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Vettel wins Italian Grand Prix, a victory in Singapore and he’s world champion
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Sep 2011   |  3:15 pm GMT  |  232 comments

Sebastian Vettel is now potentially just one race away from being crowned world champion for the second year in a row and at the age of 24. A win at Singapore would guarantee him the title.

He won his eighth race of the season on a track where Red Bull had not been considered one of the favourites, thanks to a bold pass on Fernando Alonso in the early stages of the race.

It was Vettel’s 18th career win, his second at this circuit and Red Bull’s first at Monza. Behind him there were intense battles featuring Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Schumacher making it an entertaining Italian Grand Prix. Button finished second, with Alonso holding off Hamilton in the closing stages to take a seventh podium of the season.

Vettel now leads the championship by 112 points, with 150 remaining. If he scores a win in Singapore with Alonso off the podium and Button lower than 3rd he will be the 2011 world champion and the youngest ever two times champion at the age of 24.

“It’s very emotional,” said Vettel, who had tears on the podium. “It’s the best podium in the world. The only thing that could make it better would be wearing a red suit, but it was great. The car was fantastic. We are very disciplined as a team, make very few mistakes. We act as a team and we all remain calm. As for the championship, we’re in a great position. It’s over when it’s over and not before.”

The warm weather Ferrari had been hoping for certainly came through, it was a muggy 29 degrees when the cars formed up on the grid.

At the start Alonso got the dream start he had hoped for, squeezing past Hamilton and Vettel and into the lead from fourth on the grid. Behind them all hell broke loose when Liuzzi came sailing in sideways as the midfield went through the chicane. It took out Rosberg and Petrov. Liuzzi blamed Kovalainen for causing him to lose control.

The Safety Car was deployed and at the restart, Hamilton was not ready and found himself a second behind Vettel as they crossed the line. Schumacher passed him for third.

Alonso and Vettel battled for five laps, before Vettel pulled off a sublime pass on the Ferrari driver into the second chicane, his left wheels on the grass at one stage. He described Alonso as “an animal”, albeit jokingly. “He didn’t leave much room,” he said.

Webber tangled with Massa, losing his wing and as he hurried back to the pits, he lost grip in the Parabolica and crashed out. Amazingly it was the first retirement of the season for a Red Bull driver.

At the front Vettel pulled out a gap quickly over Alonso, with Schumacher fending off hamilton, who had the DRS at his disposal. But the Mercedes had better straight line speed.

Hamilton passed on lap 13, but Schumacher repassed him. Button joined in, the DRS bringing the three cars very close together.

They fought hard, as Schumacher complained his rear tyres were fading. Hamilton couldn’t pass, going onto the grass to avoid a collision at one point and Button passed first his team mate, then Schumacher, who pitted at the end of lap 16. Button came in a lap later with Hamilton in on lap 19. But Schumacher had stayed ahead of Hamilton by pitting first.

The paid fought very hard for lap after lap. Hamilton tried many times to pass, but he didn’t have the wing/gearing/DRS combination to get ahead of the Mercedes. Every time he tried he was a few mph short, even with the DRS open.

At the front, Vettel was 12 seconds clear by lap 24, totally in control of the race, while Button was in third pulling away from Schumacher and Hamilton. He closed in on Alonso, but couldn’t pass him.

Perez, Alguersuari and Maldonado had benefitted from the chaos at the start to get into the top ten in the opening stint. Perez and Alguersuari stayed there after the first stops, Maldonado couldn’t and slipped to 11th behind Buemi. Perez later retired.

Making no headway against Alonso, Button decided to pit on lap 35 to try the undercut, but Barrichello blocked his way in. Ferrari reacted, bringing Alonso in and he stayed ahead. But Ferrari’s problems with warm up on the harder tyre struck again, Button able to pass Alonso on his first lap out of the pits. He opened a gap of two seconds.

Senna’s tactic of starting on the medium tyre and pitting under the safety car started to pay off, as he fought with Buemi for 9th place. Senna was on soft tyres, Buemi on medium. He passed him on lap 48.

Schumacher finished fifth, Massa sixth, Alguersuari again made a name for himself with seventh, while Di Resta got a strong eighth place ahead of Bruno Senna who scored his first world championship points.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, Monza, 53 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h20:46.172
2. Button McLaren + 9.590
3. Alonso Ferrari + 16.909
4. Hamilton McLaren + 17.471
5. Schumacher Mercedes + 32.677
6. Massa Ferrari + 42.993
7. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 1 lap
8. Di Resta Force India + 1 lap
9. Senna Renault + 1 lap
10. Buemi Toro Rosso + 1 lap
11. Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
12. Barrichello Williams + 1 lap
13. Kovalainen Lotus + 1 lap
14. Trulli Lotus + 2 laps
15. Glock Virgin + 2 laps

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Lordy...This would have been a truly boring race if not for the Schumacher/Hamilton battle and the start of the race. It's tough to watch races where one car is so superior to the others, and there have been quite a few of these races this year. I'm almost ready for next year to come around with the promise of an actual championship battle. Glad Michael Schumacher was able to show everyone he's still got it, though..


CONGRATULATION TO VETTEL AND RED BULL - I think noone expected during winter testing that they will dominate in such a fashion. I remember, James, that you were bringing some insights from the track where engineers could see that Red Bull is around 0.3 - 0.4 sec faster, but who would have thought. Ferrari looked strong, Mercedes and Renault too...but nothing really was indicating such a dominance.


I really do not think so. Domenicali is talking of unbeatable structure. Mercedes is building a team too.McLaren is consistently improving their car, but Red Bull just gets faster and faster race by race and I think it will transform into 2012.

Still, Alonso is the best driver for me, but his car is not performing at all. He is doing maximum, people can clearly see it, but car is not deserving the podium for sure.


Hamilton paid the price for his cautious racing today, Button took him and then Schumacher very quickly and closed upon Alonso and dispatched him quite nicely too. Post race interview with Hamilton showed how fed up he is becoming with F1...


like montoya a kimi before him?!!! would you expect him going to nascar? I am a little fed up with f1 as well, but i just can't think about going nascar. Even if that pure racing, it is so boring to watch. i am sure montoya is having a hell of a time, but not for me and i don't think it's for lewis either.


Nonsense, he was frustrated by MSC and his illegal blocking moves, not F1.


So now he knows what it feels like to be blocked!


I doubt the problem with Lewis has ever been blocking - and i suspect that is because when he gets ahead, it normally is very hard to catch him.

Anyway this post was about Vettel's championship chances. In another race or so, chances are as good as certain that Vettel will be the youngest 2 time WDC ever. I think that poses a problem for Red Bull - the natural thing arising from this winning will be that Vettel will want his pay increased significantly. If i recall, his current pay is rediculously low. If you consider that the best payers are Ferrari and he will want to be at Alonso's level, you can see that there is a good chance Red Bull may not be staying with the young German for very much longer. I know i am speculating here, but i suspect this may keep Mark at Red Bull for a while longer than his current 1 year contract.


LH was more than fair to all in yesterday's race. He could've chopped Schumi when he was ahead in Curva Grande ... could've put Alonso into the grass at the start. I remember Monaco first lap where MS passed LH at the hairpin. LH could've pulled a Massa and turned in on him; but no, he realized he was beat, and got on with it.

Where has LH blocked anyone this year? Even the Malaysia incident was him trying to break the tow, rather than a block (i.e. he was accelerating away from FA). His defence against Vettel at Silverstone was textbook defensive driving, with a far slower car.


'Hamilton becoming fed up with F1' - he should be fed up with getting embarrassed by his now obviously smarter teammate. Why is Button getting paid so much less than Lewis, anyway? Can anyone remind me?


Yes it's actually incredibly simple. Because he is not as good as Hamilton. So Hamilton has had an off few races...... There is noone in F1 who would tell you that Button is more likly to win a wdc than Hamilton for McLaren.

