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Italian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Sep 2011   |  6:05 pm GMT  |  362 comments

The legendary Monza circuit provided an entertaining race with thrilling battles all the way down the field but which driver impressed you most?

Sebastian Vettel

Found half a second in the final part of qualifying to take his 10th pole position of the season. Had no answer to Alonso’s lightening quick start and lost the lead. Reclaimed the lead with a sublime move on the Spaniard into the second chicane and then never looked back as he claimed his eighth victory of the season. The German now leads the championship by 112 points and can become the youngest double world champion next time out in Singapore if he wins with Alonso off the podium. Led his 500th lap of the season today, no-one else has broken 100 laps yet!


Jenson Button

Finished second at Monza for the 3rd year in a row. Started third on the grid but dropped back to seventh. Charged back through the field, passing his team-mate Hamilton and then Schumacher as he rose back to third. Tried the undercut in an attempt to pass Alonso but was blocked by Barrichello. Then passed the Spaniard as the Ferrari struggled with its harder tyres and went on to finish second, just 10 seconds behind race winner Vettel.

Fernando Alonso

Milestone day as he becomes only the second driver after Schumacher to cross the threshold of 1,000 F1 points. Made an amazing start, catapulting his Ferrari from fourth to first with a brave move up the inside of pole-sitter Vettel at the start. But he was unable to hold off the German for long and dropped back to second after battling for five laps. Once again, the Ferrari struggled to warm up the hard compound tyre, and the Spaniard gradually fell back from Vettel with Button passing him late on to relegate him to third.

Lewis Hamilton

Lost out in the battle with Vettel for pole but started the race from an encouraging second. A poor start saw him lose two places and get stuck behind Schumacher. Had a great battle with the German, passing him on lap 13, before Schumacher fought back thanks to Mercedes’ superior straight-line speed. Eventually passed him with 15 laps to go before finishing a lonely fourth.


Michael Schumacher

Outqualified team-mate Rosberg to start eighth and made a strong start, rising to fourth to begin a battle with Hamilton. Passed the Brit after the safety car restart and produced one of his best performances of the season as he bravely defended his position. Was passed by Button and eventually Hamilton, before finishing a strong fifth for the second consecutive race.


Jaime Alguersuari

A career best 7th today. Makes it 8 races in a row where a driver eliminated in Q1 gets points. Had another bad qualifying and started down in 18th but avoided the carnage at the first corner and steadily moved up the field. Battled strongly and maximized his strategy to rise up into the points and eventually finish seventh to score the best result of his career.


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362 comments

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1

alonso, is my driver of the day. a great, brilliant start, and then, giving it all for being in the podium, when the car was not as fast as mclaren and rb.

also, schumi did a great race, fighting against hamilton. that was a good circuit for them!

2

Schumacher was truly excellent,classy racing skills!! ~ just the way racing should be.

Poor old Lewis was right not to comment but Button???????????Lowered my opinion of him,he should have said nothing.

3

Bang on the 'Button'...well done for calling it as it was!

Schumi was upto his dirty old tricks again...if it had been Lewis doing that kind of driving he'd have been in for a penalty in 5 laps!

How was Schumacher's racing classy when he blatently broke the rules...he did a great start & drove well, but as he always did for me, he left a bad taste in my mouth!

4

"Buuton blocking Hamilton in Canada that resulted in a crash is soon forgotten.It was made out as Hamilton’s faulty judgement."

Not the same at all, you seem to be forgetting that Jenson didnt move block twice and visibility was attrocious (not even considering how useless the mirrors are)

5

On twisty tracks the older generation raced with more pomp. It is now turning into some kind of orchestrated TV show with KERS, DRS and other stupid rules.

Yes Schumacher pushed it to the limit but it is debatable whether it was as blatant as some commentators make it out to be. Eddie Jordan has an axe to grind and his comments are often biased. Martin Brundle often reminds how he was pushed off the track by Schumacher when they were partners at Benetton. David Coulthard thinks he was on the edge but not transgressed it.

Buuton blocking Hamilton in Canada that resulted in a crash is soon forgotten.It was made out as Hamilton's faulty judgement.

Mark Webber spoiling Massa's chance was termed a racing incident. Alonos pushing Vettel on to the grass and Hamilton pushing Alonso to the grass at the start was pure racing.

I guess people should stop moaning. The guys out there know what they are in for and that is why they are getting paid.

Nothing stops people needing a mouthwash to have their opinion.

6

If it is hard to keep the pace off the racing line, then why wouldn't he leave that line open for LH to try his luck? The double move before the first Lesmos was the most blatant.

Who would risk passing down the straight towards Ascari if you think the guy ahead is going to chop you and you could go flying into the air and possibly hit the overpass?!?!

The rule is there for a reason.

7

have you guys ever drove through the corners of Ascari? One thing is defending the position, but it is very hard to keep the pace when you do not take the racing line.

Purely by simulation of this section and by the birds view, there is a second worth of gap between giving a room to pass or not.

8

Schumacher crossed the line between vigorous defending and breaking the rules on several occasions. Of course, being Schumi, he got away with it. Had Lewis made the same moves, he would have scored a penalty.

He certainly doesn't deserve 'best driver' award for actions like that.

9

Well if Schumi was wong one H**l of a lot of voters think he was just spot on.I think people have got so used to seeing drivers go softly softly, tip toeing along in a procession,that they are shocked when they see proper racing.

Schumi has brought the track back to life,WITHOUT breaking any rules.

One would think that Hamilton was the superclean racer here,when in fact he got away with a slap on the wrist in Monaco after destroying so many racers chances including Schumacher.!

Short memories maybe!

10

Good race. Great action Ham vs Schu. I wouldn't have penalised Schumacher, but by the same token I wouldn't have penalised Hamilton in Malaysia and Monaco nor the likes of Di Resta, Kobayashi who have all been penalised for tangles this season.

Live by the sword die by the sword. Want to bang wheels? Well if that's the case, sometimes you will end up in the gravel/wall or limping back to the pits. That's is enough of a penalty.

That is not to say anything goes, I think Schu vs Barichello in hungary was well over the line of what's right and wrong, and Maldanado and Ham probably deserved slapped wrists in Belgium this year.

To be handing out penalties everytime someone gets it a bit wrong at the start (Senna at spa, Liuzzi at Monza) seems a bit harsh. Yes it unduly affects other drivers' races but that's racing as they say.

11

I love his starts - Total commitment and everyone around him knows it so works to his advantage.

12

Schummie waved many times today. I still can’t understand that he didn’t get any penalty.

13

+1!!!

Alonso drove beyond what the car could do. Amazing start comparable to the one he did in Spain earlier this year.

14

I wouldnt start that debate about driving beyond what a car can do. There was a massive debate on another F1 website about being able to drive beyond what a car can do and it was deemed physically impossible as surely the car is capable of doing it as shu did it.

15

Its a figure of speach that makes no sense if you take it literally, giving something 110% is another example.

16

Schumacher was my driver of the day, by the way. His car was placed as high as it could possibly be expected to be at the end of the race, all things being equal. Vetell obviously did this as well. The McLarens could have won I think, so Button doesn't get the accolade for me. Alosno might have been my second choice as he seemed to have the weakest car of the top three teams on the day.

Vetell's overtake on Alonso was the sort of 50/50 job that either comes off and makes you look brilliant or spears you into the wall. I don't think it takes skill to overtake on the grass, just plain luck - it either spits the driver off or it doesn't.

17

A driver cannot drive beyond what a car can do. What a car can do is the definite article, the limiting factor. A driver can extract only up to 100% of what the car can deliver and THAT is the real tallent.

But what is considered 100%? Is it a Hamilton type 100% over a single lap or is it a Button type 100% over an entire race, managing the consumables etc?

18

Dont know about Drive of the Day, but Comment of the Day was Ted Kravitz referring to Eddie Irvine - "Eddie might not like DRS and KERS but if he had had them at Ferrari he might have won a championship for them, instead of not" !!!

19

apologies i meant alonso not shu.

20

I'm hesitating between Vettel, Schumacher & Algersuari. For me they're ahead of the others. I'll go for Vettel because of the authority he showed against Alonso as well as the balls and the ability to overtake while being faultless.

He has such a lead, he doesn't need and shouldn't take such risks. To do it and manage it brilliantly and faultlessly is extraordinary.

He showed why he is a deserving double world champion. The youngest ever on top of that.

21

i totally agree with you. and that one move at the start puts me in no doubt tht if he carries on like this he is going to win more championships without a doubt!

22

Vettel drove faultlessly. Button drove brilliantly. Difficult one but I went for Vettel.

"As Schumacher bravely defended his position..." - I can think of several different words to describe his driving this afternoon. If it was Schumacher behind Hamilton and Hamilton defended his position and moved twice, I'm sure Lewis would be penslised.

23

w/o a doubt ... and probably a post-race 25 sec penalty instead of an in-race drive through (probably 15 sec's at Monza).

AKRocks, the 2011 Malaysian GP was where LH was given a penalty.

24

Cry me a river

25

Agreed Dom,what really peevs is that whole worlds watching,even R Brawn was looking over his shoulder yet still the FIA didn't act.

It was slightly embarrassing actually,for me anyhow to see an elder statesman of the craft behaving in such an un-sportmanship like manner,he always did but it was so open for all to see yesterday.

As for the DOTD,Its 2 time WDC Vettel easy,faultless beyond words,with several excellent supporting acts throughout the drama.

Great track,"love Monza",the jewel of F1.

26

You are allowed to make a second move back onto the racing line. Lewis was punished in Malaysia 2010 for weaving on the straight, different matter.

27

just wanted to inform u that lewis was not penalised in the 2010 Malaysian GP...he was just told over the radio by Mclaren team that hes was warned by the stewards for excessive weaving in the straights...

29

Not in the braking zone and not pushing the other car off the track. That's the whole point of the one move - you choose the line you want to defend and your competitor is then able to position to go around you if he can.

Schumacher went way beyond that with that move where he pushed Hamilton off the track. Probably not far enough for a drive through, even though he ultimately cost Hamilton two places with that one incident, but certainly enough for a public reprimand.

Lewis has been criticised and penalised for less...

30

Couple of points to make. Schuey at no point pushed LH off the track, if I blinked and missed it please point out to me where and when they were side by side and Shuey pushed him off the track. If you mean when LH drove into a space that was not there and took to the grass to avoid taking out Schuey then please watch again, at no point was LH pushed wide or pushed off the tarmac.

The most annoying point I keep reading is that Schuey ruined LH's race. Surely the point of racing is to finish as high as you can? If Schuey is not allowed to finish ahead of a faster car by driving defensively then why not have winter testing and then decide the championship on who was fastest! Similarly we could all say that SV ruined everyones race by overtaking FA and winning by being the fastest package.

A race is not ruined, it is made by having battles on the track, it is not slot racing! With DRS this year and overtaking so easy it was enthralling to watch 2 world champions size each other up and get stuck in!

The only thing that ruined LH's race was his own mistake at the re-start and for failing to pass Schuey earlier in the race.

31

Almost everyone has been penalised for less. Schumi still seems to have a friend in the stewards' room.

32

Maybe two places, but maybe only one place. Button made easier work of Schumacher than Hamilton did.

33

He wasnt moving in the braking zone. His second move was moving towards the braking zone before applying the brakes; this is perfectly legal and has been for a long time.

34

Schumacher shines when he's on the edge. Just ask James Allen 🙂

Mercedes GP, please give this man a decent 2012 challenger. This kind of bravery is reminiscent to the Villeneuve-Arnoux days (http://youtu.be/6sDtn8QnpFg).

As for Hamilton. Thank you for never giving up! I hope he is okay. His post race interview on BBC was strangely subdued. I thought he was crying behind his sunglasses. F1 didn't seem to be on his mind.

35

Not crying, but using his own type of 'new diplomacy'. There was no point in LH criticising MSC, although the weaving should really have resulted in a drive-through or some sort of penalty.

The Stewards decided not to do this, just telling Ross Brawn to get MSC to give room. However Brawn had to tell him TWICE before he co-operated.

Instead of shooting his mouth off, LH took the pragmatic approach - to keep his mouth closed about the matter.

Very frustrating for interviewers who go on & on asking the same question until you could do some serious damage. Don't they realise if they're not getting a reply that is satisfactory to them, it's time to move on?

I have the feeling that LH may have been 'told' to finish this race no matter what, unusual to see him stuck for so long, when JB just breezed past.

The 'great overtaker' seemed a different person this weekend.

36

Agreed.

Schumacher went too far with his aggressive defence. I for one can't understand why people don't seem willing to criticise him. What he did was exactly the same as he did to Barichello last year.

As DC (or was it MB) said, if the roles had been reversed HAM would have been penalised. Come on, admit it -- wouldn't he?

37

No I don't think so. Schumi was using the same tactic that he perfected in his Ferrari days which is adhering to the one defensive move to the inside, then drifting back to the racing line for turn in. Alonso and Webber, among others, have both used that exact tactic in hundreds of races since then without penalty.

38

Unfortunately, the rulebook changed and the 1 move and move (drift) back is no longer within the rules.

20.2 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position,

deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

39

Got to read the rule book mate. Are we going to start complaining when great racing is performed? Many of us will remember this battle as well as the one in Imola some years ago between Alonso and Schumi. Don't complain, enjoy!

40

+1

Schummie waved many times today. I still can't understand that he didn't get any penalty.

