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Posts Tagged ‘Monza’

Sebastian Vettel has won the Italian Grand Prix after a brilliant drive from pole in his Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso. Vettel led the race comfortably, only coming under pressure once from Lewis Hamilton, before McLaren went the wrong way with a weather decision in a race that was wet from start for finish. He won the race by 12.5 seconds from McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and BMW’s Robert Kubica, who both joined him on the podium.

The race started under safety car conditions due to the amount of standing water on the track and likelihood of accidents, meaning there would be no formation lap. Bad news for Sebastien Bourdais, as he stalled on the grid from fourth and would have to start the race a lap down. Vettel immediately pulled away from the rest of the field at the restart and started to lead by quite some distance. After a few laps David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamiltion started to fight for position. Fishichella defended well in his Force India but Coulthard got past and, after a fair while, so did Raikkonen and then Hamilton.

Hamilton had made a few failed attempts to get past Raikkonen, but a few laps later he made his move and made it stick.  Coulthard ended up behind Fisichella again and, when he tried to pass, they made contact, and the Force India found itself in the barriers to become the only retiree. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg were having a close fight, but the Ferrari came out on top for fourth place. Hamilton was now pulling away from Raikkonen and began to make his way up the field.

Seemingly on a one-stop strategy, Hamilton made some passes, and helped by the others stopping, found himself in second and catching up to Vettel. He was nearly out of fuel, though, and pitted from second. The team believed more rain was on its way, having stopped not long ago, and kept him on extreme wets. Fernando Alonso came in a few laps later and switched to intermediate tyres, the second to do so after Coulthard. Despite some shaky first laps, after a while, it proved to be the right choice.

Vettel came in for his second scheduled stop and changed to inters too. One-stopping Hamilton had no choice but to do the same and his chances of a race win were gone. The McLaren came out behind his championship rival, Felipe Massa, and looked as if he would catch him, but it wasn’t to be. All eyes were on Sebastian Vettel as he took a dominant win at Toro Rosso’s home race to become the youngest race winner ever in Formula one.

The other points went to Kovalainen, Kubica, Alonso, Nick Heidfeld, Massa, Hamilton and Mark Webber. Kimi Raikkonen and Nelson Piquet Jr rounded out the top ten. Sebastien Bourdias got past Adrain Sutil to finish 18th after starting a lap down, and set the second fastest lap of the race, after Raikkonen.

Hamilton now leads Massa by one point in the championship and with his race win, Vettel goes up to 9th place. Renault are now equal with Toyota on 41 points and Toro Rosso are one point ahead of the Red Bull senior team.

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Sebastian Vettel has taken his, and Toro Rosso’s, maiden pole position at qualifying for tomorrows Italian Grand Prix, braking several records. Throughout qualifying, Toro Rosso, who have recently improved enough to reach Q3 for three races in a row, looked to be the only team who were together enough to cope with the torrential conditions that saw both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton fail to get past Q2.

Vettel took pole with a lap of 1:37.555, 0.1 seconds faster than Heikki Kovalainen who will join the German on the front row. Toro Rosso were so strong, it looked as if both drivers would make the top three, but Sebastien Bourdais was beaten to third by Mark Webber, for the Red Bull senior team, who lapped a 1:38.117. Nico Rosberg was fifth for Williams and the first title contender, Felipe Massa, will start the race from sixth place. A 1:38.894 put the Brazillian 1.3 seconds slower than the Ferrari-powerd Toro Rosso on pole. Jarno Trulli will start from seventh, ahead of Fernando Alonso, Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, who failed to make the top ten.

Force India finally achieved their target for the season, and managed to get in to Q2, with Giancarlo Fisichella qualifying an impressive thirteenth, The Force India lapped 0.9 seconds faster than Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified 15th, behind David Coulthard, after struggling to keep his car out of the barriers. Lewis Hamilton was slowest in Q2, though, having made a bad decision to switch to intermediate tyres as he believed the track was drying. The final five places are taken by Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet Jr, Kazuki Nakajima, Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil.

Sebastian Vettel has done an incredible thing, taking a car that was a back-marker at the beginning of the season, and putting it on pole at Toro Rosso’s home race. Perhaps more incredible is the former Minardi team, which were taken over by Toro Rosso in 2006, and who spent their whole F1 time at the back, have out-qualified Ferrari at their home race. Vettel becomes the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history.

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Timo Glock set the fastest time in an hour of difficult conditions, which saw parts of the track underwater. The real front-runners left it too late to set notable times, so Glock and Toyota were on P1 for most of the session, a time of 1:35.464, a full 0.6 seconds faster than Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel, and Nico Rosberg was a further 0.2 seconds behind for Williams.

Jarno Trulli made a good session better for Toyota in fourth, whilst their challengers for fourth place, Renault, managed only 9th and 14th. BMW sat in 6th and 12th, Nick Heidfeld 0.6 seconds faster than Robert Kubica. Force India took 10th and 11th and David Coulthard, in seventh,  was 0.6 seconds faster than his teammate, Mark Webber.

Qualifying is next, and if the weather stays as it is, it could be very eventful.

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Conditions dried after FP1 and normality returned to the time sheets as Kimi Raikkonen finished on top for Ferrari. His time of 1:23.861 forced BMW to settle for second and third with just one tenth of a second difference. Robert Kubica ahead of Nick Heidfeld with a gap of 0.01 seconds. Lewis Hamilton was right behind the BMWs, by only 0.04 seconds, in fourth, with Nico Rosberg’s Williams a further 0.2 seconds away.

