Grand Prix of Italy – Race


Well, Qualifying was errrr… interesting! Video of the slow-race to start the final flying lap – only SAI made it in time and everyone else failed. Toto Wolff said “everyone looks like idiots”; the stewards said they’d investigate that final lap, because they’d previously warned the drivers not to take too long on their out laps. HUL, STR and SAI were all reprimanded and in their report for each case, they said “The Stewards believe that the driver… played a significant role in the banking up of cars at a critical stage of the final out lap for Q3. The Stewards strongly recommend that the FIA expedite a solution to this type of situation.” [FIA]

Provisional grid: LEC, HAM, BOT, VET, RIC, HUL, SAI, ALB, STR, RAI*, GIO, MAG, KVY, NOR*, GAS*, GRO, PER, RUS, KUB, VER*
Penalties: VER, GAS, NOR
Following RAI’s Q3 off into the tyre wall, Alfa Romeo forced to change a series of components and so he will start from the pit lane. [FIA]

Pit lane is open; drivers are heading out for a final check of their car and the track

Air temperature 21°C; track 34°C; humidity 55%; a few clouds but no rain forecast

Revised grid: LEC, HAM, BOT, VET, RIC, HUL, SAI, ALB, STR, GIO, MAG, KVY, GRO, RUS, KUB, NOR, GAS, PER, VER, RAI

LEC leads everyone (except RAI) away on the formation lap
It’s a long run to Turn 1 – often makes for incidents at the start
Everyone at the front is on soft compound tyres; rest are on mediums except MAG, GRO and GIO (who are on softs)
LEC didn’t back them up enough, so he’ll have to sit and wait for everyone to find their grid spots

01/53: A few cars taking to the escape road
Does VER have damage to his front wing?
HUL takes P4 from VET

02: LEC, HAM, BOT, HUL, VET, RIC, STR, SAI, ALB, GIO
VET reclaims P4
VER pits; new nose; soft tyres going on
ALB closing on SAI

03: LEC fastest lap 1:25.194
Race control are investigating multiple Turn 1 incidents
ALB passes SAI for P8; SAI fights back but squeezes ALB onto the gravel

04: LEC f/lap 1:24.954
VER f/lap 1:24.532

05: RIC takes P5 from teammate HUL
Replay of the start: VER took to the grass to avoid running into the rear of someone at Turn 1

07: VET spins, breaks his front wing
VET rejoins, hits STR – that’s got to be a major penalty!
STR spins, rejoins and forces GAS into the gravel – make that a penalty for STR too

08: GRO pits; rejoins P20 behind VER and VET
VET and STR both under investigation

09: Radio from HAM – “looks like he’s struggling a little bit”

10/53: LEC, HAM, BOT, RIC, HUL, SAI, GIO, ALB, KVY, MAG, PER, STR, NOR, GAS, RAI, KUB, RUS, VER, VET, GRO

11: VER takes P17 from KUB
PER right up under MAG’s rear wing

12: HAM 1.2sec behind LEC
Race control: 10sec stop-go penalty for VET

13: VET pits, serves his stop-go penalty

14: Race control: drive-through penalty for STR
VER takes P15 from RAI
RAI under investigation for starting the race on the wrong tyres!

15/53: LEC, HAM, BOT, RIC, HUL, SAI, ALB, GIO, KVY, MAG, PER, STR, NOR, GAS, VER, RAI, RUS, KUB, GRO, VET; no retirements so far

16: STR serves his drive-through penalty; rejoins P17

18: PER still chasing MAG
ALB given 5sec penalty for gaining an advantage by cutting a chicane when attacking MAG
Radio from HAM – “tyres are going off – we can’t over-cut him”

20: HAM pits; medium tyres go on; rejoins P5
RAI given 10sec stop/go for starting on the wrong tyres

21: LEC pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P4, just ahead of HAM
Hard tyres? Do they think mediums won’t last to the end?

22: LEC catching HUL, getting a tow but not close enough for DRS; HAM is close enough to LEC for both
LEC squeezes past HUL

23: HAM attacking LEC
LEC closes the gap; LEC moves right, pushing HAM off track, he has to use the gravel road around the outside of the corner

24: Black & white flag for LEC warning him about his driving, but no penalty

25/53: BOT, RIC, LEC, HAM, HUL, SAI, ALB, KVY, PER, VER, GAS, GIO, MAG, NOR, KUB, RUS, STR, RAI, VET, GRO
LEC f/lap 1:24.121
LEC and HAM catching RIC in P2

26: LEC passes RIC before Curva Grande; HAM passes the Renault after the turn

Half distance

27: LEC f/lap 1:23.532

28: BOT pits; mediums; rejoins P4
SAI pits; then he stops at the end of pit out because his front right wheel’s not on properly
VSC deployed while marshals push SAI’s McLaren behind the wall

29[VSC]: VSC ends

30/53: LEC’s got to warm up his hard tyres again
HUL pits; mediums; rejoins P5
KVY stopped at Turn 1; looks like the engine went bang

31: BOT f/lap
VSC deployed
VSC ends

32: HAM 0.8sec behind LEC as they come up to lap VET and RUS
VER inside GAS for P11

33: Blue flags telling VET to let both LEC and HAM through cleanly

34: VET out-brakes himself and nearly lets RUS get past him
Radio from HAM – “I need more power man!”

35/53: LEC, HAM, BOT, RIC, HUL, ALB, GIO, PER, NOR, VER; retirements: KVY, SAI

36: LEC locks up into Turn 1; cuts across the chicane – looks like he gained an advantage
LEC zigzagging to keep HAM behind

37: Incident involving LEC missing the apex of Turn 1 is “noted”

38: Race stewards say no investigation necessary for LEC’s corner-cutting 🙁
Radio from HAM – “don’t have much tyres left”; told “just keep the pressure on him”

40/53: LEC, HAM, BOT, RIC, HUL, ALB, PER, GIO, VER, NOR, GAS, STR, VET, RUS, MAG, RAI, KUB, GRO; retirements: KVY, SAI

41: BOT closing up to HAM
SAI’s unsafe release will be investigated after the race
VER takes P8 from GIO

42: HAM locks up into Turn 1; takes to the escape road, letting BOT take P2
Maybe HAM should have just cut the corner because it was OK when LEC did that?

43: VET pits; mediums go on; but there’s no point going for fastest lap unless you finish in the top 10

44: Radio from HAM – tyres are done; maybe they should pit him, as RIC is 34secs behind

45/53: BOT isn’t catching LEC quickly enough
MAG pits; he’s pushed into the garage

46: Radio for BOT encouraging him to attack

48: BOT f/lap 1:22.859

49: BOT still over 1.7sec back from LEC

50/53: HAM pits from P3; used soft tyres go on; rejoins still P3
Twitch from LEC lets BOT get within DRS range

51: NOR moves well out the way to let LEC and BOT lap him
BOT locks up and blows his chance to catch LEC

52: HAM f/lap 1:21.779

53=final lap: LEC, BOT, HAM, RIC, HUL, ALB, PER, VER, GIO, NOR, GAS, STR, RUS, VET, RAI, GRO, KUB
Radio for BOT telling him full power is available but it’s too late

LEC takes the chequered flag

Provisional result: LEC, BOT, HAM, RIC, HUL, ALB, PER, VER, GIO, NOR; GAS, STR, RUS, VET, RAI, GRO, KUB
DNF: MAG, KVY, SAI
Fastest lap: HAM

Ferrari’s first win in Italy since Fernando Alonso in 2010