Italian Grand Prix – Race


There’s a couple of big new items since yesterday’s Qualifying session: “Racing Point withdraw appeal against stewards’ verdict on RP20 brake ducts” [FIA]
Unfortunately Ferrari haven’t dropped their appeal (asking for a harsher penalty) although pitpass.com reports “If, let me say, regulations will be put in place, or a technical directive for the future in 2021 where we are pretty sure it will not be possible to copy, we are ready to withdraw our appeal.”

The other thing of note is that Renault will rebrand themselves as “Alpine F1 Team” next season, “as well as a new colour scheme, with the French national colours of red, white and blue replacing the yellow and black of Renault.” [FIA] (OCO will partner Fernando Alonso next year)

Quali ended with the provisional grid: HAM, BOT, SAI, PER, VER, NOR, RIC, STR, ALB, GAS, KVY, OCO*, LEC, RAI*, MAG, GRO, VET, GIO, RUS, LAT*
*Incident involving OCO, LAT and RAI will be investigated after the session [video]
The outcome of that investigation was “no further action required” so the provisional grid stands.

Claire Williams fired up RUS’ car and signalled LAT to leave the garage; she leaves the team today
CW: “I know in them we have found the right people to take Williams back to the front of the grid while also preserving the Williams legacy. I have taken the decision to step away from the team in order to allow Dorilton a fresh start as the new owners. It has not been an easy decision but it’s one I believe to be right for all involved.”

Everyone’s heading to the dummy grid, except RIC remains in his garage – does his Renault have a problem?
BOT hits a kerb and catches some air – fortunately those aren’t the tyres he’ll start the race on
Radio from STR – his left mirror isn’t set correctly, but they can fix that on the grid
It’s time to clear the grid

Air temperature 26°C; track 45°C; 20% chance of rain

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
Top 10 starting on the soft tyres they used in Q2; VET and KVY on hard, OCO and LEC on softs, and the rest on mediums
LAT’s front left brake seems to be smoking – he’s the last on the grid so he won’t have to wait long for the lights to go out

Grid: HAM, BOT, SAI, PER, VER, NOR, RIC, STR, ALB, GAS, KVY, OCO, LEC, RAI, MAG, GRO, VET, GIO, RUS, LAT

01/53: SAI beats BOT off the line, takes P2
LEC looking inside RAI
NOR squeaks past BOT to steal P3
BOT runs wide; PER and RIC passes him
Radio from BOT – suspects he’s got a puncture

02: HAM, SAI, NOR, PER, RIC, BOT, STR, VER, OCO, GAS, KVY, RAI, LEC, GIO, ALB, GRO, VET, RUS, LAT, MAG
BOT didn’t pit; can he hang on to P6
First time there’s been 2 McLarens in the top 3 since 2014

03: HAM fastest lap 1:25.265
VER squeezes through the first chicane alongside STR; takes P7
Race control: incident involving ALB and GAS has been noted… no investigation necessary

05/53: HAM, SAI, NOR, PER, RIC, BOT, VER, STR, OCO, GAS, KVY, RAI, LEC, ALB, GIO, GRO, VET, RUS, LAT, MAG
BOT has ~2.5sec lead over SAI
Radio for BOT – “we’ll go long”

06: RUS takes P17 from VET – Claire gets to see a Williams pass a Ferrari
VET cuts the chicane, steams through the polystyrene markers – his rear left brake is in flames

07: HAM f/lap 1:24.890
VET pits, coming in very slowly because he can’t brake; pushed into the garage

08: ALB given 5sec penalty for not leaving space for GRO on lap 1

09: PER closing on NOR

10/53: HAM, SAI, NOR, PER, RIC, BOT, VER, STR, OCO, GAS, KVY, RAI, LEC, ALB*, GIO, GRO, RUS, LAT, MAG; out: VET
*ALB has 5sec penalty

13: Radio for NOR warning him “no wider at Turn 11 or we’ll get a penalty”

14: VER closing on BOT

15/53: HAM, SAI, NOR, PER, RIC, BOT, VER, STR, OCO, GAS, KVY, RAI, LEC, ALB, GIO, GRO, RUS, LAT, MAG
Radio for HAM telling him to short-shift, presumably to preserve the engine

