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Italian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Sep 2010   |  5:54 pm GMT  |  148 comments

Today’s Italian Grand Prix had some great performances from quite a few drivers. So who do you think stood out?


Fernando Alonso
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.

Jenson Button
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.

Felipe Massa
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.


Sebastian Vettel
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.

Nico Rosberg
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.

Mark 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.

Nico Hulkenberg
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


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148 Comments
  1. diane says:

    Nico Hulkenberg? he was horrible! still don’t understand why he didn’t get a drive-thru… he was driving all over around.

    1. Brent McMaster says:

      Couldn’t agree more, without the Hulkenburg short cut he would have finished behind Kubica.

    2. BMG says:

      I agree, the first time he took the short cut , he got .41 second advantage, the 2nd time Webber was close enough to try to over take him and also the 3rd.It should have been viewed by the stewards as gaining a place. What if Webber followed him and then gained a place. He would have got a drive thru penalty.

      1. Iain M says:

        I do not understand either, Why didn’t Nico get a drive through?

    3. jb says:

      james love reading your stuff – could you look into 2 things

      hulkenburg not recieving a penalty & how did MS get past webber on lap 1? much appreciated ..

    4. RickeeBoy says:

      My driver of the day was Eddie Jordan !!! his skill and tremendous effort was amazing to watch as he mastered that 50cc Scooter – Plus considering the weight of 60 million viewers on the Beeb it was obvious he must have been caking his pants !!! His control and blending in of the throttle was heaven, it just reminded me of one of Valentino’s full blooded power slides as Eddie skilfully man handled the puse yellow thrashing monster in his polka dot overalls !!!.

      It was sheer joy – He was THE Driver of the Day ! How come you all missed it !!

  2. Mojo66 says:

    Although I voted for the Hulk, this race saw actually three drivers of the day for me. I voted for Hülkenberg, because I think this was the race where he had proven to be ahead of Rubens. In both the A1-Series and GP2, Nico had a relatively slow start, but grew stronger and stronger after every race until he dominated. He is a real racer and had a lucky day today for not getting punished for his off-track driving.

    Also a big drive by Sebastian, driving all but one lap with the options on such a high pace certainly required a huge amount of driving skill.

    And last but not least Jenson, who withstood an enormous amount of pressure during the first half of the race. In contrast to my prediction from yesterday, he skilfully kept Alonso behind him. Fortunately the speed difference wasn’t nearly the 15 km/h that JA reported yesterday, but only a mere 4km/h, so he hit the nail on the head with his setup. The pit crew called him in at exaclty half distance, which IMHO was a big mistake. Jenson is known for being very gentle on his tires (and this is, btw, not the only thing that he has in common with my personal best driver ever, Alain Prost) He certainly would have knocked out much more competitive times on the options later in the race. If Seb could do that, Jenson certainly would have been able, too.

  3. AmandaG says:

    Cant chose between Alonso, Button and Vettel.

    1. BMG says:

      Agree, Vettel drove a very mature race. He will learn alot from that.

  4. Jason C says:

    Button just shades it for me over Alonso: taking the lead at the start and driving almost mistake-free for that length of time under that much pressure was good to watch. The whole top 4 deserve it, really.

    No way should Hulkenberg be a nominee though, not after him retaining his position by cutting the chicane. Although he did it several times, I think only one of those looked clear-cut enough to deserve a penalty, and as another commenter mentioned, at other tracks the drivers have been told that cutting 3 times – regardless of keeping / gaining a place – means a penalty. A “slam dunk” as Martin said, and yet no action was taken. I think Webber has a right to be aggrieved, and come the big tally-up, may be even more so.

  5. Aey says:

    There is no driver of the day for Monza

    Everyone just drive the way it should be, nothing extra

    Button didn’t do anything wrong, Alonso didn’t do anything so special too, just good timing with the pace of the car and the pit

    1. Nando says:

      Agree with this. Nothing happened at the front and never looked like happening not nearly enough of the back-field action was shown given what was happening at the front, Alonso was just staying close to Button without pressuring him. Race decided on a 0.8s second quicker pit-stop,

      1. Brent McMaster says:

        Button has stated he felt extreme pressure.

  6. Andy C says:

    For me it was nearly Alonso for winning (rather than whining :-) under the pressure of winning Monza for the tiffosi.

    But for me, I though Jenson did a great job today, and but for a marginal bad decision on the timing of the stop and the time it took to get the tires up to temp and working well, I thought he’d have won today.

    Really brave decision putting that much wing on at Monza. It looked ridiculous, and is confirmation of just how well that F Flap must work.

    Unless the guy in the warehouse cant read very well and thought it said 1 x Monaco rear wing :-)

  7. Nando says:

    Rosberg. The only driver who, legally, performed above expectations. Slightly ironic given the race-smarts comments from Button pre-race that he seemed to go with the teams decision to pit instead of over-ruling them.

    1. Kenny Carwash says:

      Not really a fair comment: under normal conditions it’s the team that have access to simulations and real time data that are used to determine pit strategy. The driver may give input regards tyres and setup, but it’s the team that are in the informed position and the driver has to trust that.

      In wet and changeable conditions, things are different as only the driver can judge the track conditions, so it becomes more his decision than the team’s. It would be very unusual for a driver to call his own pitstop in dry running.

    2. peter says:

      It’s not a driver’s job to overrule a team call for a pitstop.The team has all the sophisticated computer & timing equipment, plus telemetry from the car, on which they base their decision. Sometimes the decision is less than perfect, but how could a driver overrule the teams knowledge when he can’t have a complete overview of the race?
      You try making complicated strategy calls at over 200mph.

  8. Dave Roberts says:

    I suppose the record books will show Alonso as the driver of the day as he won with a faultless display apart from being taken at the first corner. However, Jenson did not put a foot wrong either and I thought he did as good a job as could be expected with a slower car than the Ferrari.

    My disappointment at seeing Jenson coming second soon dissipated when I saw the reaction of the crowd at the end of the race. I thought it was a brilliant spectacle to see such an excited and passionate display from the Italian fans.

