Lewis Hamilton takes dominant Italian GP victory
Lewis Hamilton has completed a dominant weekend at Monza by taking his third victory of the season in the Italian Grand Prix.
The pole-sitter held off a fast-starting Felipe Massa at the first corner and was only briefly headed during the pitstop cycle thereafter.
A fuel pressure problem for Jenson Button soured McLaren’s day however, with the 2009 World Champion forced to pull off the circuit while running second 20 laps from home.
Hamilton eventually took the chequered flag 4.4s ahead of a charging Sergio Perez. Having started from 12th on the grid, the Mexican completed a long first stint on the hard compound tyres before charging home on the softs.
Fernando Alonso and Massa secured third and fourth respectively for Ferrari after both being passed by Perez within the final 10 laps.
The results see Alonso, who started 10th after suffering a mechanical issue in qualifying, extend his championship lead to 37 points over the now second-placed Hamilton.
It was a disastrous afternoon for Constructors’ Championship leaders Red Bull as the team failed to score a single point for the first time in 34 races.
Sebastian Vettel ran sixth with just a handful of laps remaining – despite having served a drive-through for forcing Alonso off the road at Curva Grande following the pitstops – but was forced out with an engine problem.
Mark Webber meanwhile looked set to score seventh before a spin exiting Ascari in the waning laps saw the Australian tour into the garage with heavily flat-spotted tyres. Webber had spent most of the afternoon recovering from a poor start that saw him lose three spots from an already lowly 11th place starting position.
Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile mirrored the one-stop strategies of the top four to finish fifth, moving himself to third in the World Championship standings in the process.
Completing the race’s top eight were the two-stopping Mercedes entries of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, both of which progressed up the order in the closing stages while on newer rubber than their rivals.
Kamui Kobayashi and Bruno Senna rounded out the points scorers, with the latter joining 11th place finisher Pastor Maldonoado in taking a limping Daniel Ricciardo on the final lap. The West Australian held ninth exiting the final corner only to find a sudden loss of fuel pressure.
Ricciardo’s team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne had an early shower after enduring a wild failure-induced spin at Turn 1 on just the ninth lap. The Frenchman reported experiencing a sore back after the incident which saw the Toro Rosso momentarily take flight as it spun across the chicane’s kerbing.
Nico Hulkenberg’s race also ended in disappointment as a mechanical problem forced the German into the garage with just three laps remaining.
The 2012 Formula 1 World Championship continues in two weeks time with the Singapore Grand Prix.
See below for the full race result
|2||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||53||+4.3 secs||12|
|3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||53||+20.5 secs||10|
|4||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||53||+29.6 secs||3|
|5||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||53||+30.8 secs||7|
|6||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||53||+31.2 secs||4|
|7||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||53||+33.5 secs||6|
|8||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||53||+41.0 secs||9|
|9||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||53||+43.8 secs||8|
|10||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||53||+48.1 secs||13|
|11||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||53||+48.6 secs||22|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||53||+50.3 secs||14|
|13||Jerome D’Ambrosio||Lotus-Renault||53||+75.8 secs||15|
|14||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||52||+1 Lap||17|
|15||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||52||+1 Lap||18|
|16||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||52||+1 Lap||20|
|17||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||52||+1 Lap||19|
|18||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||52||+1 Lap||23|
|19||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||52||+1 Lap||21|
|20||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||51||+2 Laps||11|
|21||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||50||+3 Laps||24|
|22||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||47||+6 Laps||5|
|Ret||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||32||+21 Laps||2|
|Ret||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||8||+45 Laps||16|
See below for the updated points standings
|13||Paul di Resta||32|
|24||Pedro de la Rosa||0|