The sister Ferraris and McLarens wounded up in sixth and seventh. Mark Webber, who failed to set a time in the morning practice, was eighth, but only 0.1 seconds ahead of the morning pace-setter, Adrian Sutil. Force India had more reason to be happy as Giancarlo Fisichella managed 13th place. Toro Rosso completed the session in 10th and 12th and Honda’s improved pace continued in 14th and 15th. The spots at the back were taken, surprisingly, by both Toyota and Renault.

Friday has thrown up some interesting results. Will they continue as action resumes for Free Practice Three tomorrow?

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Adrian Sutil and Force India finished the first 90 minute practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets as the pit garages flooded in torrential rain. The German set a time of 1:32.842, 0.6 seconds faster than Honda’s Rubens Barrichello.

Giancarlo Fishichella continued Force India’s bravery at the water-soaked Monza, finishing third. Timo Glock was 0.2 seconds behind in fourth for Toyota, with Nico Rosberg a further 0.1 seconds slower in fifth. Fernando Alonso took sixth, ahead of the Toro Rossos and Jenson Button finished ahead of last-placed Felipe Massa, with six cars not setting a time including both McLarens and BMWs. Kazuki Nakajima had the most notable visit off-track with Adrian Sutil, Nelson Piquet Jr and Sebastian Vettel some of the names joining him. The session was red-flagged for the last four minutes due to the weather conditions.

Few conclusions can be drawn from Free Practice One, but will the second practice session answer some questions?

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Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time on the third and last day of testing at Monza. His best lap, a 1:22.967 for McLaren, was 0.4 seconds faster than Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Despite McLaren and Ferrari being on top, today proved to be the most surprising of the test. Force India took the third spot, thanks to Giancarlo Fisichella, with a 1:23.632. They were followed by Williams and Kazuki Nakajima, only 0.002s behind the Italian.

Robert Kubica disappointed after BMW’s top spot yesterday. He could only manage 1:24.089, finishing tenth after going off the track in the morning. Once again, Honda occupied last place. Jenson Button was 0.3 seconds behind the Pole, continuing Honda’s bad form in testing. The Renault powered cars scrapped for fifth with Red Bull coming out on top today, whilst Sebastian Bourdais climbed to seventh after yesterdays tenth.

No doubt the Italian fans were pleased to see Fisichella doing so well. Not so pleased to see Ferrari come second. The teams will return to Monza for Friday practice on September 12th.

Results

1. Lewis Hamilton  McLaren  1:22.967s  97 Laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari  1:23.371s  79 Laps
3. Giancarlo Fisichella  Force India  1:23.632s  114 Laps
4. Kazuki Nakajima  Williams  1:23.634s  99 Laps
5. David Coulthard  Red Bull Racing  1:23.737s  120 Laps
6. Fernando Alonso  Renault  1:23.820s  80 Laps
7. Sebastien Bourdais  Scuderia Toro Rosso  1:23.865s  77 Laps
8. Timo Glock  Toyota  1:23.897s  79 Laps
9. Robert Kubica  BMW  1:24.089s  57 Laps
10. Jenson Button  Honda  1:24.321s  96 Laps

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Nick Heidfeld has topped the time sheets on day two of testing at Monza. Recently Heidfeld has been struggling in timed sessions but today he completed 89 laps to set the fastest time of 1:22.621. Fellow German, Nico Rosberg finished in second for Williams, 0.2 seconds behind the BMW. 

McLaren and Ferrari failed to make it into the 1:22s, finishing 3rd and 5th. They were split by Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel who set a time of 1:23.424, ahead of yesterdays pace setter, Felipe Massa.  His teammate at STR, Sebastain Bourdais, could not match his pace and finished in 10th, almost a second off Vettel’s best lap. He did go faster than Honda though. Both Honda drivers struggled with there cars seeing Barrichello 0.3 seconds behind the French drivers time and Button the only man into the 1:25s.

Fernando Alonso was out for Renault, placing the car fifth. The other Renault powered car, in the hands of Mark Webber, ended up in seventh. Red Bull had been beaten by Force India who continued there good form with a 1:23.823 set by Adrain Sutil.

All the German drivers punched above their weight today and times spread out from Wednesday. Testing concludes in Monza tomorrow.

Results

1. Nick Heidfeld  BMW  1:22.621s  89 Laps
2. Nico Rosberg  Williams  1:22.879s  100 Laps
3. Heikki Kovalainen  McLaren  1:23.341s  92 Laps
4. Sebastian Vettel  Scuderia Toro Rosso  1:23.424s  47 Laps
5. Felipe Massa  Ferrari  1:23.445s  86 Laps
6. Fernando Alonso  Renault  1:23.606s  95 Laps
7. Adrian Sutil  Force India  1:23.823s  92 Laps
8. Mark Webber  Red Bull Racing  1:23.936s  101 Laps
9. Jarno Trulli  Toyota  1:24.158s  77 Laps
10. Sebastien Bourdais  Scuderia Toro Rosso  1:24.311s  44 Laps
11. Rubens Barrichello  Honda  1:24.695s  51 Laps
12. Jenson Button  Honda  1:25.058s  42 Laps

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