Button's had a great year, it happens.


frank, there's nothing to explain it's just one of those things, like the sun comming up in the morning. Lewis really is faster than JB, I know it and I suspect you do to. JB has a had a very good season by his standards and Lewis has had a poor one. If both drivers perform to their potential, anyone would bet their house on Lewis finishing ahead, just as he is still very likly to this year. I take nothing away from JB, he has risen several levels in my estimation, he has driven better this year than in his wdc year and he has often driven better than Lewis.


Lewis could probably be making more than his 10m a year. Either way, he makes more money thru his sponsorships.

I doubt Button will be paid the same as Lewis. Button's having a great year by his standards (whereas Lewis is having a dismal year by his). Button has yet to win a dry race for McLaren.

I could see the hold-up being that Button doesn't want Mac to favour Lewis if LH gets ahead at the start of the 2012 season.


Saying that Hamilton is 'better' than Button so flatly is pretty questionable. More ultimate speed - LH gets the nod. More speed over distance - JB makes his tires last much better. Racecraft - JB clearly better at picking his spots. Ability to adjust to changing conditions - JB and not even close. Car development - JB again. Professionalism - Apart from some regrettable early career lapses, JB again.


"He is dammned if he does and dammned if he doesn’t isn’t he? If he drives on the edge people say he is trying to impress his superstar friends, if he drives cautiously like today people like you pop up with exactly the same allegation but for the completely opposite reason. Good grief!"

Just like how when he ties a teammate in points he's the better driver, but when he's behind in points (even though the other team-mate has had mechanical failures hamilton hasn't) then it's just a bad run. Please explain this fully.


But.... Button has more points, considerably more if you add points for the two mechanical failures that were not his fault.

Hamilton is super fast, can't take that away... At the end of the day though, the points pay the bills.


They both currently have 1 WDC each, and Button is ahead on points so far this year. If you're measured by how well you're doing against your team mate Button is currently doing the better job. Could go either way this year but Hamilton is under serious pressure and he doesn't appear to be liking it. Button on the other hand appears very calm and is enjoying his racing. Hamilton's salary was signed before the credit crunch and he's been very lucky as drivers aren't getting half as much as they did before...

Hamilton is damned whichever way he chooses because his decisions always seem to work out wrong for him. He wasted time behind Schumacher and then his team mate seizes his chance and passes both him and Schumacher within 1 lap. When he eventually gets past, he is called in for a pit stop and emerges behind Schumacher again. He ends up 4th his team mate who was behind him ends up second and a good 7+ secs in front with another difficult to pass driver in between. It ended up being a very poor performance from Hamilton, possibly the worst I've ever seen...


That's actually the hold-up of Button signing again. He wants to be near Lewis' salary.

And why not?


Can we remind each other that before we get excited as fans, these are their salaries - some fans behave like they will get a cut!! I don't really give a hoot how much Hamilton earns - but i definitely do give a hoot how he drive a F1 car!

On a different point - i thought Vettel's comments about wearing a red suit were rather chicky - i wouldn't be very happy if i was his team.


Hamiltons deal was done before the financial crisis i think


Interestingly things may not be so bad for Lewis. So Martin has worked his magic portion being taking away his engineers to Button and now JB is the number one driver in McLaren. That increases Button's pay and lowers (in McLaren's eyes) Hamilton's. Let's say come 2012, both McLaren drivers are earning GBP8million - any right thinking Team Manager will immediately see that Hamilton is an under priced "stock" at that value for the following reasons:

1. He would be a number two driver at McLaren to Button which means he could be number two driver to Alonso at Ferrari or to Vettel at Red Bull, two teams that he can convince himself he would consistently finish 2nd in the championship as compared to what McLaren have to offer. By pushing him down, McLaren have opened opportunities to Hamilton that he did not have before.

2. He could be hired by Mercedes on salary that would save Mercedes probably GBP10M if he replaces Schumacher. Is this much better than McLaren - frankly i think so. Nico has been placing the Merc in some very interesting positions and you get the feeling Lewis would be able to place it higher - which happens to be the podium, making Merc just as competitive as the McLarens so far. The different working atmosphere with a old friend and different management would give him the space to rejuvenate and drop the McLaren baggage.

In short, no need for Lewis to beat himself up. Yes one door has closed but another (plus several french windows) has opened!


Yes, he seems more interested in his rapper friends, and promoting over-sized sunglasses.


This Hamilton bashing is getting tiring - if you believe he is only as good as 22nd on the grid why not give him the attention he deserves for that which would be ... yep, no attention. We get it Button fans, JB is better than Lewis - now can we watch the rest of the season without finding something offensive to say about Hamilton's shades, friends, beard, smile, joke or something!


Agreed - please can we keep the discussion above the level of "A is better than B". It's very tiresome to read and to moderate. We want everyone to have a voice but we're going to mod out anything which lowers the tone


He is dammned if he does and dammned if he doesn't isn't he? If he drives on the edge people say he is trying to impress his superstar friends, if he drives cautiously like today people like you pop up with exactly the same allegation but for the completely opposite reason. Good grief!


@ Chris Crawford "I was a bit alarmed at how how Button got passed the pair of them like that though" - Alarmed ????....I was seriously impressed


That was a cautious Lewis Hamilton, and I don't like a cautious Lewis. Your right he's damned if does and damned if he doesn't. WIth the championship all but over, he should have just nailed Schuey and if it went wrong then at least he tried and entertained us. I was a bit alarmed at how how Button got passed the pair of them like that though


Agree with you here. I've said it before, I'm no Hamilton fan but i really do enjoy watching the races when all drivers are on the limit. He didn't seem to be there today when compared to his past performances. I hope it was just the car wasn't to his liking or maybe schumi is just as sly as ever.


Looks like it. Vettel will wrap it up in Singapore!

But what a race from Hamilton and Schumi, fantastic.

Alonso must have been very happy, one more lap and Hamilton would have taken the final podium.


Hamilton's performance today indicates to me that the general comments concerning his driving style have affected him. He wasn't anything like as aggressive as he has been, and it doesn't appear as if he knows how to pull an 'unaggressive' passing manoeuvre.

Button may have benefited from circumstances, but he was far more clinical today. I'm not a fan of Schumacher, but he certainly knows how to drive within the last few inches of the law. I suppose he has had a lot of practice bending it by now.


haha good point re the 'unaggressive' passing manoeuvre.

Having had a few poor races the last thing Hamilton needed was another collision, so he probably was a bit cautious. I think the longer you are stuck behind someone the harder it gets mentally... 4th is better than DNF I suppose. He really put himself in that position due to his sleepy safety car restart...

That said, Alonso 'reported' Hamilton to the stewards last year for a two-changes-of-direction manoeuvre (that was very marginal) and Hamilton got penalised. Schumacher's was blatant yet no penalty. Therefore I'd like to bring up the age-old complaint of where's the consistency?!


Wheres the consistency? Have we ever seen a driver punished for moving twice?


David, I broadly agree with your assessment. Hamilton gets accused of being a moaning minnie, but with Malaysia and Q2 in Spa I think most reasonable people would agree he was hard done by.

Hence him keeping his mouth shut re Schumacher after Italy. The rights and wrongs go out of the window and all the media see is Hamilton complaining. So he didn't complain even when he had a reasonable right to. Thems the breaks as they say.


Forgot about Malaysia. Penalties there for both Hamilton and Alonso were as soft as I can remember, and completely wrong.

In terms of "consistentcy", I'd argue that Sunday was consistent with stewarding decisions we've seen this year, whereas Hamilton got a bad one in Malaysia.

From on board with Hamilton, neither of the "two move" incidents looked as bad as they did at the time, and don't think they deserved penalising, but putting him on the grass curva grande crossed the line. We've seen quite a few recently (Alonso sticking Vettel on the grass early on), and the FIA are consistant on doing nothing about it, unless someone actually comes to grief because of it (Buemi and Heidfeld in Germany).