16: BOT locks up but VER isn’t quite close enough
Radio for BOT telling him to move off-line when he can, to cool the car

17: HAM f/lap 1:24.626
Radio from BOT, “I can’t race with this engine setting – it’s a joke”
ALB takes P13 from LEC

18: GIO catching up to LEC – this could be a quandary for the Italian fans
LEC pits from P14; hard tyres go on; rejoins P17

19: Radio from VER, “Even with DRS open I’m not even gaining a lot”
MAG slowing, pulls off track
Yellow flags for MAG but no sign of VSC yet

20/53: HAM, SAI, NOR, PER, RIC, BOT, VER, STR, OCO, KVY, GAS, ALB, GIO, GRO, RUS, RAI, LEC, LAT; out: MAG, VET
Safety Car deployed – not the Virtual SC
Expect everyone to pit

21[SC]: HAM pits, rejoins P2
Pit lane entry is closed – is that because MAG’s car is just before the pits start?
Radio for LEC telling him SC deployed, “stay positive; slow button on” – maybe Ferrari’s problem is their SLOW button is on by default? 😉

22[SC]: Race control: incident involving HAM and GIO under investigation for “entering the pit lane when closed”
Replay shows there were warning signs on the outside of the final turn to show the pit lane was closed, but surely the drivers are looking to the inside of the turn where the yellow flags are for MAG
Pit lane entry now clear, so there’s a line forming at the pit entry
NOR locks up, presumably because SAI is in the McLaren box and NOR will have to wait

23[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
Order for the restart: HAM, STR, GAS, GIO, RAI, LEC, LAT, SAI, NOR, BOT, RIC, PER, VER, OCO, KVY, RUS, GRO, ALB

25/53: HAM
LEC off into the tyre wall – that looked big!
SC immediately deployed
Replay shows LEC lost the rear end, lots of opposite lock, across the gravel and into the tyre wall
10sec stop-go penalty for GIO; presumably the same for HAM
LEC is out of the car; sounds winded but says he’s ok

26[SC]: Red flags – race suspended – they’ll need time to rebuild the tyre wall
The marshals have LEC’s Ferrari on a crane, trying to pull it free from the tyre wall – it springs free and swings around

(We’re at half distance)

27[SC]: technically it’s now lap 27 because the lead car passed the start-finish line when they’re in the pit lane

The front left wheel came off the car; it’s still smoking
Race control confirm 10sec stop-go penalty for HAM too
NOR under investigation for “driving unnecessarily slowly when entering the pit lane”
Looks like Mercedes are discussing replacing part of BOT’s bodywork with the FIA
Has HAM been up to see the stewards? Given how the FIA don’t like people to disagree with them, will HAM get an extra penalty?

No indication yet when the race will restart
When it does, the order is: HAM*, STR, GAS, RAI, GIO*, SAI, NOR**, BOT, LAT, RIC, VER, OCO, KVY, PER, RUS, ALB, GRO; out: LEC, MAG, VET
*10sec stop-go penalties, which they’ll need to serve in the first few laps after the restart
**Under investigation

Session will restart at 1620 local time
Radio for BOT, “the cooling situation will be better but not solved”
Ferrari tweet that LEC’s been checked out in the medical centre and is ok

SC leads everyone out of the pit lane
Race control: No radio communication on roll-around lap to the grid
Radio from LAT asking if he’ll have the same problem at the restart; team can’t reply

Race control: no penalty for NOR
Race control: PER and VER under investigation for Turn 1 incident

Note it’s not cumulative times – what you see on the track is the real situation

HAM takes his P1 spot on the grid
Lights go out
28/53: HAM leads into Turn 1
STR and GIO battling
STR locks up, cuts the chicane
HAM trying to open a gap before his penalty

29: HAM pits, serves his 10sec stop-go; rejoins dead last, a long way behind ALB

30/53: GAS, RAI, GIO, SAI, STR, NOR, BOT, RIC, OCO, KVY, PER, LAT, GRO, VER, RUS, ALB, HAM
Race control: no further action for PER and VER incident

