Top ten pictures from the 2012 Italian Grand Prix

2012 Italian Grand Prix

Ten of the best pictures which tell the story of the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, leaves, McLaren – Friday practice

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2012

On Friday Monza was abuzz with rumours Lewis Hamilton would switch from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013.

Hamilton left the speculation behind as he took to the track for the first practice session, where autumnal leaves were scattered across the entry to the Ascari chicane.

Hello Ma – Friday practice

Ma Qing Hua, HRT, Monza, 2012

Ma Qing Hua made history when he became China’s first representative to participate in an official F1 session on Friday morning.

But HRT weren’t taking any chances and sent the inexperienced Ma out with a rear wing like a barn door to help him keep the car on the track – compare it to his team mate’s.

Retro run-off – Friday practice

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Monza, 2012

Gravel traps are increasingly a thing of the past in F1. But Monza still has quite a few of them, such as this one at the exit of the Roggia chicane which Heikki Kovalainen brushed on Friday.

The bumps and kerbs used to keep cars from cutting across tarmac run-offs drew criticism from drivers including Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

During the race Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso was pitched into the air when he hit one at the Rettifilio. Monza’s kerbs had been lowered two years earlier to reduce the chance of such a crash.

In the red corner – Qualifying

Fernando Alonso, Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2012

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo paid his usual visit to the Italian Grand Prix. But he can’t have been too happy with what he saw in Fernando Alonso’s garage on the first two days.

Alonso was sidelined with technical problems during the first two practice sessions. Then in qualifying an anti-roll bar failure in Q3 left him tenth on the grid.

Hamilton leads the charge – Italian Grand Prix

Start, Monza, 2012

Hamilton fended off an attack from Felipe Massa at the start and led the field into the Roggia chicane for the first time.

Behind him Massa kept Jenson Button behind having passed him for second at the first corner.

Vettel vs Alonso – Italian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2012

Alonso stalked Sebastian Vettel after his first pit stop – at this point the pair have already overtaken Daniel Ricciardo (in the background) and are about to tackle Bruno Senna.

After that Alonso launched an attack on Vettel, who edged him onto the grass at Curva Grande in a move that had much in common with their 2011 dice – albeit with role reversed. And, this time, Vettel was handed a penalty:

D’Ambrosio’s return – Italian Grand Prix

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Lotus, Monza, 2012

Jerome D’Ambrosio stood in for Romain Grosjean while Lotus’s regular driver served a one-race ban for causing the first-corner crash at Spa-Francorchamps.

He finished 13th having suffered a KERS failure on lap six.

Perez sets out his stall – Italian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monza, 2012

In June Montezemolo played down the chances of Sergio Perez – a Ferrari development driver – joining the race team, saying he needed “more experience”.

But at Monza Perez demonstrated his capabilities with a classy drive to his third podium finish of the year. He passed both Ferraris on the way and pulled 18 points clear of Massa in the drivers’ championship.

Alonso does a Bolt – Italian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2012

Perhaps Alonso took note of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s camera-pinching antics at the Olympics and resolved to perform some of his own the next time he had the chance.

The darling of the Tifosi made it onto the podium for the third year in a row as a Ferrari driver, and went one better than Bolt by nabbing a television camera to capture the passion of the crowd.

Happy faces at McLaren – Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Martin Whitmarsh, Jenson Button, McLaren, Monza, 2012

McLaren celebrated their first hat-trick of wins in four years.

Happy faces all round – though some look a bit happier than others. Perhaps those Mercedes rumours were right?

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Imagess ?é?® McLaren/Hoch Zwei, HRT F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Pirelli/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Sauber F1 Team, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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49 comments on Top ten pictures from the 2012 Italian Grand Prix

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th September 2012, 13:09

    Look at Hamilton, being too cool to celebrate.

    That one of Alonso holding the camera is brilliant. He does know how to excite a crowd.