Bayan - for what it's worth Hamilton DID lose a position due to the 20 second penalty. So he got points docked effectively.

Whatever way you look at this Hamilton was treated more harshly than Schumacher.

He got a penalty (in Malaysia) and Schumacher didn't in Italy for the same rule being broken. Hamilton's was so minor it actually wasn't picked up by commentators or the stewards during the race. Alonso had to point it out for the stewards to then take action.

Whereas with Michael it was blatant and far more aggressive - the stewards noticed and so did the TV commentators but in his case the stewards gave him the 'be careful there's a good chap' treatment, for HIS 'two moves' defensive driving.

So I ask again where is the consistency?


did the 20s change the results? I remember they didn't but could be wrong.


In a word YES - Hamilton got a 20-second post-race penalty in Malaysia this year for been deemed to have moved twice when defending against Alonso.


There is no consistency at all. The stewards have, by in large, become much more sensible since the ex driver has been added to their ranks but not a jot more consistent. I wonder if Webber (for his contact with Massa) would have received a penalty like the one handed out for the first corner collision had he not gone off anyway? I doubt it but he deserved one.


Good point. More sensible, but not consistent.

No one is pretending the stewards have an easy job to do. Certain breaches of the rules are hard to judge - ie racing incident Vs causing an avoidable collision.

What's disappointing is that when a breach is EASY to spot - ie Schumacher making more than one change in direction to defend his position - the FIA do not enforce it.

The FIA have come up with this rule after all. For some reason Schumacher was allowed to this rule, not be penalised and be told by Ross Brawn don't do it again.

If Schumacher had broken the pit lane speed limit would he have been told "Michael remember to observe the speed limit' by Ross Brawn and been let off? Of course not.

Arguably, his moves in front of Hamilton were much more dangerous than exceeding a pit lane speed limit by 5kpm but are not taken as seriously.

Surely, if Hamilton can somehow end up with a reprimand at Spa for doing not much more than minding his own business as Maldonado ludicrously swiped into the side of him, then Schumacher deserved at least that for his actions in front of Lewis, or to be totally consistent a 20 sec post race penalty which was what was handed out to Hamilton in Malaysia for the breaking the same rule.


Consistency? Ill tell you where it is, if your name is Hamilton its your fault, anybody else its just a racing incident...


I think it's these moments like today's podium ceremony when racers realize that they want to drive for Ferrari at some point in their career. Did you see that huge crowd, how they were cheering and greeting the pilots?! I guess it was what Alonso and Vettel discussed when the German anthem was playing. Hats off to the podium finishers because they paid off that enthusiasm and showed respect and appreciation. Besides that a very dull race at some moments, but a great start (Liuzzi almost got a strike -__-) and a very inspirited battle by Schumi. Once in a while, just to add some variety, it's great to see a classic race where DRS does not work well and where the following driver must work really hard to overtake.


What struck me at the podium ceremony was the booing of Jenson by the Tifosi. [mod]


Oh, that must be why he was so unimpressed at the post-race interview. I thought he was just being a meanie =)


Ofc they would do that to JB. He passed Alonso and got the 2nd place from him.


That's a good sign for Button. They don't boo people they aren't bothered about..


Vettel will only win the title in Singapore if he outscores Alonso by 13 points and Button / Webber by 8 points and Hamilton does not score than 2 points more than Vettel

Looks like title will be wrapped in Suzuka for sure though.


Well that seals it for me, Vettel is in the same class as Hamilton and Alonso. I've always completely denied this in the past, but now there can be no doubt. He deserves driver of the year this year - unlike last year.


I don't think Lewis is in the same league at all. Alonso is, but Lewis is coming up for season number 5 in F1 with a top top team in McLaren and only 1 WDC title to show for it.

I see very little evidence to suggest Lewis is in the same league as Fernando or Seb. People don't even mention Button in that context, yet last season he was very close to Lewis (new team for JB too) and this season he'd be well ahead had he not had a hydraulics failure in Germany and Wheel Gun error in GB. I'd suggest that Lewis isn't even on a par with JB at present.


Paul, there are great drives from Hamilton every season of his career - so many that it isn't even worth pointing them out if you have not already seen them. Let's also not forget that he beat Alonso in the same machinery.

He's had some off races and Button has driven brilliantly, it happens. Despite all this Lewis will still finish ashead of JB at the end of the year.


Rehashing how patently false the whole 'Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007' argument is may be the most tedious subject on the entire internet.


I love this response! "Let’s also not forget that he beat Alonso in the same machinery."

If Button beats Hamilton this year in the same machinary does this make Button better than Hamiliton and Alonso?

If we want to go all statistical 7 WDCs* is better than 2 WDCs and 2 WDCs is beter than 1 WDC........

Just enjoy it it people and rememember we had 5 world champions in the top 5 places!

*Although I don't count 1994 when he rammed Hill...............


"Let’s also not forget that he beat Alonso in the same machinery."

Oh, please, do not start the fire again...


I would probably suggest Vettel is eclipsing Hamilton. Vettel has shown he can overtake after all and Hamilton has a good car underneath him - very quick in race trim, but is falling behind regardless. And likely 2 back to back WDC's by age 24 for Vettel. Good stuff. And I'm not even a fan.


Isn't that what competition is all about?


That and his high speed overtaking manouver in Belgium. The Red Bull is a good car, but Webber is no longer second in the WDC, and has not won a race with it.

SV should get a lot of credit for this season.


I think we are starting to see more of the racer in Vettel. That pass on Alonso was really committed even with two wheels on the grass! I suspect we will see more of these moves from Vettel in the last few races after securing the title.


Agreed, that pass was amazing! I enjoyed the comments after as well. Alonso saying he has nothing to lose so why not defend? Well, to be honest Vettel doesn't have much to lose either! It will be interesting to see how hard he is willing to push the RedBull once the championship is locked up.




Brilliant absolutely brilliant Vettel, the kind of drives which seals a world championship & shuts mouths of those questioning his abilities. He overtook without DRS but with lots of bravery & delivered the pace.


Vettel: supreme

Button: majestic

Hamilton: bit unlucky

Webber: didn't Webber declare recently that "Vettel dominance was now over"?


Alonso: graciously outperforming the car




A classic race from Alonso :

1 - great start

2 - so so pace

3 - loosing steadily places particularly when the harder compound comes into play.

Any race I watch of Alonso is disappointing because he looses places as the race progresses but what is stunning despite that is that he is the driver 2nd to Vettel.

Actually no one is 2nd to Vettel given how big is the gap but still he's beating Webber with a much faster car & both McLaren drivers with a clearly better car.

Everyone considers the McLaren drivers very solid, that tells you how strong has Alonso been despite his car this year.

I think that if next year Ferrari doesn't deliver, we won't hear the patient & calm Alonso. He might run out of patience.


Alonso incredibly is still 2nd in the WDC

Ferrari really should give this man a decent car. If it matches the RB/McL we should have a great WDC next year.


Excellent race! Good performance from Button Seems he can make Hamilton look rather stupid. Especially when Hamilton is complaining about Schumacher for not letting him by just minutes before Button makes the move on Schumacher.

Vettels performance in qualifiying and race compared with Webber is superb!

Any new opinions yet on what a bad overtaker he is?


Schumi's blatant attempt to push Lewis off the track slowed both of them down, allowing Jenson to get through before Michael got back up to full racing speed. Not to take anything away from Jenson, who once again drove a brilliant race, he was lucky to have such an easy pass.

Lewis didn't have the speed on the straights, making it extremely difficult to pass. It's a testament to his increased maturity that he didn't do a banzai manouevre, and took away decent points. Had this happened earlier in the season, I think you would have seen both of them in the armco before the end of the race.


You are perhaps overstating things a bit. Button's pass was good racing from him in the sense that it was opportunistic and taking advantage of the situation ahead. But Button made the pass on Hamilton and Schumacher only because after Schumacher put Hamilton on the grass, Hamilton had to back off to avoid a collision with the wall, whereas Button was able to maintain his speed and take the position.

