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Vettel cuts list of title rivals With Dominant Victory At Monza
Posted By:   |  08 Sep 2013   |  3:21 pm GMT  |  429 comments

Only his own gearbox offered a threat to Sebastian Vettel today, as he produced a faultless drive to take victory at the Italian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber joining him on Monza’s iconic podium.

It is Vettel’s sixth win of 2013 and the 32nd of his career, putting him on a par with Championship rival Alonso at joint fourth in all-time victories.

But after today, the prospect of his Championship rivals other than Alonso has been extinguished and even Alonso’s chances are slim; Vettel extended his Championship lead to 53 points over the Spaniard, more than two race victories, with seven races to go. At this strike rate he could clinch his fourth consecutive world title in India or Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton, now 81 points behind, told the BBC that his challenge for the title was over while Kimi Raikkonen fell to 88 points behind after an uncompetitive showing.

The German had several problems to manage today; in addition to his tyre issue, he had to short shift as the gearbox again showed signs of frailty. Red Bull had been given permission to replace the 5th, 6th and 7th gear ratios before the race by the FIA, due to damage.

It had seemed prior to the race that only rain could disrupt Vettel’s rhythm and offer those behind a chance of a race win. But a small shower in the build-up to the Grand Prix quickly evaporated and allowed for all cars to begin the race on dry tyres.

From the start, Vettel looked to make a slower start than Webber alongside him. But as Webber’s path was closed by the polesitter, he came under pressure from a pair of fast starting Ferraris.

Felipe Massa made a brave move around the outside of the first turn and slotted in behind Vettel for second place. Alonso, from a fifth place start disposed of Nico Hulkenberg but could not make his way past Webber.

Once DRS was enabled, Alonso was able to close on Webber. With an excellent move around the outside of the Roggia chicane, Alonso took third place and set about chasing Massa for second.

He made the move with little resistance from Massa at turn one. Massa confirmed that he had been ordered to let his team mate through.

Throughout the opening stint Vettel opened up a lead of five seconds over the chasing Alonso, before the single stop that the race necessitated.

Vettel had to manage the front right tyre carefully, having flat spotted it with a rare mistake in the first corner; under pressure from Webber and Massa he locked up into the first chicane and he was told throughout the first stint to look after the right front tyre.

After pitting for fresh tyres on lap twenty-three, Vettel could unleash the pace of the Red Bull and began to stretch his lead over the longer-running Ferrari of Alonso. Alonso opted to remain on track until lap twenty-eight, losing time to Vettel in the process and almost losing second position to Webber. But his tactic was to have fresher tyres at the end.

The second half of the Grand Prix saw Webber close on Alonso but never offer a serious threat to his close friend. This was due partly to the Red Bull pair being told to short-shift and avoid putting unnecessary strain on their engines.

It was Webber’s best finish in the Italian GP at his final European race in Formula One.

Beyond the top three, Felipe Massa had a strong drive to fourth place. He handed second to Alonso before his stop and lost third through an under-cut by an early stopping Webber for third place.

Completing the top six was Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg. Hulkenberg was a candidate for driver of the weekend; third on the grid and fifth at the finish in a mediocre Sauber provided the best possible job aplication to Ferrari ahead of their crucial decision on second driver this week.

He was able to match the pace of those around him for the duration and impressively kept Rosberg at bay in the closing laps. The Mercedes driver scored important points for team on a day which saw Ferrari leap-frog them for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Ferrari are now three points ahead of Mercedes, but sit 104 points adrift of leaders Red Bull.

It was a strong weekend for the Toro Rosso pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne; both were in the top ten until an engine issue saw the latter retire from the race. Ricciardo brought the car back in seventh place after keeping a charging Romain Grosjean at bay.

Grosjean, in eighth, in turn came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps. Hamilton started on the hard tyre but was forced in to an early pit-stop due to a slow puncture. From there he completed two stints on the medium tyre, showing impressive pace.