31: GIO pits to serve his penalty; drops from P3 to P16
VER pits too; he’s out of the car, looking pretty angry

32: HAM f/lap 1:23.464
HAM’s first target is ALB, about 15sec ahead

33: HAM f/lap 1:22.901 – he’s ~1.5sec/lap faster than GAS in P1

34: Radio for SAI telling him he can be patient
SAI side-by-side with RAI into Turn 1; RAI very fair and leaves room for the McLaren; SAI takes P2

35/53: GAS, SAI, RAI, STR, NOR, BOT, RIC, OCO, KVY, PER, LAT, GRO, RUS, ALB, HAM, GIO; out: VER, LEC, MAG, VET
HAM 1:22.746
STR squeezes past RAI for P3

36: NOR takes P4 from RAI
BOT now closing on RAI

37: BOT out-brakes RAI into Turn 1; takes P5
HAM inside DRS range of ALB

38: RIC attacks RAI, takes P6

39: Radio for HAM warning him he may need to move off-line to cool the car

40/53: GAS, SAI, STR, NOR, BOT, RIC, RAI, OCO, KVY, PER, LAT, GRO, RUS, ALB, HAM, GIO
ALB defends into Turn 1 but locks up, hangs on to P14
HAM takes P14 and is immediately onto the rear of RUS

41: HAM easily takes P13

42: HAM lines up GRO but has to be patient; has a second go and takes P12
BOT just under 1sec behind NOR so he has DRS to attack the McLaren

43: RAI defends P7 from OCO
OCO attacks again, takes P7

44: GAS has ~2.3sec lead over SAI, but STR is catching them
KVY inside RAI to take P8
HAM has DRS to attack LAT

45/53: GAS, SAI, STR, NOR, BOT, RIC, OCO, KVY, RAI, PER, LAT, HAM, GRO, RUS, ALB, GIO
HAM easily past LAT for P11
SAI slowly closing on GAS

46: PER takes P9 from RAI … but RAI fights back; PER keeps P9

47: HAM past RAI for P10 – he’s back in the points

48: GAS’ lead down to 1.2sec
BOT still has DRS behind NOR but can’t get close enough to attack

49: HAM makes a clean pass on PER to take P9

50/53: GAS, SAI, STR, NOR, BOT, RIC, OCO, KVY, HAM, PER, RAI, LAT, GRO, RUS, ALB, GIO
GAS maintaining his lead over SAI

51: HAM lines up KVY and sweeps past for P8

53 = final lap: SAI now has DRS
HAM takes P7 from OCO
SAI closing on GAS but is it too late?

GAS takes the chequered flag for AlfaTauri
SAI P2
STR P3
I can’t imagine anyone predicted that result!

Nice to see LEC congratulate GAS
First French winner since Olivier Panis in 1996

As they cross the finish line RUS and LAT thank Claire and wish her all the best
Meanwhile OCO had to be told to keep quiet – he was clearly frustrated

Interviews:
GAS: “It was such a crazy race. The car was fast, and to go through so much in the space of 18 months. First podium last year, now first victory in Monza. I have no words.”
SAI: “I can’t be too disappointed with P2. With a normal race I would have scored P2 behind Lewis. We’ve been super quick all weekend. Chasing Pierre, finishing three or four tenths back – it is what it is.”
STR: “It was such a crazy race. I’m so happy for Pierre he deserved it, it was a bit of a bummer as it was mine to lose but I had a tonne of wheel spin at the start.”
HAM: “Fantastic result from Pierre – he was dropped by a top team, now he’s beaten the top teams. I’m just really happy for him. My race was just a bit unfortunate.”
NOR: “Gasly, he boxed before, he was there and that’s fair. But for someone who hasn’t boxed, he (STR) gains 24 seconds and that isn’t fair.” – sorry Lando but it’s the same rule for everyone and STR was lucky today
Franz Tost (AlphaTauri team principal) said there won’t be any celebration tonight because they have to pack up and move to Mugello for the next race; I’m not convinced they’ll listen 🙂

GAS takes a moment on the podium; a shame there’s not the usual massive crowd there to cheer him (because AlphaTauri is an Italian team)

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

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]