How many times have we seen Button stuck behind other drivers for several laps unable to make the pass?


In the past yes, this year not really. He has made more overtakes than anyone and has been very clinical. Because he took his chances and passed Hamilton AND Schumacher quickly though it proves that Hamilton is sometimes unable to play the long game, which is why some people love him


Don't forget Hamilton was destroying his tyres chasing Schuey. By the time Button got involved in the battle Schuey had contacted his engineers telling them his tyres had gone. Button was in the best position to take advantage of this.


Button was end of his stint as well. And I'm sure he put some pretty good wear on his tires pushing to catch up to the Hamilton/Schumacher battle.


It seems to have been the case all season that Hamilton and Button take very different approaches at the start of the race. Lewis bolts like a rabbit, while Jenson takes it easy to preserve the tyres with full tanks, trusting that he will gain back the time conceded later in the race. Over the course of the season, well they're only 9 points apart so both approaches seem equally valid. But as you say, Button's was the one that paid dividends at Monza.


Yep, all very valid points. But to the average person watching the T.V Jenson made Lewis look like a total chump today.


I agree...Button blew Hamilton away in some respects. Did you see Hamilton's post race interview? He looked about ready to cry!


But that's because Button waited..then struck and dispatched both Hamilton AND Schumacher within 1 lap!


There will still be 125 points available after Singapore, so Vettel won't be champion unless he extends his lead by at least 13 points -- right?

So he could be champion in Singapore, but only if his rivals do badly enough.


Hamilton & Button


I think that Hamilton was much faster than Button today because Button struggled to close the gap to him & Schumacher at the start.

But Hamilton accidents are getting to him, he is loosing confidence in his judgement & his overtaking abilities. Everyone would if he had as many incidents as Lewis. Thus he lost places at the start and was not decisive in his attacks on Schumacher even if the Merc was so fast on the straights it turned it into a nightmare for him.

Jenson gives you that same feeling of a driver who builds pace as the race progresses. His immediate overtake on Schumacher must've been so frustrating for Hamilton ! He has both pace and safety. It's as if he can't make mistakes. This guy breathes confidence but he lacks that ultimate pace.

If McLaren hadn't let him down he should be the one chasing Vettel not Alonso. Brilliant year for him but still he lacks the spark Hamilton, Alonso & Vettel have. He is probably the Prost of this ear something he must be very proud of.


I think Jenson stated that he was contolling his pace at the start of the race, hence why he was slightly adrift of he Hamilton/Schumacher battle, not because of any lack of speed.


Hamilton is not loosing confidence, he has to be more cautious because everyone piles on him for being too agresive, now that he has toned it down people think he lacks confidence. He lacks confidence in the FIA being fair, if he tried the double blocking moves that MSC put on him beofer he passed him Lewis would get banned for one race.

ANd then there are the people that think he should be more patient, in this race he was patien with MSC, but instead people say he wasnt agressive enough, which one is it people!?


He should be more patient, but it's the fact he can't get a happy medium that irritates me. Monza was too cautious and cost him, Canada he had no patience and paid there. The other drivers know this and use it to their advantage, and his previous problems with the stewards and his attitude and critiscm of them makes him an easy target. Yes he can't afford a DNF and/or a penalty, but it is a problem he created earlier in the season...


I don't think it was too cautious. His car just didn't have the pace on the straights. Several times during the race had him under Schumi's wing going onto the straights, only to have the Merc romp away from him, even with the advantage of DRS in Lewis' favour. He didn't crash, he finished ahead of Michael, and given one more lap would have been pushing to pass Alonso too.

4th is a lot better than walking back to the pits with no points. Perhaps he's starting to look at Jenson's consistent scoring and learning from it.


I have grown a lot of respect for Buttons driving. He has been darn good lately! Remember when he first came on the scene, no one took him seriously. Maybe he is little less guns blazing than Hamilton and Kobyashi etc but is no less effective on the track. Right now he outperforming Hamilton by a large margin.


Why bother about sparks if they don't generate any flame (that's for Alonso and mostly Hamilton)?


Algersuari : Why does he qualify ?


He is the enigma of the 2nd part of this year. Poor qualifying means great race. Sometimes, I wonder if he does it on purpose !

Only the drivers of the top 4 teams beat him despite starting from P17 beating Renaults, ForceIndias and all the others.

If I were ToroRosso, I will let him take a day off on Saturday & come race at the back of the field.


For Vettel to win the championship in singapore he needs to win the race and Fernando needs to finish third or lower. There are 6 races left so he needs have a 125 point lead coming away from Singapore.


Vettel won, but does anyone care?! Certainly the TV cameras didn't, as I think we only saw him a handful of times the whole race and after, what I admit was a great pass, there wasn't any point in watching him. I almost hope he does win the championship in Singapore so we can all look forward to next year, and hopefully someone else winning.

Behind that, it was a great race - Button drove superbly, as did Schumacher and Alonso put in a fine race to come in 3rd. Hamilton seemed totally dispondant at the end of the race, and I found it interesting that Button managed to get past Schumacher so easily where as Hamilton found it a right old challenge.

Kudos to all in the top 10 really, Toro Rosso & Force India picking up some useful points to pile the pressure on Sauber.


Schumi's tyres went off when Button passed. It was said at the time but yet this info seems to have been swept under the carpet


Schumacher had emptied his KERS defending against Hamilton too. Another fact forgotten by most people. Button used his on the exit of Ascari to make his move stick. It was nicely done though. I'd like to see Button make a good start from the first or second row in the next race as I think he has the car, mentality and skill to be Vettel's main challenger for wins over the last few races.


Found it to be another disappointing and unfulfilling race.

This year, what's clear is that if you have a slower car or greater wearing tyres, or warm-up issues - the fact of being overtaken is purely inevitable over a race distance.

The kind of bravery evinced off the start-line by Alonso is in reality redundant and worthless but for the show it puts on.

Speaking of show, I want to suggest that wheel-to-wheel action, the holy-grail of the modern spectacle, isn't actually as engaging as a race where the contenders post "qualifying laps" against each other at the front, for the win.

The modern F1 racing has become a bit like a Steven Seagal movie. All action and no story!


So then why even race. Just qualify (if that) and hand out points according to what is perceived as the fastest car (maybe you have a suggestion of how to decide which teammate is ahead of the other).

What about driver input and ability?

I also prefer no artificial gadgets like DRS but I'm really enjoying this year so can't really complain much.


Qualifying is over one lap, it takes much more to keep up that kind of pace over a race distance. Ask Trulli..


Yup it is.. Which us why I replied the post. Fastest var doesnt necessarily mean first place. Driver ability among other things matters. But thanks for the reminder.


Slower cars, or cars that aren't good on tyres, should be overtaken. As fun as it would be to see a HRT keeping a Ferrari behind it for 40+ laps, I think I'll pass (like the faster cars).

Even if they were doing nothing but qualifying laps for the entire race, the fastest/best cars should cross the line first.

And who's to say that Alonso wasn't hoping that everyone else behind him would burn up their tyres before he did?


Let's stop racing then if faster cars deserve to be in front? Just hand out the points after letting the cars run on a tredmill and judge the performance that way?

Senna winning from Mansell in Monaco was obviously ridiculous, right?



Just because a car is faster does not mean it has a right to be ahead though.

Some of the greatest drives in F1 history have been when a slower car held on to finish infront of a faster one.

Been able to defend your position & hold onto it is a part of racing, Taking that ability away via artificial means is not racing in my view & this is a part of why I hate stuff like DRS.


Yeah, I agree fully. Well said.


Agreed. Even if DRS is a little contrived, what's worse, faster cars that simply CANNOT overtake or a helping hand from DRS and Pirelli, the former option was the worst and quite ridiculous.

What we have this year is the lesser of two evils by far. Although Vettel has made the championship battle boring, the races this year for me have the most entertaining for years!!


