Italian Grand Prix – Race

There were two penalties applied to the Qualifying results: Glock had a 5 grid spot penalty for non-regulation work on his Virgin’s gearbox ahead of qualifying, and Petrov was demoted five places after stewards decided he impeded Virgin’s Timo Glock during qualifying. So the revised grid is: FA, JB, FM, MW, LH, SV, NR, NH, RK, RB, AS, MS, KK, SB, JA, PdlR, JT, HK, VL, VP, LDG, BS, SY, TG.

The weather in Monza: air temperature 25°C; track 36°C; humidity 45%; wind 2m/s

KK is still in the garage while everyone else is sitting on the grid; he’s had gearbox problems. He’ll start from the pit lane, right at the back instead of P13.

FA leads everyone (except KK) around on the formation lap, the front runners all on soft tyres
Very long wait for the rear of the grid to form up

01/53: JB leads into Turn 1 – he’s nudged by a Ferrari – FM & FA side by side
LH right on the tail of the Ferraris
LH gets inside FM – they touch and LH’s front right suspension is broken
LH is off into the gravel – he should have given FM more room

02: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, SV, MS
KK still in the pits

03: JB fastest lap 1:28.114
AS pits

04: JB f/lap 1:27.681
FA f/lap 1:27.638
Replay of MW’s poor start – he’s down in P9

05/53: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, SV, MS
JB f/lap 1:27.516
FA f/lap 1:27.282
FA is all over the tail of JB but the McLaren has greater downforce and so JB can brake later

06: MW takes P8 from MS into Turn 1
MS fights back but MW isn’t giving up the place

07: JB f/lap 1:26.996
FA f/lap 1:26.993
TV camera follows LH walking back to the pits but he’s keeping his helmet on – he doesn’t want to talk because he knows it’s his fault

08: FM f/lap 1:26.922

09: Pit-car radio for MW reminding him to look after his tyres

10/53: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, SV, MW; retirements: LH, KK

12: JB f/lap 1:26.861
JB’s lead now 1sec but it’s going to be a long day for him in front of the two Ferraris

13: Yellow flag as BS pulls off track and retires the HRT
Pit-car for JB tells him his pace is excellent; tyres are now in their performance window

14: JB f/lap 1:26.695
AS passes LdG for P19

15/53: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, SV, MW, MS, SB; retirements: BS, LH, KK
JB f/lap 1:26.585
FA f/lap 1:26.421

16: FA f/lap 1:26.288

17: FA f/lap 1:26.101 – he’s reduced the gap to 1.1sec
FA a bit sideways out of the first chicane
AS takes P18 from HK
JA pits – first of the scheduled stops

18: PdlR pits from P13

19: FA keeps the pressure on JB

20/53: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, SV, MW
FA f/lap 1:26.048
FM falling back from his team mate but he’s got a 10sec lead over NR
Pit-car for NR urges him to push for the next 4 laps

21: Pit-car for SV – SV says the engine is dying on him
MW takes P7 from his team mate – if you hadn’t just heard SV’s problem you might think that was team orders

22: JA into pits from P15 – serving a drive through penalty for cutting the chicane

23: FM f/lap 1:25.964

24: SY pits from P21
Blue flags for TG & HK as the front runners catch them

25/53: HK pits
SV is back running at the same pace as MW
TG pits

Half-distance

27: NH cut the chicane but didn’t gain any advantage so he should escape penalty

28: JB f/lap 1:25.929 – pitting soon?
Personal f/lap for FA but 0.04sec slower than JB

29: JB f/lap 1:25.769
MW hounding NH for P6

30/53: JB, FA, FM, NR, RK, NH, MW, SV
JB f/lap 1:25.691
BBC report SY left his pit box while an engineer was reaching inside the cockpit! Engineer’s battered and bruised. That explains why there was an ambulance in the pit lane – he’s lucky not to lose his arm!

31: FA f/lap 1:25.674

32: FM f/lap 1:25.670 – still over 2.5sec behind FA
VL pits from P12

33: JB runs a little deep and FA pushes harder

34: FIA live timing feed is frozen 🙁

35/53: RK pits from P5
SB pits too
Pit-car for JB tell him to push

36: JB f/lap 1:25.569
FM f/lap 1:25.549
NR & MW pit

37: JB pits from P1 – 4.2sec stop
FA f/lap 1:25.479
FM f/lap 1:25.366
NH pits too
NH exits pits just ahead of RK

38: FA pits from P1 – exits alongside JB
FA holds the position into Turn 1
SY cuts the chicane to jump out of the way of FA & JB

39: FM pits from P1 – rejoins just behind JB
NH locks up under pressure from MW – cuts Turn 1 – holds on to the position, so he’ll get a penalty

40/53: FA f/lap 1:24.942
Pit-car radio for JB tell him new tyre is faster
Just SV & VP yet to pit

41: FA f/lap 1:24.680
Pit-car from MW saying NH should yield position

42: It’s frustrating that JB would have been quicker if FA hadn’t hit him and damaged the undertray on lap 1

43: FA f/lap 1:24.676 – opened up a 1.8sec lead over JB

44: FA’s lead now 2.4sec; JB has FM 2.5sec behind
Pit-car for MW tells him Williams will not tell NH to yield P6 and it doesn’t look like the stewards are going to act
JB held up by LdG
SV (P4) and VP (P10) still yet to pit

45/53: FA, JB, FM, SV, NR, NH, MW, RK, MS, VP; retirements: BS, LH, KK
FA f/lap 1:24.540
LdG has pushed JB back towards FM
MW f/lap 1:24.531

46: Official live timing keeps slowing down/stopping 🙁

47: MW just over 1sec behind NH

49: FA f/lap 1:24.483
JT jumps out of his smoking Lotus
MW furious as NH chops across the line

50/53: MW fights his way past NH for P6

51: VP pits – just SV yet to change tyres

52: FA runs wide and cuts across Turn 1 – unfortunately JB not close enough to attack

53 [final lap]: FA 1:24.139
SV pits from P4 – rejoins well ahead of NR and keeps his position
Crowd cheering the Ferrari home

FA takes the chequered flag
JB home for P2
P3=FM, 4=SV, 5=NR, 6=MW, 7=NH, 8=RK, 9=MS, 10=RB
P11=SB, 12=VL, 13=VP, 14=PDLR (+1 lap), 15=JA, 16=AS, 17=TG (+2 lap), 18=HK, 19=SY, 20=LDG
DNF: JT, BS, LH, KK

Such a close finish … but could JB have won if FA hadn’t damaged the McLaren on the first lap?

Monza definitely has the best podium position – over the pit wall. Of course officially spectators are not allowed on the track but somehow that rule’s never enforced in Italy.
TSN cut to adverts before the podium celebrations are over – I know they don’t understand F1 but come on!

Interviews:
FA: very special moment; very tough race; fantastic drive from Jenson; pit stop was superb
JB: start was good; very tricky to hold of the challenges; watching the TV screens to see how close they were behind; had a good weekend; some good points; tough race mentally
FM: felt something on my back [wheel] and that was Lewis; struggling like Jenson [on the 2nd set of tyres]; lost a little time on the pit stop; great race
FA … no, TSN cut off the interviews and end the show 17 minutes early … to show a repeat of the programme that was on before the race! TSN, you suck!