41

Hamilton was not penalised for that kind of moves before (against Petrov) either. He sent Timo Glock onto the grass a few years ago around the same place in Monza, no one was complaining. He crashed into Massa and Maldanado in Monaco etc. he was not penalised.

42

Actually he was given drive through penalties and a lot of people complained about him pushing Glock off even though it was clear he didn't see him rather than he was defending against him. He was also reprimanded for the 'multiple moves' against Petrov.

So in all your examples the FIA took a harsher line against Hamilton than they did today with Schumacher - which was tell the team boss to tell his driver to calm down a bit.

43

How many "incidents" have involved LH this season? Are the stewards (as well as many others) simply reacting to frequent behavior as opposed to isolated/ chance happenings?

44

Don't complain. We want action, we want overtaking and it was clean. I haven't seen or heard Hamilton complaining. After their battle on track was over the race was somewhat dull. We have to congratulate both of them to show what F-1 is about: racing at top level. And I am sure Hamilton learnt something from the Master. Great drive also from Button and Alguersuari.

45

"He was also reprimanded for the ‘multiple moves’ against Petrov."

Therefore not penalised. The rule about 3 reprimands = 1 ten grid position penalty was implemented as of July 2011.

46

Michael Passing Hamilton on the Outside of Curva Grande n' not into the chicane (mind you), in an inferior car with eaten up tires and lower downforce... Eat your heart out 🙂

47

I had the feelings that the discussion was bound to start on this matter & it has. The fact is we look at the battle on our way. If you are a Hamilton fan, Schumacher is on the wrong & vise versa. The way I looked at the battle is 'only noticeable entertainment of the race'. Schumi has nothing to prove & Hamilton is one of the most exciting drivers for the next generation of F1. Schumi's age is ignorant if he gets a car anywhere near as good as Hamilton's. He still got what it takes regardless of the age. Hamilton on the other hand as aggressive as Schumi was when he was younger. A lot of people says that it was 50/50 call, rubbish!! It was completely fair & square. Just because of this battle I'd love to see schumi getting a good enough car to fight for the title next year so that the championship isn't a one horse race. We all remember the dominance schumi showed in his Ferrari days. That was great for schumi & Ferrari but not good for the sport. Vettel is nearly at that level already, so for the sake of entertainment we need more schumi/Hamilton like battles & enjoy races for the 1st place, not race for who is going to be second!!!!! Senna, Schumi, Prost, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton are drivers we enjoy loving or hating because they are always pushing boundaries. Great to watch

48

I am a Hamilton fan and staunch supporter but I have to admit that were he defending he would have done exactly the same as Schumacher. It’s obvious that even Hamilton knows this as he wrote the whole saga off as 'racing'. These two want to race and win and I applaud them both.

I hope all the people who continually moan about Hamilton are happy. Look at how boring the race can be when he listens! He was tentative into the first corner and beyond tentative at the restart, and even more tentative in trying to pass Schumi. Result, a complete non-race for Hamilton. It was almost as though he was making a point 'be careful what you wish for people - you want boring Hamilton you got it'. F1 will be less entertaining for everyone (even his detractors) if he changes his style to the 'whipped dog' we saw today.

49

No one has ever doubted Hamilton's Talent, I think he is a tamed version of Giles Villeneuve. But, when Hamilton shoots off his mouth to discredit Michael prior to Monza, it was a good lesson for Hamilton by Schumacher stating that when he can beat Ayrton Senna he still teach a thing or two to in an inferior car to the fresh breed of spoilt-pampered-drivers 🙂

It was very evident in Monza that Schumacher didn't care about anyone except proving a point to Hamilton to show who the real boss is. Common he is seven time world champion.

50

but with higher rev

51

outside of curva grande 🙂

52

Schumi once again reminding us why he's a 7 time World Champion. Rock on Micheal.

53

Yes, by dodgy tactics & being the stewards blue eyed boy. Any other driver would have been penalised, as was Hamilton when he did the same thing.

54

Lewis wasnt penalised in Malaysia '10, he waa reprimanded. Besides, that was for weaving on the straight several times, nothing like what we saw yesterday.

55

F1 has rightly moved on from what F1 was like in the 70's and 80's. Senna could keep a far faster car behind him with weaving (there's a good clip of him from '93 with Prost in the amazing Williams that year looking for a way past the McLaren tank). MSC got the same treatment from Senna too, so maybe old habits picked up then die hard.

It's simple, you can move once, and you shouldn't be moving in the braking zone. When you sweep from one side of the road, and then back, I'm sorry but - as David Hobbs would say - that ain't allowed Sunshine!

56

Perhaps F1 should adopt the rules of my local Porsche club regarding gentlemanly overtaking during track days! That would appear to satisfy some of MSC's detractors. Of course, it wouldn't be racing. Go back and review Senna's comments as seen in the recent documentary...

57

Hamilton was impotent compared to Button anyway.

58

Lewis chewed up his tires tucked in behind Schumi so long, while Button minded his and slowly crept up to the back of the LH-MS battle. When he had his chance (when MS chopped him in Curva Grande) he passed LH and then got a good run at MS on his better tires down towards Ascari. No real magic about it.

Check out a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpKZoksZfQs" rel="nofollow">clip of Patrese harrying Senna at Monza from the early 90's, while Mansell lied in wait right behind them. After Patrese had pushed Senna to chew up his tires, Mansell passed Senna to win the race.

59

Sorry sir, I must disagree here. For me MS went defensive once, then returned to the racing line for corner entry. If that's two moves then each time a driver goes defensive he'll get passed, and that's because if you're not allowed to get back to the racing line for corner entry you'll be so slow on corner entry and exit that the pass will be inevitable.

The only point at which MS had LH alongside and didn't leave him room was around Curva Grande. Lewis had his nose inside MS at that point, and it was a very harsh bit of driving to shut the door there, it was a move giving Lewis a choice, crash or stay behind. The complaints that he swerved, made more than two moves etc are simply people misunderstanding the regulations in that area. Drivers are allowed to make one defensive move, there is nothing to say that they should then stay in that position for corner entry. MS was often braking later than Lewis, so braking across the track in front of Lewis but not forcing Lewis to alter his line at all. This is entirely legal. See rules here: http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8683/fia.html

Let me remind you also that back in Spa we saw Lewis take up a defensive line at the top of the hill after passing KK, he then tried to return to the racing line. What Lewis failed to do was realise that KK was alongside. Had KK sat one car length back LH would have got back to the racing line for corner entry, which is a completely normal move in F1 terms.

99% of Schumachers driving was fine yesterday. It's a shame we didn't see Lewis put a good move on Michael to pass him. Oh well.

Driver of the day, easy. It's Vettel. They took an incredibly risky gamble in qually and Vettel pulled out an awesome lap (and I loved his sideways fun at Ascari!). Then on race day Vettel produced an overtaking move which was the best of the day, passing Alonso on the dirty/dusty side of Curva Grane, then being forced onto the grass and keeping his foot in! Amazing pass, possibly the best I've seen this season. Then he just kept his head and drove away. Exceptional drive.

Qudos to Alonso & Schumacher for finishing ahead of where their machiney should have allowed.

60

"..it was a move giving Lewis a choice, crash or stay behind." Lewis is known for giving his opponents those same two options as well.

61

Yes, that is two moves, and contravenes rule 20.2 of the F1 sporting regulations:

20.2 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

Schumi did both double changes of direction, and deliberate crowding of the car beyond the edge of the track on more than one occasion while defending his position against Lewis. It should have resulted in a more robust penalty, as it probably robbed Lewis of a podium.

Kudos to Lewis for refusing to be drawn into a debate after the race. Perhaps this is a sign that he is starting to mature (or is at least listening more to his advisors).

Jenson got past very easily. I'd be interested to hear whether Lewis and Jenson's car setups were significantly different. Great race by Jenson. He's my choice for best driver of the day.

62

Great post mate. I have quoted you below on one point I think you made very clear in respect of the Schumi-Hamilton battle.

"Let me remind you also that back in Spa we saw Lewis take up a defensive line at the top of the hill after passing KK, he then tried to return to the racing line. What Lewis failed to do was realise that KK was alongside. Had KK sat one car length back LH would have got back to the racing line for corner entry, which is a completely normal move in F1 terms."

This is a perfect example. Lewis passed Kobayashi, then went a bit right defensive because KK was right behind him. Lewis then went back on the racing line to position himself for the next turn. That's one move to the right, then one move to the left-when he and KK touched.

IMO this is exactly how Schumi was doing also. Why nobody complained about Alonso not leaving room for Vettel and that SV had to go 2 wheels on the grass?

"Driver of the day, easy. It’s Vettel."

I have to disagree with you Paul. And it seems a lot of other readers did the same looking at the pole.

SV only memorable thing was that pass on Alonso. The rest..I didnt even see him for the whole race. Is that what makes a good driver?

For me a good driver is when he makes consistently good overtakes, defends well, make good strategy calls, one who knows how to come back and attack when the time is right.

63

Nah I remember many times when Lewis did something similar and he wasn't penalized.

64

KRB, there you go mate, I hope you enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDfkz0J74Qg

65

Well if you remember then that's all the proof I need!

66

Don't cry baby.:(

67

+1 lol

68

I think it is called RACING, with todays display coming under the heading 'the art of defending your position maticulously, whilst abiding by the o.t.t. FIA rules and reggies'

Nowadays there is too much emphasis on neutered racing for my liking.

As for the comments as to whether Hamilton would have been punished had he done the same, I think the big difference is that Hamiltons moves have been, and would have been crass and ugly, with some definite moves and blocks which would be seen to be punishable...

Schumacher on the other hand; his moves were a lesson in subtelty and finesse, placing his car just right with the oh so subtle moves to anticipate Hamilton.

Added to that, the stewards probably knew that Schumi knew EXACTLY (to the mm) where his car was at any point in his manoevers, with the ability to control that well. As was shown at spa, Hamilton is not very good with all round awareness and so should be penalised more as a lesson. Hamilton hasn't developed that all round awareness or car subtelty yet.

IMHO

69

I could've kept LH behind doing what MS was doing! Subtle and finessed ... shya, riiight.

God help any driver that comes up behind Schumi in any future race where he's in a podium position late in the race. The move he pulled on Barrichello last year will look angelic in comparison I would wager.

70

No. to take the corner, he came back on to the racing line....that is acceptable.

dont be a cry baby....

71

Schumi the stewards' 'blue eyed boy'... I've never used this term on an F1 forum before but: lol are you serious?

I seem to remember him being black flagged, banned, or docked of all points from FOUR races in 1994 and receiving a 10 place grid drop as recently as last year.

So, he may be a lot of things but Schumi is no favourite of the stewards. A ludicrous comment!

Moreover, on many other sites, including F1fanatic etc. the general learned consensus (in addition to the stewards and JA) is that Schumi did nothing wrong.

This wasn't weaving, this was tough defending from a great driver in an inferior car to one of F1's bravest swashbucklers... strap on a pair! This is F1, not ballet.

72

Button was fantastic - shame about the start - agree his stock is raising all he time. Enjoyed Schumacher's driving though - was brilliant seeing him at the front and driving well.

73

I agree, Jenson was only 6 hundredths away in quali and overtook Lewis, Schumi, and Alonso as well for second position.

74

schumacher.

For my money Hamilton is the best at passing of any driver racing and MSC wasn't having any of it. He caught HAM asleep at the restart, re-passed him after he got through.

People can argue he did too much to defend his position (if the roles were reversed that would be the stewards reason du-jour for penalizing HAM), I'd say he was just the right side of the line.

Honourable mentions to Button for making up places and getting past HAM and MSC when the chance presented itself, Alonso for his start and Vettel for a good overtake on ALO - since he rarely gets a chance to do any. But you couldn't say any of them did *much* actual racing.

75

This is formula 1 racing. You cannot blame the stewards for not penalizing Schumacher. Its their decision, and obviously Schumacher has been fined a number of times since he came back, and so has Hamilton. This was real racing n Schumi is back in the mix. He drove so well yesterday and so did Hamilton. Button as always capitalized on their battle and took both out. Such tenacious driving from the Jenson. But boy did I love seeing Schumacher and Lewis yesterday. My hairs were standing n I would love to see that everytime.....

76

Maybe it was in that Brundle column, or maybe it was said during Speed's broadcast (I catch the BBC and then Speed commentaries), that the stewards were not allowed to investigate the LH-MS battle b/c it was not referred to them by Race Control. But then I read somewhere else that the stewards are able to investigate and rule on anything they like.

Again, confusion reigns in F1 officialdom.

77

I voted for Schumacher and I'm not blaming the stewards.

Brundle put it well on the BBC site

"Did we see a consistency of application of driving standards rules? No.

Have drivers been penalised for less than Schumacher did? Yes.

Has Hamilton been punished for less? Yes."

But here's the crunch - and I couldn't put it better:

"would I have penalised Schumacher in the race? No, we need quality racing and it's meant to be tough out there"

78

James I love that last one.Spot on!!!!

79

Actually Alonso and Vettel caught Hamilton napping, but through parabolica onto the main straight Hamilton was actually safely ahead of Schumacher - it's just that Mercedes was so damned fast in a straight line. Schumacher was around 15-20 kmph faster down the straight, equivalent to having DRS even when it wasn't activated.

80

In my view schumacher should have been penalized during the race for blatant blocking on Lewis. Created a train at one point. Poor sportsman, and again reminded me why I dislike him on the track. Bet Lewis christened him a few new names during the race.

Jenson, Seb, and Alonso all brilliant today.