    I think it was Martin Brundle who said after the race that there were several winners today and I agree, not least of which the sport itself. I also think Martin Whitmarsh was spot on when he said this is becoming the best championship ever.

  9. Galapago555 says:

    Hard to decide between Jenson and Fernando. Both drove fantastic races. Button succeeded with his impressive start. But I loved Fernando’s ability to put all the pressure on Jenson, and his cold blood waiting for his moment to attack.

    Considering who won the race, and especially where the race took place, my vote will go for Fernando.

    1. peter says:

      Well Galapago555, that’s a huge surprise! ! !

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Believe me, peter, your fine sarcasm is really appreciated. At least I hope you concede that the “Driver of the Day” award should be between Jenson and Fernando.

        Or maybe you expected me to vote for Lewis? ;-)

      2. peter says:

        No, I don’t expect anybody in Spain to vote for Lewis. Say no more.

        But I am pleased that Fernando won in front of a Ferrari home crowd. What fans, what a spectacle!

  10. mtb says:

    Alonso’s. Especially after all that has been said in recent days.

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      Alonso needs outside help for him to be able to move up the leader board either through team orders or relying on pit stop strategy. How about trying to over take for once? That’s why Jenson gets my vote. A strong heroic drive fending off Alonso.

      1. mtb says:

        It was a cerebral drive from Alonso. He dropped back early on to preserve his car, and stepped on the gas as the stops approached.

      2. Damian Johnson says:

        Alonso was very lucky after hitting Jenson’s rear diffuser and in so doing could easily have destroyed his front wing and his race. For that reason it was not a perfect drive by Alonso unlike Button who was faultless in his drive.

      3. Sumanth says:

        Are you one of those journalists from PF1?

  11. Stephen F says:

    Jenson Button in my opinion, he held off Alonso’s Ferrari for the first half of the race and in my opinion would have won had he pitted after the Ferrari. Speaking of Ferrari and Alonso I personally don’t think they deserve to be challenging this season after the blatant team orders farce earlier in the season so I find it hard to give driver or team any credit for the remainder of this season.

    1. brendan says:

      u cant really be supporting red bull(wing change)

      mclaren- oh my god they are racing tell them that they are gonna run out of fuel.

      so who do u want to win the title Rosberg?

      1. Stephen F says:

        I’m a Jenson Button fan not really a McLaren fan.

        I’ve also been highly critical about Red Bull, more than any other team this season over their blatant cheating involving their front wing. My point about Alonso and Ferrari is that they technically fixed a race earlier in the season to get one of their drivers back in the championship, robbing Massa of a deserved win. I don’t know how anyone can throw their support behind a team who blatantly broke the rules this season and got nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

      2. brendan says:

        lewis/ heikki same corner 08. lewis wins title by a point. mclaren did even get a slap on a wrist they got a title.

        people have jumped on simply because its ferrari. bit sad really.

        it was done badly by ferrari yes. but is it done often? You bet, mclaren are worse than anyone historically, basically cos they claim not to do it, when they clearly clearly do. anyone who thinks otherwise is not watching the same sport. sorry mate its not nice but thats how it is

      3. Stephen F says:

        Like I said, I’m not a McLaren fan and I’ve been critical of McLaren when they’ve deserved it.

        I don’t think anyone has jumped on the bandwagon just because it’s Ferrari. I think it’s because everyone watching that race knew what was going to happen and knew it would go virtually unpunished.

        Finally you’re bringing up things that have happened in the past with other teams, I’m talking about the current season. For the 2011 season, Ferrari will start with a clean slate in my eyes but for this season I won’t be saying many good words about them.

    2. Augusto Baena says:

      Agree.

      To be consistent, though, I suggest to also remove Hamilton’s 2008 DWC, as Kovalainen also agreed to move over to let him pass after suggestion from his team. Let’s also remove Kimi’s 2007 DWC after Massa agreed to help him in Brazil.

      What is more fair, to ask a driver to move over, but being it the driver’s ultimate decision, or to orchetrate it through pit stops so that the driver can’t do anything to avoid it? ‘Cause if fabricating the pitstops is not fair for the drivers, then we would need to remove Jenson’s DWC 2009, as he was awarded races that belonged to Barrichello thorugh “weird” pistop strategies (by Ross Brawn, the master of it all).

      I would also like to hear all team communications whenever two team mates are “in conflict” (meaning the one leading the DWC just behind his team mate, and driving faster), not just the chosen few by I don’t know how.

      Regards

      1. Stephen F says:

        Some valid points there, however is it really the drivers decision when he is “asked” to let his teammate past? I think it’s more of a case of if you want a seat on this team next season let him past in not so many words. Also both Ferrari drivers were told to turn their engines down then Alonso was allowed to turn his up again, no wonder he was faster than Massa, they tried to be sneaky about it and made a complete mess of the situation.

      2. Augusto Baena says:

        Nevertheless, the rule is unworkable. Do we know why did Kovalainen move over to allow Lewis through? Impossible to know. Formula 1 is the only sports in which training is forbidden and team mates are not allowed to help each other…

        I would ban radio communications and all the real-time telemetry between cars and pit. Let them make decisions by themselves! More complex strategic calls and, therefore, more mistakes. More mismanagement of engine, fuel, tempreature, tyre wear, etc, is more surprises. It would avoid many team orders as a side benefit.

    3. Sumanth says:

      I think you are being a bit naive or you are a complete anti-ferrari/alonso fan.

      Team orders are rampant up and down the paddock. Ferraris execution of it was wanting in some subtlety, but it does not make it a worse crime than Mclaren telling Jenson he needs to Save fuel… or telling Lewis that button wont overtake.

      Wake up and smell the coffee my friend. :-)

      1. Stephen F says:

        Just how am I being naive mate? If you read all my replies to the people who commented on my initial point I don’t think you’ll find any evidence supporting that accusation, nor will you find any anti-Alonso/Ferrari sentiments other than for the one plain and simple fact I’ve given, Ferrari blatantly broke a clear rule without any doubt about it, no team orders.

