Alonso beats Button to Monza win (Italian Grand Prix review)

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2010

Fernando Alonso lost the lead at the start of the Italian Grand Prix but recovered to win from Jenson Button.

Button finished second ahead of Felipe Massa. But team mate Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes suffered a blow when he crashed out on the first lap.

Button made the best start and even though Fernando Alonso squeezed him the McLaren driver emerged from the first turn in the lead.

As Alonso tucked in behind he clipped the left-rear end plate of Button’s car. But there was more significant contact between a Ferrari and McLaren when Hamilton stuck his nose alongside Massa at the Roggia.

Hamilton nudged Massa’s left-rear wheel, breaking his front-right and skidding out in the gravel at Lesmo to a costly DNF.

As lap one finished Button was already under crushing pressure from Alonso, with Massa in close attendance and Nico Rosberg, up from seventh, dropping back in fourth.

Behind him were Robert Kubica and Nico H???lkenberg. Only then came the first of the Red Bulls, Sebastian Vettel, followed by Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber.

Webber made amends for his poor start by passing Schumacher at the Roggia and then catching Vettel.

Vettel’s race briefly seemed to be over on lap 19 when he told his team he had an engine problem, lost two seconds and fell behind Webber. But the problem seemed to clear up and Vettel continued on his way.

Up front Button rarely had any respite from the attention of the two Ferraris. His higher downforce set-up allowed him to pull away in the corners but Alonso was 14kph faster down the straights and kept hauling in the McLaren.

With the field spreading out slowly behind them there was little opportunity for them to make their pit stops. Button finally came in on lap 36, the first opportunity after the cars behind had pitted.

Ferrari kept Alonso out for another lap and got him back out narrowly ahead of the McLaren. The car was stationary for slightly less time for Button, he emerged from the pits side-by-side with the McLaren and took the lead back at the Rettifilio.

Massa set the fastest lap and came in the next time by. But having slipped back from Alonso before the pit stops he couldn’t improve on third.

Pitting first didn’t work out for Robert Kubica either, who fell behind H???lkenberg and Webber.

Vettel delayed his pit stop until the last possible moment – finally making his compulsory stop as the last lap was beginning.

That worked out well as his team mate was having a hard time getting past H???lkenberg. The Williams driver cut chicanes on several occasions, leading to several frustrated comments from Webber on the radio.

The Red Bull driver finally squeezed past but didn’t have time to haul in Rosberg. That worked out perfectly for Vettel. His ultra-late stop allowed him to hold on to a fourth place which has looked unlikely halfway through the race when he was down in eighth.

Vitaly Petrov also left his sole pit stop until very late – though, unlike Vettel, he did his long stint on hard rather than soft tyres. He pitted from tenth, promoting Rubens Barrichello to the final point behind Schumacher.

Sebastien Buemi came home 11th ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi. Adrian Sutil in the other Force India was delayed on the first lap and made an early switch to hard tyres that left him 16th behind Petrov, Pedro de la Rosa and Jaime Alguersuari.

Timo Glock was the highest-placed driver for the new teams in 17th, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen.

The HRT of Sakon Yamamoto was 19th despite hitting a member of his pit crew during his pit stop. The mechanic was taken to the medical centre.

Lucas di Grassi finished 20th and Jarno Trulli was classified 21st despite retiring in a cloud of smoke with two laps to go.

Alonso survived a late scare when he clattered across the Rettifilio kerbs to claim a popular victory for Ferrari on home ground. It propels him back into the thick of the title battle as the championship moves beyond Europe for its final five races.

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56 comments on Alonso beats Button to Monza win (Italian Grand Prix review)

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  1. Forza Ferrari!!!

  2. great race for Ferrari fans.
    btw, did anyone notice the small hole tht feeds the air to the racers’ legs? there appeared to be a crack on Alonso’s car.
    was something wrong with that hole or was it supposed to be like that?

