Start, Monza, 2012

Vote for your Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Italian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Monza, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Monza?

Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Italian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Fifth on the grid was a good result as Red Bull were outside the top ten times at the end of practice. But he received a drive-through penalty in the race after the stewards deemed he transgressed while defending from Alonso, though Vettel insisted on the radio he hadn’t pushed the Ferrari driver off. Was on course to salvage some points only to retire with alternator failure for the second time this year.

Mark Webber – Failed to reach Q3 and started poorly, slipping to 14th. Found passing easier than it had been at Spa, taking Ricciardo, Rosberg and Di Resta, and claiming a place from Senna when the Williams driver went off at the Roggia chicane. Had just inherited sixth from his team mate when he spun at the exit of Ascari. “The rear tyres were completely finished,” he said. “I managed to keep it off the wall, but then the tyres were so heavily flat-spotted, I was worried about damaging the car. We do 330kph around here, I couldn?t see the track, so we decided to retire.”


Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2012Jenson Button – Joined Hamilton on the front row and although he lost a place to Massa at the start he passed the Ferrari on lap 19. Was on course for second place when his engine died: “I’m told it was a fuel system problem that we?re still investigating,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton – The endless quizzing about his future clearly did not disturb his performance. Now has the most pole positions of any driver this season after claiming his fourth. He then equalled Alonso’s three wins this year with a fairly comfortable win. However, having backed off the pace when Button retired he had to get back on it as the progress of Perez gave McLaren cause for concern.


Fernando Alonso – For once, Ferrari were right up there on one-lap pace in dry weather conditions. So Alonso was frustrated at missing out on an “easy” pole when a rear anti-roll bar failure at the beginning of Q3 left him tenth on the grid. A good start saw him claim fifth from Schumacher by lap seven, and he emerged from his single pit stop right behind Vettel. Was furious after being edged onto the grass at Curva Grande but passed Vettel on the track before the Red Bull driver got his penalty. Massa then got out of his way but he couldn’t hold back Perez. That left him third, but his championship situation still looks healthy with a 37-point lead.

Felipe Massa – Massa nearly sent the Tifosi into rapture as nearly passed both McLarens at the start – he had to settle for just taking Button. That was the highlight of a race made difficult by a loss of telemetry. Button passed him before he pitted, and after that there was no question of him being allowed to hold position in front of Alonso. Perez breezed past him as well, and by the end Massa’s tyres had gone off so badly he was almost caught by the Raikkonen/Schumacher battle.


Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monza, 2012Michael Schumacher – Led the first practice session and “secretly hoped” that would lead to Mercedes making progress this weekend. Radio messages revealed the team keeping an eagle eye on tyre temperatures with both drivers – two pit stops were the order of the day for the W03s. Schumacher slipped back from fourth at the start, but he roared back into contention after his final pit stop. When the chequered flag fell he was in sixth place with Raikkonen’s Lotus in his crosshairs.

Nico Rosberg – Started sixth but made life more difficult for himself with a dreadful start. By the end of lap one he was 11th and still wasn’t done going backwards: Perez and Webber demoted him further. “I had no grip on my option tyres in the first stint, which were the same set that gave me problems in Q3,” he said. After dumping them he began to make progress. He was much happier on the hards and was within range of Schumacher at the end, setting fastest lap on the way.


Kimi Raikkonen – Fifth was slightly better than Raikkonen expected to get from the weekend and he moved up to third in the drivers’ championship. “But we lost some points to Fernando [Alonso] which is not ideal,” he said.

Jerome d’Ambrosio – A one-off race appearance is a tricky needle to thread in these days of virtually zero in-season testing. Fortunately he’d already driven the car at Mugello. Hulkenberg’s problem helped him progress to Q2 but he could only manage 15th on the grid. He had an off-track moment during the race and aggravated the recovering Force India driver with his defensive moves. But he brought the car home on the lead lap in 13th despite losing his KERS on lap six.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Qualified a superb fourth but had to start ninth due to a gearbox penalty. He was passed by Perez early on, then came under attack from Senna. The Williams went off at the Roggia trying to pass Di Resta, but the stewards judged the move to be fair. Webber passed him next as he struggled on the medium tyres, but he liked the balance of the car on hards much better. Was passed by the faster two-stopping Mercedes towards the end.

