With McLaren locking out the front row of the grid in Monza, will the 2012 Italian Grand Prix see the Woking team dominate?
Spa saw Jenson Button drive brilliantly for a lights to flag win, and here at Monza Button is riding shotgun for Hamilton’s pole as the 2012 Italian Grand Prix looks set to see the resurgence of McLaren continue.
This time it was Lewis Hamilton who dominated from the lights – only briefly losing the lead during a pit stop – after a clean start saw him put clear air between the McLaren and a fired-up Massa who managed to wedge his Ferrari between Hamilton and Button before the first corner.
But behind Hamilton’s dominance there was plenty of excitement, overtaking and attrition, with Button retiring after retaking Massa for what seemed like a secure second place and Vettel having to switch off his engine and coast to the side as his Red Bull turned up is toes. The second Red Bull of Mark Webber also retired after Webber badly flat-spotted his tyres with an off in the closing laps.
Star of the show – apart from Hamilton – was Sergio Perez in the Sauber who drove a stunning race on just two sets of tyres to scythe through the field in the closing laps to move from 12th on the grid to second place.
Almost as impressive was Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari – who lost out in P3 yesterday after a rear roll bar problem put him tenth on the grid – who drove an impressive race to finish third and keep a solid lead in the driver’s championship.
On the way he encountered Vettel with a replay of last year’s overtake by Vettel on Alonso at Curva Grande, but this time in reverse. Alonso went on to the grass as Vettel pushed him wide and, unlike last year when Alonso escaped punishment, Vettel got a drive through penalty for not leaving Alonso more room.
Behind Hamilton, Perez and Alonso, Massa put in a fine performance for fourth, with Raikkonen just about making his ragged tyres hand on long enough to shade Schumacher in to sixth. Nico Rosberg put the second Mercedes in to seventh place, Paul di Resta nursed his Force India in for eighth ahead of the Sauber of Kobayashi in ninth and the Williams of Bruno Senna taking the final points place.
The race in Monza leaves Alonso at the top of the drivers’ championship on 179 points with Hamilton on 142 and Raikkonen on 141. Red Bull still lead the manufacturers championship of 272 points with McLaren on 243 and Ferrari on 226.
Still plenty to play for.
Italian GRAND PRIX 2012 RESULTS
- Hamilton | McLaren
- Perez | Sauber
- Alonso | Ferrari
- Massa | Ferrari
- Raikkonen | Lotus
- Schumacher | Mercedes
- Rosberg | Mercedes
- di Resta | Force India
- Kobayashi | Sauber
- Senna | Williams