        For the incident you’ve brought up (Turkey after Vettel and Webber collided?) I remember Button overtaking Hamilton and racing before Button was told to save fuel, however that was to ensure a McLaren 1-2 and after the Red Bull incident it was a pretty valid reason to say to both drivers, look we want first and second. Ferrari on the other hand could have said look Fernando, Felipe has this won, bring us home a safe 1-2 instead of telling Alonso to turn up his engine and Massa to slow down and let him past.

        Do you see the difference between these two situations?

        What McLaren did was no different to telling one of their drivers (to give a hypothetical scenario) don’t challenge Kubica for 3rd place with 10 laps to go and risk everything, take the 4th place points.

        Team orders are obviously rife in F1, however Ferrari brought the sport into disrepute by firstly the way they handled the situation and secondly they corrupted the race result as it stood. No better than fixing a football match by telling your goalkeeper to let in a goal on purpose.

      2. Sumanth says:

        Their only crime IMO is the way they handled it. Agreed, it was done in a slipshod manner and they were deservedly fined for it.

        But when u say that they shouldnt be allowed to compete and to say they brought the sport into disrepute is a bit harsh, mainly because as mentioned earlier, everyone else is doing it.. its just disguised better.

        As for the McLaren duo, there is one point that everyone else is seeming to miss. The reason that they cant “seem” to be favouring either one driver is cause of the points diff. As compared to the diff between the Ferrari pair. There is a good chance that either driver from McLaren can win the WDC, however you can hardly say that about Ferrari. Massa has been sleeping for most part of the season and has cost alonso points on 2 previous occasions only because nobody wanted a RB style accident ruining the teams chances. I think it was the right call taken by Ferrari.
        Besides this, the team orders rule is BS cause any team should be able to decide how they want their victories. If they were in anyway hampering another teams chances, or dropping victories just to favour another team ( a certain slowing down of Timo Glock on the last lap comes to mind)… then you can argue that it is tampering with the results. Because as of now, its FERRARI the team that needs the points… its a 1,2… how they get it should be decided by the team.. not by “the fans”…
        I dont see ppl complaining cause messi passed the ball to iniesta to score a goal. Its a team sport.. as is F1. Problem is, people dont realise it, since the WDC is given more prominence than the WCC.

      3. Stephen F says:

        I fully understand whst you’re saying, however, telling a driver to maintain his position, 2nd in Jenson Button’s case to avoid a needless racing incident and telling your driver leading the race to slow down and let your 2nd placed more favoured teammate take the win is two completely different things.

        Yes, the no team orders rule is BS as you put it, I agree, however it IS a rule whether we like it or not, Scuderia Ferrari were well aware of this as was every driver, team member and F1 fan since the rule was written and Ferrari took it upon themselves to blatantly break this rule and even lie about it in post race interviews, further insulting everyone’s intelligence.

        F1 is a team sport to the teams, Felipe Massa’s face on the podium said it all as did Rubens Barrichello’s years ago when he was told to let Schumacher take the win on the home straight. F1 ‘teammates’ are, when all is said and done, rivals, in fact your biggest rival as an F1 driver is your ‘teammate’ and that’s a fact.

        But like I said, the 2011 season Ferrari will start with a clean slate with me, but definitely not for the remainder of this season.

  12. grant says:

    Alonso. He rocked up. He and the pit team did the job and won. In front of the fans at Monza.
    End of!
    But… Jenson was heroic.
    We enjoyed two world champions really at it.
    It was a day of days for Alonso and Button.
    And the Championsip goes closer to the wire.

  13. wn says:

    The tarmac run-offs are just ridiculous – drivers can make mistakes without any penalty or even taking advantage – especially when defending positions. Of course in some places it makes sense however at Monza in the chicanes it’s completely silly…

    Hulk should have been penalised.

    1. Bevan says:

      100% agree with you,they really should put some concrete blocks or tyre puncturing spikes on the outside of turn 1,its the only way to keep them honest when race control fails to act on what normally would have resulted in a drive through.A title contender was impeded 3 times resulting in lost points.How did this differ from the RAI vs HAM incident at spa ??.

      1. Dave Aston says:

        Maybe the spikes could only be effective if a driver was reversing… That, or just put a wheel clamp on if they overshoot the chicane. In any case, Alonso was my driver of the day.

    2. F1-Tips says:

      It’s the inconsistency between track marshalls at different races that means this happens and it obviously then has an affect on the championship.

      Quite why the FIA doesn’t have the same elected panel of marshalls at every race we don’t know.

  14. Darren Fellows says:

    I Voted Button for the Temendous drive with more Downforce than was needed on a track like Monza …

    One thing that Baffles me is how did Vettel run that long on Soft tyres ? I mean I would see that working on Primes but on the Options they seem too robust to me !

    Is this how they have been all year james or did Bridgestone bring Harder compounds for a reason ?

  15. SuperOsnola says:

    Fernando lost his position at the start but after the first lap his race has been simply perfect. He knew that even with worse tyres he was faster than Jenson and he only had to wait for the pits to pass him.
    Incredible the Ferrari pit stop: only 3.4 seconds.

  16. Banjo says:

    Alonso drove fantastically today. Putting Button under pressure from the start and then controlling the race once he’d got ahead. Unfortunately.

  17. Richard says:

    My vote is for Button, but I see that 45% have gone for Alonso; probably just because he was driving a red car! My justification for Button is that the McLaren was clearly slower than the Ferrari yet he managed to lead Alonso for most of the race, and that was after it had been damaged by Alonso in the first lap. The margin of Alonso getting ahead at the pitstop was the quicker turnround his mechanics achieved so it was not his driving that gave him the win.

    1. Deepan says:

      Jenson did drive a great race…but saying that Alonso’s driving wasn’t the reason for his win is taking it too far..His inlaps were fantastic and he decided against taking any risks getting past jenson because he knew what the best moment to attack Jenson was…So, Alonso’s drive was as good as Jenson’s…two world champions giving us a wonderful spectacle !

    2. Stephen W says:

      lets not forget he Alonso,acknowledged the pit stop won the race and his lap after Button pitted was nothing special.

