#F1 Race Review: 2015 Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

Ambient 21° Track 38° Humidity 38% Wind 1.8 m/s


Stewards decision in and Lewis retains the win. Shorter Stewards, basically the FIA and Pirelli need to sort their procedures out as the current one has too many holes in it. Also this PV=nRT



Cerulean Skies ruled the grid as the Italian Grand Prix got ready for business. With a hearty affirmation from the politicos that Monza should stay fans got ready for the unlikely spectacle of an actual race, at least into the Rettifilio as Ferrari’s starts of late almost guaranteed that the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton would be under real pressure as the lights went out. Still, heavy hearts as F1 saluted former driver Justin Wilson, who lost his life racing Indy Car, the second such moment of silence in as many Grand Prix.


Yesterdays Quali promised us a real race, at least to Rettifilio, but sadly it was over the moment the lights went out as Raikkonen simply failed to get going, for reasons yet to be disclosed, winding up P18 by time he got properly underway. Vettel slotted neatly behind Hamilton and the race seemed to be over at the front. Rosberg dropped 2 back and found himself stuck behind the Williams headed by Massa whilst Lotus returned to form with both cars out with damage by lap 3.

The race quickly settled at the front but action at the back was enlivened by the penalty bearers carving up through the backmarkers. Sadly the Lotii would definitely be missed as the usual midfield action was a bit sparse compared to previous races. Rosberg kicked off the pit stop shuffle lap 19 to undercut Bottas but wound up getting by both Williams as Massa pitted first but still couldn’t get ahead of the charging Rosberg. 10 laps later Raikkonen had closed to P3 by being one of the last to box, but he was doomed to fight for 6th by time the checkers fell, a direct result of his poor start.

AS the dust settled, it was all to play for behind the top 5. Ricciardo being the last to pit and running reverse strategy rocked his new set of softs for a bit of fun. The two McLarens momentarily had a race before Alonso’s car blew up, but otherwise the race was settled, with only the slow burn of Kimi closing in on Perez and Rosberg chipping away at Vettel’s P2. Lap 49 saw Vettel angry at stablemate Verstappen for making his life difficult as he lapped the Toro Rosso. At that point the race between Nico and Seb was down to 3 seconds and Rosberg was coming. the drama was momentarily interrupted by a strange and urgent call to Hamilton to rock up the pace to Hammertime, and pull out as much of a lead as possible. The drama continued as Rosberg’s engine blew up and caught on fire, just as he heaved Vettel into range.

Raikkonen managed his pass on Perez and Bottas troubled Massa briefly on the last lap, but the drama was now focused firmly on Hamilton as it emerged his one of his tyres was below Pirelli’s directive by 0.3 psi. It’s in the hands of the stewards now, so a race that begun with relative certainty has for the moment ended in mystery, with the fate of Mercedes and the explanation for Kimi’s start yet to be revealed.

Have at it in the comments and stay tuned for the update!

Provisional Results, natch.


73 responses to “#F1 Race Review: 2015 Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia

      • So a decisions been reached, let the moaning/twisted logic commence!

        I was saying before the decision was made, “If Hamilton gets DSQ on safety reasons then the FIA knowingly let Hamilton and Rosberg race with unsafe cars. Have they snookered themselves?”

        I think it’s safer to give this a few hours before commenting, let more info come out. Let the passion die down from those who we all know are going to be riled up 😉

        • the question now is : why did pirelli allow the cars to race knowing they had unsafe tire pressures? They took official measurements and kept it a secret till the end of the race? If safety was truly a concern wouldn’t the pirelli tech taking the pressure measurements go “hey lewis, your tires are unsafe, might want to fix that before you start”.

  1. The team radio was somewhat cynical “Don’t ask questions, just execute”. That’s something you’d expect seeing in a movie that plays in Palermo. So the team that backed Pirelli the most vocal were caught cheating over the new tyre pressure rules. The sheer hilarity of that…

    • …and the team that smashed Pirelli stand to gain the most. Pirelli putting things “right” perhaps? 😉

      • @wtf

        I’m glad you highlighted that to the hippo…

        I wonder if he’s going to give Pirelli a pat on the back now.

        • True.

          I don’t mean to say Vettel doesn’t deserve it. He drove to second, and his car was within the technical regulations, so such is life if first isn’t within said regulations.