81

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MEG88C3Mp0

Senna here weaving all over the place to block prost and schumacher and yet most would call that great driving, people need to stop moaning, do we ant to see racing or drivers being waved past

82
Constantijn Blondel

Excellent video, and illustrates the point very nicely:

Either people should keep complaining, and state out and clear that by logic Senna was a very dirty driver as well, or forego double standards and shut up about Schumi's (or, in similar situations, Hamilton's or any other driver's) defending.

I find the resort to 'the current rules' a particuly weak cop-out of accepting some people use double standards in this matter, just as much as (sombunall of) their opponents do.

I loved the fight. Great driving by both of 'em, and glad to see Hamilton kept it together, despite what must have been frothing frustration. He has nailed fantastic overtakes at times, and in Monza, he got his behind handed to him by Schumi.

It sure might cause some sour grapes to those who are convinced that there must be one single driver who's the best in F1 && this driver is Lewis Hamilton.

Fact of the matter is, we had five WDC's in the top 5, who have nothing to prove whatsoever to anyone, least of all armchair drivers (or armchair stewards). Sometimes driver xy gets the upper hand, sometimes driver ab gets it ... so it goes.

Incidentally, I found MB's comments, both on the show, and in his column, quite honest, and probably the sanest from what I've read on the topic. At least I didn't perceive it as a pro-Hamilton and anti-Schumi spin.

83

Those were the rules (written and unwritten) of the time. F1 has moved on. Back then lapped cars could hold you up for a stupid amount of time ... see Hill in an Arrows on Schumacher.

I want to see hard but fair racing, and drivers reasonable enough to know when they've lost out, instead of turning into a rival just b/c their car can't cut it.

84

There wasn't such a clearly defined 'one move' rule then, it was more of an unwritten rule. Looking back, Senna really did only make one move, it was just exquisitely timed (and therefore quite hairy!).

Having said that, there are plenty of times when he did not (on Alesi at Mexico 1991, for example). But then check out Hill on Schumacher in Cananda '98 - that was about 3 moves!!

85

A train? Are you talking about Schumi, Lewis and Button? Is that the train you are talking about? Because I dont remember any other driver being any closer to them. And as soon as Button got behinf Lewis and Schumi,he has passed Lewis the next lap and immediately after he passed Schumi.

There was no train. Schumi was fair in my opinion, otherwise he would've been penalised.

86

I think Hamilton does not know a clean passing move.

He either forces through and gets lucky (and is portrayed the best passer) or crashes (and is portrayed absolute rubbish).

i think if he is as good as the hype, he should have found a way through..

I mean even Button (who I think is lot better than what he gets credit for), managed to pass both LH and MS... so really, lets enjoy the rise of the Legend.. and also the fact that secretly LH probably liked dicing with MS rather than driving on his own..

87

'Even Button'......?

88

Point taken 😛

".. even Button .." was more along the lines of "Button who according to the so-called pundits is not supposed to be as good as Hamilton"..... you get the drift..

Also before the thread gets too long, I shoudl clarify.. I do think Hamilton is a fantastic racer..

But that does not mean is The One; and that he should accept that he wasn't clinical enough in his attempts to overtake, rather than complain that MS was being unfair.

The way I saw it no one was any more unfair than the other driver over the last few years (if not more).

So lets get on with some real racing like the one that we saw yesterday and not spoil it with silly complaints

89

"i think if he is as good as the hype, he should have found a way through.."

You either forgot or delibrate to neglect that Button's pass was a result of MSC's over-defending of Hamilton's attack which resulted in them both losing momentum.

90

My vote is for Bruno Senna, once again he proved me completely wrong, I was (wrongly) highly sceptical of him replacing Nick Heidfeld, but he certainly is proving his worth.

I thought it good of Hamilton to bite his tongue when he was asked if Schumacher should have been penalised. Then I thought about Webber passing Alonso into Eau Rouge last time as seen from Webber's car, as soon as he was half way past, he took the racing line and counted on Alonso backing off, ie just what Hamilton had done to Kobyashi though Hamilton's was not at nearly such a dangerous place. This was old school passing, it is normal to expect the guy who has passed you to resume the racing line immediately, it's up to you to get out of his way. Then compare it with today's nanny rules, Schumi today came close to getting a penalty, 10 years ago his defensive drive of today would be considered mild if not whimpy. Back then everyone knew that you had better be in a very good position, where you had him cold, or Schumi would have you off. Ayrton Senna was the same, utterly ruthless on track, it was the norm, it was expected and it was dangerous, the very reason many drivers of the era raced.

92

And Senna was for the most part seen as a hero. But I think the rule is : as long as your name is not Michael then any kind of bad driving is fine .

93

Completely agree. Michael Schumacher is an old man who's blocking when he sees he can be overtaken. Nothing has changed since 2010 Hungarian Gp and his "defensive" move on Rubens. Shame on him.

Jenson proves again he's a great champ with his smooth style and pure speed.

94

Oppollo, don't hate the man, hate the game. In formula 1 you've got to be the best to be the best. I loved the racing between Hamilton and Schumacher ; and so did the two of them. The onus is on u now. What will u say when Schumi finally starts to test Vettel.....we wait....

95

I can understand where you are coming from but when you want watch guys like Senna, Schumi or Lewis, you cant expect them to be like Jenson. That's the way they are. They are made to push the limits, not just the speed. I personally love it as long as there is no accident.

96

All the talk about Lewis and the Schu. What I thought was great was how Jens made very short work of the Schu. In thr middle of the battle between Lewis and the Schu.

97

Both Schu and Hamilton were comprimised by thier battle, that's why it was so easy for Jenson to take the opportunity. Still a great drive though.

98

Schumi! he was great and if he had a better ride like RB, we would have very boring races with him in front leaving everyone 20 - 30 seconds behind... I was disgusted with the BBC commentators today... it just shows how you Brits are caught in this Schumi the bad guy thing and you can't produce a balanced view...

99

I am British,and support Schumi 100%.

WHY? because he is the supreme racing driver of all time.I don't think he will ever be beaten with his astounding record..

What is more, before he finally retires he will have another star on his helmet.

Please don't think because we are British we automatically support Mclaren.Nothing could be further from the truth.

100

I'm British and my favourite driver is Button who also had a fabulous race but voted for Schumacher as driver of the day.

I think he drove impeccably today and whilst a few of his moves during his battle with Hamilton were slightly dubious, I don't believe he was in the wrong with any of them, nor did I agree with much of what Coulthard and Brundle were saying about his driving today.

He demonstrated true class, fighting spirit and bravery to keep Hamilton behind as long as he did.

101

The very fact that people are so divided on the issue is proof that Michael was driving on the absolute edge of both what is allowed and what was possible - he had to in order to keep a charging Lewis behind him.

Even the stewards couldn't quite bring themselves to say stop, they issued a gentle hint instead, they obviously didn't want to spoil the spectacle.

Lewis will rue that momentary lack of concentration at the re-start and also the time he lost at the pitstop which put him out behind Michael again. McLaren need to sharpen their technique a bit in that area.

Superb job by Seb, so well-judged. He doesn't bother to charge on to a 30 or 40 second lead, he has the confidence to hold his pursuers just far enough behind to control the race without straining anything. So far, we haven't had a driver doing the hat-trick of titles, I wouldn't bet my house on it not happening next year.

102

You are contradicting yourself by putting 'you brits' and balanced view in the same sentence!?! Clearly you do not have a balanced view of an entire nation let alone one driver who infringed the rules enough to be cautioned by both his boss and the FIA!!

Great drive by Michael, good to see him mix it up...from 'a brit'

103

Ps Alen, u clearly didn't listen to the commentators. They both stated very clearly they didn't agree with a penalty. MS clearly infringed the rules or RB wouldn't have been warned by the FIA and then warned MS. It was good tough racing kept in check in a common sense way. Endex.

104

Indeed, so good to see the best mixing it (by the best i mean, DS, AB, LH, JB and LH). I can't remember seeing 5 champions race before. I loved it. I think schumi pushed the line but I'm pleased with how it was dealt with by the FIA, I do believe there's too many penalties these days. I just think it was a great GP!!

105

F1_Badger; you couldn't have put it better. I loved the Schumi of old in Italy yesterday. And that was vintage Hamilton---the lad from Stevenage who was born to drive in formula 1. Two world champs mixing the best of what they had to offer. The beauty about it is it was so excruciating even for Hamilton; at the end of the race, he didn't complain---but agree that Schumacher drove so well n Mclaren agreed as well so did Mercedes as a team. Its funny that now, people are suddenly finding fault with Schumi's brilliant drive. Its funny how when Schumacher finishes 14th; everyone says he's lost it n is too old for formula 1. When he mixes it up with the best, everyone says he shud have been penalized!!!!

106

Oh, I can see where's this heading to... anyways - you guys are out to take the shine off the guy called Michael, but the news is - you can't! It's all biased BBC commentators and Eddie Torquemada propaganda thing really, but the rest of the world's not buying it...

107

Maybe, maybe not. But I dont think the bbc pundits are capable of giving a balanced view. A 40 something year old driver holding off who they think is the best overtaker in f1 in a superior car. Very, very impressive but this seemed to pass them by. They are blinded by there own past grievences. I remember a similar race with Hamilton weaving in the past to which Brundles response was more like "becareful Lewis". Maybe thats why Hamilton was being drawn on the matter. He knows he has done similar things in the past.

Why no mention of Alonso pushing Vettel into the grass?

108

100% agreed.

109

I'd say they sounded like bitter old men. :>)))

110

agree.....

Brundle and Davie used to get systematically, methodically, regularly and thoroughly spanked by Schumi....

They sounded (esp Brundle) more than a little like bitter men

111

Apart from Mika, name a driver who got the better of schumi on a regular basis, especially between 2000 & 2004? DC can atleast say that he beat MS on the track. In Canada and Spa, they sounded anything but bitter.

112

+1 !!!!!!

113

My opinion, which is one I'm sure many will disagree with, is that it was a brilliant drive from Schumacher.

I've always found hard defensive driving as impressive to watch as a bold overtaking manourvre, and I thought Michael was fantastic. Some will think he was over the line - I thought he was on the edge of the edge, and to me that is amazing to watch.

But also, in this new era of rapid fire overtaking, I loved seeing a sustained battle.

114

Exactly Trent. I thought Formula 1 is about pushing to the very limit from both sides of the coin demme fatale. You don't arrive in formula 1 without being able to be as deft as Schumacher was in Italy. He was ruthless in that race, and had a level of precision possibly only men like Ayrton Senna were ever allowed to equal; ever. Lewis Hamilton; hats off. I fancy his race-craft and will always; only this time, Schumacher had the best of him. If anyone remembers Canada, Schumacher literally handed Hamilton his exit without doing anything at all but maintaining his line. All I can say here is I think Schumacher understands Hamilton's style like a cheese plate hung out to dry. Not to take away anything from Hamilton, he's the most fun driver out there and the one maybe closest to immortal in terms of fearless and attack-minded driving. Thing is I believe Schumacher is exactly that as well!!!

115

Sorry, Alonso didn't push Vettel to the grass. But he defensed his position robustly. Vettel has done worse than Fernando today in the past like for example last year at the start in Germany, Turkey, etc... I thought he was a bit pretentious with his comment about Alonso not given him enough room.

116

It's not overlooked because Vettel reminded us what happened during the press conference. Alonso doesn't have to give room to Vettel, he was in front. Vettel had two options: yield or go for it. He went for it, and credit to him for doing that. He could do that becuse Fernando is a fair racer and can be trust in these situations.

117

Alonso did not give Vettel room simple as that ! And ofcourse this something that is somehow conviniently overlooked.

118

A tough call, but it goes to Vettel for me.

Button's drive was great, and well measured to allow him to blitz past Hamilton and Schumacher when they were both on the ropes, and then had a solid performance through the second half of the race for a deserved 2nd place finish.

Hamilton, for all his patience today, couldn't make a move stick on Schumy, who was admittedly taking his defence to the absolute limit of acceptability.

Whilst Alonso's spot was only so secure because of the battling behind him, holding people up. He did have one heck of a start, though, dipping onto the grass to get the job done.

Vettel, though, recovered from an average start that lost him the lead to Alonso with one of the best overtakes I've seen in a while. No DRS, just pace, nerves of steel and absolute control of the car, to be able to go round the outside of Alonso, dip two wheels onto the grass, and hold it rock steady into the chicane.

That's been one of my highlights of the season, I think.

119

Hamilton's car was under geared, every time he had the DRS open he was straight on the rev limiter, the car literally could not go fast enough to get alongside Schumi. It was like watching two trucks on the A1 dual carriageway side by side both on the limiter, one trying to overtake at 0.5 mph quicker than the other.

He was also loosing half a second in the up-shift from 6 to 7. where normally it would be an instantaneous gear change his was messing about revving and blipping (as you would expect on a downshift) making the change take nearly a second. The policy of gearing for "DRS shut" and a hoped for increase in speed out of the long curves.

Button's car was obviously geared longer.

Next year gears are fixed for the season, that will be a puzzle for the teams! However it will re-introduce engine competition in as much as torque curves will become critical.

120

Buttons car was geared the same

121

Fernando in the class of its own..given the car that can fight for the champion ship we can win the champion in much better fashion than Vettel...when under pressure is used to make mistakes...the over takes which he made on Fernando Alonso in SPA and MONZA was only because of the car he had...but without car how to overtake he needs to learn it from Fernando Alonso...remember suzuka 2005 130R corner a move against 7 times WDC...the best overtaking move in the History of Formula 1...