      Buttons damage as Coulthard pointed out would have had little or no affect on the cars performance.

      Alonso won because he drove to win.

    3. Max Smoot says:

      Completely agree. Button resisted Alonso’s swerve at the start and managed to lead into the first chicane from the dirty side…brilliant. After that he was at the mercy of aerodynamics and a less-than-perfect pit strategy. Excellent stuff from the current world champion.

    4. Shane says:

      But Alonso’s drive allowed his team to give him that extra push they needed. It was a team effort all around.

  18. **Paul** says:

    I voted for JB given the pressure he was under, but thinking back on it Vettel was awesome given the engine problems he had. His performance was the maxiumum he could have got from that car.

    It’s very hard to split Vettel and Button, both put in fantastic performances today.

    I’ve not voted Alonso because he did make a couple of minor errors, a less than perfect start, clipping Buttons car, touching wheels with Massa and running across a chicane late on. Assess the performance of Button and Vettel and driver error wise they made a better job of things, and that is what Driver of the day is all about in my book, hence I didn’t vote for Hamilton in Spa because of his wonder across a gravel trap.

  19. Nick H says:

    Button for me

  20. CanadaGP says:

    I would go with Alonso for delivering under huge pressure that would have cracked lesser drivers. Webber for putting on some of the overtaking moves of the season and maintaining his role as heavy title favourite even though Monza is the worst track of the season for RBR. (And some people thought the RBs were unstable behind another car due to flexible wings.)

    1. F1fan says:

      Great Point CanadaGP, I think Webber showed us that the Redbull is capable of running close as well as passing other cars without the unstability issues suffered by the other Redbull car. I loved his overtaking moves today, great racing! Hulkenberg should of recieved a penality.

    2. peter says:

      Wings are changed to suit different circuits. The wing used at Monza is a lot different from that at Hungary, for example. We might see Red Bull’s ‘flexi-wing’ at circuits with more medium speed corners, perhaps Singapore and the final few races of the season.

  21. Cliff says:

    JB gets my vote today. Although I have to say it was a close call with FA. Many people said that Button’s strategy would backfire and wrote off his chances of a decent finish. Todays result makes both Button’s and Alonso’s DNF’s in Spa even more expensive.

  22. Nazdakka says:

    Alonso was just the best man out there today.

  23. John says:

    FA and JB were clearly in a class of their own today. FA did a great job considering the poor start on the first corners to lift off a little to not collide with Massa, then push so close to Button to actually maintain 2nd.

    James, I’m really keen to hear your view on this….I’m not much of a cynic but, is it possible that Red Bull had Vettel radio in engine trouble to let Webber past? It seems they knew Webber was faster and that Vettel was staying out much much longer…and Vettel was back on the pace quickly after. Your thoughts?

    1. DerangedStoat says:

      I think Vettel sounded genuinely stressed/panicked about the problem during his radio call to the pits, he lost a pretty big chunk of time, and don’t forget he didn’t just give the place to Webber, but it meant that Rosberg, Hulkenburg and Kubica were that much closer at the end of the race too, and had Vettel not been so strong for so long on the softs, they could have denied Red Bull very vital WCC points.

      In short, I think suspicions of a team order are really stretching it.

    2. Tom says:

      So let’s assume that Vettel was told to let Webber past, and that the 4 seconds he let Webber get ahead of him was a mistake.

      Would team orders in this situation really be that bad? If it allows both drivers to run a faster race because of different strategies by swapping them over, why is that a problem? They are both on the same team after all, and there was no detrimental effect to either driver.

      Some people really do just see a bandwagon and jump on without thinking things through.

      1. John says:

        I’m not bringing this up to knock team orders, I’m actually in favor of them. It would just be interesting to know if this was really the case, as this strategy would come into play in remaining races. If so, then it was a great bit of acting from Vettel.

  24. Kenny Carwash says:

    Alonso and Button both put in stellar performances today. I plumped for Button because it’s always harder to be the one under pressure, but Alonso and Ferrari showed their class to take the win despite Button’s best effort.

    Today’s race was a classic and was truly breathless up until Alonso took the lead and cruised home. I was initially disappointed when Button lost the lead, but it was great to see the joyous celebration of a Ferrari win on home soil.

  25. mtb says:

    Alonso and Vettel put in Prost-like performances today.

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      One could say Alonso was very lucky after he hit Button’s rear. That could easily have destroyed Alonso’s front wing and put and end to his race.

      So don’t you think Button had a strong race?

      1. mtb says:

        Alonso won – deal with it!

  26. M Harries says:

    Jenson – before the stop matched Alonso despite a damaged car, whilst Alonso didn’t have to worry about someone attacking him.

    Had his pitstop matched Alonso’s he probably would have won despite the above.

  27. Dave C says:

    Driver of the day goes to Alonso no doubt, some people might say Ferrari were quicker today but I’m not so sure, Button managed to keep massa at bay and I believe FA did a good job in keeping JB honest in the first stint, maybe the Ferrari was 1tenths quicker this weekend but Alonso maximised his race and got a deserved victory in front of the tifosi.

    There was slight damage to button’s diffuser but there was also slight damage to FA’s nose cone so probably even’d it out, massa was average again and I think Hamilton might have beaten him if that ‘accident’ never happened, anyway these things happen and a special mention to vettel, I was gobsmacked that he came out in front of rosberg after his stop good on him.

    The championship in my view will be between webber or Hamilton, just s hunch.

    1. MartinWR says:

      Excuse me, but the slight damage to Cry-baby’s nose cone did not affect a part of the bodywork which contributed to aerodynamic downforce. By ramming Jense at the start of the race he almost certainly prevented him from pulling away into a small lead, and winning the race. McLaren confirmed that the damage affected the downforce generated from their telemetry.

      For DC to claim the damage to the car didn’t affect the outcome was ridiculous. There isn’t a square inch of the aero on an F1 car that is superfluous (or it wouldn’t be tolerated for one second) and the considerable damage to the back of the McLaren was there for all to see.