  2. Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 11th September 2012, 13:34

    “The darling of the Tifosi made it onto the…”

    Err, not all of the Tifosi like Alonso. Before comming to Ferrari Alonso made some disgusting comments and things against Ferrari and many of us (the Tifosi) will never forget nor forgive him for that. Regardless of him being the most complete driver on the grid today and on his way to surpass Senna as youngest triple world champion this season, I (and countless others) will never ever accept him as was the case with MSC, MAS and RAI.

    Anyway, enough off-topic: I like the pics as usuall, but the most impressive photo with the red sea of tifosi is missing…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th September 2012, 13:39

      @commendatore

      Alonso made some disgusting comments and things against Ferrari

      Such as?

      • Ambik (@ambikm) said on 11th September 2012, 14:52

        I think @keithcollantine , @commendatore wanted to recall from the 2006 Monaco event when Michael got parked up in the rascus during quali,which destroyed his rivals(Alonso) quali and Renault appealed against the incident which went onto a penalty for Michael.I don’t remember the entire hustle but I definitely remember Alonso’s comment for Schumi and the Ferrari team. He must have said that he doesn’t consider F1 respectable or something like that. Even Keke Rosberg commented against for a conspiracy by the Schumi and Ferrari.

        Guess this what @commendatore must have felt against Alonso. :)

        • Anonymouse said on 11th September 2012, 16:10

          Or the Monza 2006 quali where Alonso was judged to have blocked Massa during quali when he said that he no longer considers F1 a sport.

          • I was thinking of the irony when Alonso was giving Massa a draft in qualifying but no commentator seemed to pick up on it.

      • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 11th September 2012, 17:16

        1. Monza 2006 -> Alonso doesn’t cosider F1 a sport anymore (because of the FIA decided in favour of Ferrari in case od Massa/Alonso quali blocking. A big offence to the F1 and Ferrari fans I might say.
        2. Last race with Renault in 2006 (pit-radio transmission) ->
        PS: We wish you the best too Fernando.
        ALO: As long as the car is not red, I wish you the best!
        3. The whole Spygate scandal in 2007 -> In which Alonso, de la Rosa & others from McLaren were involved. Stealing from Ferrari, then cheating & lying to achieve better results is dishonest thing to do. And only after they were caught (e-mail exchange etc) they addmitted it and appologised. Disgusting stuff…
        4. Liegate scandal in 2008 -> In which Alonso still regards to this day his victory in Singapore there as valid, deserved and honest. A scandal which may have most probably negatively affected Massa’s chances for the title.

        I hope this clears any doubt as to why there are still many Tifosi that feel the way I do.
        Cheers and again I appologise for the off-topic.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th September 2012, 18:02

          @commendatore When you mentioned Allonso’s ‘disgusting comments against Ferrari’ I expected more than one light-hearted remark made at the end of a hard-fought championship in which he’d just beaten a Ferrari driver.

          The rest is just stuff which Alonso was involved in (or, in the case of Singapore 2008, benefitted from but was not proven to be directly involved in) in which Ferrari’s role was incidental. By which I mean Alonso was trying to do the best for himself, not necessarily attempting to compromise Ferrari.

          I’d be interested to hear if this is a widely-held view among Ferrari fans. Anyone else like Ferrari but not Alonso?

          • Shane (@shane-pinnell) said on 11th September 2012, 18:47

            I am an Alonso fan, wasn’t a Ferrari fan until he signed on with them. I wasn’t a fan of the Ferrari/Schumacher/Brawn dominance. That being said, I don’t think ALO ever said or did anything too harsh against Ferrari, he was justifiably upset over a couple of incidents between himself and Ferrari that he was able to overcome in 2006, seemingly against all odds.

    • I was nicely surprised when some interviews amongst the Tifosi showed that soem of them, more than I imagined, actually supported Massa. One of them was asked: “Are you happy with the result for Fernando and Ferrari today?” and he replied: “Actually, I support Massa”. That was a relief for me, I thought most of his fans had betrayed him and started supporting Alonso once he moved to Ferrari, and more every race that Felipe failed to impress.

