Italian Grand Prix – Race

No penalties have been announced since Qualifying, so the provisional grid remains: SV, LH, JB, FA, MW, FM, VP, MS, NR, BS, PD, AS, RB, PM, SP, SB, KK, JA, JT, HK, TG, JD, DR, VL.

In not-so-silly season news, Red Bull have extended their contract with engine supplier Renault for a further five years [BBC], McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says Jenson Button will definitely be their driver next year [BBC] (the only sticking point seems to be how long that contract will be), Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo says the team’s failure to challenge for the title will not cost Stefano Domenicali his job as team boss [BBC] and Jarno Trulli will drive for Team Lotus in 2012 after the team extended the Italian’s contract [BBC].

In other news, Robert Kubica plans return to driving in October [BBC], which is great news.

Meanwhile, back at Monza… NR is starting on the prime (medium compound) tyre whereas everyone ahead of him will be on the option (soft) compound. Red Bull have geared SV’s car “so that he will be competitive on a heavy fuel load” says team boss Christian Horner; this means he’ll hit his top speed sooner, but it’s a lower top speed than his competitors (about 20km/h slower on the main straight). And don’t forget that MW is the only front-runner not to take a new engine for this race.

Air temperature 29°C; track 41°C; wind 1.8m/s; humidity 48%

BBC report that NR has had to take a different set of prime tyres because the ones he qualified on are blistered.

SV leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like BS is starting on the medium compound tyre
Expectation is for a 2-stop strategy
SV takes up his grid spot and waits for everyone else to do the same; it’s a long, hot wait

01/53: FA, LH and SV alongside into Turn 1
FA leads into Retifilio
Collision towards the back of the field
Safety Car deployed to clear up the mess in Turn 1
Out are VL, NR, VP, DR; did BR just beach his car trying to turn it around?

02[SC]: FA, SV, LH, MS, FM, JB, MW, PD
KK pits – was he involved in the accident? New front wing
Replay shows an HRT (VL?) hurtling backwards down the grass and collecting a bunch of cars in the middle of Retifilio
JD pits too, as does RB
JD retires

03[SC]: BS pits
SC in at the end of this lap
DR pits and is pushed into his garage

04: Poor restart from LH and loses P3 to MS
SV attacking FA but the Ferrari stays ahead

05/53: FA, SV, MS, LH, FM, MW, JB, PM
MW hits FM in Turn 1
SV attacking FA again – this time he makes it stick and takes P1
Replay shows MW was outside FM into the chicane but FM closes the door; MW loses his front wing and FM spins around

06: MW into the tyre wall, presumably because of his missing front wing
DRS enabled

07: SV fastest lap 1:29.596
FM takes P8 from PD

08: SV f/lap 1:28.846
MS pushing FA for P2 but LH is hanging on the Mercedes’ tail

09: SV f/lap 1:28.548

10/53: SV, FA, MS, LH, JB, PM, FM, SP, PD, JA; retirements: VL, NR, VP, DR, JD, MW
FM easily passes PM into Turn 1
LH using his DRS but can’t pass MS
MS defending hard

11: SV f/lap 1:28.337; 6sec lead over FA
AS retires off to the side of the track

12: LH hitting the rev limiter as he tries to attack MS into T1
LH not using KERS – does he have a problem?

13: BBC say it’s hard to charge KERS round this track
LH down the inside of MS into T1 – takes P3
MS gets the advantage of DRS and re-takes P3
JB has closed up on the MS/LH battle

14: SV f/lap 1:28.221

15/53: SV, FA, MS, LH, JB, FM, PM, SP, JA, KK; retirements: VL, NR, VP, DR, JD, MW, AS

16: JB’s got to be so careful not to touch his teammate
Pit-car from MS complaining about rear tyres going away
Yet again MS chopping across LH, pushing him onto the grass

17: BBC agree – MS is on, if not over, the limit of “sporting etiquette”
MS pits – soft tyres

18: SV leads FA by 10secs
JB pits from P3; soft tyres; good quick stop; rejoins in P5

19: LH pits from P3; softs; rejoins behind MS

20/53: SV, FA, LH, FM, JB, MS, PM, SP, JA, BS
FA pits from P2; PM & BS pit too
LH attacking MS again
MS making multiple moves to block LH

21: SV pits from P1; rejoins still in P1 and there’s still no sign of FM
Pit-car from LH complaining about MS making more than one move; reply is “FIA are aware”

22: FM pits
JB f/lap 1:28.194
LH alongside MS approaching T1 but the Mercedes is clearly faster
Incident involving car 23 (VL) will be investigated after the race
No word on the stewards investigating MS (of course)