      As always, despite this the World Champion didn’t even hint he might have been robbed of a victory. He is a huge credit to the sport, and very much the opposite of his opponent in his approach to the sport. He seems to have made a quite remarkable contribution to the team in the short time he has been there, and has far exceeded the expectations of the average sceptical petrolhead.

      Jense gets my vote.

      1. NigelF says:

        Good points Martin – totally agree with you there.

      2. Rory says:

        I have to agree with MartinWR. Button was driver of the day by virtue of keeping the faster Ferrari’s at bay. Even Fernando seemed impressed with Jenson’s performance.

        In the post race press conference, one of the reporters even tried to get Jenson to blame his slower pit-stop (then Fernando) on the loss. Button then reminded the guy that this was the pit crew’s first and ONLY pit-stop of the day, due to Hamilton having crashed out.

        I think Jenson’s performance this season is really starting to change people’s opinions about him. I bet a lot of people would have rated Massa over Button if asked before the first race of the year.

      3. Shane says:

        My opinion of Button was changed last year when he won the WDC. He is, undoubtedly a world champion class driver. He may not be as fast as Hamilton or Vettel or Alonso, but he manages to maximize his car and talents.

    2. Damian Johnson says:

      Don’t you think Alonso was lucky after hitting Jenson’s rear? That could have cost him the race whereas Jenson’s race was faultless by comparison?

      1. mtb says:

        The ’4:29pm September 13th, 2010′ remix!

  28. John Gibson says:

    Can it be Alonso, Button and Vettel all at once? The most impressive aspect of all three of these drivers today was that they appeared to be sliding out of contention for the WDC before Monza, but all kept cool and diligently worked themselves right back into it. Great performances from all three. Massa too.

  29. David says:

    For sure Hamilton was the best driver today. Brilliant & skilled drive, taking just the necessary risks. I hope he keeps driving like this for the rest of the season! Hahahahahaha.

    FORZA FERRARI!!!

    1. John says:

      lol…that was actually surprisingly funny.

    2. Syed Hasan says:

      Nailed it perfectly didn’t ya… that was cool lol, agree 100% … For me Alonso was outstanding in a car that had lesser downforce than the car in front but he was still taking risk by trying to follow it closely into parabolica. Moreover his tyres should have been more worn than Massa since he was following Button very closely and working them hard but still he nailed 2 very quick laps with a blistering in-lap and after the pitstop he went crazy with a string of fastest laps and left Button in his shadows.

      Vettel for me was superb today and shut all British wagging tongues. Superb strategy and with a car having some issues, he still delivered great result. So Alonso and Vettel for me clearly.

      1. Tom says:

        Can we stop all this nonsense about ‘blistering in-laps’ please? Alonso himself said it was ordinary, and ‘nothing special’.

        His pit stop was 0.8s faster than Jenson’s. If they had had equal pit stop times, Jenson would have passed Alonso easily into the first corner.

        Alonso acknowledges this – why do very few other people? Is it because they want to think that it was the driver that forced the win, rather than the mechanics in the pit-lane?

      2. Galapago555 says:

        Yep, for once I was very happy with Alonso’s words after the race.

      3. Shane says:

        I think that Ferrari did an outstanding job, that pit stop was crucial to their victory. I do however think that the pit stop in now way diminishes Alonso’s drive, he did everything he had to in order to allow his team to provide that extra few tenths to get the Ferrari ahead.

        I think that Ferrari’s result in Monza further solidifies the notion that Formula One is a team sport. They win and lose as a team.

  30. Wombat says:

    I’d like to award the prize to Mark Webber largely for his patience – having to deal with Hulkenberg and blind stewards would have tested anyone.
    But in truth Alonso must have it – a champion’s win at Monza in a red car in front of the tifosi – he didn’t just win, he created a legend.
    And a great weekend for F1.

  31. Any1ButLoois says:

    Alonso for winning at Monza for Ferrari. Button for an awesome display of race craft. It takes more than brute force to win a WDC. It’s a shame there had to be a loser. They were both in a class by themselves today.

  32. Robert Powers says:

    Alonso,he won the Italian Grand Prix in a Ferrari.Definitely driver of the day.

    And most importantly,clawed back into the title fight for 2010.

    1. BMG says:

      He has 5 races to go but has used up all his engines. I think he has to take a grid penalty if he need a new one. Do you really think he can win the Championship?

      1. smellystudent says:

        He has used all his engines.

        That doesn’t mean he has used *up* all his engines.

        Ferrari’s decision will be whether to take the grid drop for a fresh unit, or to try to nurse a part-used engine.

      2. Shane says:

        While Ferrari have at least one race on each of their allotment of eight, I believe most of the other teams are in the same position, or very near it.

        It will be interesting to see how the engine strategy plays out over these final races.

      3. Robert Powers says:

        I love Formula One-what a great season.I say this as a non partisan:

        Alonso dominates the final laps of the season,that’s the way it began.A championship in the cards?Alonso’s ready to go for it..

        In between we saw all kinds of people!

  33. jaad says:

    Both fernando and button did a great job but i have to vote to alonso because his late breaking and good maneging the car through the first corner on the out lap of the pit all of that with colder tyres than button

  34. V8 says:

    Let’s face it, if Hulkenberg had been doing that to Massa or Alonso, he would have been penalised. If it had been Webber or another driver from a less fancied country cutting chicanes he would have been penalised (Alguersuari?). And if it had been a McLaren in Webber’s position, then the media outcry would have been deafening.

    So top driver of the race, no. Merely a driver who kept going off (to his advantage) every time Webber put him under any pressure running into a chicane. If it had happened once, then fine. But three times when Webber was within a second… I really hope he doesn’t lose this world championship by less than 4 points, as he easily would have got to 5th, possibly 4th, if not for these incidents.

  35. Lindsay says:

    I wouldn’t have called Webber’s pass on Vettel “great”, though his pass on Kubica was pretty good.