122

I can't see any team other than RBR producing a 2012 car that is far and away better than all others, as the RB6 and RB7 have been.

Hopefully though, both Ferrari and McLaren will produce cars that will be right up there with the RB8, with one car better than the others at certain tracks. That was the case in 2007 (McLaren probably edging it as best car) and 2008 (the Ferrari overall the faster car, but McLaren faster at certain tracks).

123

"No DRS, just pace, nerves of steel and absolute control of the car"

And, of course, a car 1 second faster!

This is becoming a topic, how much people are starting to think any overtake in any GP is better than the best overtake they have seen. Hamilton overtake on Schumacher is, to me, the most remarkable one of this GP: how to pass one car when it's as faster than you [in the straights].

124

Oh Michael... How you time and again prove everyone wrong 🙂

125

Micheal....."Your the best around." (Performed by Jo Esposito) from the Karate Kid. That's to you for doing what you did in Italy yesterday. Lovely....Demme fatale timeless; I would want to see that over and over again. The clock is ticking. Vettel, here we come......

126

I think that's two races in a row that Schumacher is voted fan favorite. Not bad for a guy who hasn't seen a podium yet. These "old dogs" at Mercedes better show us some tricks next year.

127

great drive by many today- all of those you mentioned could be considered although I thought Hamilton would have been the least deserving. While I enjoyed th race, I am left with a slight bitter after taste because no one got in a position to put any pressure on Vettel, who was imperious. The only ones that look like they could have were the Mclarens ( and I think they maybe could have ) but again they both have bad starts and get stuck behind someone and instead of challenging Vettel, end up having to drive for a podium. Come on Mclaren get those statrts sorted and maybe we can take the game to Redbull

128

For real! Find out what software Ferrari are using for their starts, and replicate it. I know the Ferrari has better mech grip, but there's more going on than just that!

129

This should silence all those who think Vettel can't "Race" like the other champions on the track. The pass on Alonso was worth seeing over and over again. Beautiful. That is why I voted for him for this race.

130

One overtake? But a very good one, nevertheless.

131

True, but if you're almost always leading the race I guess you don't really have a chance of showing what you can do very often. He can "Race" the other drivers if he needs to. That one pass showed it me thinks.

132

That's what I thought too. Nobody can say he can't overtake. Absolute control, I was wondering if it would snap back into the middle of Alonso's car, but it didn't shake a bit. May turn out to be the defining moment of this year's title for him.

133

Did Hamilton get penalised for cutting across Kobayashi at Spa? Did he get penalised for trying to ram Massa off at Silverstone? Schumi took his line but he wasn't unfair.

Fact is Jenson out drove Hamilton and the pressure is mounting it looks like Lewis has lost the plot, look how easy it was for Button to overtake Schumi, took a few corners, who's the best overtaker again?

134

You failed to point out Jenson got the run on both Hamilton and Schu due to Ham's attack and Sch's defensive moves which resulted in them getting slow out of the corner. That doesn't make Hamilton a bad overtaker and Button a better overtaker than Hamilton.

I'm a fan of both Button and Hamilton here so I'm not biased towards either of them, just saying as a matter of fact and from objective point of view.

135
Constantijn Blondel

"objective point of view."

I think that's a contradiction in terms ...

136

One swallow doesn't make a summer. Good drive by very good drive by Jenson today, but despite Lewis admission poor season so far he's only 14 points of second place. As for losing the plot, I think that's a bit harsh, unlucky yes, but l his luck will probably change for the better soon, and we will be able to Judge at the end of the season.

137

Michael Schumacher. Seeing him running at the front was surreal; it's been five years. That he diced with Prost and Senna, and now he's dicing with Hamilton is amazing, and I think his fight with Hamilton tonight was a significant and profound moment in F1 history.

138

+1

I wasn't a supporter of Michael earlier (being an ardent fan of KR), but in his new avatar of underdog, I loved what he did to Lewis yesterday. Apart from once when he pushed the limit I think at the Ascari chicane, it was amazing racecraft.

C'mon - Lewis supposedly a master overtaker, in a superior car stuck behind Michael for over half the race. And Jenson comes along and passes both of them on his first attempt. You have to think a bit more about Lewis.

139

It's difficult to pass a car when you're 10mph slower down the straights. Perhaps it's a testament to how much Lewis has matured that he didn't try anything crazy and eventually passed him safely, despite Schumi's sometimes dangerous defensive moves.

What a pity that he didn't get past 2 or 3 laps earlier, as we would then have been treated to an Alonso versus Hamilton dice to the flag for the final podium position.

Finally, I must comment on the total lack of class shown by the Tifosi in booing Jenson at the podium ceremony. For that reason alone, I will be very happy if Ferrari fail to score a podium for the rest of the season.

140

Actually it was more like 6mph difference but Mclaren had slipstream and DRS but yet Hamilton failed miserably, Button took 5 corners to pass, it's just proving Hamilton is not the best overtaker and Button is not as slow as the Hamilton fan brigade seems to think, I think Jenson should go to Ferrari and test his strengths against Alonso, if he can match Fernando like the way he does Hamilton then he can cement his position as an F1 elite, just needs 2 more titles as well.

141

Yes totally agree, seeing him in 3rd and in between Alonso and Hamilton was surreal, amazing even, the magic of F1 is still there and long may it live, Schumi is a living legend, I use to dislike him but am now seeing why he is Mr Formula 1, keep going Michael it was magical watching you hold Hamilton back lap after lap, and also we are watching a legend in the making in Vettel, the boy is simply the best in the business, props to Alonso and Jenson another 2 world class drivers, spoit Hamilton looks haunted big time, come on Jenson as long as you keep up the good form and Ron Dennis let's you, you can do this and beat Hamilton.

142

Talk about being OTT! Schumachers fight with Hamilton a profound moment in F1 history- Give over!

143

Couldn't agree more. It was what made the race so fantastic. I'm not a fan of his antics in Hungary 2010, but what he did today was Formula 1 Racing. If you don't like that or thing he was 'going to far', then I don't know what to say. It really annoyed me how Brundle and Coulthard were going on about how 'unacceptable' and 'beyond the limit' he was being. Absolutely ridiculous. He was defending amazingly......for 30 laps against a far superior car, and the apparent 'best overtaker in F1'. It was a joy to see it. It honestly felt like Brundle and Coulthard were trying to influence the stewards with the way they kept banging on about it....shame on them. I'm a huge fan of theirs usually, but their behaviour today left a bad taste in my mouth.

144

Well said!

145

Has to be Vettel, untouchable today.

146

We want to see extraordinary stuff in F1, we need to see something different. Schumacher gave us just that today. All "second" moves were returns on the racing line after a fight was decided. Michael showed tremendous feel for space and distances, knowing when the McLaren was about to reach and moved or didn't move accordingly every time. Absolutely brilliant.

147

Most of the times, you're right. The only movement that didn't feel right to me it was the one that pushed Hamilton off track, as he didn't leave much room (and Hamilton was already there). After that, I thought that everyone - stewards, and may even Brawn to some extent - were afraid that it would end up bad for both of them.

148

Has anyone noticed how much blatant hate DC throws towards Schumacher? It's disgusting

149

Can you blame DC Hisham?,he's seen everything Schu has done over the years,for instance that track impeding qualifying stunt the Schu pulled at Monaco among many others eh,kinda hard for someone with a high sense of etiquette such as DC to forgive such crude unashamed selfishness.

150

Oh Yer, it is tragic stuff from DC.

"Well in the rule book it says"..please help us from this guy. We realise your career was destroyed by Schumacher, just please, at least try to make your envy and bias not so obvious.

151

Agree with this - every second move I saw was a return to line (perfectly acceptable I believe). Coulthard even got his little rule book out to try to justify his little green-eyed observations in commentary.

The fact of the matter is that the BBC pundits like Coulthard and Brundle (who Schumacher spent most of his career whipping) or Jordan (who Schumacher dumped for a better team) can never offer fair perspective on him. They have never been able to do what he did and have not achieved what he has so they will always see the worst.

152

Nope - 2 moves contravenes rule 20.2 of the sporting regulations, regardless of whether or not that 2nd move is a return to the racing line.

153

Jeff you're wrong. 20.2 prohibits two moves in defending a position, as the above poster so eloquently explains.

154
Constantijn Blondel

It's debatable whether his 2nd move was in defending, or whether it was a return to position after a succesful defense.

From what I heard, the stewards were not sure either - which is precisely why it was very smart driving by MSC ... on the limit, as close to going over it as possible, but staying inside.

The rules are clear in some areas, but time and again, drivers (and teams) find the ambiguities (in this case, whether the 2nd move was in defending).

If the question isn't that simple, and the answer not that clear, even for the stewards, and most of the paddock (who know the rulebook and the loopholes by heart ), who are we to decide otherwise.

"I think MSC's actions were just within the rules/just out of bound, but I'm not sure" ... try practicing it in the mirror, it's not that hard.

155

Don't watch BBC then.

156
Constantijn Blondel

Good point!

Even though I thought they both were a bit too critical on MSC, I really didn't find them that negative - I enjoyed it. But then, I am arrogant enough to make up my own mind, and feel free to disagree with what anyone on TV tells me - oh the hubris!

As to EJ - He's an eedjut, and his mouth is permanently disconnected from his brain - that's why we love him! 🙂

157

The thing is, if it was Lewis or Jenson, he would have defended them. DC is just jealous. At the end of the day, you can never like a guy who destroyed you.

158

Totally agree! DC's commentary on Schumacher has been disgusting this year. Shame DC, shame ...

159

Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed both of their commentary this season but it's come up time and again.

A commentator has a massive influence on the watching public because he/she helps cement the initial view of the viewer. If DC goes around speaking negatively about MSC, the public perception towards him will be negative when in reality he doesn't deserve it. It's highly frustrating

160

difficult not to notice mate. If he isn't careful he'll end up in the same boat as legard.

Personally wouldn't mind if that ended up happening... I don't get why it's so difficult to pronounce "Vettel" correctly.

161

Someone needs to firmly tell DC that “Vettle” rhymes with “Kettle”, and stop trying to be posh with the pronunciation.

162

Even Brundle and the others get it wrong all the time. It's pronounced Fettle.

163

Oh yes! That vuh-tell is particularly irritating.

164

The internet allows anybody to criticise anything, however irrational. So a commentator doesn't pronounce a name the way you want it pronounced,& you get online? Unreal.

165

"The internet allows anybody to criticise anything, however irrational."

the above proves your point exactly.

Moderators, I have seen much worse posts than my previous (and very similar) reply to Peter.

166

Absolutely agreed. Coulthard and EJ are first class idiots when it comes to discussing Schumacher. It was beyond annoying to see them rant over the whole thing for a good 20 minutes like MS killed somebody ! For christ's sake leave your complexes behind when commentating. The result of all this whining is we have a whole set of BBC viewers who now think Schumacher was unfair when he clearly wasnt, it was on the line but it was what everyone calls "Hard and fair" racing.

167

If you pay close attention Brundle calls him "Vet-tel" just as much despite all the digs he has at DC.

Speaking of DC and his bias - it grates on me also but I prefer it over the Schumi crush that our very own host James Allen had in the ITV days!

168

Yes, I'm starting to find DC's bias very tiresome!

169

DC is not a good commentator at all. Forget his blatant biases for a second and listen to his ideas. He was comparing courtesy of drivers on the road to racing car drivers. Its common courtesy among drivers.... blah blah blah just like you have courtesy on the everyday road between motorists. Are you for real DC? Racing drivers with should not have common courtesy... they should make the pass as hard as hell. No wonder DC never came close to winning a Championship... he was too "Courtesy" with Mika. What a joke! We need another Murray Walker!

170

Agree.

DC and Brundle are having a love in with certain drivers and hating other currently.

Vettel... must be considered like Senna now..... really? Senna won GP's in 93 in a horible car and beat Alain Prost who was the statistically best driver ever in F1 when he finished (all stats bar the the most WDCs... prost only had a mere 4)

Di Resta..... Commenting that Sutil was having a great weekend because he qualified and finished ahead of DI Resta..... as opposed to normally were that is the case almost every week.

Schumacher.... he has the widest car (one of my favourite things to see.. great defending, not blocking). minor things are against ettiqitte, big things should see him sent home, etc...

Button... making asingle move is proof he is legend, losing a spot is proof his car is bad

Hamilton... Tries hard and brilliant overtaker but things don't work out for him. But he's still the best

etc...

171

Seb was almost perfect today. I'm not a fan of his, and I deeply dislike his finger waving. But we have to accept it - his car is the best, but he is managing it quite well and will be a well deserving WDC.

I loved Fernando's start, it was fantastic and made us Ferrari fans dream of a great result. Also a great defence by Schumacher, but he probably deserved a penalty for waving, didn't he? Jenson drove a good race, but IMO he simply took his car where she deserved to be.

So my vote is for Vettel this time.

172

Almost as epic as his Spanish GP start 🙂 hearing the roar of the crowd there was epic!

173

Schumi obviously, he managed to hold up one of the best drivers of the age and ruin his race for ages when ultimately not having any chance of driving a faster race then him - he even commented after the race how it was amazing that hamilton managed to go on and make 20 seconds on him once he had got past....

he also allowed an inferior driver to sneak around hamilton and him and thus keep hamilton away from baby schumi.

tactical genius and a sportsman....

driver of the day though must go to the guy having to drive the course car - looked like an old ferrari f355 and not feel like someone who had turned up at the oscars in jon travolta's white flared suit!

