The Italian Grand Prix always come equipped with speed and a phalanx of passionate Italian Ferrari fans and that adds a lot of pressure to the team but this year, the pressure was punctuated by a rather scathing assessment of the season so far by CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Regardless of the pressure, Ferrari did manage a decent result but strategy, once again, left them shy of s double podium finish. Sebastian Vettel finished third behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton respectively with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen claiming fourth.
While headlines said that Hamilton “humiliated” Rosberg in qualifying by besting his teammate by nearly three tenths, one presumes then that Rosberg has just humiliated Hamilton pummeling him at the start, taking the lead and calling it hammer time to take the victory. Rosberg took the lead of the race at the start and never looked back putting in a masterful demonstration of just how comprehensively dominant those Mercedes cars are and how to recover your lost points lead to just down to two.
Rosberg’s 21st career win was a technical display of driving but a good strategy and measured recovery drive from Lewis Hamilton ensured he minimized his points damage and kept both Ferrari’s behind him so while it wasn’t a win, it was a recovery that needed to happen and Lewis delivered.
A big win for Nico Rosberg who managed to shave the points lead down to just nine in Belgium and again in Italy to just two. Also, what a cunning win for Nico to take a booing crowd and completely one-up Lewis and Sebastian by speaking to the Italian crowd and getting them amped up and thawing the icy reception they gave him.
A win for Daniel Ricciardo who managed to put a nice pass on the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and secure 5th place in a car that seemingly shouldn’t have done as well as Daniel made it do.
I think it has to be a win for Williams getting both cars in the top 10 and moving them back ahead of Force India in the constructor’ battle.
A win for the Italian fans (Tifosi) who turned out in droves and for Monza with a reported deal to secure the race for the next three years.
After a terrific qualifying lap, Lewis Hamilton’s start was a fail and at a track like Monza, you can’t make those mistakes and hope to win. The speed is too great, race too short and challenge too big without help, weather or attrition—especially when your teammate is in an equally dominant car.
A fail for Manor who mechanically robbed Pascal Werhlein of a terrific race result as he was running near the top 10 all day.
One could argue it was a fail for Ferrari but if I’m honest, I’m not sure they had the pace on the initial super-soft run to really make their strategy work so I can’t fault them for missing the “opportunity” of getting both cars on the podium as I am not convinced it was quite the “opportunity” the broadcasters claimed it to be.
I do think a fail for Haas F1 with strategy and driving. Strategy on Romain Grosjean’s part and driving for Esteban Gutierrez.
A WTH for Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and his move on Renault’s Jolyon Palmer ending both their races.
Also, a WTH for Fernando Alonso…was he laughing at his team when they radioed him about strategy? Ron won’t like that…he won’t like that at all. Maybe there’s a deeper reason they’re keeping Jenson around in 2017 after all.
Italian GP results:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||45.295s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||54.236s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m04.954s|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.656s|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|13||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|16||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||1 Lap|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||2 Laps|
|–||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||Retirement|