  36. MartinWR says:

    I just feel sorry for Felipe. I get a real feeling that he isn’t getting a fair crack of the whip, with Ferrari manipulating engine settings to prevent him challenging Cry Baby, and making him look bad in the process. I remember how he very nearly won the WDC a couple of years back, if it hadn’t been for Renault’s cheating which almost certainly ended up costing him the Singapore race. He seems a really likeable guy. Consequently I really hope Ferrari don’t pull off the title. I’d rather almost anyone else took the title except their chosen one. Yup, even Webber, the lesser of the two Bulls!

    1. SuperOsnola says:

      ¿Fernando “Cry Baby”? ¿What kind of F1 do you watch at TV at weekends? Because obviously it’s not the same as me… Today massa has raced very well, but he has risked a lot at first chicane to overtake Fernando. The only driver that has been advised of having a manupilated engine by his own team was Fernando at McLaren in 2007 :

      “Fernando, you don’t know how easy is to make an engine loose power”
      Mclaren mechanic an average Alonso’s day at Mclaren.

      1. MartinWR says:

        [mod]. When he was at McLaren I actually, really thought he was hard done by and getting the thin end of the wedge. I have greatly changed my views since then, with good reason. What was it Niki Lauda recently said, “no class”? What a contrast to the World Champion’s handling of Hamilton at McLaren. It could have turned out to be a repeat of 2007, but Jense has shown what a super bloke he is in the way he has tackled a potentially explosive situation. That is real class. What a difference!

        As I said, I think it looks very much as though Felipe is getting a raw deal and I freely admit I don’t like that one bit. If that is the case and Ferrari are rigging races in favour of a “team leader” I sincerely hope the strategy backfires on them and they lose the championship with egg on their faces. Maybe I am in a minority nowadays but I like to see a World Champion who has made it fair and square in competition with his team mate as Jense has, and not as a result of being allowed a more powerful engine setting.

        Yes, I freely admit I don’t have much respect, in fact none, zero, zilch, for a driver who states publicly that he is perfectly happy to take a race victory that has been purposely rigged by his team by faking a crash. Even if he was unaware of what was going on at the time(?).

        Does sportsmanship matter? I think so and I always will, but clearly a lot of other people don’t.

    2. peter says:

      James

      Comments like this are one reason why I am considering not logging on in future. I know you try to check these, but when they don’t add to the debate, these posts are a waste of space.

      1. James Allen says:

        We’re tightening up to get the stupid stuff moderated out. But we have to allow a wide variety of views. It’s a balance, but rest assured it’s really important to me to keep the level high

      2. mtb says:

        Please ensure that the moderation is consistent. I get the impression that something ridiculously anti-Ferrari is more likely to seep its way through than comments that criticise teams such as McLaren. Additionally, on a number of occasions when I have attempted to defend myself from ridiculous comments, my response has not been posted.

      3. James Allen says:

        It doesn’t make any difference which team or driver a comment concerns, it’s the tone and language of the comment we moderate

      4. MartinWR says:

        Thank you James. I think the moderation here has been very fair, but tolerant at the same time. Obviously folk have strong views on some issues, myself included, but I think life will become very boring if every slightly controversial comment has to be censored in order not to offend. Motor racing is a man’s sport after all.

        Keep up the good work. Great blog.

        But I do wish people wouldn’t try to tell you how to run it!

      5. Shane says:

        I have really enjoyed the temperate climate in the comments thus far, keep up the good work!

        I will say that I do not like the name calling, it seems childish (at best). I am not sure that we need to be nannied, perhaps we should all just ignore inciting comments, it can be hard though as I am certainly passionate about this stuff.

  37. Alex says:

    Overall, Fernando, closely followed by Jenson. However, in terms of racing, I think it was Mark Webber today. He overtook cars that he did not have a considerable pace advantage over. However, his starts are a worry, and thats what will bring the
    Redbulls back to the rest of the pack in the coming races. However, I am adament it is no coincidence that everytime webber prerace comments suggest he wants a boring race/to bring home some good points, he has a poor starts becasue he’s too conservative (e.g. Valencia, spa, monza). When he’s on the backfoot he’s had great starts- (silverstone comes to mind, also barcelona). He needs to show agression at the starts, and then, if he wants, cool it for the races…

  38. Dave says:

    I am really getting sick of the inconsistency shown by stewards. Alguersuari gets a drive through for cutting 1 chicane and supposedly gaining an advantage.

    Hulkenberg straight lines the chicane 3 times whilst defending his position gaining an advantage in doing so and nothing comes of it – clearly he was under pressure and was forced to break later than he would normally do so and couldn’t control the car into the corner.

    How many regulations does he need to break and Charlie Whiting does nothing. From the Sporting Regulations;

    2. Overtaking, car control and track limits
    c) Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of
    doubt:
    - the white lines defining the track edges are considered to
    be part of the track but the kerbs are not and
    - a driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the
    car remains in contact with the track.
    Should a car leave the track for any reason, and without
    prejudice to 2(d) below, the driver may rejoin. However, this
    may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining
    any advantage.
    d) Repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of
    control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported
    to the stewards of the meeting and may entail the imposition
    of penalties up to and including the exclusion of any driver
    concerned.

    1. Dave says:

      Hi James,

      Just further on this can you confirm that drivers were given a directive by Charlie Whiting that if they cut the chicane 3 times in the race they would automatically incur a drive through penalty?

      “Other than to avoid an accident, if a driver cuts or misses a chicane three times during the race a drive-through penalty will automatically be imposed.”

      http://www.planetf1.com/news/3422/5554046/Drivers-warned-against-cutting-Monza-chicanes

  39. Mark V says:

    Only 4% for Webber? I know 6th is not a great result, but it WAS a great save that put him in control of the championship. He qualified well after losing of a lot of practice time and after a poor start he managed to pass people on the track which few others can stake a claim to.

    1. Mark V says:

      Oh, and I just wanted to say that Jenson not only drove great, but he is sure showing an impressive talent for strategy and a lot of class and maturity when things don’t work out as well as he hoped.

  40. Alex says:

    Webber would have to be it. He showed us that one of the Red Bulls can actually make a clean pass – not just once but a number of times! Hulkenberg stayed in front only because of his short cutting – should’ve easily been a penalty.