174

It's a 348, it's even older 🙂

175

And what a provenance for any buyer!! Only driven on race days.:)

176

Has to be Vettel. Imperious from the front and even put in an entertaining overtake.

Schumacher shouldn't even be on the list, this ruling sends out the message that you can keep weaving until the stewards give a final warning.

177

It would be if he had actually been weaving... To weave you would have to move across the track repeatadly much like LH did in Malaysia last year. MS moved to defend and then moved back to take up his racing line as the lead car. It is called defense... Seems like a lost art this season with DRS and I loved it! Proper racing.

178

Brawn on two occasions warned Shumi to give space, it was very obvious that's why the stewards let it go.

179

A great race overall and I believe there was nothing wrong with Schumacher's driving. More of the same will keep F1 exciting.

180

Yep, unfortunately a lot of the folks here are whining about it because their very talented driver was embarrassed by a 42 years old man, especially when he went outside to retake the position. What annoys me is that there were loads and loads of great racing and they are not happy because of one bold move.

181

If that's what you find exciting I should switch to watching banger racing.

Schumacher was weaving. Whether he overstepped the line is debatable. The stewards clearly couldn't decide. Next time MSC will push it a little bit further.

182

Banger racing is full contact no rules racing. At no point did they make contact, only time they did look like making contact was when Lewis went for a space that was never there. All moves made at the Curve Grande were around the outside not the inside. Full marks to Lewis for trying but that move was never on.

183

I've given it to Button. I'm not sure if his passing of Hamilton and Schumi was more luck than skill, probably 50/50 but you can't argue that he didn't make the most of it!

Hamliton is just regrouping I think. It's not all his driving some of it is luck and he's not finding any! It seems to be the way of his career. Think China '07! But I can't help but feel we are in for a treat at another race or two this season and the fight between him and Button is going to be fascinating!

184

I dont understand why people have been kept telling Schumi to quick.

Watching him was like watching Rocky Balboa.

He didn't have the car or dare I say physical ability to go up against one of the fastest guys in a better car, yet he showed his heart and fought tooth and nail. Brilliant stuff.

185

Alonso deserves a better car, a real shame if he doesn't win another WDC. He couldn't have done any more today, his body language on podium said it all, another year gone.

I was bemused with BBC comments today on Vettel, to rank him with Senna and Schumacher, he has had the fastest car the last three years, the best car the last two years. With the best car, you need to beat your team mate, Webber has had his chance, resigning him has played into Vettels hands again. Once again the man making the difference in F1 is Newey, let's please please ban him for the sake of the sport!

Vettel is brilliant, no doubt about it, but I want to see him win in not the best car, just like Alonso and Hamilton can, then we can class him as great.

Let's ban Kers and keep DRS as it negates the dreaded turbulant air, we've gone too far on technology, all seems a litle sterile at the moment. Also it's rare to see drivers spin out or mechanical failures like the past, how many past championships would be different with today's reliability record??? Senna finished 7 races in 89 (some crashes, yes) with 6 wins and one second with Prost as a team mate!!! Mansell 91 world champion!

Hakkinen

186

I guess that Coulthard in particular must talk up Vettel....

Vettel has put Mark Webber in the shade this year and Webber in turn ended Couthards career...

after outclassing him for a number of seasons..

187

[mod] Of all the drivers mentioned only Button and Vettel have won with inferior teams BAR Honda and Torro Rosso come to mind.Alonso and Hamilton are yet to win with inferior teams so that comparism is just not right and also when last have we seen someone as consistent as Vettel since MSC?

188

Alonso won fuji 08 in that average renault, as well as almost winning the title last year in the 3rd best car. Lewis won races in that awful mclaren back in 09 too.

189

Hamilton's car in the 2nd half of 2009 was sorted and fastest in certain places that's how he win races, was also due to the fact had the only car in the top team that actually made use of the KERS, even Kovalainen was qualifying on the front row in that car, also Jenson also won in what wasn't the fastest car in 2006 and the start of last year, Vettel has been winning when the car hasn't been the fastest in race trim this year, in fact it's only Hamilton that can't win races in anything other than the fastest car.

190

I think you are wrong there. Hamilton is one of the few who can win in not the fastest car. He's shown that quite a few times.

191
No one watches the races anymore

Watch 2008 Monza then.

And this season in Barcelona and Monaco he didn't have the fastest car and won them both.

Circumstances? Maybe, but he still won them in the slower car. So there goes your argument.

192

Very impressed with Jenson, but you have to give Driver of the Day to Seb. A great overtake on Fernando and then dominated the race. He will be a very worthy two-times World Champion after this season.

193

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote on one of these blogs that I thought Mercedes had an outside chance of winning at Monza based on their straight-line speed. After the restart when Schumacher was attacking Alonso in 2nd place, I thought I was almost going to be right.

194

Ironic that my driver of the day is also the driver of the year, eh!

Vettel didn't have to fight Alonso that much especially so early in the race to get back the position. Most other drivers even Mr. Consistent Alonso, wouldn't have risked such a move irrespective of their points cushion.

As for Button, his way of racing is hardly racing. All he does is sit back & hopes the drivers ahead tangle like Webber & Massa did.

He tried the same move with Hammy & Schumi but Lewis disappointed him so he decided to come forward & force the issue.

Alonso just had a great start & that was it. He wasn't able to keep the faster cars back for long & so it happens he was fortunate Schumi held Hammy back for quite a while.

So yeah, my driver of the day is the Wunder Kid!

195

It seems unlikely that the style of overtaking you attribute to Button would be compatible with the fact that he has pulled off more on-track overtakes than anyone else this season.

196

Button has more overtakes than any other driver this year. It might be time to reconsider your view that all he does is sit back.

197

All Button does is sit back & hopes the drivers ahead tangle.......so he decided to come forward & force the issue.

Total contradiction, innit.

198

Schumacher simply made himself an obstacle. He knew, as he said in his 'dream' comment later, that he was going nowhere - so he simply did his best to thwart others and unfairly so.

JB did an excellent job yet again taking both LH and MS then the fading FA for 2nd. So my Driver of the Day.

LH overall got on with it and played the game better - but didn't mean it since you could see the frustration as he clenched hius teeth.

FA would have done better with a better car - but that's true of all except SV.

Vettel with the fastest car simply drove off into the distance with one unnecessarily risky overtake when he almost ended up eating grass. Why didn't he wait until he could use DRS? Silly boy!

199

Thwart others?? Is that what racing is now called when you defend? MS's job is to finish as high as he can not just get out of the way when a faster car is behind him.

I bet you did not think that Senna thwarted Mansell in the classic Monaco battle. No that was just a great race/battle like yesterday.

LH's race was not ruined or thwarted by anyone he finsihed 4th because of the race he drove nothing to do with anyone else!

200

Not So.

Schumi was as quick as the mclarens on the soft tyres.... well until they went off at least... remember schumi had radioed the pits so say his rear tyres were gone the lap before jason sneaked past him.... however, on the harder tyres, both Schumi and Ferrari appeared to struggle more than others.

201

Why is it "unfair" to not roll over in a RACE?

Racing is also the art of passing the car in front of you. If you can't do this, then maybe you do not deserve to be in front.

If every driver who thinks he got an inferior car to his pursuer would just yield, we could stop races all together and just hand out trophies to the team who build the best car.

202

Its not fair to call Schumi an obstacle, he was in front of Hamilton and entitled to defend his position, that's what racing is after all. Its not like he was being lapped and holding Lewis up, he was entitled to be there and defend his position.

203

I think Seb felt he had to get past Alonso quickly in order to make his short gear strategy work.

He knew his car was faster than the Ferrari, and could pull a gap once past. But wasn't sure about the McLarens, and couldn't count on Lewis being held up for so long by Sachumacher.

204

James -

Excellent race again..

I have a question about Schumacher's seeming resurgence, which continued again...

Looks like slowly and surely he is getting his racecraft really sharp (as before).. and would really like a decent car for next year.

This upward trend seems to be noticable even to the casual observer, but i would really be interested in knowing how this trend is being perceived by other drivers and team bosses.

I know some time last year Alonso had said that you have to wait for Schumacher to get up to speed.. so surely he is keeping a close eye on him.. but whats the general trend of thought with other drivers and bosses?

205

Alonso has fought against Schumacher when Schumacher had a car that gave him a chance (2006). He - and I think Vettel as well - are a lot more respectful of Schumacher's past achievements and the ability he clearly *still* has.

206

That's what I am thinking, I think he is slowly becoming a top driver again. If you put Alonso in that lemon I don't think he would have finished higher than 5th.

207

Vettel vs Shumi, 2012. Well, some of us can dream 😉

208

I voted for Jaime Alguersuari but really considered Button. Alonso also drove the wheels off of a flawed car but that come to be expected.

209

I too was going to vote Button, but voted for Alguersuari instead because neither Jenson nor any of the other candidates for DotD had a career best showing, nor started so far back in the grid. That it was only a couple of races ago that it appeared Alguersuari's days in F1 were numbered if he didn't start producing shows he is not only getting getting the job done but under a lot of pressure on young shoulders.

210

I enjoyed the MS-LH scrap...!

Felt sorry for LH coming 1 lap short of a podium in the end.

Alonso did a great experienced job of maximizing his tires in those last laps.

Jenson: great shot of his biggest fan in the garage, lovely! Sublime overtaking today. Jenson gets better and better. I expect good stuff of him going into the final races and who knows he'll be a serious contender next season leading McLaren.

LH: he was cautious, patient etc but it hurts his racing. But some solid cautious and patient performances and we can see the od confident Lewis back.

Vettel... in a different league. He's been gaining confidence all season so that now he can even risk putting a wheel wrong, and still in anger get the job done.

Jaime: I like his development curve!

211

It never ceases to amaze me how people still criticise Michael. Alonso pushed vettel onto the grass but no one utters a word in condemnation against him; schumi does it and all hell breaks loose. Admit it people, it was bloody brilliant to watch. Put him in a red bull or a mclaren and he'd be on the podium weekly. Great to have him on the grid and he's been driving flawlessly

212

The younger drivers need to toughen up. Schumy is still the man.

213

Too many great drives today - Vettel, Alonso, Button, Schumacher!

I'll tell ya one thing - I think Button might be the best overtaker in F1...

214

It has to be Vettel. Today we saw why he is going to be the youngest double champion in history.

Button drove a strong, controlled race. I loved it when he caught the Hamilton-Schumacher battle, passed them both, and left them behind.

Alonso took the car beyond its limits, once again. It was sad to see how easy Button passed him just by having better traction with cold prime tyres.

As for Hamilton, finally after 5 seasons he found THE driver that won't be intimidated by his antics. We've been talking here this week about how the McLaren drivers compare to each other, well... today Button gave him a lesson!!

215

What were Hamilton's antics?? For trying to overtake (So it's OK for other drivers to try to overtake but not him?)?? For trying to make a race of it?? Well damn him for trying to do what he's there to do! He might as well just sit at home then!

216

[mod] button did not give hamilton " a lesson". he sat on his a** for several laps whilst hamilton and schumacher duked it out and then when finally schumi had worn out his tyres (take note of radio broadcast) and he is busy pushing hamilton off the road button sneaks around the outside. he wasn't brave, he wasn't particularly exciting and he was beaten on fastest laps by hamilton. he then benefited by virtue of sneaking past schumi and hamilton from having a better pit stop option.

do you really think that if both he and hamilton had got past schumacher on the same lap he would have beaten hamilton?

i am trying to think of a race where button has beaten hamilton when both have finished without some crazy incident ruining hamilton's race.

as far as i can remember, when they are both racing there is usually one winner and it is not button.

217

" button did not give hamilton ” a lesson”. he sat on his a** for several laps whilst hamilton and schumacher duked it out and then when finally schumi had worn out his tyres (take note of radio broadcast) and he is busy pushing hamilton off the road button sneaks around the outside."

And that my friend, is the lesson.

218

Sitting on his a** for too long, or tactically and strategically waiting to see how the battle ahead played out? What would be the point in increasing tyre wear in the dirty air of the two cars in front fighting, and/or potentially getting caught up in any incident that resulted from their battle?

When he was fed up of waiting he caught Lewis and Michael quickly enough, took advantage of a shaky moment from Lewis, and did a decent enough overtake on Michael. They'd all been on the same tyres for the same amount of time, and it's not as if Lewis stormed past Michael immediately afterwards either.

Maybe it's too strong to say that JB taught LH a lesson, but he played it perfectly.

219

Fact is, Hamilton did pass Schumacher, then allowed the Mercedes to pass him back: 1st mistake. Not only that, he kept trying to pass on the wrong side of Ascari (easily defendable by Schumacher), until Button showed him how it's done (round the outside), 2nd mistake.

I'm not comparing Hamilton vs Button, I'm comparing their performance at the Italian GP 2011. Clearly Button won the battle.

220

Exactly - Hamilton's "great over-taking" more often than not consists of put it up the inside / around the outside so he backs off or we touch.

Schumacher wouldn't take it and Hamilton was reduced to a baby on the radio throwing his toys out of the pram.

If he'd been around in F1 even ten years ago he'd have never finished a race trying some of the moves he goes for.

221

Exciting race and Hamilton/Schumacher gave great value for money. Love him or hate him, Lewis is always where the fun is. I hope he can win another race before the end of the year.

Vettel's being flattered by a perfect car and it's a total snoozefest at the front. Shame because from 2nd downwards it's an awesome season.

222

So why is Webber so slow then? Could it not be that Vettel is flattering the Red Bull car? Why does everyone pressume that's not the case yet when it's Hamilton or Alonso it's 'obvious' they are out performing the car...