He managed to claw himself back in to the points with late moves on Raikkonen, Perez and Button.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, Monza, Race, 53 Laps

1. Vettel Red Bull 1h18m33.352
2. Alonso Ferrari + 5.4
3. Webber Red Bull + 6.3
4. Massa Ferrari + 9.3
5. Hulkenberg Sauber + 10.3
6. Rosberg Mercedes + 10.9
7. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 32.3
8. Grosjean Lotus + 33.1
9. Hamilton Mercedes + 33.5
10. Button McLaren + 38.3
11. Raikkonen Lotus + 38.6
12. Perez McLaren + 39.7
13. Gutierrez Sauber + 40.8
14. Maldonado Williams + 49.0
15. Bottas Williams + 56.8
16. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
17. Perez McLaren + 1 lap
18. van der Garde Caterham + 1 lap
19. Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
20. Chilton Marussia + 1 lap

Drivers’ Championship
1. Vettel 222 pts
2. Alonso 169
3. Hamilton 141
4. Raikkonen 134

Constructors’ Championship
1. Red Bull-Renault 352pts
2. Ferrari 248
3. Mercedes 245

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Good replies in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and explaining everything concerning that.


Well I for one found the Italian GP a bit of a snore. In fact Spa wasn’t what one would call the height of entertainment either. I’m not calling for blow outs and delaminations but clearly degrading tyres have a place in F1? Some were hoping for rain during both of these races – says a lot. And these were supposed to be the glory F1 tracks… Imagine those tyres at Barcelona, yawn.


A small statistical observation: if Vettel finished every race at least in 2nd place, he will be WDC 2013, no matter what Alonso does.

If I were RBR I would switch all resources to 2014 now, while in public still maintaining that they will keep working on 2013 because nothing is decided yet, still 175 points up for grabs etc.

Ferrari and Mercedes will need to still concentrate a bit on 2013, as they are fighting over 2nd in the constructors’ championship.


But if RBR’s recent performance jump is down to developments to their underbody, then that’s still an avenue to continue on for next year.


The thing is Red Bull extremely respect Ferrari and Alonso in particular. I think they will keep developing 2013 car for some time, although with the majority of their resources on the 2014 proyect.


Thanks James for never posting my comments.

On a lighter note, another classic race. I watched my eyelids the whole time, exept for the start, thats how exciting it was. Oh yeah and Kimi’s going back to Ferrari. you heard it hear first 😉




just one reply from james!!!


Well at least race was better than Spa. Fans must stop booing Vettel, makes F1 sounds cheap I felt. Vettel earned his win with his flat spotted front right and managed his problem gearbox like Webber did. Alonso did his best, even though Massa let him through and Massa was not faster as Alonso haters will say out of prejudice. Enjoyed Lewis overtaking moves not from DRS help. Hulk will be in the reds next year.

Now Alonso really need to pray real hard for a miracle or a few. Tough to take it away from Vettel. I’ll be praying hard for Alonso too but honestly it will be almost impossible.

Hope Webber will get a win or wins before he leaves. Gotta feel for this man and will miss him for sure.

Next race for the glitz in Singapore!


I love seeing Webber v Alonso. So much respect and ability. Shows how good Webber actually is. Going to miss those battles after he retires.


didn’t see any battle, he let his friend overtake him very easily


And on the next lap webber didn’t use his drs to re-attack alonso down the start/finish straight. Just watch the race again, it can be seen very clearly.


Vettel is doing a great job, a flawless drive.

I hoped Massa would challenge him, wondered if he had the pace in the car but because he had to slow for Alonso lost ground (Massa should quit Ferrari)

Rosberg is becoming anonymous – shame Hamilton messed up qualifying but Vettel me thinks him covered.

Did no one else see the “team order” from McLaren-that jenson is so sneaky no wonder Hamilton left.

Last race I said the other teams should not give up but considering Vettel only needs top 5 finishes from here on. It would be nice if between now and end of season they give Webber a car capable of challenging for wins, or one that’s as reliable as Vettlel anyway


The booing of Vettel is getting ridiculous, I could sort of understand if this was a repeat of 2011 but he is driving superbly this year. I am a Sebastian Vettel fan and I always praise drivers who win the race even if Sebastian had to retire for that to happen.

As for the tires changing and favoring Red Bull, I can understand non-Red Bull fans being mad if the tires really had no problems and were just changed “because Red Bull wanted it”, but maybe they didn’t watch Silverstone this year…

The dismissal of Vettel’s pass at Spa this year was confirmation to me, that even if Sebastian beats Hamilton or Alonso in the same car there will always be excuses. I can hear them now:

“Nicole dumped Lewis that weekend that’s why Sebastian beat him!”

“Alonso’s cycling team isn’t doing so well so that’s why Sebastian won the race!”