      • You might find that in a country like Italy where everyone supports the same Red team, some purposefully go against the tide by supporting Massa. I can imagine the convocations being very short if everyone supported the same red driver…

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 11th September 2012, 19:39

          I too like Ferrari, but not Alonso. At least when Schumacher went to the team his aim was to restore Ferrari to greatness, Alonso just seems keen to ride that wave and get himself another WDC.

          By the end of his Ferrari tenure, Schumacher realized that it was better to build up his team mate than tear him down, and thus we had the rise of Massa.

          In contrast, Alonso has been Massa’s worst nightmare, even before joining the scuderia, Alonso’s win and the crashgate scandal robbed Massa of the 2008 Championship. Now during their tenure as team mates he has stolen at least a win and a podium from the Brazilian.

          I much preferred the pairing of Massa and Raikkonen, either driver had a chance of taking the win come Sunday, and each of them scored 9 wins for the team from 07-09.

          Alonso playing the lone wolf doesn’t bring as much to the table as two fully supported drivers. Just look at McLaren and the success they are having with Lewis and Jenson.

  3. sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 11th September 2012, 14:02

    Loved the last pic! So perfect to stoke controversy ;)

    • Indeed. Hamilton wins them the race and Whitmarsh chooses to keep his arm wrapped around Button. I know he broke down, but he would have probably been overtaken by Perez anyway. Hamilton doing himself no favours though perception wise again. Take your glasses off!

      To be honest since Ron left it’s all been a bit of a mess. In 2011 Lewis found all the Whitmarsh love was for Jenson when he needed support. 2012 is much the same and Hamilton is gone, Eddie Jordan was right and McLaren can forget about the drivers title unless they produce a Brawn like dominant car in 2014. Button isn’t quick enough to head up the team unless they have a big car advantage, which they won’t have.

      It’s a big mistake by Whitmarsh, they need a driver like Hamilton. Just my opinion though ;)

      • F1antics (@f1antics) said on 11th September 2012, 17:03

        Doesn’t he have his arm around Button because he’s raising his other fist in the air at the time. And perhaps he’s raising that fist because it’s the natural arm for him to raise?
        I think it’s wrong to read too much into that one moment, or that one photograph. It’s wrong to put people under the microscope in that way, especially when all you’re seeing is one photo that may have been selected out of many.

        I agree that McLaren would be silly to lose Hamilton, but they’ve not managed their team well. I’m guessing (perhaps incorrectly) that they allowed Button to have a clause in his contract that says he doesn’t have to support the other driver. McLaren are gifting the WDC to Alonso, and if I were Hamilton I’d be pretty ****** off losing the championship year after year to drivers who’re given strategic advantages not available to him.

        • I think they managed the team well enough to make the fastest car on the grid.

        • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 11th September 2012, 21:45

          I once worked for a company which published a picture of the 5 chiefs (CEO, CFO, CTO etc) standing next to eachother on bikes.

          Upon seeing that photo, I accurately predicted who would stay, who would go first, next etc.

          Hamilton laughing like a farmer with toothache doesn’t forbode well for the realationship with McLaren. Maybe he’ll stay, but he is unhappy there.

      • Yeah John, and to add more to the conspiracy. How come Phil Prew being taken away from LH to JB now come on stage to pick the WCC cup that LH won? I would have preferred his Engineer Andy Letham to do that.

  4. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 11th September 2012, 14:29

    @keithcollantine The picture of Luca watching the monitor with Fernando could be a perfect one for caption competition.

  5. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 11th September 2012, 14:42

    Hamilton looks more smug in that final picture. A sort of “Lettin’ all my driving do the talking…”

  6. Andy G (@toothpickbandit) said on 11th September 2012, 16:07

    Lewis Hamilton, leaves, McLaren

    Very subtle, Keith! ;)

  7. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th September 2012, 16:30

    I really wish that Hamilton would take those frigging sunglasses off. He really does make himself seem like a total douchebag sometimes. He just comes across as someone who can’t face being open in front of the media.