223

I am discouraged by todays race... If this is the sign of things to come, then I fear for this sport. Vettel romping away at the front, the rest squabbling for 2nd place. Can Ferrari or McLaren please get your set up correctly? Or just build a faster car, you have all the best engineers and equipment at your disposal, why are you struggling like that? And to the stewards that obviously will only blame Hamilton if something goes wrong, but never the other way around, if you want to wussify the sport with only one defensive move allowed, why did Schumacher not get a penalty which was a direct contravention of the rules? Or does it sayu in the rules that any judgement will only count against Hamitlon? Spa 2011 and Monza 2011 are bitter reminders of stewarding gone wrong. Dissapointing. Seriously dissapointing and disgusting. Driver of the day? Liuzzi for all that I care.

224

Egad! The only thing that made this race really interesting was the Schumi-Hammy battle and you want a penalty for schumi? Who of course was on the limit as he always has been and will always be.

Finally Lewis meets The Man and got a taste of what racing was during senna-prost era from Schumi. Nothing came easy racing back then, hope lewis learnt a lesson today 'so called best overtaker in the F1.' even DRS could't help him much to an inferior car which was 1 second slower than his.

Great tactical/defensive drive from Schumacher. Mercedes! please this man a decent car to keep fighting in the front for F1's sake...

No guesses on who got my vote!

225

So he didn't deserve a penalty for breaking the rules just because you think that made the race more interesting? Are you also part of the crew that demands Hamilton's head on a stake every time he is involved in an accident or scrap that turned out to be the most interesting part of the race?

226

Wow. I have no words.

227

Simple answer No!

228

Where were you all these years when Hamilton was breaking all the rules in the book and getting no penalty. Frankly, I am happy that we got schumi back in the mix. This is the epitome of racing and drivers should be racing on the limit of fairness. You are upset only becuz Hamilton had his race destroyed, the rest of the world though absolutely revelled in that tussle. Overtaking is over-rated .... Its when it comes to defending when you have a slower car that true genius comes to the fore.

229

Were was I? I was looking at it with a perspective of right vs wrong as defined by the rules put in place by the FIA. Is double weaving and driving another car of the road illegal? Yes or no? Did Schumacher double weave and drive Hamilton of the road? Yes or no? Well there you have it. Simple answer ain't it? When did Hamilton break the rules were he didn't get penalized? Please do give me examples.

Now, to give credit were credit is due, Schumachers defending was excellent, if these defensive moves he made would have been legal, I would have no problem with it. But they were illegal as could duly be understood that Ross Brawn himself, not his race engineer, Ross Brawn had to tell Schumacher TWICE that he better give room were he needs to give room. I personally don't think much of the "you are not allowed to move twice" rule, but it is the rule and when it is broken the punishment for it should also be dished out. What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong. And Spa and Monza showed the complete unfair application of said rules. Liuzzi gets a 5 grid penalty for getting it wrong at the start and Senna didn't such a penalty, he only got a drive through. Yet Kovaleinen who pushed Liuzzi of the road got away clean.

On the point that I am upset "becuz" one of my favorite drivers had their race wrecked by another driver you are totally correct. Cleverly noticed there...

What upsets me more is that people still fall for that phony called Schumacher, the limit of fairness you speak of has always been a very far fetched idea when mentioned in the same sentence as Schumacher. The amount of times he got away with blatant cheating begs believe. The thing is, looking back at Schumachers career with the FIA rule book open on your lap without any bias makes you suddenly realize what a phony he really is. To me he is one of the greatest driving talents, but unfortunately his lack of sportsmanship negates any sympathy I ever had for him.

230

Senna's accident was due to negligence on Senna's part. Liuzzi was crowded of the race track, not out of spite by Kovaleinen, but because everybody was jockying for position. It happens. Buemi got a penalty for doing the same thing to Heidfeld. Were is the consistent stewarding? Giving Liuzzi a 5 grid penalty for a racing incident and givng Maldonado the same penatly for a deliberate swipe at Hamilton on a cooldown lap shows that fairness is a very loose term in terms of handing out punishments.

231

@Chapor the stewards couldn't give Liuzzi a drive through because, unlike Senna at Spa, he was out of the race. And to be honest, a 5-place penalty isn't much punishment - he hasn't qualified higher than 22nd for the last 4 GPs anyway.

232

It sounds like you [mod] have been spoiled by the close championships over the last 5 seasons.

233

Is that wrong? 2000-2004 was painful enough as it was. 2010-2014 Vettel 5 times WDC anyone?

234

And I am not saying it is their fault. I remember clearly stating that McLaren and Ferrari should start building a faster car...

235

No it's not wrong, but it's not RBR's fault that Ferrari and McLaren can't get their act together!

236

give over Dom.

it was proper wheel to wheel action, no holds barred, true racing, provided by 2 people who can do it like no one else.

you've clearly got too used to this sanitised F1 and with its tarmac runoffs and penalties for moves..... This is how it used to be. F1 at its absolute best today. Alonso did a similar thing to Vettel, and yet you don't mention that???

All of it acceptable, all of it fantastic racing.

237

Jenson Button driver of the day. He showed Hamilton how to overtake Schumacher and then passed Alonso with a clinical overtaking move to extend his tally of the driver who has made the most overtaking moves this season.

239

Schumacher is much more comfortable with the Merc, and the straight line speed helped him, but I'm not sure he was driver off the day, yes he defended to the limit against Hamilton (and was only ahead of him because Hamilton was asleep at the restart) but Button simply blew past him having managed his tyres better.

Likewise Vettel - one heart in mouth moment which could have ended with him spearing into the side of Alonso does not make a great drive - the Red Bull is a far superior car and Webber crashed out so its hard to assess this objectively as drive of the day.

Button got the job done better than Hamilton but finished where McLaren should have.

Alonso probably edges it for me - the Ferrari shouldn't have been on the podium but Alonso showed he has persistence and guile with inferior machinery to get there.

240

Button for me. Overtaking both Schumacher and Alonso is extremely difficult (just ask Lewis) and Button was able to do both to make up for his lousy start. Everyone talks about how Vettel, Hamilton, and Alonso are top 3 in the world right now, but I think it's past time to put Button in that class. If not for his bad luck in Germany and Britain (not of his doing in either case), he'd be well ahead in 2nd in the points.

241

Vettel for driver of the day. Everyone always chimes in that he's not a true racer as he never has to overtake but whenever he does need to pull one out of the bag he does so.

Schuie's drive was highly entertaining, he defended well and at the end of the day even DC, the biggest hater of them all, didn't think it actually warranted a penalty.

Hopefully Merc and Force India can bring a better all round package next season rather than just straight line speed.

242

James, has anybody picked up on the fact that 5 world champions took the top 5 places? I assume this is the first time in history for this to happen, proof enough that under the current rules the cream rises to the top?

244

But you get you more points now, so that is that a valid stat?

245

Has to go to Button for the best racing of the day. Vettel was immensely quick, but Jenson's race craft was unmatched.

I have to ask what Hamilton is doing on this list though? He lost two places on where he started, spent most of the race stuck behind a car his teammate overtook straight away and just generally seemed like he wasn't on top of his game the way Button, Vettel and possibly Schumacher are at the moment.

246

Agreed all the way 'round! I particularly liked Bruno Senna: last to 9th & best finish of his career. He & Jenson, were tops.

247

Schumacher, without a doubt. Hard, but totally fair battle with Lewis.

Great to see someone actually challenging one of the top three teams.

Asked in the off season how it felt to race against Schumacher, Lewis said it didn't mean much because Schumacher was always behind him. Nice to see that was not the case today. Don't think Hammy enjoyed it particularly though.

Worst part of the race today - DC's ever increasing hatred of Schumacher - oh and MB & DC doing there best to suggest to the stewards that Schumacher should get a penalty.

248

Anyone elsethink Vettel was on fire today? That move around Alonso in my mind was a "so spa wasnt good enough for you lot? Ok I'll do it again for you, against a better driver..." truly epic, sounds like someone took a listen to his critics. He was untouchable today, bet it felt nice to add a dry win in monza to the trophy case.

Certainly this time he'll win the DOTD poll, oh wait there were two mclaren drivers listed up there... never mind

249

I agree with Chapor.

I was not impressed by Schumacher one bit. Alonso charging up to the front, Webber overtaking in Spa are both examples of gutsy racing but Schumacher's style just leaves a bad taste.

Vettel is talented but he has arguably the best car on the grid. Ferrari + McLaren really do need to shape up but I'm glad the drivers do try to give it their all. I'm glad Mercedes is doing better more or less but I think it's pathetic that a crappy drinks company (whose product is a lolly water which looks like pee) is winning. Of course things would be a lot different if Adrian Newey were elsewhere...

250

Every single one of the drivers mentioned deserves special recognition for their drives today, but I have to give my vote to Jenson.

What a pleasant surprise this season has been. A lot more mature and aggressive when he has to be. Every race he becomes exponentially better and is not only giving Hamilton a run for his money, but he is really stepping all over him. Who would've thought that when he signed for McLaren?

He's quickly becoming my favorite driver!

251

It seems the bitter Hamilton fans are not being reasonable, please just give Vettel credit the boy is just simply too good, look at Webber who is 1 of the fastest drivers out there but can't compete with Vettel in this mood, history is being written right at this moment, classic stuff, oh yeah how many titles did Newey win for Mclaren over 10 years? 2 is the answer, Vettel is flattering the car imho

252

Alonso by a mile... What he accomplished today was all because of his driving abilities and not because of the car.

253

very well said michael prestia

Fernando you are the best and class among the current field

Ferrari gave him a dog of a car in home grandprix, with all the pressure and expectation alonso drove the wheels of the ferrari to get to the podium.

All this hype about Jenson and lewis are totally rubbish

Looking at the lap times mclaren have a very good car in Race trim.

Jenson is a never a top driver by any means

Lewis is good and exciting to watch, however it's shame lewis never got the maximum out of a very good mclaren car after nurburgring

Both mclarens and Mark webber are behind alonso in standings despite having a superior and better machinery than ferrari. This clearly shows Alonso is too great and legend. His consistency and stellar performances in poor car cannot be matched by any other driver in the grid

James i do not understand why crash kid is complaining about alonso not giving any room for the overtake. vettel has to look back his records (Example hockhenhiem 2010)

vettel win at monza in 2008 is nothing,simply down to luck and fluke

2011 victory simply too easy for him beacuse of RB7, so he does not deserve driver of the day vote.

So it's Alonso,jamie annd lewis in 3rd for monza....

254

Jeez you lot are harsh on hamilton. He had a car 20k/hr slower and couldnt get past, whereas buttons car didnt have that disability. why they geared so short ill never understand, but the car setup was the issue. Button did well, but he had the benefit of picking his time to overtake both Lewis and Michael after watching them scrap for 10 laps. Good on him for getting the pass done, but if Michael wasnt still obsessed with stopping lewis from passing, i doubt Jensen would have pulled away so easily.

Vettel had the luxury of not having to worry once he passed fernando. all the cars capable of challenging were stuck behind MS who was dangerously effective at blocking lewis.

this season is over, hopefully Mclaren can win a few more, but it wont change much really.

Question.. are Ferrari now trying to push for more aero rule changes given their designs dont cut the mustard?

255

You should see the race again.

When Hamilton briefly passed Schumacher first time out, they were side by side, totally parallel all the way down the main straight. Hamilton had the DRS open (no huge difference in Monza) and Schumacher had a car with better top speed.

There's not much wrong with the gearing if you can at least do the same speed as the other car for almost 1 kilometre.

256

A L O N S O - You couldn't ignore his blazing start and managing third when he shoulda been fourth or fifth.

257

I vote for JB again.

Honourable mention to Schumi.

258

+1 & also Senna.

259

Hamilton screwed up his race all by himself, while Button got by Schumi in a breeze. and never looked back.

Grid : Hamilton 2nd – Schumacher 8th

lap 1-3 : Hamilton 3rd – Schumacher 4th

lap 4-15 : Schumacher 3rd – Hamilton 4th

lap 16- : Hamilton 4th – Schumacher 5th

lap 17- : Hamilton 3rd – Schumacher 7th

lap 18- : Hamilton 3rd – Schumacher 6th

lap 19-21 : Schumacher 5th – Hamilton 6th

lap 22-26 : Schumacher 4th – Hamilton 5th

lap 27-33 : Hamilton 4th – Schumacher 5th

lap 34- : Schumacher 3rd – Hamilton 4th

lap 35-37 : Schumacher 2nd – Hamilton 6th

lap 38-41 : Hamilton 5th – Schumacher 6th

lap 42-53 : Hamilton 4th – Schumacher 5th

When Vettel put his wheels in the grass to pass Alonso and passed him!

it's a perfect action from both drivers

When Hamilton put his wheels in the grass to pass Schumacher and didn't!

it's a characterized murder from Schumacher and he should be hanged!

Good idea to warn a driver that he should restrain himself rather than punish him right away when it's just borderline!

Actually, it's like a kind of yellow card in football.and that's better for driver and spectators as well.

Much better than transforming "on the fly" a drive-through penalty into a stop-and-go like it was done recently in Silverstone (against Schumacher indeed).

Else they all may go to work for Mattel in the "Barbie does F1" department!

260

Lewis finishes fourth and you label it "lonely". Schumacher finishes fifth and you label it "strong". I understand things must be in perspective but it does sound a little one sided to me James...