I enjoyed the race overall. Vettel did his stuff and after he gained first place again, it was his to stay. Good showing from button. Schumi and Lewis did liven the race. Glad to see all those wdc fighting to pass each other. Senna is showing that he can race. I will be curious to see how fast he improves in the next few races. With the championship to be decided in the next race or at best the following one. I hope the last few races will provide some good racing for the runner up spot. Double wdc at 24 years of age? 7 wdcs might not so far out of reach. Marc


Unless my math is faulty, even if Vettl wins at Singapore, if Alonso comes second Vettel will have a 120 point advantage with 125 points in play, so no guarantees. He has to outscore Alonso by 13 points to clinch, and the gap between first and second isn't that big, no?


yup, you're right there.


button is a very good driver but i definitely started to get annoyed by the bbc commentary who never once mentioned, whilst getting all excited about him, that he was frankly very lucky that hamilton had take all the grip out of schumacher's tyres and that schumi was so busy dealing with hamilton that the door was wide open for him to make a pass on them both.

people say he is a great driver because he bides his time and looks after his car but to me, and i may be alone, he is just a technician.

i suppose it is like when chelsea won the premier league, they were not stylish just efficient and won few fans for their stylr whereas when arsenal or man utd do it then neutrals actually respect the skill and verve as well as the end product.

i used to like him a lot but i find there is an element of smugness creeping into his game - for example it would be good to acknowledge that he was lucky to have got past schumacher but he made it sound like he had had some battle with him when in fact he was like the guy who sees two people fighting then sneaks round and picks their pockets whilst they are distracted.

vetel is a great driver but with the best car by a long way. i hope so so much that next season red bull are up against equally competitive mcclarens and ferraris so that there is a proper championship and we can really see whether vettel is up there with senna etc or actually only as good as hamilton/alonso when the racing is tight.

i would also love to know why charlie whiting thought it was appropriate to give mercedes the chance to protect schumi from a penalty when i imagine that had it been hamilton behaving the same way with a double move and borderline defending then he would be slaughtered....

not sour grapes, just dissillusionment!


Well it hasn't had anything to do with Button's luck or lack of it. He - as always - simply used the conditions he had to make a move. And he nailed it. It isn't his fault that Hamilton was unable to pass Schumacher and it isn't his fault neither that their duel caused Lewis to go off.


Button stated on the post-race that he was holding back from the Hamilton/Schumacher battle to see if their battle would back them into him. In doing so, he saved his tires. Doing well in races is a lap-by-lap affair, not something decided in isolated passes once or twice a Grand Prix. I doubt Hamilton would have shown as much restraint were he the once chasing a Button/Schumacher battle.


Yep. When the announcers FINALLY spotted a double move they said something, but this was roughly the 50th double move from MS.

You are right, if Hamilton would have done anything like that he would have been docked a lap, reputation or not.

No consistency whatsoever by the FIA.


Of course, the double move involved a move back to the racing line through the corner, which has always been allowed. And, Button didn't seem to have any trouble finding a way past, did he?


Very good race.

Vettel: MAture drive with the best car by far, so great passes and contrilling the race all the time.

Button: Classic Button, not making a single bad move, smart and taking his chances.

Alonso: Another amazing start and finishing on P3 when his car deserves P5 at best, the way this guy drives bad cars is incredible.

Hamilton: Good race but he didn't do anything special.

Schumi and Jaime: Fantastic race taking into account their cars.

Massa: Invisible, but got some solid points.


Hi Holly,

I agree with most of what you've written, but if you listen to Martin Whitmarsh, he reckons McLaren has had the best race car in 9 of the 13 races and were very close in two others (Australia and Malaysia). Now I think it is his way to talk his car up (keeping the engineering staff going).

While it is 13-0 in qualifying, the margins are not large anymore. In the races the McLarens are giving themselves too much to do in the race and are not able to make up the gap. If you think through the season, there have been few instances where Vettel has been able to put much time into a McLaren when both have a clear track ahead. The gap between the Red Bull and the McLaren is small, not huge. The gap to the Ferrari is the one that huge given Alonso's championship position.




Another dual time champion, Well done, no compromise he will win, win, win…

Videos - 2011 Italian GP starts and crash in Turn 1

unlucky, Nico


That crash definitely spoiled an interesting side story. Nico was starting on the harder tyres, and I wonder whether the decision would have played out in his favour versus Michael.


"Vettel now leads the championship by 112 points, with 150 remaining. If he scores a podium in Singapore he will be the 2011 world champion and the youngest ever two times champion at the age of 24."

James, I don't think it's mathematically true (although it's hard to imagine different output really).

Example: if ALO is 1st in Singapore, and VET 2nd, the point difference will be 105 points, with 125 max points remaining (after Singapore), so no crowning Seb yet 🙂

Correct me if I'm wrong.


Hello! I believe that winning at Singapore wouldn't be enough for Vettel, as the current gap between Alonso and him is 112 points. If Alonso took 3rd place, the gap would be 122 points, and there would be 125 points left.

Button and Webber could also do with a second place, as their gap would increase from 117 to 124. So basically, even though Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix, it doesn't mean that he would be champion unless Alonso finished out of the podium and neither Jenson nor Mark came in second.


So , the slower driver on speed trap wins at the temple of speed!!Very ironic!!

It was a good race, entertaining but not amazing, after a few laps the win on normal conditions was decided, at least MSC gave us some good moments with LH.

Great move from Seb on Alonso, very brave and bold, like a champion. He was so fast through corners that nobody could really do anything.

Mark again messing things up, he really destroys his own races.

What a show by the tiffosi,it must be something special being a ferrari driver on that podium, it´s like being on the stage of a concert with a sheering croud. AMAZING!!


Vettel's pass on the outside reminded me of Alonso's pass on Schumacher at 130R at Suzuka '05. What effect will Vettel's pass have on Alono's confidence?


Alonso did a pretty brave pass at the start going with 2 wheels on the grass. Nothing to be shy about...


I'd say none. Webber pulled off an impressive overtaking on Alonso too, yet it doesn't look like Alonso is worried. He drove well in Spa and he's done it again at Monza. I don't think that he's going to lose his confidence over an overtaking.


Alonso is a very sensible driver knowing how much the car can achieve and he's second in the championship with a third best car. Nando's a man with the big picture.


That was more of a rhetorical question. Even after a blazing start and trying to contain the pursuing driver, if he passes you at top speed on the outside it must get even the best of drivers thinking how someone in Vettel's form can be stopped.


Another pathetic BBC coverage - when Hamilton is fighting and pushing everybody off the track - he is genius, but today, when Schumacher did the same the BBC trio could see only broken rules and penalties. Sorry - there is still World outside Britain


Even the Speed TV coverage (like Sky, one of Murdoch's channels) over here in the states commented on the blocking. I think it may have been Steve Matchett who pointed it out. Steve is one of Michael's mechanics from his Benetton championship season.

The blocking was a tad blatant at times, and I very much doubt that Lewis would have escaped a penalty had the situation been reversed. Then again, Schumi always seemed to get away with so much more than any other driver (including stealing a WDC from Damon Hill).


The issue isn't the fact it was mentioned it is the way and the tone. Throughout the BBC coverage there is this inconsistency.

I mean they have spent the last 2 years going on about Schumacher and how he should retire. I wonder if they have ever considered asking DC what it is that he enjoys about competing in the DTM? Sorry did I say competing, I should have said driving around at the back!?


I think the bigger issue is Jake wearing a Red Bull T shirt in the simulator piece, from what I hear there have been quite a few complaints about that.


I too agree on this.


Agree completely.[mod]
Coulthard's comments about Schumacher are filled with envy and resentment and whats worse, it's painfully obvious. I think Mika Hakinnen's comment on DC sum up all the potential that DC ever had " DC is at a limit with his speed and with that he cannot beat me"
James would love to know your views on Schumacher and LH battel.


