Italian Grand Prix – Race

I was out all day Sunday so I didn’t get to see the race live. 🙁 Fortunately we recorded it, but there’s no way (that I know of) to record the FIA’s live timing info, so I’m relying on the official TV coverage and BBC’s commentators. 🙂

The provisional grid is: LH, AS, KR, HK, RB, JB, VL, FA, SV, MW, JT, RG, RK, GF, NH, TG, KN, NR, SB, JA*.
(*JA has a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change but qualified in P20.)

Even though it’s a day late, I’ll still put my notes behind a cut in case there are other people who didn’t get a chance to see it live.

JA is starting from the pit lane after another engine problem; adding the two engine change penalities to his qualification position means he should be in P30!

LH leads everyone away on the formation lap
JB starting on the soft tyre; teammate RB on the medium compound
The grid forms up as JA sits at the pit lane exit line

01/53: Good start for JB & RB
TG uses the escape route through the first chicane – cut it 3 times and you get a drive-through penalty
LH, KR, AS, RB, HK, JB, VL, FA
MW off into the gravel – he’s beached
JB takes P5 from HK
VL easily past HK too!

02: LH, KR, AS, RB, JB, VL, HK, FA
SV pushes RK onto the grass but RK persists and takes the position
GF now on SV’s tail

03: LH f/lap 1:23.5
LH, KR, AS, RB, JB, VL, HK, FA

04: FA up the inside of HK for P7
LH f/lap 1:23.4

05: LH f/lap 1:23.?
NR pits from P18 – that’s unscheduled – problem with the front right wheel change
Replay shows it was RK who punted MW into the gravel – that’ll explain why RK’s front wing is hanging off

08: Black and orange flag for car 5 – that’s telling RK that he has to get his wing fixed
(I just said to Kerri that the stewards could use a black & orange flag to warn RK but I’ve not seen it in years – usually they tell the team to deal with it)

10/53: LH, KR, AS, RB, JB, VL, FA, HK; retirement: MW
LH lead 4.7secs
RK pits for a new nose cone – lots of smoke from the front left brake

11: RG told to use 2nd gear in the first chicane because they’ve got a hot gearbox
BBC report that NR pitted because he thought he had a puncture; now he thinks it’s the front wing

12: RB pushing hard to stay close enough to LH to take advantage of their pit stop strategy

16: LH pits from P1 – that’s 2 laps earlier than expected – rejoins in P5
RK pits and retires the BMW

17: AS pits from P2 – 7.3s – good stop – rejoins just ahead of HK

18: KR, RB, JB, LH, VL, FA, AS, HK; retirements: MW, RK
Pit-car for JB tells him he’s effectively 1sec behind LH allowing for pit stops but “closing nicely”

19: KR pits from P1 – soft tyres – 7.2s stop – rejoins behind LH
JA retires in the pits

20/53: RB, JB, LH, KR, VL, FA, AS, HK; retirements: MW, RK, JA

23: VL stopped off track – replay shows it was an engine problem – that’s a shame

24: The two Brawn drivers are pushing each other

25/53: RB, JB, LH, KR, FA, AS, HK, SV; retirements: MW, RK, JA, VL

26: FA pits from P5 – 9.9s stop – fuelled to the end
(Half-distance)

27: RB f/lap 1:24.999

28: JB pits – 9.4s?

29: RB pits – front wing adjustment – 8.6s stop – that’s good

30/53: LH, KR, AS, RB, JB, NH, GF, FA; retirements: MW, RK, JA, VL
Ferrari ready for a pit stop

31: GF pits from P7 – 9.5s – almost a second slower than RB’s

32: Pit-car for LH asking which tyre for the next stop – LH wants the prime (medium compound) … but can he open a big enough gap to hold on to the lead?
SB passes the Ferrari of GF

35: LH pits from P1; heavy on the brakes as he tries to get down to the pit lane speed limit, but he’s changing the tyres so he won’t care if they’re flat spotted
LH rejoins behind JB

36: AS f/lap 1:24.739 – he’s pushing KR pretty hard and has closed the gap to 1.2sec

37: KR and AS pit together – KR problem leaving the box – AS’ stop slow too – leave the pits in the same order
BBC say AS hit a mechanic – replay shows he lost the rear end as he braked into the box and hit one of the guys on the front right wheel

39: TG exits the pit lane and almost collects his teammate as they brake for Turn 1

40/53: RB, JB, LH, KR, AS, FA, HK, NH; retirements: MW, RK, JA, VL

41: LH is closing on JB – he’s 2.2s behind

42: TG outbrakes himself and cuts the chicane for the second time – once more and he’ll get a drive-through penalty

43: LH has cut the gap to 1.8s behind JB; there’s 10 laps left – it’s going to be a good fight for P2
SV runs wide in Lesmos and powers across the gravel to re-find the track

44: KR is just managing to hold off AS – Force India’s PR team must be waiting for the photo-op as they pass the Ferrari

45/53: RB, JB, LH, KR, AS, FA, HK, NH; retirements: MW, RK, JA, VL
RB leads teammate JB by 4.5sec, who in turn has LH breathing down his neck

48: LH can’t break into the 1.8s gap

49: JT tried to pass KN into Turn 1; got it wrong; KN onto the grass
JT and teammate TG fight side by side – I bet the team is just hoping they don’t do anything silly
JT runs wide and loses a position – d’oh!

50/53: RB, JB, LH, KR, AS, FA, HK, NH; retirements: MW, RK, JA, VL

52: Lots of brake dust coming off LH’s front right

53 = final lap: LH set a personal f/lap but still can’t get close enough to JB
LH has spun! He’s hit the wall in 2nd Lesmo – lots of debris on track
Safety Car deployed but it’s the final lap
RB takes the chequered flag
JB safely over for P2
KR is handed P3 by LH’s accident
AS must be kicking himself for that incident in the pits – he could have been on the podium
P5=FA, 6=HK, 7=NH, 8=SV
Replay shows LH was powering through the Lesmos and the McLaren suddenly snapped around and threw him into the wall

Provisional results: RB, JB, KR, AS, FA, HK, NH, SV, GF, KN, TG, LH*, SB, JT, RG, NR
DNF: VL, JA, RK, MW

Next race: Singapore in two weeks (September 25-27). Just before that race there’s the FIA hearing into the Renault / Piquet “deliberate accident” accusations.