MaldonadoWilliams+49.085
15.fiValtteri BottasWilliams+56.827
16.deAdrian SutilForce India+1 Lap
17.frCharles PicCaterham+1 Lap
18.nlGiedo van der GardeCaterham+1 Lap
19.frJules BianchiMarussia+1 Lap
20.ukMax ChiltonMarussia+1 Lap
Did not finish
21.frJean-Eric VergneToro Rosso+39 Laps
22.ukPaul di RestaForce India+53 Laps