Grenville Clarke

Ottawa, Canada

261

I must admit I noticed that also. Seemed a bit odd to me,as he was just behind Alonso, but....Par for the course I guess.

262

The thing is Hamilton was in the fastest race car out there and Schumi was in the 4th or 5th fastest car, so to be togethr fighting and for Schumi to finish 5th it was an extraordinary achievement.

263

Maybe I am too old to be watching F1. I keep thinking that its the car behind that needs to push to get by instead of waiting for the stewards to gift the position. Schuey FOREVER!

264

Tough crowd... You guy snever give it to Vettel. If it was so easy in that car Webber might be closer to the front now and then... plus that pass on Alonso was brilliant with 2 wheels on the grass...

Vettel was my guy today

265

My Vote goes to Michael. Never been his fan, but his battle with Lewis was simply stunning. Never seen before such a wire-wire racing for 16 laps. Superb!!!!.

266

Michael probably learnt that at Hockenheim in '94 😉

267

What is it with Button & overtaking this year?

During the interview with the beeb (pre-race), he said he's changed a lot since Brawn - and this seems to be one area he's improved: a tad more bravery to go with the brains, perhaps?

That extra bit of mental toughness seems to coincide with him deciding to not let Lewis through on a "freebie", apparent since Canada...

Or is it that he's just making up for the places he lost due to a repetitive poor starts? One obvious place for improvement, I think...

Or is it a sweest spot with his driving style, his (seeming) ability to have tyres available to take advantage of another's misfortue, and DRS?

I'm pretty sure that Jenson sat behind Lewis & Schumi, and took advantage of both their problems - but it still took more nouse than Lewis exhibited a few hundred yards earlier.

So Lewis might console himself that Jenson *was* lucky. But, boy, I bet that pass is hurting now!

Jenson's passes pretty much disqualify LH, MS and FA from the reckoning. But Jenson himself didn't do anything stupendous to get second.

That leaves me to vote for Vettel. I'm afraid he did a really good job today - beyond what I expected of the RB - and all from the pass he made on Alonso. I'm still undecded on his ability to pass, but that one was definitely in the plus column.

268

James, why is this so difficult for everyone here? I'm not a huge fan of Vettel, and he is in an amazing car, but how can he not be driver of the day? Has he ever won the driver of the day vote this entire year?

I finally have to give him props today and I'm disappointed more people aren't willing to do the same. I'm a huge Mclaren fan but I'm finding that Vettel is turning into what I always wished Hamilton would be. Vettel's pass on Alonso was amazing without compromise. Not only has the 'crash kid' moniker seemed to have completely disappeared this year, but there is something so consistent about Vettel's driving that once he's in front, it feels like an automatic win (even if 95% of the race is left). I am finding I don't have this same confidence in Hamilton (or anyone else for that matter). When Hamilton's leading a race, there is always a small piece of me anticipating a problem.

I think deep down every knows Vettel is the best driver right now but don't want to admit it, so we find reasons to vote for others for drivers for driver of the day. His driving has become so automatic that we now associate it with being boring and not worthy of very high praise. "It's because of the car." If Hamilton had won by 10 seconds he would easily have won the driver of the day vote. But we are not bestowing the same honor for the man that actually did win by 10 seconds. This race opened my eyes to how great Vettel is, and I hope before the year is over that others start to admit it also.

Vettel, you are now welcome at Mclaren any time. Please try to leave the finger at home though.

269

Is it not possible that Vettel was always good at overtaking, and that in the last couple of years he has had troubles due to the instability of the front end of his car in the turbulant air of others. The main difference now being that the Red Bulls front wing is a little more rigid and stable...

270

Vettel may not win any driver of the days but he will certainly win my driver of the year

271

It's nice to see some sensible and unbiased comment.

Yes, as James said, it's one of things that makes you say "how on earth is that possible".

In my opinion, may be its Pirelli tyres.

If you think about it, guys like Alonso, Mark and Lewis are so used to driving Bridgestone tyres where as Seb is relatively new to the sport. So I suppose he had less things to unlearn. James what do you make of that?

272

Absolutely spot on... I have to agree. He has proved his critics, me included, wrong...

273

I think that when we pick a 'driver of the day', we are looking for someone who has exceeded expectations. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on you point of view, Sebastian is more or less expected to win each weekend. Schumi was regarded highly by some because he took it to McLaren (Lewis). This was not really expected by many. Jenson rated highly because of his renewed confidence and excellent podium finish. I've said it before, Seb is the class of the field right now and that doesn't look like changing anytime soon.

Had Mark Webber gained a place off the start, many of us would have voted him driver of the day (totally unexpected) 😉 Seb may ticking a few fans off by winning (seemingly easily)each weekend but his personal agenda is to win the WDC. The best way to do that is by being fast, smooth and consistent. He does a pretty fair job of avoiding unfavourable press too.

If you can keep when your head when all around are losing theirs.... you'll be the WDC (again) my son. Apologies to Kipling 😉

274

If Vettel was to ever exceed expectations this year, it would be at Monza, right? Certainly me and a lot of other people were expecting a big fight up front. Vettel took the Red Bull and showed everyone they can dominate at a power track in a way few people thought possible. So if the Driver of the Day criteria is about exceeding expectations, I still think Vettel should have won the vote.

275

I think Vettel drove a magnificent race from that overtake onwards. But it seems from a lot of the comments here (mine included) that people enjoy seeing a bit of jostling of the order to a runaway winner. Much of the antipathy towards Schumi is not because of the way he is driving now but because of how dull F1 became when his winning a race was almost a given - from pole to first place with no real competition.

Yesterday's race saw a great battle with Schumi and Hamilton, and a solid drive from Button, but to be honest going by the TV coverage you'd almost forget that Vettel was there at all. Perhaps that's a contributory factor this week at least.

276

I agree with you. We saw something really very special from Vettel on Saturday and Sunday in Monza. He has moved up another gear. People inside the sport who see the data and know what's what are of the same view

277

James, glad you mentioned Saturday. His final qualifying time was amazing and I think a bit demoralizing to Lewis who thought he had closed the gap to Red Bull.

278

James just on your comment about people inside the sport who know "whats what" in terms of drivers. For me time and time again they turn out to be wrong. A few quick examples: They told us that Kimi was the fasted driver in f1 but then it turned out that Massa dominated him on many,many occasions. They told us that Schumi is past it but clearly he can still mix it up with the best. They told us that Lewis would dominate Button but he was lucky to finish ahead of him in the Championship last year, and this years is currently behind.

279

Nicely said James and I couldn't agree more. Beating the field by 9.5 secs is incredible. Congrats to Vettel, Newey and the entire team.

280

Can we get a peek at that data here? Btw, who decided the gear ratio settings on Vettel's car? Was it him or was it his engineers? If it was him, there's some massive self-belief in his abilities.

281

On Schumi's defense against Lewis:

Isn't the rule that you're allowed one defensive-blocking move, and then you can return to the driving line?

And a separate rule that you cannot block when in the braking zone?

I'm pretty sure that, in the disputed incident, I saw MS do one blocking move, and then return to the line (it didn't especially look like this was designed to block, either!). He *may* have moved back onto the line within the braking zone, but that isn't restricted, is it?

I find it instructive that Ross was warning Schumi about leaving room at the sides. That suggests that the stewards hadn't been warning Mercedes about blocking, 2 moves, or the braking zone - but instead been warning about pushing someone off the road!

282

For those who have a problem with Schumacher's driving - perhaps you would be better off watching WRC?

This is racing people! Don't let silly FIA rules make you forget what we are here for. I'm about as far from being a Schumacher fan as you can be, but if he were penalised for his driving at Monza I would have seriously questioned the fundamental nature of this sport.

Bravo to the stewards who thankfully are not as biased as some of the comment makers on JAF1.

284

It can only be Vettel. Brilliant Quali lap, brave overtake for the lead, didn't put a foot wrong the entire weekend.

Schumi was racy, but stepped over the line a few times and I think it likely Rosberg would have outperformed him especially considering he would have run soft-soft in the final stints.

285

I had an epithany watching that race. Previously I had, like many others, been a bit dismissive of Vettels talents and was just putting it down to the luck of having the best car. But no, watching him dominate the race yesterday, taking control after the re-start, was awesome. He deserves the title again this year and was certainly the best man out there yesterday!

286

Has to be Schumacher. Button, Hamilton and Alonso had solid races but nothing more-I don't share Eddie Jordan's enthusiasm for Button's race as most of his places were made up because of other's retiring, as were Alguersuari's. Schumacher on the other hand was challenging for Mercedes' best result this season for half the race and unfortunately made a mistake to let Hamilton through.

287

A race of rare SCHUMACHER - he his age becomes a tiresome scrotal sack, it is become leather yet he his racecraft not be forgot. An AMAZE is had!

288

Wow, Google Translate comes up with some doozies doesn't it ?

289

LOL (couldn't help myself)

290

I don't understand why everyone is criticising Schumacher so much. Alonso also pushed Vettel onto the grass in a similar manner, yet noone thought that was dangerous. Schumacher's driving was very marginal but technically one move and then returning to the racing line to take the corner.

291

I thought we saw plenty of great racing. Brilliant drive by Vettel, Jenson, Alonso and MS. Good moves by Jenson. MS went round the outside of LH. And most people here are moaning about one bad move from Schumacher.

It is a shame because if he was born in UK, I am sure the same people would have been praising him.

292

Drivers like Webber, Jenson, Vettel and Hamilton are making headlines these days for making sublime passes on a certain Fernando Alonso in his sick 150 Italia but boy you look at the championship table and the wily Spaniard is 2nd in the WDC. I know the Mclaren boys had their misfortunes but you can't take credit away from Fernando. I really don't know what would happen if Alonso gets a car similar to RB7. I know Vettel has maximised the performance from that beast but it'd be equally enthralling to see Alonso in there.

There was talk of Massa coming back strongly mid season, it was just down to circumstances especially in Spa that he qualified ahead of Alonso, in dry Monza, Alonso trounced his teammate like he's always did by more than 3 tenths.

All hail Alonso!

294

Yes ! very well said formula one only

Both mclarens and Mark webber are behind alonso in standings despite having a superior and better machinery than ferrari. This clearly shows Alonso is too great and legend. His consistency and stellar performances in poor car cannot be matched by any other driver in the grid

Jenson is never a top driver, he is only a third tier driver who was beaten by many in his earlier days. He simply got the mclaren seat due to his natinon (poor mclaren wasting seat) just for the sake of British

Mark webber is totally stupid and absurd to watch, a young men in Seb beating him consistently in the same RB7 (Though i strongly believe Redbull favours Vettel) so it's pity and poor for him

Lewis is good enough driver, however at the moment Team mclaren is clearly tilting towards jenson and favouring him. This creates panic in lewis and makes him to commit more errors and be erratic. Lewis should look at other options now.

Vettel is in right place at the right time now to bag 2 world championships, nothing special or spectacular. He has the best car by some distance compared to rest of the field. Mark webber is just a second driver and sitting duck in RB7. so with best car and no competitions (IN terms of car performance) his championship and numbers count for nothing. I see a very good simillarity between vettel and schumi in this aspect (Flawed champions)

Hence it's very clear Fernando alonso is the best and great driver in F1 for years

Your are great and Bravo fernando

295

"Drivers like Webber, Jenson, Vettel and Hamilton are making headlines these days for making sublime passes on a certain Fernando Alonso in his sick 150 Italia but boy you look at the championship table and the wily Spaniard is 2nd in the WDC."

Can't agree more.

296

James, you said you were going to post an article about Stefano claiming Ferrari working on unbeatable structure. I can't wait to read your detailed post on that.

297

How on Earth was it a thrilling race?

The restart was hilarious - 4 cars blocking the first corner and (perhaps because it's Monza and a Ferrari was in P1?) they chose the safety car instead of a red flag. But Vettel won, completely unchallenged beyond lap 3.

Hamilton vs Schumacher was good and I'm over the moon that the stewards didn't penalise Schumacher for his driving - I'm totally fed up with the stewards getting over involved in sterilising racing. Sadly though it was never going to last forever, indeed as the broadcast said - Schumacher shouldn't really have got ahead of Hamilton at the restart anyway.

Button's drive was easily the most impressive of the day, it's just a shame the cameras showed barely any of it. Webber's misfortune was to everyone's loss.

If it was not for Schumacher vs Hamilton, this race would have been dull as hell.

298

In german TV Schumi said that Hamilton was never side by side when he had to turn into a curve. In fact it looked like Hamilton had a wrong gear setting and was hitting the limiter.

Schumi also said that Hamiltons move happened just the sane second when he was radio'd to watch for his line so he was disturbed.

I think Italy should thank Schumi for his race yesterday. Without him Alonso would have not be on the podium.

299

(1) Schumacher / Hamilton - there were two questionable manouevres by Schumi (i) forcing Hamilton onto the grass; and (ii) making more than one move. The first, the criticism seems to be that Schumi took up his line too early, chopping across Hamilton, but from the opposite perspective one might say this was Hamilton putting his nose into a wedge that was likely to disappear. The second, was at a part of the track where naturally one has to come back across the track from left to right, one might say that the 'one-move' rule is ambiguous in this sort of situation - keeping left and then going right late could be said to be 'one move'. In sum, I think race control got it right - Schumy twice exploited the rules to the absolute maximum, but nothing so clearcut as to merit an immediate penalty. An observation as well: Schumi will mercilessly punish the sort of half-moves that Hamilton sometimes makes - to get past Schumi you have to get most of your car up alongside him, which usually means saving it all for the big overtake rather than trying to nibble here and there.