The common link. Newey

the following Formula One World Constructors’ Championships:
1992 – Williams FW14B
1993 – Williams FW15C
1994 – Williams FW16
1996 – Williams FW18
1997 – Williams FW19
1998 – McLaren MP4
1998 – McLaren MP4
2010 – Red Bull RB6
2011 – Red Bull RB7
2012 – Red Bull RB8

How many driver have won in three different machines repeatetley??


how many drivers of 1992 are still driving today? seriously, this kind of comparison between number of titles for a designer vs. a driver don’t make sense. And if you do, probably you need to take percentages, i.e. what percentage of wins vs. starts




Fangio indeed. He won at least 3 races (in an era of 8-race seasons) with four teams: Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, and Ferrari.

Certainly didn’t have the build to be a race car driver today, but amongst his contemporaries, a total beast of a driver.

Tornillo Amarillo

Fangio is better than Senna.


It’s very difficult to watch an entire race when the leader is never contested for the win. Vettel will ultimately win another championship this season, because once again he is in the best car.


Name the champion who didn’t win in the best car except 2007 Kimi.

That is F1. It is about the complete package and the team that does the best job … shock and horror… wins the title.


Senna in a McLaren against the faster Williams?

Schumacher in a Benetton against the faster Williams?

Alonso in a Renault against a faster Ferrari?


@all revved-up -Sorry, but the 2005-06 Ferrari was never quicker on outright pace than the Renault running the mass damper..


Against a faster Ferrari? are you serious? Ferrari till almost half season were nowhere.


The Ferrari was faster than the Renault for around/less than half the season. The 1991 Willaims was afflicted by mechanical problems, which cost them the title.


Hunt in a much lesser McLaren then what Ferrari was in 1976.


Schumacher the only one of those to win the WDC while his team didn’t win the WCC.

Senna had the better car in 1991 … it was fast, and reliable. The Williams was fast, not reliable.

Alonso in 2006 I guess you’re saying? Again, the Renault was the better car to have that year. They were close, much like the 2007 McLaren and Ferrari were closely matched, but the 2006 Renault shaded the 2006 Ferrari, in my opinion. If mass-dampers weren’t outlawed mid-season, Renault would’ve been further ahead.

Hamilton’s the last driver to win the DWC w/o his team winning the WCC. Before him, it was Hakkinen ’99, Schumi ’94, Prost ’86, Piquet ’83, etc. Decent company, in other words.



1. What you really mean is that it is difficult to watch a driver you don’t support/aren’t a fan of do this. You would be happy to watch your favourite drivers do just this for the entire race.

2.Its very difficult for people like you.


1. Your argument is predicated on the idea that Formula 1 would only interest me if and only if my favorite driver AND/OR team was winning race after race. Instead of making such a bold assertion, why not consider that I could possibly be a proponent of teams as well as drivers dueling for the win? By my own omission, I’m very much a Schumacher fan, but I never enjoyed watching the sport as he dominated for 5 consecutive years.

2. It’s very easy for me people like me to respond to posts from “people like you”. By all means, make your assumptions.

Tony B.D.


More enjoyable than Spa thanks to some good overtaking action down the field, but still a dull end to a fairly dull European season.

Title over, at least Seb’s earned this one. He’s matured a lot this year, and is looking increasingly like the driver his results suggest. Here’s hoping the rest of the teams sort it out and offer up some competition next year…


It’s a shame Webber and Vettel won’t be close on points going in to Japan. I woulda liked to see webber leading the championship and closing the door on vettel at the chicane… assuming vettel didn’t punt him off at the first corner


Sorry, but * Yawn *

This championship is over. The only real bit of news left this year is what Ferrari does with Car 2. Then we’re basically waiting for 2014.


Vettel, Newey and the RBR team is doing a great and impressive job. Don’t blame them for F1 being at huge risc for losing viewers and spectactors because of pole-to-flag winners, and year on year dominance.

But still, it is a problem. You need to see drivers fight for the title, and you need less predictable races.

F1 must be a constructors series, which means that you won’t necessarily see the best driver as WDC (no offense at Vettel, he for sure is one of the best three for the moment)and there will be periods of domination. Which is basically ok, as long as it’s not repeated every year.

So here’s an idea.

Allow teams to do testing depending on their position in the championship. Leading team is to do no testing, followers can do some and backmarkers can do a lot, even though they probably can’t afford to use all of their testing time.