So true, the current brit commentators do bring a bad taste to F1. No wonder they are so Anti-Schumacher coz' he made both Brundle and Coulthard look like idiots when they were racing against him.

Seriously, we should urge Murray Walker to come back and find a way of Resurrecting James Hunt to partner him.

No one can commentate like them. Period.

The only person I find who is impartial is Gary Anderson of ESPN-Starspots.


Agreed, I was under the impression that one defensive move can be made, plus one move to return to the racing line. From what I saw, I didn't see Schumacher violate this principle.


Completely agree. I can't wait for the sky coverage to start. The anti schumacher and the Button love in is sickening.


I agree!


Yeah agree, When Hamilton did his weaving at Sepang the guys at the BBC jumped up to defend him.

I was particularly unimpressed with David Coulthard who seemed like he was desperately trying to make what Schumacher was doing today seem worse than it was.

Intrestingly DC said today that Schumacher should not have been drifting back onto the racing line having alreay moved offline to defend, yet at Spa he said it was perfectly acceptable for Hamilton to have drifted back onto the racing line after defending the inside when he had the contact with Kobayashi.


I think the point is 2 wrongs don't make a right? Not defending weaving from either Hamilton or Schumacher, but it seeems the haters think that it's right when it's done to Hamilton regardless.


John, agree with your post. Coulthard in particular is getting a very pedantic.


They need to take away Coulthards video monitor.

"Well if you look at Hamilton's line... oh look there's a bit of carbon fibre on the track... don't want to run over that... what was I talking about again??"


Must be a pain for you to watch BBC coverage, then - why do you?


Mathematically if Vettel wins and Alonso finishes 4th in Singapore, then Alonso could only tie on points if he won the remaining races and Vettel failed to score in them. Same applies to Button and Webber if they finish 3rd. However, due to street circuit nature and the use of super-soft and soft tyres will suit Ferrari, so hopefully the championship will continue until Japan at least.


I am sure there are many different permutations, and you will inform us of them in due course James.


If Alonso and Vettel tied on points (VERY unlikely) then Vettel would win on his far superior race win count.


Nice bit of chanting by the fans:

"No To Sky"

I wonder if Babs Slater could hear it from her ivory tower 😀


Given his comments prior to the weekend, I wonder whether Vettel still thinks the championship is still open. Surely he must have been talking about the 2012 championship.


Indeed another stroll for Seb in Monza. The championship was over a long time ago (though I did not want to admit it) but if we take things on a race by race basis then there has been some great wheel to wheel action this season. In terms of pure racing it has been a great season albeit for the second and third steps on the podium.

Now that Seb's title has been confirmed I hope Red Bull back off in the development race for the remaining 6 races so that Ferrari, Macca and the Mercs can get some wins.

Riccardo Consulini

Vettel was outstanding. Hamilton,on the other hand,seems to be losing the touch. Jenson once again brings home good results in an very exciting display of good driving and elegance.


Well now that was a fun race - No easy DRS passes, wheel to wheel battles & crashes.

OMG!!! Vettel has destroyed us this year but the way he has won this year's title is bad news for him because he will never be this dominant again leaving the same it's the car & not driver arguments

But congratulations to the Wunder Kid for the move he pulled on Alonso was classic but his overtakes are always frightening for he looks like one that's about to collect the other driver.

As for the WDC, no, he won't win it in Singapore but rather in Japan because no driver that has won the Singapore GP has gone on to win the WDC.

I also enjoyed the Schumi-Lewis battle & it was really funny how Lewis was side by side Schumi on the straight, it was like they were stuck in time but well done to Lewis for being patient & cool headed.

But am afraid of late Hamilton's starts have been pretty poor & cautious while Alonso is having pretty awesome starts. Lewis could have braked later at the start & squeezed Vettel on the outside.

Alonso goddamnit, that boy is so consistent, it's ridiculous. If his hard & medium tyres weren't giving him a hard time, he would have finished most races P2.

Very good race by Jenson too, seriously am now officially wary of Jenson. It's like he has made it his mission to dethrone Lewis from the #1 spot at Mclaren.

Hahaa Aussie Grit is back to his old ways of ramming into drivers that are ahead of him - At least this time it isn't the other driver that paid the price!

As for that Torro Rosso fella with three new sets of soft tyres - I will never appreciate his drives or any driver (with an Ok car) that gets knocked out of Q1.

2012 can't come soon enough, Red Bull must be taught the meaning of pain & humiliation ASAP!


One of these days Vettel's mouth is going to crack at the sides - from smiling too much.

Grayzee (Australia)

"One of these days Vettel’s mouth is going to crack at the sides – from smiling too much."

and his damn finger will cramp up from being straight so much, too!

Nice comments goferet, but I can't say I agree with Webber bit. But then, I am as biased to Webber as you are to Hamilton. 🙂


lol, I'm starting to appreciate your comments. Still Hamilton biased but not bad overall.


Sad to see that the season is over already, but we all saw this coming some time ago. Let's hope that Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes get a good jump on development so we see some actual competition next year.

The new exhaust rules may help, but what I would really like to see is a drastic reduction in down force with emphasis on mechanical grip. I think we would see much better racing.


Today's best by far: MiniSchumi, Jens, Lew, Schumi and ...Bruno!!


LOL, you ignore Alonso as usual...

Bruno's performance was amazing today; he was able not to destroy anyone at the first corner. Much better race than Fernando's, who just finished ahead of Lewis, one of the drivers of the day according to your post, on a clearly slower car.

Amusingly predictable.


Me and most in the Monza poll above, it seems.

One can ignore reality. But one cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. Cheer up.


"Me and most in the Monza poll above"

Sorry, what "Monza poll" do you mean? In the one above, both Fernando and Jaime come before Lewis. Bruno is not even mentioned.

I guess I don't get the picture... 😀


One can ignore reality. But one cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality, the latter being displayed, F1wise, in today's poll. Spain's real economy is gone and among BRICS Zombiebank's sole remaining chance of survival is called Brazil, Sao Paulo being its powerhouse and where Bruno and Felipe come from. Getting the picture?


"Spain’s real economy is gone and among BRICS Zombiebank’s sole remaining chance of survival is called Brazil, Sao Paulo being its powerhouse and where Bruno and Felipe come from. Getting the picture?"

Picture blurred. Out of focus. Overheated. Got it? Discuss the person's oppinions you disagree with, but not any Country and its institutions, this is not the place, IMO. (You may look to closer Banks to you too and their catatrophic situation, if you like.)


please edit "worldwide KNOWN Rothbardian..."


Surprisingly you don't mention here your worldwide knows Rothbardian ethical perspective...

I do get the picture.


For Sebastian to clinch the title in Singapore!!

If he wins;

Fernando has to finish 4th, maximum

Jenson/Webber has to finish 3rd, maximum (If either finishes 2nd though; that means Vettel just has to take 1 point on them again)

If he comes 2nd;

Fernando has to finish 8th, maximum (yeah right; like Nando will finish 8th in Singapore)

Jenson/Webber has to finish 5th, maximum

Hamilton can't win

If he comes 3rd;

Fernando has to finish 9th, maximum

Jenson/Webber has to finish 7th, maximum

If he comes 4th;

Fernando has to finish 10th, maximum

Jenson/Webber has to finish 8th, maximum

If he comes 5th, no title yet.

No matter what happens, Lewis must finish ahead of Sebastian to stay in the championship hunt.


Is it me or Vettel's "yahaaaaaa, we are the best etc" messages at the end are getting old?

I was 150% sure his reaction would be like that.

Maybe I am being though on him, but he's so predictable. Congratz to Seb and RB for a great win today.

Great race by Alonso, even tho' I was expecting more and great result for Button.

Lewis has shown today he can act like a champion and finding excuses is not the way. His interview at the end really impressed me.

Come on Singapore!!!