    Alonso and Button were a fantastic drive too. Good to see competition heating up, but just hope stewards don’t continue to ruin the sport.

  41. BobF1 says:

    Jenson Button. Did a heck of a job keeping Alonso at bay.

  42. Ayron says:

    Generally a good race with some excellent drives. Vettel did well to leapfrog 4 drivers through an excellent strategy call which he pulled off well.

    Alonso made his in/out laps count and overcame a less than perfect start as a result. Button picked an excellent set up which gave him the best chance to get a great result.

    As far as the two championship leaders, I think Hamilton will rue trying too hard in the first couple of corners and Webber’s more cautious approach which saw him drop a number of places, gave him a lot of valuable points as he made it through the entire course.

    Formula 1 championships are not won in a single corner, but they can be lost in a single corner – something that Hamilton should know from experience. Webber’s cautious approach and then strong racing – making several overtakes on the course – was a highlight of the race.

    The incidents with Hulkenburg were bizarre to me, he left the course three times – once under real threat from Webber – and should absolutely have been punished. If there were walls he would have crashed, not retained a place he was struggling to maintain. Poor form from the stewards to not punish him for that. I’ve played computer games that would have penalised me for making those moves…

    Overall, I think there were some really good drives and stories to come out of the weekend and the championship is still looking interesting for the five contenders.

  43. Ben Tranter says:

    I don’t remember webber overtaking vettel, I think you mean Kubica. – Webber for 2010 world championship!

    1. Valour says:

      If you don’t remeber Webber passing Vettel you must have had too much red wine. Vettel was in front after lap one and then was behind when Webber was forced by Red bull to change his tires when everyone else did, despite the data showing he would have been quicker than those immeadiately in front of him when they changed to hard ( once again tyre strategy favours Vettel- these guys don’t really want a world championship do they?)

      1. Ayron says:

        Don’t forget that Webber was stuck behind Hulkenburg at that stage and didn’t have the clear air he required to make the strategy employed by Vettel to work.

        Also, he had solid points which would have given him the championship lead – an unlikely scenario prior to the third corner – and so there is little benefit in taking too large a risk. Vettel needed to take a risk to elevate himself into a better position or risk losing complete touch with the championship leaders.

        Webber played this one well and his team did too, gaining good points on a track that doesn’t suit and after a poor start (one where he made sure he didn’t crash, unlike Hamilton).

        Obviously Vettel’s result makes it look like everyone should have done what he did, but for many drivers and cars it wouldn’t have worked out and the result would have been worse.

  44. Gareth Foches says:

    Butting in on Butt-on (Brundle said that, not me).

    Jensen drove with a broken car with the expected grip through corners non existent (rear left lower wing plates removed in the first lap by Alonso). Alonso has the better car throughout. So I vote Jensen.

  45. Kevin Adamson says:

    Button is EASILY the driver of the day. And I’m a Webber fan.

    Button out-qualified a teammate whom many continue to say is more talented, on a setup he chose, with a car slower than a Ferrari, and led the majority of the race before being inevitably lapped in the pits.

    (and Hulkenberg? Yes, he was very quick today. But you might as well award the driver of the day to the stewards – the same ones who ignored his chicane-cutting)

    1. MartinWR says:

      Fully agreed re Jense. The thinking man’s F1 driver, as I’ve said previously and a real great sportsman. The way he’s handled LH at McLaren this year has been an absolute revelation. It could have been so different – remember 2007? What a contrast to Cry Baby’s childish petulance when he was at McLaren.

      Jense has always been underestimated by many who should know better because of the way he simply quietly gets on with the job in hand without flashing his ego around. It’s no wonder he has so many loyal fans.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Martin, it seems that you have Fernando under your skin. You have made three different comments so far on this article, and on the three of them you mention “Cry-baby”.

        I bet yesterday was a terrible race for you…

      2. MartinWR says:

        I have explained above why I have a certain opinion of him, an opinion I didn’t arrive at lightly.

        Terrible race, no I don’t think so. I actually found it quite absorbing at the time although in retrospect I would have to admit it was a bit processional in the usual F1 way.

        Obviously the guy you’re rooting for can’t win all the time and I was a bit disappointed Jense was slightly unlucky not to have got the result. But that’s life. You can’t win ‘em all. Luck has often played a big part in the battle to win the title, but dodgem car driving tactics shouldn’t.

        The World Champion has been a bit unlucky in fact with other people chomping bits off his motor recently, oh and through someone nerfing him off as well. However a lot of other drivers have lost races this year through no fault of their own, as well as through misjudgements. That’s racing.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        “Jense has always been underestimated by many who should know better because of the way he simply quietly gets on with the job in hand”

        Maybe those understimating him did not realize he only needed 117 races to get his first GP win!

      4. MartinWR says:

        Well that’s certainly one way of looking at it. On the other hand it helps to have a winning car, and not every driver is lucky enough to end up in one, Jense for instance, for much of the time he has been in this formula.

        As the car is 80% or 90% of the game in F1 about the only way you can assess a driver is in relation to his team mate. Apart from 2008, I think it was, when the car was so bad it simply wasn’t worth risking your neck in,, Jense has outclassed every other driver in his team including blowing away a certain World Champion. At the same time he was monumentally consistent, rarely ever had an off, didn’t nerf other people off himself, and on top of that was always a gentleman with it as well.

        That is why one or two of us have always rated him, for what it’s worth. And that includes some of the top managers in the sport.

      5. Shane says:

        117 races and a car capable of winning…

  46. michael grievson says:

    I don’t know who to vote for. However I think mclaren were wrong to being button in first. There were no signs he as slowing due to tyres going off so they should have left them out

  47. mayon says:

    Though I’m rather an Alonso fan, Button was the driver of the day – with a slower car, set to bring more downforce – Jenson was on the cleaner side of the track, took advantage of that, headed the race, was concentrated a lot, not telling anything on the radio for about 15 laps, and did whatever he was able to keep his position – it was clear that the rivals were no match for Ferrari’s pace, so it was actually easy for them to get on the podium. Good race for Vettel, too, it’s a lesson learned and valuable experience.