This will make catching up more likely, and cope with the absurd fact, that training is not allowed in the F1 sport.

Tornillo Amarillo

Good idea indeed.

Mercedes could do more as well.


Good idea. I had an idea that any team could test, but the higher teams would have to pay a higher fee to the FIA to test, and a significant portion of this money would be redistributed to teams lower down on the grid.


*yawn* thanks for nothing rain clouds!!

Can’t believe I flew half way around the world for that race


unruffled, untroubled, undisturbed, unconcerned, unmoved, untouchable…

WDC x 4 in the bag by India

all too easy for the young German


Can someone tell me on what grounds Redbull where allowed to change gearbox ratio’s? wouldn’t that break the seal on the gearbox and result in a 5 place penalty?


They replaced the gears with identical parts, no change in the ratios.

The whole gearbox wasn’t changed, just the internal gears.


They weren’t allowed to change the ratio’s, instead were allowed to switch allegedly damaged ones for new ones (and new dog rings), keeping all the same ratio’s.


James, could you remind us the regulation for the gear ratios they could change before the race? doesn’t that trigger a grid penalty? thank you


They changed the actual gears but not the ratio.


“while Kimi Raikkonen fell to 88 points behind after an uncompetitive showing.”

Well he was very competitive, coming from last and 35 sec behind Chilton to finish just 0.3 sec off the points. He was racking up fastest lap after fastest lap, the guy just has unbelieveable racecraft. With his teammate just 5 seconds in front of that. So Kimi once again showed great race pace today, as did Hamilton.


Uncompetitive in terms of the result

His pace was good in race after his stop. Albeit he Di whole race from that point on faster medium tyre


So Hamilton was competitive for scoring two points that too courtesy of fresher Medium tyres, as opposed to old hard tyres for most of the others he overtook, is that what are u saying?


Almost starting to feel sorry for VET. Gets the poles on Saturdays and cruises as usual from there to the flag on Sundays. Steps on the podium, probably expecting applauds and cheering and gets the BOOO.

Thought I was one of a few that disliked him, but man – seems like it is an international phenomena. Silverstone, Montereal and now Monza. Cannot be easy for him to see and hear the crazy applauding and cheering that starts when ALO shows up to take the usual 2nd/3rd step! It is almost like ALO is the winner for the fans present and I cannot blame them. ALO gives value back – at the starts, during the races through spectacular overtakes and even in qualy when he tells his team over the radio that they are GENI. With VET all you get is a finger in the face, at the end of every other Sunday.


he should not even sleep with worry!


It does matter to vettel why would he mention it if it didnt hurt him


Because he gets asked about it?


It would matter to anyone as a person. But he must think hard why all over the World he is no longer a popular sportsman.


Erm, perhaps he mentioned it because he was specifically asked to comment on it? Just a thought.


Poor Massa!!! Another disappointing day for Brazilian fans!! Is all I have to say!


Hulkenberg did an amazing job this weekend. Qualified 3rd and finished ahead of everyone except the Ferraris and Red Bulls.

If it was raining, I bet he could have done a Vettel-Monza-2008. Hahaha!

Like Raikkonen, Hulkenberg deserves a better spot in F1.

Hulkenberg = DOTD by miles.


Problem is they both are applying for the same job ( the Ferrari one) . I have even heard the BBC suggest Hulk and Kimi could be teammates if Mr Massa is retained for 2014 by Ferrari.

Tornillo Amarillo

+1 –

HULK drove in a mediocre car and got superb results.

Also I think VETTEL is getting better. It’s a difficult circuit. Some people need 1 championship to be recognised and others 4.

Also impressive was the 1,000 fast laps of Hamilton during the race. It’s a difficult circuit.

RICCIARDO is also doing well and he deserves the credit.

Sad the Championship is over, but watching the remain races should be better than watching curling.


I disagree that Sauber is a mediocre car, far from that. OK he qualified 3rd and only to be overtaken on the grid, he was fast asleep. I like him as a driver but that start was less then acceptable, there is no one to blame but himself.


Yes, very good drive by Hulkenberg. Rosberg should’ve been able to get by him during the race, but couldn’t.


Flashing red light on VET’s car was a symbolic championship farewell to the rest “catch me if you can”.


According to these results we had 3 Mclarens in the race with Jenson, Sergio and Sergio’s clone all driving.

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