I actually didn't like Lewis' interview. He clearly was in PR mode and wasn't speaking his mind. I think had it been anyone other than Schumi he was talking about he would have said more. I am no Lewis fan at all, but I liked his sincerity. I suppose he will eventually find the balance between saying what you want without sounding like a brat, like Button does. Speaking of which, the guy really is top class. The number 3 package at the moment in my opinion. The three drivers on the podium really impressed me today.


Them sour grapes make you hear things he never said.

We are the best? When did he say that? He just said "woohoo we did it", what's so annoying about that?


Vettel's been imperious this season and fully deserves the title. This season has been the opposite of last season, in so far as the races have been entertaining but the championship has been a non-event. Whereas last year the races were drab barring Canada but the championship was exciting.

The season has followed the usual pattern when one team dominates at the start. The others, in this case Mclaren and Ferrari, catch up mid-season on pace when it's too late, and after realising they haven't got a hope just give up and concentrate on next year, which is why we have seen Red Bull asserting themselves at the front by a country mile again.

Hopefully next year Mclaren and Ferrari get their act together from the start and it's exciting races and championship.


I hope we'll here no more about Seb being unable to overtake?

Or any more excuses for mark Webber in the same car?


He ran wide when there was room ontrack, that good enough?


I´m sure some people will continue to find ways to diminishes his capabilitys.


James - Seb needs to leave Singapore with a 125 point lead to be champion, he could win and still not do this (if Alonso is 2nd for example).


Vettel can take the championship because he has won more races than Alonso.


"A win at Singapore would guarantee him the title."

That's assuming Fernando finishes 4th or lower and Button/Webber is 3rd or lower?


A fantastic victory for Seb who makes it look a lot easier than any of the current drivers. And that was such a good committed pass on Alonso. I hope Newey decides to stick around at RedBull for a few years so Vettel gets a chance to race Schumacher's records.

Great racing from Button who really showed his class today.

Sad that once again, F1 turned a blind eye to Schumacher's weaving mistermeaners....


Hi James,

Any thoughts on Alonso being 2nd in the championsgip after the season Ferrari have had?

Also, do you think he could have kept Button behind him if he had managed the medium tyres initial laps better or did he maximise the potential of the car?



The others are doing even worst. Specially Lewis and mark.

He was losing much ground to Lewis at end, so i don´t think he would be able to keep Jenson behind.


"The only thing that could make it better would be wearing a red suit..."

Conspire! Conspire!


Have you seen Vettel's interview, where he said that "the only thing that can make it better is being here in a red racing suit?" (or something similar, but that's the gist of it). Guess he really wants to drive for Ferrari at some point in the future (after Alonso leaves, maybe...)


Good race. What's with Webber and his starts? How many places has he lost this season?


His starts have been so bad recently, I half expect him to be lapped before he crosses the start line 🙁

Grayzee (Australia) guys are cruel! and , yes, I am biased 🙂


He lost only 2 places at the start today. Maybe his brightest start of the year ! Seriously, it must be depressing for him.


If he's depressed now, wait until he finds out that JA is doing a piece on his bad starts....


I'll do a piece on it this week


Anyone notice that Lewis had the two worse pitstops of the top drivers? We are only talking fractions of a second, but his first stop at 4.2 seconds certainly put him behind Michael as he came out and his second also just about cost him the podium.


Is anyone else really hoping that Schumacher gets on the podium again?


Schumi is great. I enjoy seeing him race. He has skills and he uses them.

I am hoping at a more faster Merc and Ferrari next year so they can fight with the RB and McLaren.

I am rly impressed and didn't realised so far how well Alonso did in this Ferrari. He is still 2nd in the championship. That is impressive.

Has Seb ever been the driver of the day in the poles JA did on this website? I don't remember.


Only because he makes such great TV


yes!!! hope that he gets better and better, showed today that he still got it!


Yes, agree fully.

And to think in the old days I was a Hakkinen fan...


5 Place grid penalty for Liuzzi! What is the point in that! He would start at best second to last anyway. Surely the stewards realise that is completely pointless!


They're going to make him start from the front row, but a lap down.


... and where is the point in giving a grid penalty for a car which is constantly starting from last row? 😛


James, isn´t a litle bit of an overstatment by Martin Whitmarsh saying that mclaren had the fastest car today???


I don't think that Vettel will clinch the title in Singapore. I think it'll be a few races yet.

As for my driver of the day i voted for Alonso because he always seems to get better results out of a car, that isn't too competitive than anybosy else.

His start was brilliant just like in Spain, he held on as best he could and got a good result for ferrari and the tifosi.

The race itself between Schumacher and hamilton was awesome, Michael certainly hasn't lost his talent.

I think Fernando and Ferrari will be better in Singaapore as this is a track where Alonso does very well and suits his aggressive driving style.

Christopher Snowdon

Title already clinched if no one matches his points haul as of today!!


So that was the 2011 World Championship decided, I think that 2nd place will be fought out between Alonso and Button, with Fernando coming out on top; but only just!


I don't think Webber's out of it yet, will we see Red Bull putting everything behind him in the final races once Vettel has sealed the title? And Hamilton is always capable of pulling something out of the bag.


Hey, maybe they'll even give Webber the same quality machinery as Vettel once the Championship is won?

If we suddenly lose the muffed starts from Webber after Singapore, be very suspicious 🙂


Vettel has been a class act all year but I agree with Martin Brundle that he has to drop the 'finger thing' and stop all the silly yee-haaing on the team radio if he wants to join the greats. And that is what I'm talking about!


He has made all those his trade marks.


Not very good trademarks if I may add.


All in all, a great post :p


All the other arguments against him didn't stick, so now it's the all important finger thing that will decide if he will become an F1 great! 😉


James I just had a sudden thought. Last year Charlie Whiting made a big issue about drivers driving outside the white lines on the main straight, and anyone caught doing so would be penalized. However, Alonso overtook both Hamilton and Vettel at the start by performing this action, so has Whiting relaxed this issue?


I think racer can do anything as long as it's not make accident, if racer crash into each other they will make investigation and give some penalty.


I believe that the rule is that as long as two wheels are within the white lines, it is legitimate.


I find Whiting a/o the stewards inconsistent. Wish they were willing/required to go before public questioning like drivers and managers.

Am not a LH fan but I certainly thought if that was LH today instead of MS that LH would have gotten a steward inquiry or penalty.


All in all it was a great race. Alonso showed his great skills with an inferior car while Adrian Newey showed us why Red Bull is the best car - overtaking on the grass with minimal corrections or speed loss. RBR's downforce is fantastic. Schumi, once again delivered one of his great races, like Fernando with an inferior car, while Hamilton was cautious enough not to crash. Button is becoming the new Alain Prost - patient, fast, opportunistic and calculating.

It was a great race on a great circuit, in the best F1 atmosphere possible, Monza Italy: the land of Ferrari, Toro Rosso (Minardi), Magneti Marelli, Brembo, Dallara ... what next?


I actually really enjoyed that race - even though Vettel was out front. Good battle between Hamilton and Schumacher, but I'd like to find out why, after the last stops Schumacher came out so close to Hamilton. I would have expected Ham to be much further ahead. Tyre compound?

Excellent drives from Alonso and Button today too.

I must add again, that I don't 'get' Vettel. He was amazing today, but I don't feel the amazement in the same way that I felt it during the Schumacher days, or from Alonso or Hamilton. And yet, he's taking away any reason to doubt him.


Shame that we will never know how Rosberg's strategy could work. Without that accident no retirement no safety car no early pit stop...


Whatever happened to the Ferrari's straight line speed advantage of about 20 kph over Red bulls?


Anyone catch exactly what Alonso said before the podium celebration when Vettel said he pushed him onto the grass? Sounded like he dropped the f-bomb. 😀


It was probably along the lines of: "look how much everyone worships me for finishing in 3rd place, and the Tifosi don't really care that you won". The cheer Alonso received when he collected his trophy said it all.


Was it just me, or did MSC let Button by but gave Hamilton a hard time? And where is the blocking rules?


ok we get it. This is your 5th post on the subject.