  48. AP says:

    Dear James,

    apologies for my silly question but… how can one vote in this polling system?

    thanks in advance,
    AP

    1. James Allen says:

      Press the button which says Vote

  49. peter says:

    1 x Monaco rear wing. Thanks for that, I was still laughing half an hour later!

  50. nickw6666 says:

    Whilst Jenson was superb, my vote goes to Fernando Alonso for drive(r) of the day. He was relentless in his puyrsuit and had to sit in the dirty air for over half of the race which made it difficult to get a run on JB. Alonso’s need sto fix his starts thoughas he regularly loses ground but it was a superb getaway from JB. If Alonso had taken the lead at the start I think he would have won by a distance but at least JB getting ahead made it interesting for the spectators. Alonso has confirmed his hero status to the Tifosi and this will re-ignite him after his Spa mistake.

    Forza Alonso!

  51. Damian Johnson says:

    Jenson Button. He did all could with what he had. It is becoming apparent that Alonso’s weakness is his inability to overtake drivers at the top of the table without relying on team orders or pit stop strategy

    1. Shane says:

      How exactly should Alonso pass a car that is only marginally slower than his? Perhaps he should drive more like Vettel?

      I think we should defer to the judgement of a 2 time world champion when wondering when and where to pass.

      1. mtb says:

        Hear hear!

  52. MikeR says:

    Alonso and Button drove like the champions they are. Unfortunately Hamilton reverted to some of the desperation last shown in his 2008 campaign. Webber, Vettel and Massa drove like the champions they nearly are/were so my vote goes to Hulk who managed to keep his place despite some close shaves with the stewards.

    1. MikeR says:

      sorry – obviously I meant 2007 for Lewis.

  53. racyboy says:

    James,

    Can you shed any light on why Webber had 2 very bad starts in the last 2 races?

    Was it all driver related or was some of it down to the car?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s the car, both got bad starts yesterday and Webber had a problem in Spa. It’s happened a few times this year -Valencia

  54. Jameson says:

    Jenson Button gets my vote. Button squeezed every bit of performance out of his car during qualifying, and he had a stellar start from the second grid slot. He did a fantastic job of managing the pace to keep Alonso behind him, but also conserve his tyres by not over driving.

    Had he gone in a lap earlier, and had his pit stop been half to a full second faster I think that he would have had the top spot on the podium.

    Alonso is a very close second for me. He put good pressure on Jenson with a lower down force package, and was still able to manage his tyres extremely well.

    Great work by Jenson and the team this whole weekend! I think McLaren need to get the trick front lift that Ferrari has so they can shave a few tenths off of the stops.

    1. M__E says:

      the team lost him the race though! button didnt decide when to pit the team did ;)

    2. Shane says:

      I think that no matter when Jenson pitted, he would have been surpassed by Alonso. Ferrari were clearly faster and were able to wait on McLaren’s decision. Once Button pitted it was over for him. Alonso laid down 2 fast laps which provided enough of a gap to get him out ahead, albeit barely.

      I think after seeing Vettel’s late pit and analyzing his pit time, Ferrari will be kicking themselves for cutting it so close. Perhaps they should have kept Alonso out for 5 more laps to extend his gap to Button, but that was an unknown at that point in the race. I think they were counting on the McLaren’s new tires not coming up to temperature, compromising the McLaren’s performance for a lap or two. While Button waited for his tire temp to come up, Alonso was able to pull a large enough gap.

  55. Rang says:

    James, what do you think is wrong with Mercedes car and Schumacher in particular. Can a car go so horribly wrong in 1 year. Is Schumacher out of touch or is the car not treating him well ?

  56. M__E says:

    Alonso,

    all the pressure of the Tifosi and racing at Monza and he came through flawlessly….except loosing the lead that is :)

    Button is a close 2nd though a flawless drive from him, and he jumped Alonso at the start and gave us a more of a race as a result

  57. David Chubb says:

    Button drove the bet and only lost to a mixed calculation

  58. Marybeth says:

    James, I just read on a Nascar site that Alonso took the shortcut through a chicane toward the end of the race. Is that true?

    1. James Allen says:

      He had a moment, but I don’t recall him cutting a chicane

    2. Shane says:

      Yes, if I remember correctly he did cut the chicane towards the end of the race, but by that point I believe the McLaren had conceded as Button was most likely looking to consolidate his podium finish and preserve his engine. Alonso was pushing to get the fastest lap and bring home the hat-trick for Ferrari. Even with this brief off he still finished nearly 3 seconds ahead of Button.

    3. mtb says:

      It looked as though de la Rosa was much slower through the chicane at the end of the pit straight than what Alonso had expected. Alonso was caught by surprise, and took to the escape road.

  59. Quillan Rogers says:

    Hey James I have a quick question for you.

    What can we expect in terms of the quickest cars in the next couple of races. Everyone is saying that Singapore will be Red Bull’s circuit, but Lewis and Mclaren dominated there last year.

  60. Shane says:

    My vote is for Alonso, with Button coming a very, very close 2nd.

    Alonso showed his championship winning form by making the best of a bad situation (the start). Alonso always pushes very hard, but rarely does he push too hard. He applied enormous pressure to Button for the entire race and ended up jumping him in the pits. While the pit stop was superb, and was definitely the final deciding factor, one cannot ignore the superb driving effort required to get to that point.

    As for Button’s drive, maintaining P1 until the pit stops was all that could be asked of him or his car. The Ferrari was clearly the faster car, but Button did a fantastic job of maximizing his 2nd sector times over Alonso. Button did not make a single mistake, had he done so, Alonso was close enough to pass the entire time he was behind.

    This was a fantastic race. The two fastest cars on the grid going toe-to-toe for over an hour on the fastest circuit in motorsport with both drivers piloting their machines with microscopic perfection.

  61. AndrewJ says:

    So James, who’s YOUR driver of the day?

    1. James Allen says:

      Toss up between Alonso and Button.

  62. I don’t figure out how you vote in the new site? It was a lot easier before…?
    I consider myself pretty technical too…

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