(2) Alonso - fantastic! He also knows what the rulebook says about crowding other cars off the track but was completely insouciant about pushing Vettel onto the grass, more or less making a virtue of the suggestion that this was deliberate ('we are racing him a little bit harder' or words to that effect).

(3) Hamilton - very frustrated at the moment. He is (i) seriously peeved that Button has had a run of races where Button has outraced Hamilton; (ii) hating that Vettel is taking all the plaudits ('... now one of the great champions like Senna [etc.]?' gushed the BBC pundits); and (iii) palbably trying to rein his normal aggressive style.

300

Have to agree entirely with that. I also thought it was interesting to see a more conservative Lewis Hamilton bottled up behind Schumacher, making unsuccessful half-cocked attempts to pass for several laps, while Jenson Button was making committed and clean overtakes. That's a bit of a role reversal compared to the past few years.

301

I think, Bruno Senna had very good race too. Whats more importand, Senna`s performance in his new team is vital also for young drivers in bad cars such as Daniel Ricciardo in HRT, because it shows how big role in today F1 still have the drivers. Good luck for both of them.

302

I'm glad someone else noticed these guys - they are driving their hearts out in inferior machinery & doing a great job! I really liked what I saw from Bruno. He put in a gutsy performance for points.

303

I didnt have a chance to watch the race live, but relied on my twitter friends to keep me up to date.

I watched it in full yesterday evening and saw some fantastic racing throughout the field.

My two drivers of the day were Vettel and Jenson in that order, but the fight between Lewis and Michael was absolutely brilliant. despite the possible weaving (which is open to interpretation), I thought it was a great battle and Lewis did well to stay patient.

Its fair to say that Jenson is in the form of his career at the moment. Another really considered drive, not diving in and losing car parts.

Shame to see Mark Webber crashing out. Is it just me or is Felipe ultra aggressive when defending his line. Thats about the 4th time I can recall where he has nearly driven someone off the road. Webber should have backed out, but Massa is quite often at the scene of the accident (perhaps I'm wrong and its just my misperception).

All in all, a fantastic race, proving once again that Monza is one of the absolute great tracks. You don't need loads of silly corners. Fast corners, a couple of chicanes and you get great racing. Simples.

304

It's ominous that Red Bull have poured time and money into besting the tracks that don't remotely suit their car. With Vettel on constant fast form, it's going to be a lacklustre championship the next few years. A shame as there's been some fantastic racing this year. I tend to mentally remove Vettel from the equation as the probable winner and so probably don't focus on his race at all. It's the only way to watch a thrilling race. That's no insult to Vettel, it's simply for entertainment value, runaway winners are not good tv (I wonder if sponsors ever worry that a runaway winner gets so little tv time??)

I voted Button driver of the day. It was a tough call, but it's a pleasure to watch a late blossoming driver. Button is twice the driver he was a few years back. In all the usual bickering fanboy nonsense on many sites, with the Lewis versus Jenson debates, it's more fascinating to me to compare drivers to themselves. Lewis is not the driver he was 3 years ago - he is still quick and aggressive but it's almost as if he's more of a rookie now than when he was a rookie. I'm not a psychoanalyst so I'll leave the reasons to better trained people and hope he gets some advice himself. Button, after the years stuck in poor cars and then the stress of holding onto a WDC seems to have come out the other side and is certainly better in his 30s than his 20s.

Lots of people have mentioned Lewis learning some restraint from Jenson, but I think it's also true that Jenson has picked up a bit of courage from Lewis and isn't quite as hesitant when throwing himself into overtakes these days. In some ways that's what being a Jenson fan is about, it's not watching a brilliant prodigy come into the sport and dominate, it's watching a talented but not top-rank driver progress and get better. The same is probably true of Webber fans last year. There's a different sort of appreciation watching a journeyman finally crack it, than watching a thrilling youngster take the glory.

Still equally valid, but that's one of the joys of modern F1, we have a broader range of age and experience and so you get to see a lot more variation. If it wasn't for the Newey/Vettel domination, it'd probably be a golden age for multiple teams and drivers having a chance of victory. Again, not blaming Newey or Vettel for being supreme, just wishing in a 'script-doctor' kind of way that the clash was closer.

305

Great comment! I think you are bang on with Jenson & Lewis. Jenson's driving this season has turned me into a fan. He's a much better driver now than in his championship year: a bargain for McLaren!

Newey needs some competition. Badly!

306

As a small addendum to my criticism of Coulthard: he is, I would suppose, paid by the BBC to offer insight and perspective on F1. How then could he fail to pick up on the fact that Ross Brawn was sending MSC a coded message with "leave room at Ascari"? If Brawn said anymore (e.g. "what you're doing is on the borderline between re-taking your line and making two moves") that gives the FIA all the ammo they need to give MSC a penalty.

"I'd have liked it to be clearer", well, here's a clear message DC: when Sky takes over and the clear-out begins, let's hope you're the first to go because you offer nothing but bias, annoying pronunciations of driver names and commentary with less nuance than your average four-letter insult.

307

some of you are whiny little girls arent you. do you guys want zero viewing figures with a bunch of effete "gentleman" pilots who are not aggressive and drive like bores.

go listen to your andre rieu CD's if you want F1 to be all polite and kisses and hugs.

Bring back the drama of Senna/Prost and the hate of Hill/Schumi...then the world will care about F1 once again.

Schumacher and Hamilton are the only true "racers" out there, the rest are a bunch of Coulthard like whining old women - like some of the fans today.

You want them wrapped in cotton wool do you - probably.

308

+1million

309

No the girls only get mean and whiny when Lewis doesn't do well.

310

Well i for one don't understand the issue with MS's driving. What he did in Monza was nowhere near what happened in Hungary last year.

If people think badly of Shumacher they ought to think very badly of Senna. Both men wanted to win no matter what.

Ruthless in achieving their objective.

That's what made them multiple champions.

311

It was a tough call between Vettel and Button for me. Once again, Button showed strong pace around Monza and made some great passes. For a driver who so many label as a poor wheel to wheel racer he sure made easy meat of Schumacher. I'd love to know if there were any significant setup differences between Button and Hamilton, but I don't suppose we'll ever find out.

I had to give it to Vettel, though. Most of the headlines are variants of "Vettel Cruises to Victory in Italy" and, once he'd passed Alonso, it really was a cruise. And what a pass it was. Vettel's attack was good and Fernando probably squeezed him a little more than was polite, but he held his nerve, kept his foot in and made it stick. Great stuff.

I don't understand all the woe-is-me stuff about Vettel having the Championship sewn up being the end of the world. I'll admit that I found the Schumacher/Ferrari dominance of the early noughties a turn off, but then the racing that was going on behind Michael and Rubens was less than awe-inspiring. We're seeing great battles right through the field this season, as well as interesting technical and strategic gambits. I was concerned that DRS, KERS and high-deg tyres would create 'artificial' racing this year and although there have been occasions when passing has been too easy (Turkey, Shanghai), by and large the overtakes we see require skill, commitment and bravery. Really, what more can we ask for?

As for the Schumacher/Hamilton fight, I'd agree that he was pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable but I don't think there was any need for a penalty. His move to push Hamilton on to the grass was a slight infraction of the rules, as was Alonso's push on Vettel (remember, you're not allowed to close the door and run the other car right off the road these days, although it was fair game in years gone by), and Michael was clearly making more than one defensive move on several occasions. Schumacher has always had a talent for dancing right up to the limit of what's acceptable and even poking a toe over to the other side, without doing quite enough to justify a penalty. It's called racecraft and there's no one better at it.

Yesterday Schumacher used the ambiguity around what constitutes returning to the racing line to his advantage. The stewards were right to advise Mercedes to tone it down and Ross was right to inform Michael of this himself. It's actually a shame he ended up bouncing off the limiter, because I'd have loved to see if he'd have complied with that instruction!

I think the Beeb team got a bit carried away, as have some posters on here, but I also think the people insisting that Michael did absolutely nothing wrong are either pushing an anti-Brit agenda or are equipped with some especially rose-tinted spectacles. All in all, I think it was well played by Schumacher and the stewards made the right call. Ironically, Jenson Button probably did a lot to weaken the case against Michael by demonstrating that he was not defending in a manner that made him unpassable!

Phew! My longest post on here for a long time. I think I must finally be starting to recover!

312

I simply don't understand why everyone is getting onto his back about his driving yesterday at Monza - it is precisely what I want to see in F1, namely two hard chargers going at it and getting stuck trying to defend and attack for position. If it had been penalised then it would have been a very sad thing in my opinion. What Schuey was doing was defending his line and making his Merc as wide as possible. He didn't cause an avoidable accident (as he has done several times since his comeback). Compared to Alonso pushing Vettel onto onto the grass at 200mph, what did he do? He wasn't weaving like Ham did to Petrov. If people think that that was over aggressive driving then I suggest they go watch a sport more up their alley. Maybe lawn bowls or bridge. And leave F1 as a hard nosed, fight your corner sport that the greats like Senna, Lauda, Mansell, Schumacher, Alonso, Hakkinen, Villeneuve Sr, et al have made it!!

313

One thought on Jenson's recent surge in form... I cannot help to think it has something to do with his contract situation at McLaren.

If this is the case: when drivers up their game to keep their seat... I find that a bad sign.

Let's hope the two things are not related.

314

Recent surge? If it weren't for the mechanical failures at two races he would be well ahead of his teammate at McLaren. It is time people start giving him his due credit. He is a great driver and he is regularly beating his highly lauded teammate. I think we can all agree that Hamilton is quicker and definitely more aggressive and entertaining, but Button is ahead on points.

315

I know what you're saying, but I think that's a little unfair on Jenson. It looks to me like he's coming into his own with a car and tyres that he can really get to grips with. His qualifying performances have improved and his confidence is probably further boosted by how well he's comparing to Hamilton at the moment. Also don't forget that his contract was never really in doubt: McLaren had an option on him for 2012 regardless, all Button is doing is earning himself bargaining power for a longer and/or more lucrative deal.

I think it's very different to when Nick Heidfeld suddenly found half a second when Jacques Villeneuve was replaced by Robert Kubica (much to the team's annoyance) or when Tonio Liuzzi upped his game in his last six races for Toro Rosso; once he knew his seat was going to Sebastien Bourdais for 2008.

316

I love reading all these comments and try to find the 5% that aren't bias towards/ against certain drivers.

My vote goes to Vettel for dominating the whole weekend and once of the best passes i've seen (well at least for a fortnight)

317

Being a brit it hurts to admit it, but I have voted and seem to agree with the majority. Schumacher was by far the driver of the day, it was enthralling to see such close racing between him and Hamilton. I had almost forgotten what a good battle lasting over half the race looked like what with all the DRS and KERS this season. In fact if it wasn't for their battle then it would have been a largely forgetable race.

Admittedly Vettel drove well, but he didn't do anything different from any other race; i.e. he dominated and drove away before controlling the gaps.

A competetive Schumi can only be good news for racing fans!

318

I totally agree. I don't understand why there is so much negative about some small issue. When he retired we always think "what would it be like to see him against another exciting driver like Lewis". Well, there you have it. It's a luxury. It's happening right now and it's so much fun to watch Lewis vs Schumi wheel to wheel.

319

Schumi drove a decent race, but was he really driver of the day ? He stayed in front of Lewis by virtue of having a car that had a greater top speed down the main straight (even when Lewis had DRS deployed) and that had been consistently quick in the first sector throughout the whole weekend.

But he didn't really make any inroads to the cars in front of him, although I except that may be because he would have been looking in his mirrors most of the time. As for his "more than one change of direction" moments, I'm sure the stewards had better info than us TV viewers. Didn't they ? 🙂

For me, it was Alguersuari who had a mature drive to finish well into the points. He just needs to sort his quali runs out.

320

I think Michael did push the envelope once or twice... but man it is good to see him do well. I really got a bit hacked off with David Coulthard going on and off the racing line ot defend his position, but nothing was even mentioned when Alonso pushed Vettel on the grass when Vettel had a run at Alonso out Curve Grande. Now Eddie Irvine is lashing out at him saying is too old... Well then I am sure Schumacher showed these old timers what he can still do and I bet Senna and Prost would have defended the same! Great drive from Michael just wish commentators will stop being bias towards British drivers and admit that he did do great job in a car that was far less superior than the Mclarens

321

For mine you cant go past Michael. Whether you love him or hate him he was fantastic.

For all that bagged him saying he should retire maybe your eating your words now. He showed why he should be their. He is the racers racer and puts the mongrel in driving and thats entertainment and thats what F1 needs and thats what the camera looks at. If you didnt enjoy the battle with Hamilton your too hard to please and should probably be watching slot car racing. No one can say that wasnt entertaining.

322

Couldn't agree more.

Seeing two titans of the sport, from different generations, dogging it out for almost half the race......I was in heaven. This is exactly the prospect we were all drooling about back at the start of 2010....and now we finally get it, some people (including commentators) find reason to moan about it. Seriously, some people will never be happy. It was fantastic to watch, and showed the old dog still has a damn fine box of tricks. As we all know, Hamilton is no slouch when it comes to passing attempts......even he will have gotten a thrill about yesterday on some level. That was the Schumacher he was looking forward to challenging, whether he knows it or not.

323

I was pleased to see Schumi have a good race. His battle with Hamilton was superb - two proper racers going wheel to wheel.

Vettel is driving well, but we'll never know how much is down to him or the car until they put a tier 1