Vettel takes commanding Monza win

Vettel takes commanding Monza win

Formula 1

Vettel takes commanding Monza win



Sebastian Vettel reeled off another dominant Formula 1 victory in the Italian Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso won a battle for second place.

With the lead Red Bull out of reach from the start, the best Ferrari could hope for was “best of the rest” honors, which Alonso secured after a long tussle with Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber.

Both Red Bulls were ordered to short-shift to protect potential gearbox issues in the closing stages, but while that stymied Webber’s pursuit of Alonso, Vettel had enough in hand to back off and still comfortably triumph.

In further good news for Vettel, erstwhile title threats Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were left squabbling (spectacularly) over minor points after early incidents.

Vettel was threatened by both Webber and the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa into a crowded first corner, but kept himself ahead and swiftly pulled away. A beautifully judged move around the outside into the Roggia chicane on lap three took Alonso past Webber’s Red Bull for third, as they went wheel to wheel right through the complex, making only slight contact on the exit.

Massa then made life very easy for Alonso when he came to overtake for second, and the Spaniard was able to stabilise Vettel’s lead at six seconds. But when Alonso tried a slightly divergent strategy by running four laps longer before his sole pit stop, Vettel’s lead increased to over 10 seconds.

Alonso came back out only just ahead of Webber, who had jumped Massa in the stops, and had several close calls in the closing laps as the Red Bull attacked, before claiming second.

Nico Hulkenberg lived up to his qualifying performance by settling his Sauber into fifth place. He had Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in often very close company all afternoon, but kept his compatriot at bay and finished just a few seconds behind Alonso, Webber and Massa after an outstanding weekend.

Raikkonen had to pit for a new front wing after bumping into Sergio Perez at the start, while an early slow puncture put Hamilton onto a two-stop strategy, hampered further by radio problems. The recovering Lotus and Mercedes then ended up in the same place on track late on having an epic battle both with each other and the midfield traffic.

Daniel Ricciardo stayed just far enough ahead of late chargers Romain Grosjean and Hamilton to take seventh, while Jenson Button just denied Raikkonen a point. Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez chased them home.

Grosjean reached the end despite Paul di Resta’s Force India slamming into his Lotus at the Roggia on lap one, an impact that ended the Scot’s race.

Jean-Eric Vergne was another early retirement, having battled in the top 10 before smoke erupted from the right rear of his Toro Rosso.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTSThe Italian Grand PrixMonza, Italy;53 laps; 306.720km;Weather: Cloudy.Classified:Pos  Driver        Team                       Time 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault           1h18m33.352 2.  Alonso         Ferrari                    +       5.4 3.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault           +       6.3 4.  Massa          Ferrari                    +       9.3 5.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari             +      10.3 6.  Rosberg        Mercedes                   +      10.9 7.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +      32.3 8.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault              +      33.1 9.  Hamilton       Mercedes                   +      33.510.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes           +      38.311.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault              +      38.612.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes           +      39.713.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari             +      40.814.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault           +      49.015.  Bottas         Williams-Renault           +      56.816.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap17.  Pic            Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap18.  van der Garde  Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap19.  Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap20.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lapFastest lap: Hamilton, 1:25.849Not classified/retirements:Driver        Team                         On lapVergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           35Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes         1World Championship standings, round 12:                Drivers:                    Constructors:              1.  Vettel        222        1.  Red Bull-Renault          352 2.  Alonso        169        2.  Ferrari                   248 3.  Hamilton      141        3.  Mercedes                  245 4.  Raikkonen     134        4.  Lotus-Renault             191 5.  Webber        130        5.  McLaren-Mercedes           66 6.  Rosberg       104        6.  Force India-Mercedes       61 7.  Massa          79        7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         31 8.  Grosjean       57        8.  Sauber-Ferrari             17 9.  Button         48        9.  Williams-Renault            110.  Di Resta       36       11.  Sutil          25       12.  Perez          18       13.  Ricciardo      18       14.  Hulkenberg     17       15.  Vergne         13       16.  Maldonado       1              All timing unofficial

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