Thanks to Fernando Alonso, we\'ve picked up two Italian words that could sum up how we feel about ourselves after noting the results of our Italian GP predictions. During qualifying, it emerged he\'d radioed his team in a huff because their slipstreaming tactic hadn\'t gone according to plan. Initial reports claimed he\'d called his team scemi or idiots. He later clarified he\'d actually said geni--or geniuses--but the delivery was sarcastic so that doesn\'t make it a lot better.
Of course, such outbursts are not uncommon in the heat of the cockpit. We could\'ve actually done with learning a few more colorful words from Fernando. At least he ended the weekend with a nice bag of points. The same can\'t be said for us.
1. The front row will be occupied by Mercedes and Ferrari. Fernando\'s gripe was that right before a hot-lap attempt, his wingman Felipe Massa appeared to give him the slip instead of a slipstream. At the end of the hour-long Saturday session, the best Ferrari could manage was P4 and P5--with the number-two driver ahead of the ace! Let\'s wait and see how that affects Massa\'s future with the team.
Neither Lewis Hamilton nor Nico Rosberg could salvage us a half-point; Lewis came upon traffic in the form of Adrian Sutil on his final Q2 lap, and was thus knocked out at that stage along with the two Lotuses. So for the first time since the Australian GP at the beginning of the season, Red Bull locked out the front row.
2. For some Monza mayhem, there will be rain and a first-corner melee. The weather continued to be such a tease, the rain coming and going and coming and going on the buildup to race start, but staying away for the entire grand prix\'s duration. Had the track been too wet to necessitate a start on inters, we could\'ve scored something here. Alas, the conditions were good enough for slicks.
As for the carnage we were looking for at the first corner, there were only a couple of incidents that weren\'t really anything dramatic or pivotal. Kimi Raikkonen had a tangle with Sergio Perez and needed to pit for a new front wing, while Paul di Resta experienced a major lockup that launched his Force India into the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Here\'s the awesome thermal-cam footage of the crash.
3. Ferrari Driver Academy graduates Sergio Perez and Jules Bianchi will get good results. No. Just no. McLaren took away just a single point, and it was Jenson Button who scored it, not Perez. Oh, well. If you\'re a McLaren fan, we hope you at least enjoyed the latest episode of Tooned.
In Bianchi\'s case, his best chance to leapfrog the Caterhams was to keep out of trouble and hope for the green cars to develop issues, but it wasn\'t to be.
4. Toro Rosso in the points, Sauber out of it. Upcoming Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo puts us on the board with half a mark by starting P7 and ending P7. He\'s looking to be a rather dependable chap, isn\'t he? We\'ll keep an eye on him next year.
The biggest surprise of the weekend, however, was Nico Hulkenberg\'s P3 on Saturday. It seems his Sauber isn\'t such a supermarket trolley these days, but the Ferrari hopeful\'s driving certainly made a world of difference. It\'s safe to assume his P5-clinching performance was noted by no less than Luca di Montezemolo, who enjoyed the proceedings from the Monza trackside. That the Hulk finished less than a second behind Massa and resisted so many overtaking attempts from Nico Rosberg add greater shine to his accomplishment.
5. Of the top three drivers going into this race, one will win and one will fail to score. Count on Lewis Hamilton to deprive us of a half-point and to do it in spectacular fashion. He was absolutely blitzing in the last few laps, dispatching of Kimi Raikkonen and the two McLarens before running out of time to get past Grosjean. It provided us with some excitement after the usual frontline domination--something that Hamilton believes is a foregone conclusion for the rest of the season, so he doesn\'t really fancy his chances at the title anymore.
It was a third win at Monza for current championship leader Sebastian Vettel, although his reception at the podium continues to be hostile. Several reasons are thrown around for the regular booing he receives from viewers: the partiality of most F1 fans to Ferrari (an understatement at this venue); the general boredom with a repeat winner; or the big blot to his reputation from Multi 21. Whether or not he tries to win back their favor remains to be seen--for now, he seems content to just win races.
See you in two weeks for the Singapore GP.
Total score: 1 out of 5 (to quote Alonso on the team radio: \"Mamma mia, ragazzi!\")
Photos from Infiniti Red Bull Racing
|ITA||Starting Grid||Race Results|
|Pos||Driver (Team)||Quali (Start Tire)||Driver (Team)||Time/Gap|
|1||S. Vettel (Red Bull)||1:23.755 (M)||S. Vettel (Red Bull)||1hr 18:33.352|
|2||M. Webber (Red Bull)||1:23.968, +0.213 (M)||F. Alonso (Ferrari)||+5.467|
|3||N. Hulkenberg (Sauber)||1:24.065, +0.310 (M)||M. Webber (Red Bull)||+6.350|
|4||F. Massa (Ferrari)||1:24.132, +0.377 (M)||F. Massa (Ferrari)||+9.361|
|5||F. Alonso (Ferrari)||1:24.142, +0.387 (M)||N. Hulkenberg (Sauber)||+10.355|
|6||N. Rosberg (Mercedes)||1:24.192, +0.437 (M)||N. Rosberg (Mercedes)||+10.999|
|7||D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)||1:24.209, +0.454 (M)||D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)||+32.329|
|8||S. Perez (McLaren)||1:24.502, +0.747 (M)||R. Grosjean (Lotus)||+33.130|
|9||J. Button (McLaren)||1:24.515, +0.760 (M)||L. Hamilton (Mercedes)||+33.527|
|10||J. Vergne (Toro Rosso)||1:28.050, +4.295 (M)||J. Button (McLaren)||+38.327|
|11||K. Raikkonen (Lotus)||1:24.610, +0.855 (H)||K. Raikkonen (Lotus)||+38.695|
|12||L. Hamilton (Mercedes)||1:24.803, +1.048 (H)||S. Perez (McLaren)||+39.765|
|13||R. Grosjean (Lotus)||1:24.848, +1.093 (M)||E. Gutierrez (Sauber)||+40.880|
|14||P. Maldonado (Williams)||1:25.011, +1.256 (M)||P. Maldonado (Williams)||+49.085|
|15||P. di Resta (Force India)||1:25.077, +1.322 (M)||V. Bottas (Williams)||+56.827|
|16||E. Gutierrez (Sauber)||1:25.226, +1.471 (H)||A. Sutil (Force India)||+1 lap|
|17||A. Sutil (Force India)||1:24.932, +1.177 (M)||C. Pic (Caterham)||+1 lap|
|18||V. Bottas (Williams)||1:25.291, +1.536 (M)||G. van der Garde (Caterham)||+1 lap|
|19||G. van der Garde (Caterham)||1:26.406, +2.651 (M)||J. Bianchi (Marussia)||+1 lap|
|20||C. Pic (Caterham)||1:26.563, +2.808 (M)||M. Chilton (Marussia)||+1 lap|
|21||J. Bianchi (Marussia)||1:27.085, +3.330 (M)||J. Vergne (Toro Rosso)||retired|
|22||M. Chilton (Marussia)||1:27.480, +3.725 (M)||P. di Resta (Force India)||retired|
Notes: H—hard compound; M—medium compound. Listed qualifying laps 16 and 18-22 set in Q1; 11-15 and 17 in Q2; and 1-10 in Q3. A. Sutil originally qualified P14 but was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding another driver
|1||S. Vettel||222||Red Bull||352|
|6||N. Rosberg||104||Force India||61|
|7||F. Massa||79||Toro Rosso||31|
|10||P. di Resta||36||Marussia||0|
|21||G. van der Garde||0|