  3. Vettel did make the best of an unsuitable track..also, well done to Hulkenberg and Rosberg for their good races (apart from Hulk’s offs) far as Hamilton is concerned, well, I couldn’t have expected any more of him..McLaren fans should now yell in disdain that Ferrari should be thankful he didn’t take any of them (Alonso or Massa) out

    • Vettle was indeed very classy today, delt with his problem maturley and made a difficult strategy work very well, with a little help from Hulkenburg, still Webber would have had to fight with Rosberg as well an Vettle got out ahead of him so possibly definaltey 5th maybe 6th was available.

  4. Kept hearing how the stewards would penalise drivers for cutting the track all weekend yet Hulkenberg was able to cut the track multiple times and was not penalised once.

  5. This is what happened at the HRT pitstop.
    Very nasty, no wonder they didn’t show it during the race.

  6. Jaime Alguersuari got a penalty for jumping a chicane and he claims he didn’t gain any position from it. Hulkenberg did that several times and got away with it, even if he escaped being overtaken.

  7. by the way, no criticism for the so-called British bias for including Button in the title?

  8. Ferrari won fair and square…no team orders necessary
    Excellent race Button and Vettel
    Hamilton bad judgment
    Webber frustrated
    Magnificent Monza
    This is how I would sum up this race. :)

    • Its Hammer Time said on 13th September 2010, 8:51

      I couldn’t have put that better myself – the Button-Alonso duel was fantastic.

      One can’t help feel though that Jenson’s set up cost him in the race.

      Roll on next race! :-)

  9. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th September 2010, 16:09

    Video of the Yamamoto incident. A miracle he is Ok.

  10. Exactly! Was so angry about it! Alguersuari s cutting was not shown on screen same as in Spa, but we all saw Hulkenberg cutting the first chicane 3 times during the race and even driving wild in 1st sector in at least one lap… Webber was waving his hand after that… And stewards did nothing… Don t know, if they fell asleep or what… they should judge race incidents equal…

    • Yeah, I was very suprised that Hulkenberg didn’t get any penalty. After all that cutting and changing his line more than once when Webber was trying to get past him.

  11. Pity the Ferrari and Alonso haters that frequent this site. Pop down the pub for the afternoon and have a cold one to ease your frustrations eh?

    Good race all round. Very impressed with Jenson’s drive, drive if the day for me followed by Vettel. Ferrari’s very quick all weekend, not surprised by the win.

    5 way race to Yas Island is on. loving it! I wonder what will go down here if Alonso does a Kimi a nicks the title? lots of bitching and moaning I suppose?

    • As teams go Ferrari is a lot of fun to hate, there just such incurable Ferrarist that theres always plenty to huff about, an that attitude, whatever you were right, great well judged race from Ferrari today.

    • A pity about this being the first you notice. I haven’t seen many Ferrari and Alonso haters here in the afternoon.

      I suppose the great win in Italy might have something to do with that.

      Not that i don’t like to quip at Ferrari at times (they do ask for it with their rants and behaviour sometimes), but now i was just enjoying we saw a fascinating battle going on on track today.

  12. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th September 2010, 16:22

    The fact Alguersuari got a penalty and Hulkenberg didn’t is ridiculous. Especially as Nico did it 3 times as many times as Jaime. Shows FIA are back to their inconsistent ways.

  13. MacademiaNut said on 12th September 2010, 16:55

    Great result for Ferrari.. you have to give it to Alonso for making the win happen.

    Too bad for HAM. Even if he had come 4th, he would have been in a great shape in the championship standings. Now, with Webber leading, the next few races will probably see this gap widen.

    Can’t wait for Singapore.

  14. This was great to see from Ferrari; they were calm, the drivers were both of impeccable quality the entire weekend esp Alo of course but Mas was good on tyres he hates, they got the strategy right and the pit crew never gave in to pressure. They kept their heads on and emotions in check which has been a change.

    I’d actually like to say a massive thank you to the crowds at Monza. They were cheering and filling out the stands all weekend. It was a joy to see.

  15. Charles Carroll said on 12th September 2010, 17:07

    I didn’t quite catch it…did Ferrari win or something?

    Just kidding. Well done, you rosy lil’ chaps!

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