Ferrari scores home victory in suspense-packed Monza F1 race

Before the Formula 1 race, which took place yesterday at the famous Monza circuit, a lot of critics had limited the contenders for the 2010 drivers crown to Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber and British Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, after Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Jenson Button (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) and Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari) failed to score any points during the last race held at Spa Francorchamps.

But Karma decided to upset the aforementioned assumption, by delivering both a suspenseful and eventful race in front of the Tifosi at the Italian Grand Prix.

During the starting phase, pole setter Fernando Alonso was delayed by his battle with 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button at the first corner and Felipe Massa was able to get alongside him through the second, left-handed part of the chicane.

That gave Felipe Massa the inside line through the following Curva Grande, but Alonso, was on the inside approaching the second chicane and held on to second position, behind leading Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button, who leapfrogged Fernando Alonso during the starting phase.
Hamilton, though, was right behind the Brazilian Ferrari driver, hoping to pass Felipe Massa on the inside, but as they turned into the corner he was not close enough.

For the 2008 Formula 1 driver World Champion, the races ended prematurely in a disastrous manner after having a brilliant start. Lewis Hamilton who jumped to fourth as Mark Webber’s Red Bull again started slowly, but at the second chicane Massa’s left rear wheel came into contact with Hamilton’s front right, and broke the suspension of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, thereby sending the McLaren driver immediately after the Variante Della Roggia to the gravel, his day done and returning home empty-handed in this critical stage for the contention for the 2010 Formula 1 driver’s crown.

"I had a good start and gained a position," Hamilton said.

"In a realistic world I perhaps should've stayed there a while. I put my car up the inside and tried to get third - it was obviously a little bit too much. I'm very disappointed in myself and sorry for the team.
"I've got to try to collect my thoughts and move onto the next race. The championship is not over, but its mistakes like I made today that lose world championships."

Fernando Alonso chased Jenson Button all through the first part of the race, with the Englishman's lead ebbing and flowing as the two traded fastest laps in a captivating flat-out battle.
By lap 13, Button had gained a lead of 1.6 seconds, but Fernando Alonso then came back at him and they were nose to tail again by lap 20.
A series of fastest laps from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button stretched his lead to a second on lap 29, but again Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso responded by closing the gap.

For 36 of the 53 laps at Monza on Sunday the other silver car led the reds of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, but when McLaren’s Jenson Button ducked into the pits then it was Ferrari’s Alonso who led from Massa until he stopped on Lap 37. A brilliant in-lap followed by a perfectly executed pit stop that was 0.8secs quicker than Vodafone McLaren Mercedes one meant Alonso exited the pits just ahead of Jenson Button.
The Spaniard used his brakes very late and held the racing line with nerves of steel into the first curve (Variante del Rettifilo), to hold Button off around that lap and then proceeded to pull away at a pace to which Button could not respond.
Thereafter Fernando Alonso’s lead was never jeopardized and there was never any question about who would win.

While the McLaren was ahead the gap between Button and Alonso fluctuated between 0.5s and 1.6s, but once the Spanish Ferrari driver got in front he opened it to as much as 4.0s before finishing 2.9s ahead. Massa was another 1.2s adrift, on a day when the Scuderia moved firmly back into contention for the drivers’ world championship with a

It also seemed like being a bad day for Sebastian Vettel as a brake problem momentarily dropped him behind Red Bull team mate Webber, from fifth to sixth. But a very clever bit of strategy from the Milton Keynes team saw them keep their man out until the peunultimate lap before he finally made his mandatory tire stop.

By then his long run had taken him ahead of fast-starting Nico Rosberg who’d held fourth for most of the race for Mercedes GP. Vettel got out of the pits ahead of the silver arrow, which had Webber on its tail after the Australian had doggedly fought by Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg. The young German made a couple of mistakes on the 49th lap, blocking Webber enough to provoke angry gestures from the Australian Red Bull driver. Mark then overtook the German Williams driver lap later.

It was a tense rather than thrilling race, but the scrap for the lower point’s places was always entertaining. Hulkenberg chased fifth-placed Robert Kubica for much of the race and jumped the Renault during the pit stops, but the Williams driver dropped back to seventh after Webber’s successful attack. Robert Kubica took eighth, with Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher a distant ninth ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the second Williams.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi just headed Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi over the line for 11th, with Renault’s Vitaly Petrov benefiting from a very late pit stop to take 13th ahead of BMW Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa. Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersauri was 15th after a drive-through penalty for missing a chicane, while Force India’s Adrian Sutil fought up to 16th after contact on the opening lap sent him into the pits.

Timo Glock won the new teams’ race for Virgin after Jarno Trulli’s Lotus blew up late in the race, from Heikki Kovalainen in the other T127 and Sakon Yamamoto’s HRT, after Lucas di Grassi had to make a pit stop on lap 52.

During Yamamoto’s pit stop a crew member was hurt after the lollipop was lifted too early. He was taken to hospital for checks and the team was subsequently fined US$20,000 for an unsafe release.

Besides Hamilton and Trulli, HRT’s Bruno Senna stopped with mechanical failure and Kamui Kobayashi did not actually leave the pit lane after problems with his BMW Sauber before he got to the grid.
Red Bull driver Mark Webber now leads the world championship again with 187 points to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Hamilton’s 182, but Fernando Alonso’s great drive celebrating Ferrari’s 18th victory at Monza catapults him to third on 166, just ahead of Button on 165 and Vettel on 163.
In the constructors Formula 1 championship, Red Bull have 350 points to McLaren’s 347 and Ferrari’s 290.


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