Title beckons as Vettel dominates Italian GP

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 celebrates in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 11 September 2011.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates his Italian GP victory in the Monza parc ferme

Sep.11 (Mike Pettifer) After an uncomfortably hot day in the cockpit for many of the drivers, race winner Sebastian Vettel exuded coolness and confidence to take victory in Monza, moving to within touching distance of the world championship title.

Start of the Italian GP just before mayhem ensued

Start of the Italian GP just before mayhem ensued

With track temperatures tipping 40 degrees, the Tifosi crowd were out in their usual numbers, hoping to see Ferrari repeat the two podium positions of 2010. They were rewarded for their unwavering support, as Fernando Alonso took the lead into the first corner – Vettel dropping back into second, and Lewis Hamilton into third, after a nail-biting moment when the two cars touched.

The safety car was deployed on the first lap, after Vitantonio Liuzzi careered across turn one and took both Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov out of the race.

When the race was re-started a few laps later, there was a feeling of inevitability as Vettel immediately got into Alonso’s slipstream. It didn’t take long for the championship leader to re-claim first place, using all of the track, as well as a few blades of grass, to take the position back with an audacious move around the outside.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme with Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 11 September 2011.

Second placed Jenson Button celebrates with race winner Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton was punished for a poor getaway on the re-start, as Michael Schumacher forced his way into third position. The Brit was made to regret not being more alert, as he was left embroiled in a battle with the German for the next 28 laps.

Schumacher made it as difficult as he could, driving as defensively as the rules would allow him, before being warned by Ross Brawn to leave Hamilton room – possibly avoiding a penalty.

As Vettel’s lead got bigger, Jenson Button began to find some pace after a poor start. Button soon found himself at the back of the Hamilton-Schumacher battle, after Mark Webber crashed out following a coming together with Felipe Massa.

The Brit soon passed them both to take third place with impressive over-taking moves. The race to catch Alonso was on as Button began closing the gap. On lap 38, after the second round of pit-stops, Button managed to overtake Alonso, with the help of the home straight DRS zone.

Fernando Alonso versus Sebastian Vettel

Fernando Alonso versus Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton who had come out of the second round of pit-stops marginally ahead of Schumacher, began to chase down Alonso – hoping to complete a double podium for McLaren. Although he got close, Alonso managed to hold on to third place, to the delight of the Tifosi.

Vettel was rarely troubled, and extended his championship lead to 112 points and the title his if he finishes on the podium in Singapore.

fter celebrating for the second time on the top step of the Monza podium – his first Italian GP win with Toro Rosso 2008 was also his first career win  – the German said, “The podium is unbelieveable. You feel so blessed. The view is incredible, with all the people below. The car was amazing in qualifying – and ever better today. It’s very special for me to win here again.”

As always, in Italy pressure was on Ferrari to deliver, and Alonso obliged with third which was more than they would have expected before the race.

The Spaniard said, “Well done to the whole team. There was a lot of stress racing here in Italy. But we did the best job possible. It’s a great achievement to get on the podium.”

Sunday, 11 September – Race Result

Pos No

Driver

Team

Laps

Time

Grid Pts
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 53 1:20:46.172 1 25
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 53 +9.5 secs 3 18
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 53 +16.9 secs 4 15
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 53 +17.4 secs 2 12
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 53 +32.6 secs 8 10
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 53 +42.9 secs 6 8
7 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 52 +1 Lap 18 6
8 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 52 +1 Lap 11 4
9 9 Bruno Senna Renault 52 +1 Lap 10 2
10 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 52 +1 Lap 16 1
11 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 14
12 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 13
13 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 51 +2 Laps 20
14 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 51 +2 Laps 19
15 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 51 +2 Laps 21
NC 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 39 +14 Laps 23
Ret 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 32 +21 Laps 15
Ret 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 21 +32 Laps 17
Ret 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 9 +44 Laps 12
Ret 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 4 +49 Laps 5
Ret 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1 +52 Laps 22
Ret 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 0 Accident 7
Ret 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0 Accident 9
Ret 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 0 Accident 24
  • aknit

    It’s official. Redbull now have pace for the two fastest circuits of the trade – Spa and Monza.

  • Bec

    No the BBC broadcast, the fans were chanting “no to Sky” … The presenters made a hasty retreat :D

    … The Schumi / Lewis duel was riveting.

  • SCHUMIFOREVER

    Vettel may have won,but the driver of the day was SCHUMACHER!!

    Everyone loved watching Schumi today (except Coulthard and Brundle,who deliberately tried to invoke a penalty for him,shame on the both of you both)

    Give Michael a car like RB and then he will soon have 8 stars on his helmet.

    GO SCHUMI>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • aknit

    Yep, great showing from Michael today! The man’s still got it!

  • Nemo

    Completely agree with SCHUMIFOREVER comment. Nothing new from Brundle, as he will argue for Lewis over everything. Looks like some of that has rubbed off on Coulthard now.