With most of the pre-race attention on his newly bleached blonde hair, Lewis Hamilton was keen to shift all that hype on his racing, as he took a comfortable win from the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Williams of Felipe Massa, as main championship rival Nico Rosberg’s title hopes went up in smoke on lap 51.
But, after the race, Hamilton’s win was immediately under investigation due to irregular tyre pressures on his Mercedes, not the mistake you would expect a double World Championship winning team in waiting to make. However, you must say that if Hamilton does incur a penalty, the Tifosi won’t exactly be losing sleep crying into their scarlet flags tonight….
In truth, Hamilton dominated virtually all weekend, fastest in all 3 practice sessions, and all 3 qualifying sessions, with under-fire Kimi Räikkönen in second and new Ferrari favourite Sebastian Vettel taking third, three tenths behind the flying Silver Arrow. Rosberg could only manage a disappointing fourth.
Come race day, the drivers all paid their tributes to former Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson, who tragically passed away on the 24th August after falling into a coma after an accident at the Pocono Raceway.
But from the start, the Iceman Räikkönen’s engine froze on him, the Finn looking for a gear in a box full of neutrals, falling from second to last within 5 seconds as the field flew past him, condemning his race to a matter of damage limitation, and pick up any scraps along the way. At least he could have some fun, unlike the Lotus pairing of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, both out with suspension failure from first corner contact; Grosjean brought crashing back down to Earth after the euphoria of finishing third in Belgium just 2 weeks ago.
An ugly home weekend for Toro Rosso never got better, as Max Verstappen received a drive-through penalty for his engine cover flying away in qualifying yesterday, and Carlos Sainz having to serve a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage, the pair eventually claiming 12th and 11th repsectively. Verstappen however pulled off the overtake of the race on lap 38 on Felipe Nasr, showing his braking prowess at the Variante del Rettifilo, surprising the Sauber driver round the outside.
Williams had a successful weekend all in all, Massa and Bottas racing right until the very end, with the Brazilian just holding off Bottas for the final podium spot, but only because of a major event on the penultimate lap…
After struggling with his brakes and tyres all race, with Tony Ross consistently asking him to “save, save, save”, Rosberg ran out of luck on lap 52, whilst running in third. After hunting down Vettel and getting within a second of the Ferrari, his old engine expired when braking for the Variante della Roggia, his championship charge going up in flames just as quickly, he then had watch Hamilton widen his championship lead to a massive 53 points. A big case of the baby blues for the new father.
There were no such problems for Hamilton despite a cagey last few laps with his race engineer Pete Bonnington reserving the diagnosis until the race debrief, much to the frustration of the Brit. “This isn’t cool man” was the typical response.
A 20 second win made it seem much easier for the Merecedes man that really was, but as the the Tifosi basked in the podium champagne and the joy of a German Ferrari driver back on the Monza podium after 9 years, the heat is on Mercedes, Hamilton’s victory under scrutiny.
The FIA’s Joe Bauer said after the chequered flag that “The measured minimum tyre starting pressure of the left-hand rear tyre of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) was 0.3 PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure and the measured minimum tyre starting pressure of car number 06 (Nico Rosberg) was 1.1PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure.” (Source: The Guardian)
We’ll see the result in the next few hours. But Toto, Niki, Lewis and Paddy have a nervous wait.
Official Race Results
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:18:00.688
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +25.042
- Felipe Massa (Williams) +47.635
- Valtteri Bottas (Williams) +47.996
- Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) +1:08.860
- Sergio Perez (Force India) +1:12.783
- Nico Hülkenberg (Force India) +1 lap
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +1 lap
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) +1 lap
- Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) +1 lap
- Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) +1lap
- Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) +1 lap
- Felipe Nasr (Sauber) +1 lap
- Jenson Button (McLaren) +1 lap
- Will Stevens (Manor) +2 laps
- Roberto Merhi (Manor) +2 laps
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Engine
Fernando Alonso (McLaren) Engine
Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) Suspension
Romain Grosjean (Lotus) Suspension
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