Today’s Italian Grand Prix had some great performances from quite a few drivers. So who do you think stood out?
Took pole with a storming lap on Saturday. Lost the start to Button, but put him under intense pressure and made the difference on the two laps after Button’s earlier pit stop. He was under a lot of pressure this weekend, carrying Ferrari’s hopes in their home Grand Prix. They needed their leader to win and give them confidence for the final rounds. He delivered.
Took a tactical decision to run with more downforce than his team mate or his rivals in qualifying and surprised himself with 2nd on the grid. Got a perfect start and was robust in defending his line into Turn 1. Soaked up Alonso’s pressure and lost the race when the team called him in before Alonso. He couldn’t get his tyres working on the out lap and Alonso nailed him. Magnanimous in defeat.
Started third, finished third. Had a major go at Alonso at the start, but had to yield. Was correct in defending from Hamilton, but the incident ended with the McLaren retiring. Had a bit of a go at undercutting the two cars in front by staying out longer but it didn’t work.
Poor qualifying, but a great recovery drive in the race, to salvage 4th place from a 6th place grid slot. Vettel gambled on staying out to the bitter end, getting 52 laps out of a set of soft tyres. It took him past Rosberg into fourth place.
Great start from 7th on the grid to 4th on opening lap. Didn’t have the pace to live with the top three and lost P4 to Vettel right at the end, but managed to stay ahead of Kubica and Webber.
Another poor start from the Red Bull, dropping him from 4th to 9th. But what a fight back! Great passes on Schumacher, Vettel and Hulkenberg were some of the best highlights of the race. Although he finished two places lower than where he started, the 8 points from today will come in very handy. Still his championship to lose, in my view.
Another very strong weekend from the young German. Since the season moved on to tracks he knows he’s had the edge on Barrichello. He ouqualified him on two of Rubens’ strongest tracks – Valencia and Monza. Today he raced very hard, but fair in the eyes of the stewards and took a Williams to seventh place. Can he keep the momentum going on tracks he doesn’t know like Singapore and Suzuka?
All photos: Darren Heath