Italian Grand Prix – Race

McLaren locked out the front row of the grid in Qualifying yesterday.

Provisional grid (*with pre-Quali penalties applied): LH, JB, FM, MS, SV, NR, KR, KK, PRe*, FA, MW, SP, BS, DR, JD, JV, HK, VP, TG, CP, NK, PM*, PRo, NH.

Remember: Romain Grosjean is serving a 1-race ban; he’ll be replaced by Lotus reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio.

The tyre compounds this weekend: prime=hard; option=medium.

There are two DRS zones: on the main straight and the back straight.

My GridBids pick for this weekend: SV, MW, JB, LH, NR, KK, SP.

Air temperature 27°C; track 39°C; wind 1.9m/s; dry

LH leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone is on the prime (medium) tyre except SP, JD, PM & NH

01/53: FM steals P2 before the first turn
JB fighting back but FM stays ahead into the 2nd chicane
FA past KK for P7

02: LH, FM, JB, MS, SV, KR, FA, KK, PRe, BS, NR

03: LH fastest lap 1:31.131
DRS enabled

04: LH f/lap 1:30.429
SV dives past MS to take P4
FA lining up MS now

05/53: LH, FM, JB, SB, MS, FA, KR, KK, PRe, SP

06: FA still trying to find a way past MS
Radio calls suggest Mercedes are 2-stopping and the other front runners are 1-stopping

07: LH f/lap 1:30.249

08: TG pits
BS attacking PRe; the Force India holds its line and BS puts a wheel on the grass

09: JV loses the tail under braking for the 1st chicane; slams through the speed bumps; get airborne; rear suspension broken; he’s out
Radio for JV checking he’s OK; says yes except his back

10/53: LH, FM, JB, SV, FA, MS, KR, SP, KK, PRe; retirements: JV
DRS disabled while the marshals remove JV’s car from the end of the main straight

11: DRS enabled again
PRe struggling with his Force India as MW harrys him for P10
MW takes P10

12: PRe runs wide again coming out of the Parabolica
MS has his Mercedes a little sideways – punishing those tyres

13: Radio for MS asking for 3 Quali laps, presumably to open a gap before he pits
MW runs a little wide out of Lesmo 2, kicking up lots of dust

14: PM pits; swaps to options

15/53: LH, FM, JB, SV, FA, MS, KR, SP, KK, MW; retirements: JV
LH f/lap 1:30.194
NR pits

16: MS pits, releasing KR; rejoins P15 behind JD

17: Radio for JB – “running to Plan A”
PM f/lap 1:30.193
SP around the outside of KR into 2nd chicane to take P6

18: KR pits
NR f/lap 1:30.011
Apparently FM has no telemetry

19: JB finally takes P2 back from FM
CP pits
MS passes JD for P13

20/53: FM pits from P3; rejoins P9, behind KK
Radio for JB – “we need to make the most of this”
PM f/lap 1:29.653

21: SV and FA pit; Ferrari release FA as SV is alongside their box – unsafe release?

22: MW pits, as does PRe
NR f/lap 1:29.560

23: FM passes DR for P7; SV taps the rear of the Toro Rosso as they exit the chicane; SV and FA pass DR too
JB pits; slow stop – problem with the front left 🙁

24: LH pits; better stop for McLaren; rejoins in P2, behind SP who has yet to pit
MS down the inside of NH into the 1st chicane

25/53: SP, LH, JB, FM, SV, FA, BS
FA f/lap 1:29.378
DR and BS pit

26: JB f/lap 1:29.306
FA attacking SV into the 1st chicane but SV keeps P5
FA still attacking; SV slams the door and FA takes to the grass

27: Radio from an angry FA; sounds like Ferrari will be talking to the stewards
JD runs wide, across the gravel and grass; finally re-finds the track

28: Radio for SP telling him to stay out
NH pits, as does JD
Radio for SP – “target extended 4 laps or more” – his hard tyres must be lasting well

29: JB f/lap 1:29.262
LH attacking SP into the 1st chicane – clean pass to take P1
NR f/lap 1:29.080
FA manages to pass SV to take P5

30/53: SP pits from P2
LH, JB, FM, FA, SV, MS, KR, SP, NR, MW; retirements: JV
Incident involving SV and FA is under investigation

31: LH f/lap 1:28.908

32: Drive through penalty for SV – “forcing a driver off the track”

34: JB pulls off onto the grass – mechanical problem with his McLaren 🙁
Radio from JB – “no drive”; team say it’s a fuel pick-up problem

35/53: SV serves his drive-through penalty
LH, FM, FA, MS, KR, SP, NR, MW, SV, PRe; retirements: JB, JV
SP f/lap 1:28.720

36: PM pits
SP makes a move on KR into the 2nd chicane; goes in a bit too fast and has to brake hard; KR reclaims P5

37: SP attacks again into the 1st chicane and takes P5 from KR
SV pushing MW for P8
Team orders are legal this season, so will Ferrari tell FM to let FA, and Red Bull tell MW to let SV past?

38: MS pits
SP f/lap 1:28.663
PM f/lap 1:28.552
NR passes KR through 2nd chicane

39: NR pits
SP f/lap 1:28.128
FA within DRS range of his teammate

40/53: LH, FM, FA, SP, KR, SV, MW, PRe, KK, MS – didn’t see SV pass MW
SP f/lap 1:27.846
FA easily past FM for P2

41: SP f/lap 1:27.753
SP is ~4secs behind FM and closing at ~2.5secs/lap, so the Ferraris need to get a move on
SP gesticulates as he closes up on CP, but the Marussia pulls off-line and lets the Sauber through without holding him up

42: Radio for FM – “we need to pick up the pace”

43: LH has a comfortable 13.3 sec lead over FA
SP now right on the tail of FM
Radio for MW telling him SV has a tyre problem
The Ferrari-powered Sauber is lining up FM’s Ferrari

44: SP gets very close to the rear of FM; gets a good tow; jumps out and takes P3
MS takes P9 from KK

45/53: LH, FA, SP, FM, KR, SV, MW, PRe, MS, KK
SP f/lap 1:27.705 – he’s 1.2sec behind FA

46: SP now within the DRS zone to attack FA
NR f/lap 1:27.595
SP blasts past FA to take P2!

47: Radio for LH warning him that SP is behind; “up the pace by a couple of tenths please”
NR takes P10 from KK

48: LH has picked up his pace
MS passes PRe for P8
SV pulls off track and parks his Red Bull

49: Replay of radio for SV urgently telling him to stop the car
MS down the outside of MW into the 2nd chicane – takes P6

50/53: LH, SP, FA, FM, KR, MS, MW, PRe, NR, KK; retirements: SV, JB, JV
NR all over the rear wing of PRe
NR round the outside in 2nd chicane to take P8

51: MW loses the tail coming out of Ascari – spins; barely keeps the Red Bull out of the wall – drops to P10
NH pits and parks in the garage

52: MW slowing – he’s cruising on the back straight
NR f/lap 1:27.460
MW pits

53/53: LH starts his final lap
Red Bull mechanics push MW into the garage – tyres are badly flat-spotted, almost down to the canvas

LH takes the chequered flag
SP just 4secs behind in P2
FA, FM P3+4
KR holds off MS
NR f/lap 1:27.239

Provisional result: LH, SP, FA, FM, KR, MS, NR, PRe, KK, BS; PM, DR, JD, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK
DNF: MW, NH, SV, JB, JV.

So how did my GridBids picks do? SV=DNF, MW=DNF, JB=DNF, LH=P1, NR=P7, KK=P9, SP=P2.

The next race is the night race in Singapore in 2 weeks (Sept 21-23)