How Raikkonen, Hamilton and Massa’s lap times compared at Monza

Lewis Hamilton started his race behind one Ferrari and ended it behind the other

Lewis Hamilton started his race behind one Ferrari and ended it behind the other

The three championship rivals had varying fortunes in the mixed weather at Monza. At one time or another each was substantially faster than the other.

Here’s a look at how their lap times compared during the Italian Grand Prix:

Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton lap times

Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton lap times (click to enlarge)

Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton lap times (click to enlarge)

The important thing to remember when looking at this graph is that the gap between each line is one second. So the swings in performance between each of the drivers were quite large.

Lewis Hamilton’s lap times suddenly improved once he got past Raikkonen, but what was particularly impressive was he kept his lap times very quick despite having to pass cars on several laps.

Massa’s lap times improved considerably after he hit clean air having passed Nico Rosberg on lap 15. Massa’s pit stop on lap 22 coincided with Hamilton getting his first proper clear laps in prior to his stop on lap 27.

Through all of this Raikkonen was oddly quiet. He began putting in some quick laps after his first pit stop but it wasn’t until he switched from extreme wets to standard wets that he really sped up.

Over the final laps he was taking up to two seconds per lap off Massa and Hamilton, who were running nose to tail. Just as at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, Raikkonen seemed to thrive when the track was moving from damp to dry conditions.

Here’s two graphs showing how the gap from Raikkonen to Massa and Hamilton fluctuated:

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa (Click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa (Click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton (Click to enlarge)

Italian Grand Prix: Gap between Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton (Click to enlarge)

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30 comments on How Raikkonen, Hamilton and Massa’s lap times compared at Monza

  1. What an impressive job from Lewis if we consider how much fuel he was carrying in the starts of his two stints, comparatively with Kimi and Felipe.

  2. Great statistics… I would love to see all your data after doing this for a few seasons.

  3. This another evidence that shows that Hamilton is not an ordinary kid got lucky being selected by a top team. He is a class driver and I have no doubt that he will get the title this year or in the future.

  4. The earlier laps go a long way to show how Ferrari struggle in the wet conditions. Raikkonen was complaining that he couldn’t get his tyres up to temperature in the earlier stages of the race. Once the track begun to dry out, he could set those really quick times since it takes less effort to heat the inters than the full wets. With rain a distinct possibility for the last 4 races, Hamilton’s brilliant pace in the wet will surely seal him the title.

  5. Macademianut said on 17th September 2008, 18:35

    I wonder what the result might have been if Lewis was put on intermediates after the first pit stop!

  6. I find it so strange how Kimi, quite often only comes alive at the end, if he was like that for the entire race he could’ve won, Massa and hamilton are slower than Kimi when he is giving it his all but on the whole, a lot more consistant.

  7. ferrari is just not good with the tyers this year, especialy in the wet.mclaren has the better car.

  8. I like this article because of its in-depth content, but why are the graphs’ axis divided into one-second increments when tenths of a second would probably be more representative?

    If I had proper internet access I’d happily redo them for you. But I don’t so I can’t :(

  9. Actually, looking at the graphs you’ve got again, they’re perfectly representative and I will forthwith shut by big, slightly drunken mouth :)

  10. All the datas of the GP :

    http://communaute.f1-express.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10000

    Heikki’s are a bit strange at the and of the first stint.

  11. Sorry for my english :/

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th September 2008, 22:07

    Very useful – thanks Wizzer.

  13. You’re welcome Keith. Thanks for the great job, a little bit too Hamilton friendly but i forgive you, you’re english after all. :)

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th September 2008, 22:45

    I don’t think this post is ‘Hamilton-friendly’ at all.

  15. Terry Fabulous said on 17th September 2008, 23:26

    I don’t think this post is Hamilton Friendly in the slightest.

    Keith you shold write an article titled “What is going on in Kimi Raikkonen’s head?”

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