Formula 1 – Italian GP – Race Review

The Ferrari home race finally brought at least some racing action. The lower pit lane speed limit made 1 stop strategy feasible and eleven drivers opted for it. For some it meant shot at a point finish, for some it was only way to compete. They were all clearly helped by the safety car early on in the race and this for sure assisted some proper racing later on.

McLarens looked to have upper hand over Ferraris after all the weekend. The Ferrari case was not helped by Massa early retirement. The Maranello guys should do something about their reliability issues…

Raikkonen however managed to climb ahead of Heidfeld right after the race start and after Massa’s retirement took his 3rd spot. He was not that much faster than Heidfeld at that stage though. When Hamilton made his first pit stop on lap 18, Ferrari crew played some dummy and made themselves ready for Kimi’s first stop too. However Raikkonen kept on making extra laps, and made his first stop on lap 25, 7 laps later than Hamilton and 5 laps later than Alonso. Once he switched from softer to harder tyres it becaome clear that he is on 1 stop strategy and with realistic chance to fight the McLarens. It all depended on how big gap in their lighter and faster cars can McLarens open before their 2nd stops. Hamilton made his second stop on lap 40 and rejoined behind Raikkonen. The gap to Kimi was not too big though and with Alonso still making 3 more quick laps it was obvious the best Kimi can hope for is 2nd. Even that was not to be as Hamilton retook his 2nd place after these days rare to be seen on track overtaking maneuver. After that all the top 3 drivers clearly settled for their places and slowed down.

Heidfeld came in ahead of his team mate this time. Kubica’s race was hampered by problems during his first pit stop, 17 seconds stationary does not help for sure. The lap times of BMWs however made it very clear, who has the 3rd best car on the grid…

This was another good race for Nico Rosberg, another point scoring finish. He is now only 1 point behind his team mate, who collected most of his points from the 2 funny races – European and Canadian GPs.

Renault guys had a mixed weekend. Kovalainen scored 2 points and increased his lead over Fisichella. There was almost 0.6 second difference between the fastest lap of Kovalainen and Fisichella. Of course Fisichella was on 1 stop race with heavier car, but this weekend definitely does not help him in his pursuit of 2008 Renault race seat…

Honda had a good day. Button scoring his and team’s second point of the season after good qualifying performance and pretty solid race in a heavy car. Barrichello was not too far behind. Now it remains to be seen if this is a sign of genuine improvement or just a ability to take an advantage of one off low downforce race where their lousy aero does not matter that much. Button and Rosberg had few nice fights for the position, it was good to see again drivers fighting for positions that actually matter.


Webber’s Red Bull came close to points but it was not going to be this time. Coulthard damaged his front wing, and once the wing took off all he could hope for was to land in the tyre barrier softly. His biggest contribution to the race was the safety car that helped the 1 stop drivers…
Toyota looked good in qualifying, at least Trulli did. But his race start was horrible. Loosing 3 positions and getting behind slower cars ruined his race. Ralf Schumacher ruined his race on Saturday already. He (and at least publicly his team too) were full of excuses, but the fact is, Ralf keeps giving less and less reasons to his team to re-sign him… To be eliminated in Q1 and finish 15th, that is feast that any decent GP2 driver can achieve in a car like Toyota…

Super Aguri can be happy with 2 car finish. But it becomes obvious that their pace of development can’t keep up with the richer teams in the midfield. Bar some crazy race, we can only expect them to fight with Toro Rossos and Spykers for the rest of the season.

Probably the same can be said about Toro Rosso. They displayed some raw speed at times during the practice and qualifying, but at the ended finished the weekend where they belong at the moment.

Spyker’s new car did not show much. But let’s see what the track with higher downforce car set up will bring.

The title race seems to be narrowed to 3 drivers now. As much as like Felipe Massa, the most sensible way for him would be to concede that his title hopes are over. It is time for Ferrari to support Kimi … Well, unless something comes out of the World Motorsport Council hearing coming Thursday that will affect the Championship standings…

And finally, a fastest laps statistics from Monza:
(Driver, Team, Best Lap Time, Gap, On Lap, Av. Seed)
1)Fernando Alonso – McLaren/Mercedes – 1’22.871 – 0.000 – 5 – 251.653
2)Lewis Hamilton – McLaren/Mercedes – 1’22.936 – 0.065 – 17 – 251.456
3)Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari – 1’23.370 – 0.499 – 21 – 250.147
4)Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber/BMW – 1’23.681 – 0.810 – 19 – 249.217
5)Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber/BMW – 1’23.908 – 1.037 – 22 – 248.543
6)Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1’23.971 – 1.100 – 8 – 248.357
7)H.Kovalainen – Renault – 1’24.226 – 1.355 – 53 – 247.605
8)Nico Rosberg – Williams/Toyota – 1’24.472 – 1.601 – 52 – 246.884
9)Jenson Button – Honda – 1’24.532 – 1.661 – 32 – 246.708
10)Jarno Trulli – Toyota – 1’24.622 – 1.751 – 49 – 246.446
11)Takuma Sato – Super Aguri – 1’24.669 – 1.798 – 49 – 246.309
12)R.Barrichello – Honda – 1’24.767 – 1.896 – 52 – 246.024
13)Mark Webber – Red Bull/Renault – 1’24.824 – 1.953 – 46 – 245.859
14)G.Fisichella – Renault – 1’24.849 – 1.978 – 32 – 245.787
15)Ralf Schumacher – Toyota – 1’24.951 – 2.080 – 49 – 245.492
16)Alexander Wurz – Williams/Toyota – 1’25.000 – 2.129 – 42 – 245.350
17)Anthony Davidson – Super Aguri – 1’25.116 – 2.245 – 46 – 245.016
18)Sebastian Vettel – Toro Rosso – 1’25.313 – 2.442 – 47 – 244.450
19)Vitantonio Liuzzi – Toro Rosso – 1’25.373 – 2.502 – 45 – 244.278
20)Adrian Sutil – Spyker – 1’25.377 – 2.506 – 30 – 244.267
21)Sakon Yamamoto – Spyker/Ferrari – 1’25.478 – 2.607 – 34 – 243.978

2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi


2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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