Nico Hulkenberg – A fuel pick-up problem in Q1 ruined his weekend. He started on hard tyres but felt his brake pedal go long early on which hampered his ability to make up places. It was this that ultimately led the team to retire the car.


Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monza, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Having qualified in the top ten he had to start on medium tyres, unlike his team mate. Perez came past him on lap seven and by the end of Kobayashi’s stint the other Sauber was a second per lap faster. Felt his problems on Friday – when the car was bouncing so much he “nearly spun on the straight” – impaired his ability to find a good race set-up. Came home ninth.

Sergio Perez – Started on hard tyres then switched to mediums. At all stages he was consistently among the quickest runners even as he had to pass a string of cars. By the end of the race his victims included both Ferraris and Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus – three times. Didn’t have enough time to catch Hamilton but gave it a go anyway, and was three-tenths off the fastest lap on the final tour.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Entered the Parabolica in tenth place on the last lap but lost power as he headed to the line and was passed by both Williams drivers.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Spun violently at the Rettifilio on lap nine and was pitched into the air by the kerb. “I don?t know why I crashed,” he said. “All I can remember is that when I braked, I completely lost control of the back end of the car.” He later Tweeted the problem looked like suspension failure.


Pastor Maldonado – Started 22nd following his two penalties from Belgium. Recovered to finish 11th after having exactly the kind of quiet weekend he needed, a point reinforced by the “less trouble, more speed” slogan on his helmet.

Bruno Senna – Had an incident-packed start to the race, being edged over the run-off at Rettifilio by Rosberg, then having his run-in with Di Resta – the latter costing him a place to Webber. Picked up a point on the last lap while under pressure from his considerably faster two-stopping team mate.


Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Monza, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – From early on in practice Kovalainen said he was much happier with the Caterham’s balance than he had been at Spa. But he was less happy with his race pace: “I didn’t really have the performance I had on the longer runs on Friday and the grip level felt lower so I couldn’t really attack and that held me up a bit on each set of tyres.”

Vitaly Petrov – Was less than two-tenths of a second behind Kovalainen at the flag, the other Caterham having been able to use his DRS because he was close to Alonso.


Pedro de la Rosa – Led his team mate home comfortably and was 12 seconds behind Glock’s Marussia.

Narain Karthikeyan – Out-qualified de la Rosa for the first time this year. But he damaged his front wing at the start and had to change it.


Timo Glock – Lost time with an early pit stop after losing part of his front wing on the first lap. “From there I couldn?t really do much as we had lost a bit of performance and the car was just ‘okay’ to drive.”

Charles Pic – Led Glock home for the third time this year but he also switched to a two-stop strategy during the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 5th -0.122s 43/47 1 22nd Didn’t finish on same laps
Mark Webber 11th +0.122s 4/47 1 20th Didn’t finish on same laps
Jenson Button 2nd +0.123s 0/32 1
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.123s 32/32 1 1st
Fernando Alonso 10th +1.431s 16/53 1 3rd -9.073s
Felipe Massa 3rd -1.431s 37/53 1 4th +9.073s
Michael Schumacher 4th -0.293s 52/53 2 6th -2.291s
Nico Rosberg 6th +0.293s 1/53 2 7th +2.291s
Kimi Raikkonen 7th -0.666s 52/53 1 5th -44.98s
Jerome D’Ambrosio 15th +0.666s 1/53 1 13th +44.98s
Paul di Resta 9th 44/50 1 8th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 24th 6/50 1 21st Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 8th -0.218s 6/53 1 9th +39.542s
Sergio Perez 12th +0.218s 47/53 1 2nd -39.542s
Daniel Ricciardo 14th -0.129s 8/8 1 12th
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +0.129s 0/8 0
Pastor Maldonado 22nd -0.222s 11/53 2 11th +0.538s
Bruno Senna 13th +0.222s 42/53 1 10th -0.538s
Heikki Kovalainen 17th -0.505s 47/52 2 14th -0.199s
Vitaly Petrov 18th +0.505s 5/52 2 15th +0.199s
Pedro de la Rosa 23rd +0.188s 29/52 1 18th -14.868s
Narain Karthikeyan 21st -0.188s 23/52 1 19th +14.868s
Timo Glock 19th -0.034s 6/52 2 17th +27.393s
Charles Pic 20th +0.034s 46/52 2 16th -27.393s

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the Italian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (30%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (11%)
  • Felipe Massa (2%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (51%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 650

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2012 Italian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham/LAT