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 11th September 2012, 16:33

      @mazdachris agree 100%. I also wonder why TV actors cover their eyes with glasses even in darkness!

    • Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 11th September 2012, 17:04

      He was kind enough to take his sunglasses off when I reached to shook hands with him in a signing day. My personal experience says your point is not really valid. If you look into the past you’ll see there are more instances where Lewis wasn’t wearing any glasses in front of the media. Sheesh.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th September 2012, 17:11

        Into the past, yes. But through last year and this year it seems like he’s had the things permanently glued to his face. Not just while he’s in front of the camera giving interviews, but generally around the paddock and in the garages too. His general demeanour is that of someone who doesn’t particularly want to engage with other people.

        I’m glad though that he took his glasses off at the signing day. I remember in 2007 he went to Goodwood, and he gave an interview prior to it saying that he was going to make a point of looking everyone in the eye when he signed autographs etc. I forget who, but he basically said when he was young he got something signed by one of his favourite drivers, who just scribbled on the bit of paper and didn’t even bother looking at him. It’s good to know he’s stuck by those principles because I think it’s really important for drivers to engage with their fans.

        But I think there is definitely something about the way he conducts himself around the paddock at the minute, and the permanently hidden eyes are one of the most outwardly obvious manifestations of a person who seems to be in a little bit of inner turmoil.

        • When was the last time the media didn’t twist something he said, use him for headline purposes, use his private life for speculative gossip, or otherwise manipulate him for profit?

          Whole swathes of the media deserve no respect from celebrities or the public whatsoever.

    • F1antics (@f1antics) said on 11th September 2012, 17:07

      Do you feel the same way about other drivers, or just Hamilton?

      Btw, there are other people in that photo wearing sunglasses. Do you think they’re douchebags too, or again are you reserving that derogatory statement for just one person?

      I’d hate to think that you’re not being objective or fair ….

    • Chris, if you knew the maker of those sun glasses you would understand he is being paid to wear them. As does all the drivers anyway.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th September 2012, 17:16

        Yes, a significant number, if not all drivers are sponsored by the likes of Ray Ban, Oakley, etc, and wear them when giving interviews. However my issue is not that he wears sunglasses (particularly since it’s often sunny!) but more the fact he seems to have them on almost constantly when he’s out of the car. It’s something that others on here have commented on, and Martin Brundle has also mentioned in the past that you can tell whether or not Hamilton is having a good weekend because on the bad ones he’s constantly got his head down and hides behind his sunglasses. By that token, he seems to be having a lot of bad weekends lately. Even when he’s having ‘good’ weekends, like in Italy.

        • Very contradicting Chris, but each to their views including Mr. Brundle. And BTW, that “favourite Driver” was DC who did not look in his face ….. just for your information.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th September 2012, 17:42

            Thanks, I couldn’t remember the name of the driver, but the interview always stuck with me because I think it’s an important sentiment that a lot of sportspeople (not just in motorsports but in pretty much all disciplines) should keep in mind.

            I’m not sure what you mean by contradictory though. My opinion is that Hamilton is perhaps a naturally slightly guarded person and he feels more comfortable covering his eyes because it gives him a little bit of a feeling of security. What he doesn’t really appreciate (or maybe he does and it’s deliberate, who knows) is that appearing as he does in the photo above makes him seem very aloof. I don’t dislike the guy, I just wish he would lighten up. he’s an incredible talent, but his behaviour outside of the car is incredibly erratic and certainly doesn’t endear him to the viewer. Apparently it doesn’t endear him to McLaren either, but that’s another story ;-)

        • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 11th September 2012, 20:45

          I’m certainly no Hamilton fan, but there are far more just two reasons (e.g. sponsorship or mood) for wearing sunglasses constantly. My own perfectly valid reason (same goes for Bruno Senna, actually) is photosensitivity. Protection from which is sort of the whole point of sunglasses in the first place. Just saying.

    • zippyone (@zippyone) said on 11th September 2012, 22:14

      Erm, it’s sunny he’s a racing driver needs to protect his eyes

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