Do you want racing or some lame contest decided only by qualifying and penalties from the stewards if anyone ever defends.



1)Merc had very good traction and better braking up until MSC's rear tyres started 'falling off'.

2) Schumacher regularly used more than 60-80% of Kers on the DRS-enabled straight /wherever Hamilton was closing with the passing aids. Jenson probly didnt use kers while slipstreaming right behind 2 cars ahead on the main straight. Jenson used DRS and KERS on the straight leading to Ascari

3)Jenson saved his tyres until that point too.

BTW, according to Ross Brawn, Hamilton found his way past (relatively early) because michael made a mistake (pit limiter/slow gear change)


I don't know how a F1 car can overtake by the grass and not losing speed or traction. This give us an idea of how this car reacts to a possible error by the driver, it just continues going well. I though that going by the grass could cost the driver losing his position, this is instead the opposite.


james, you missed closing html strong tag for "... Monza, 53 laps"


James, off topic - How come the trophies of Alonso and Button are different from Vettel's? Is that a tradition for Monza?


The commentators on Speed said that it's a special trophy representing the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. And that everyone who wins a major sporting event in the country gets one. Since Seb won he gets the special trophy, and the other get the standard sponsor logo trophy. Next year 1st place will be like the others only bigger.


I must admit I miss the Lewis - the passionate / drive from the heart / make some mistakes / talk to cameras and say what he thinks. Now we get pre-ordained Managerial driving and speak - and while he definitely needs some advice ....... It's like now he's being told to drive for points and change his way of speaking otherwise he will never get to race for anybody else ( and so his worth will plumet ) but to me he looks like he wants a Ferrari drive.


Rock and a hard place



Lewis showed class and maturity. I hope it continues, as it will bring him more points than 50:50 banzai overtaking moves. If he can meld his speed with Jenson's on-track intelligence, he will be even stronger next season.


Hi James

Was that you doing the post race interviews? I also wondered who chooses the person to do the interviews as it seems to be different each race?

Also is it it a free job?



Yes it was me. I've been doing it since 2009


Great drive from Vettel, and one of the only overtaking moves that he's made that really impressed. But yet, for some reason, he just leaves me cold. He doesn't inspire in the same way as Alonso and Hamilton.

And im getting so frustrated with the Button love in. He can do no wrong in the eyes of the British media. If he crashes or loses places - not a peep. If he makes one overtaking move then suddenly he's the dog's unmentionables.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that when Button got past Schumi, the German's tyres had started to go off.

And as for Hamilton, yes a bit of a lack lustre race. But at the end of the day, he can't do anything right. Too aggressive, too timid, too outspoken, too monosyllabic. Make up your mind!

And as for the "he's too preoccupied with his celeb mates and endorsements" argument. What? Sorry, which drivers don't have celebrity friends and endorsements? It is merely because they are 'rappers' not rock stars or other sports stars. It seems that some people's perception of that type of music and the culture that goes with it, merely serves to illustrate their own ignorance and bigotedness.


I'm glad I'm not the only one who's sick of the Button lovefest. The guy is so over-rated. Yes, he makes good overtakes a fair amount of the time, but he has to, because he's so poor at the start of the race. Started 3rd yesterday, then was 7th after no time. He then struggled to catch up to Hamilton and Schumacher until just before the first stops. He was lucky getting past Hamilton, and Schumi was out of position from defending against Hamilton and struggling with his rear-tyres when Button finally got past.

Yes, he was quick at the end of the race, but that's just not good enough. Vettel had already scampered off into the distance. If he really wants to be a serious contender, he needs to be quick from start to finish.


To fair, he made your last point more or less word for word himself after the race


Also forgot to mention that he got to fifth lace by virtue of Massa and Webber's coming together.


Force India is now 6th in the Constructors and has 36 points and Sauber has 35 points - Paul is doing well as this is big money at the end of the year.


True. I am so happy for Paul. He impressed me the most from all the rookies. And now Bruno Senna did it also.

Bruno has speed and race by race his confidence in the car will grow. I don't think Bruno is pushing 100%. Is hard to do that in a car that you just step in and knowing that your future depends on these few coming races.

Bruno is one to watch in the future and I am glad Eric B has gave him the chance to show his skills.

Going back to Paul DiResta, I hope he is not going to make any silly mistakes and keeps it clean on the track. Every race he has good chances to finish in points.

What is going on with Sauber? In the last few races they are slowwww. Have they stoped working on the 2011 car or what?



If you watch the first corner crash you'll see Paul having the foresight to see the crash coming and immediately take to the escape road and pull another 5 cars with him otherwise the smash would have been bigger - He's got foresight and seemingly is just having a Sunday afternoon drive these days - pretty good for a rookie.


Lewis can take a lesson or two from Jenson's driving style. The way Jenson overtook Lewis, Schumacher and Alonso is commendable. It is down to his smooth driving style.

There were lot of noise on Schumacher pushing Lewis into the grass but no one was saying much about Alonso pushing Vettel off the track.


Is it just me or are other people getting the impression that Lewis is not happy at mclaren or maybe mclaren are not happy with him ? He looked so down on Sunday even mclaren telling the BBC he needed motivating on the radio this is not the usual Hamilton who is always driving flat out giving it everything. I am no massive Hamilton fan but I get the feeling not all is well at mclaren maybe he is feeling a little left out now that button is stealing the limelight from him and also button getting a reported lifetime contract from mclaren may give Lewis the impression he is not wanted


Of course he's down. Lewis thinks anything lower that 1st place is a failure. Vettel has raised the bar so high this year that some of the others are making mistakes in an effort to salvage some personal pride. This has resulted in some unfortunate incidents, penalties and bad press. Lewis stated (i seem to remember) that his goal for Monza was to finish. Quite a low goal for someone like Lewis but a sensible one at this time. I hope his next goal is a few strong podiums and untimately a win. These times are test of character for Lewis. The character I saw a couple of years ago would come through this. I quoted Kiplings "IF" somewhere on these forums. There's some good old fashioned advise in there, well worth thinking about.


All Lewis wants is to win. He thought McLaren is a Inferior car. He approached Red Bull and also tried to get into Ferrari but they didn't want him. Now he has not many choices. He has to put up at McLaren, join a slower team or quit F1.

For me, McLaren is the best car but the drivers didn't do a good job. Now Lewis is upset that Jenson has taken the lead over him. But he will bounce back.


He was very down after qualifying on Saturday too, when he came into the TV interview room


After RBR get Seb over the WDC line, I wonder if they'll concentrate on smacking the other constructors in the Constructors Championship. ie, concentrate on getting Webber into 2nd place in the WDC for a RBR 1-2. I know there is only so much you can do. Actually, the more I type, the more holes I see in my theory. Never mind :/

Congrats Seb and RBR.


This has been a long thread, but I don't think I've seen anyone pointing out that the top five places in the Monza results went to five World Champions... We are seeing history made every weekend right now!


Where DRS and KERS have taken the real overtaking away from the sport, it was refreshing to see some great defence from 7 time world champion. MS surely have made the race look like a race rather than a procession. People, mainly BBC audience, questioning his tactics need to watch LH (the crash kid) literally and physically banging Massa out of the track to finish ahead in one of the previous races just before the finish line and all the British media including Nigel Mansell who was steward at the race calling it a fantastic move and racing incident. Just imagine if it was MS banging LH out of the track. I bet Nigel would have banned MS for couple of races. Hypocrisy has no limits. Its a shame that wonderful sports we know as f1 is losing its challenges, grit and determination and has got soft babies in toy cars with all the tools and buttons but still seeking FIA to help them overtake real, pure and out right racer in MS.


I have to feel that the real loser this year has been Webber. In a year where the RB has been if not dominant, but right up there, he has been lacking. Perhaps RB should have thought whether the really needed him. Notwithstanding he has a contract for next year, I think he will need to pull something out for the remainder of the season.

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