23: SV f/lap 1:27.928
LH still being held in P5 by MS

24: SV f/lap 1:27.882
KK is out
FIA commentary notes MS told by his team to leave room for LH at Ascari; BBC not that it was Ross Brawn, not MS’ engineer, who tell him

25/53: SV, FA, JB, MS, LH, FM, SP, PD, JA, SB; retirements: VL, NR, VP, JD, MW, AS, KK
(DR was previously shown as retired; he’s now running 12 laps down)

26: JB f/lap 1:27.689
Replay of pit-car for MS from Ross Brawn … or a 2nd message?
On-board camera on LH’s car looks like MS struggling for grip

27: SV f/lap 1:27.560

28: LH finally makes a move stick and takes P4 from MS in Ascari

29: SV f/lap 1:27.486
JB on the heels of FA; LH 9secs behind his teammate

30/53: SV, FA, JB, LH, MS, FM, SP, PD, JA, SB

31: SV f/lap 1:27.233
BS makes an easy pass on PM for P11

32: JA takes P8 from PD

34: SV f/lap 1:27.092
JB and RB pit together

35: FA pits from P2; LH pits too; both take on the prime tyre

36: SV pits with a huge lead; good stop
JB right on the tail of FA … and easily past him!
FA tries to fight back but JB holds on to P3

37: Replay shows FA had poor traction out of T1 which gave JB the chance to attack

38: MS pits from P2 but everyone around him has already pitted; rejoins behind LH

39: PM pits from P10; lots of smoke from the front brakes
FA holding onto the rear of JB

40/53: SV, JB, FA, FM*, LH, MS, JA*, SB*, BS, PD (*yet to make 2nd stop)
SV f/lap 1:27.004

41: LH f/lap 1:26.941
SB & BS pit

42: FM pits from P4; rejoins in P6
LH f/lap 1:26.903
JA pits; now everyone has done 2 stops

43: SV has a 15.6sec lead over JB, who in turn has FA just 2secs behind
Those fast laps from LH has allowed him to open a 5sec lead over MS

44: LH f/lap 1:26.756
SB being harried by BS for P9

45/53: SV, JB, FA, LH, MS, FM, JA, PD, SB, BS; retirements: VL, NR, VP, JD, MW, AS, KK, SP
LH f/lap 1:26.756
BS attacking SB – takes P9 in T1 but SB takes it back (BS on soft tyres; SB on the medium compound)

46: Pit-car radio for BS urging him to pass SB and then catch PD
LH closing up on FA but I don’t think there’s time for him to catch the Ferrari

47: BS still all over the gearbox of SB
JB approaching the SB/BS battle to lap them

48: BS dives down the inside of the Toro Rosso into T1; takes P9 and makes it stick

49: SV still has a comfortable 15sec lead
LH f/lap 1:26.655
Pit-car for PD warn him that BS is past BS and coming for him

50/53: SV, JB, FA, LH, MS, JA, PD, BS, SB
SV f/lap 1:26.557

51: LH making his way through traffic but still 5secs off FA

52: LH has cut the gap to 2.1sec but there’s only this and one more lap left

53/53 [final lap]: JB f/lap 1:26.207
LH f/lap 1:26.187
LH has the Ferrari of FA right in his sights

SV takes the chequered flag
JB over the line for P2
FA stays just ahead of LH
MS home for P5, followed by FM

Provisional result: SV, JB, FA, LH, MS, FM, JA (+1 lap), PD, BS, SB; PM, RB, HK (+2 laps), JT, TG, DR (+14 laps!).
DNF: SP, KK, AS, MW, JD, VP, NR & VL.

There’s an investigation outstanding regarding the first lap incident; unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) no word on any investigation into MS’ weaving.

3 Replies to “Italian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. 2011 Drivers’ Championship

    1 S Vettel 284
    2 F Alonso 172
    3= M Webber 167
    3= J Button 167
    5 L Hamilton 158
    6 F Massa 82
    7 N Rosberg 56
    8 M Schumacher 52
    9= N Heidfeld 34
    9= V Petrov 34

    2011 Constructors’ Championship

    1 Red Bull 451
    2 McLaren 325
    3 Ferrari 254
    4 Mercedes 108
    5 Renault 70
    6 Force India 36
    7 Sauber 35
    8 Toro Rosso 29
    9 Williams 5
    10= Lotus 0
    10= Virgin 0
    10= Hispania 0
  2. “HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi has been penalised by the Italian race stewards following his accident at the start of Sunday’s Monza race. Liuzzi receives a five-place grid penalty for the next round in Singapore.”
    [source: FIA]

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