Grand Prix of Italy – Race

F1

Ferrari took full advantage of their new engines and locked out the front row of the grid, just pipping HAM in Qualifying yesterday.

Grid: RAI, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, GRO, SAI, OCO, GAS, STR, MAG, SIR, ALO, PER, LEC, HAR, VAN, ERI*, RIC*, HUL*
*engine change penalties (plus HUL’s penalty from Spa) applied

The rain that was forecast for Quali didn’t materialise; there’s light drizzle popping up around the circuit with less than an hour before the start of the race.

Air temperature 21°C; track 28°C; humidity 69&; probability of rain 60%

RAI leads everyone away on the formation lap
Top 10 are all on the supersoft tyres that they used in Q2; most of the rest on supersofts too, except LEC, MAG, ERI & RIC on softs
Radio for HAM – no rain on the weather radar but there might be a few spots in the air

01/53: RAI leads VET into Turn 1
HAR has stopped before Turn 1
VET turns in on HAM but it’s VET that breaks his front wing and spins
Safety Car deployed

02[SC]: ERI, VET, RIC, HUL all pit
Sky Sports report VET released right into ? – that’s an unsafe release
Incident involving VET & HAM under investigation

03[SC]: Replay shows VAN move across in front of HAR, then ERI hits his front right, breaking the suspension
SC in at the end of this lap

04: HAM steals P1 before Turn 1 … but RAI reclaims it before Turn 2

05/53: RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, GRO, SAI, OCO, STR, SIR, ALO, GAS, PER, LEC, HUL, VAN, RIC, VET, ERI, MAG
RAI fastest lap 1:25.439
MAG pits
Race control: no further action in VET/HAM incident
Replay of MAG & PER making contact, bodywork flying

07: HAM f/lap 1:24.827
PER all over the rear of ALO

08: RAI f/lap 1:24.538

09: VET takes a look inside RIC; VET takes P14
LEC locks up; VET steals P13

10/53: RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, GRO, SAI, OCO, STR, SIR, PER, GAS, VET, RIC, LEC, HUL, VAN
RAI f/lap 1:24.500
HAM f/lap 1:24.349
ALO pits; he’s rolling down the pit lane with no engine power

11: HUL lining up LEC; gets a tow and blasts past for P14
RIC brakes late, tags GAS’ rear right wheel but both continue

12: PER attacking SIR but SIR holds on to P9
RIC closes again but this time GAS pretty much holds the door open for RIC to take P12

13: PER makes his pass stick and takes P9 from SIR

14: OCO closing on SAI; gets a tow as well as DRS; takes P6

15/53: RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, GRO, OCO, SAI, STR, PER, SIR, VET, RIC, GAS, HUL, LEC, VAN, ERI, MAG; retirements: ALO, HAR
VET easily past SIR for P10

16: VET closing on STR; inside STR into Turn 1 to take P9

17: VET tries to make the same move on PER but went too deep into Turn 1; PER reclaims P8
VET switched to soft tyres when he pitted at the end of lap 1; can he make them last to the end?

18: VET makes the move stick this time; up to P8
Radio from HAM – “tyres still good”

19: BOT looked at attacking VER into Turn 1; BOT locks up; VER locks up too and cuts across the kerbs

20/53: RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, GRO, OCO, SAI, VET, PER, STR, SIR, RIC, HUL, GAS, LEC, VAN, ERI, MAG
VET steals P7 from SAI
Mechanics get ready in both Ferrari and Mercedes pits

21: RAI pits from P1; takes on soft tyres; rejoins P4

22: HAM f/lap 1:23.611
HAM pushing hard but RAI setting fastest sector times

23: BOT gets very close to VER’s rear wing
Radio for HAM – “just one more lap”

24: Radio from VET – “it’s raining a little bit on the back of the circuit”
RAI f/lap 1:23.535
VET catches OCO and breezes past him for P5

25/53: Smoke from RIC’s new engine; he’s pulled off track and parked the Red Bull
Double yellow flags as the marshals make a mess of moving RIC’s car

26: Couple of spots of rain on the camera lens

27: VER pits from P2; soft tyres go on; rejoins P6
Both Mercedes yet to pit; are they waiting to see if the rain develops?

28: Radio for BOT – “keep Kimi behind you”

29: HAM pushing hard into the pit lane; locks up at the speed check line; softs; rejoins P3
RAI f/lap 1:23.515
VER easily past OCO for P5

30/53: BOT, RAI, HAM, VET, VER, OCO, PER, SAI, STR, SIR, GRO, HUL, GAS, LEC, ERI, VAN, MAS
VET pits from P4; switches to supersofts; rejoins P10

31: RAI closing up on BOT
HAM f/lap 1:22.497

32: BOT doing exactly what Mercedes need, holding RAI up

33: Radio for BOT – “Kimi has blistered his right rear”

34: HAM closing right up on RAI; there’s only 1 second covering BOT, RAI and HAM
VET past SAI for P7

35/53: BOT, RAI, HAM, VER, OCO, PER, VET, SAI, STR, SIR, GRO, HUL, GAS, LEC, ERI, VAN, MAG
Radio for HAM warning him his rear left is “at the limit”
Top 3 lap VAN
GAS pits, followed by LEC

36: RAI dips a wheel into a gravel trap

37: BOT pits from P1; softs; rejoins P4

39: Radio for RAI – “we see some vibration from your rear tyres – try to keep them alive”

40/53: RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, VET, PER, SAI, GRO, OCO, HUL, STR, ERI, SIR, LEC, VAN, GAS, MAG; retirements: RIC, ALO, HAR
PER pits, as does SAI

41: HAM 0.7sec behind RAI; keeping the pressure on means RAI can’t rest his tyres

42: BOT attacks VER into Turn 1; VER defends well, keeps P3

43: RAI laps SIR as they approach Turn 1; SIR stays out the way and lets HAM through too
BOT attacks again; VER closes the door – doesn’t leave enough room and makes contact with BOT; BOT has to use the escape road

44: Incident involving VER & BOT under investigation

45/53: HAM makes a strong move into Turn 1; clean pass to take P1
Race control: 5sec penalty for VER for the incident with BOT

46: VER is 1.4sec ahead of BOT on track but his 5sec penalty means VER is effectively P4

47: BOT all over the rear of VER

49: BOT alongside but VER hangs on to P3
Radio from VER – “I know I’m losing time to VET but I really don’t care”

50/53: HAM, RAI, VER, BOT, VET, GRO
How about this for strategy: Mercedes should get BOT to back off a bit, let VER concentrate on his speed; then BOT jumps ahead of VER because of his penalty, but VER stays ahead of VET, denying Ferrari the extra points

52: SIR unlaps himself thanks to RAI’s tyres being so damaged

53: VET is now ~4sec behind VER, so VET is effectively P4

HAM takes the chequered flag

Provisional result: HAM, RAI, BOT, VET, VER*, GRO, OCO, PER, SAI, STR; SIR, LEC, VAN, HUL, GAS, ERI, MAG
(*after 5sec penalty)
DNF: RIC, ALO, HAR

RAI gets his 100th podium
More booing from the Italian crowd – without wanting to sound like Trump, it’s pathetic
Nice to see Felipe Massa again