          Just highlighting the political irony. Vettel was the most vociferous on matters post-Belgium. It’s amusing to me.

          • It’s an easy case. After Spa Pirelli had a meeting with Vettel, which is why he was notably more diplomatic this weekend. He felt his grievances were taken seriously, highlighted by the fact that Hembery admitted there has been too little communication with the drivers in the past. This weekend it was Hamilton who slammed them for the hike in minimum tyre pressure and lo and behold, both Merc cars are found to be running below the limit. Coincidence it is not, me thinks.

          • It doesn’t hurt me. It hurts F1, because it is a clearly political verdict. Drivers in GP2 and GP3 were DSQ’ed for the same, only Lewis’ tyre warmers have ‘mysteriously been disconnected’ – yeah right. And how cold were Rosberg’s tyres to be 1.1psi under? Were they accidentally frozen by any chance?

          • Any verdict would have been political, it’s Mercedes vs Ferrari. Stewards clearly felt that measurement procedures left rather a lot to be desired, IMHO the correct call here. Wonder if they will reinstate Evans and Canamassis tho?

          • Guess you missed the part where it said that the tires were in compliance when they were fitted to the car.

            So clearly something happened on the grid.

          • And how do you explain the last laps? They pushed Lewis to the point where even he was feeling it was too risky. Merc apparently expected a 25 second penalty. Why would you expose your driver to such a risk if you think you have a strong case? And how come that Sky reports the tyre pressure was below even during the race with the tyre at operating temp? And why no action against ROS? 1.1 psi can hardly be explained by missing tyre warmers. I don’t even need a tinfoil hat to smell a rat.

          • I don’t get it either how merc cars would loose pressure just because of tire temp after having a lap round the track. Mercs aren’t known to have issues in getting their tires to heat up don’t they? Just look at how they cooked their tires in Malaysia.

          • Tyres were checked 5 mins from the start, they had been stationary for at least 10 mins by that time. I doubt the ‘disconnecting the tyre warmers theory though. First of all, they all have to disconnect the tyre warmers for the check, so why were there not similar probs on the two Ferraris? And the 1.1 psi of Rosberg are not explainable by that excuse. To me it sounds like they’re afraid to piss off Merc. Smacks of Malaysia ’99 to be honest.

      • Monaco lost due to confusion associated by looking at screens; Monza gone for a math error… the pinnacle of motorsport. Wouldn’t surprise me, Matt.

    • Just dont’t want to start another rant at LH… but doesn’t it look like one guy has more leverage than others, doesn’t he? Like always?

      • Guidelines issued by Pirelli stated that teams must start the race with tyre pressures of 19.5psi or above, however when both Mercedes were checked ahead of the start, Hamilton’s left-rear tyre was found to be 0.3psi below the required mark, with the same tyre on Rosberg’s car 1.1 psi under.

        The FIA also checked the starting tyre pressures on both Ferraris, but found them to be above the required value.

  2. I just wonder if there would be all this drama if there was a Williams or Lotus finishing second rather than a Ferrari? Also is it the team or the Pirelli engineer responsible for the pressures? That could be interesting to find out. Even if the “team” is responsible in terms of the rules, if it is the Pirelli guy who actually sets it I don’t think he will be in the garage again

    • If they investigated ferrari too, I don’t think it is because of them being second… I think this might be the fact that Fia wants to help Pirelli. Surviving the shit storm.

      • Ferrari wasn’t under investigation. After the five-minutes-to-start signal, the left rear tyres of both Ferrari and Mercedes cars were checked, because it is the tyre with the biggest load at Monza, meaning that’s where you’d gain the most. Both Ferraris were over the minimum of 19.5 psi. Hamilton was at 19.2 psi, Rosberg at 18.4 psi. Both Mercedes cars were under the minimum pressure. Ferrari was not. That’s why only Merc is under investigation.

  3. The people praying for a negative outcome here can now be outed for their aims.

    With ANY sober-mindedness, even a modicum of logical thinking, this post-race weirdness smacks of FIA and Pirelli collusion. Here’s why:

    1) Suddenly, after the Pirelli debacle at Spa a new technical regulation, tire check is enacted (per, SkyF1).

    2) The ONLY cars checked are Mercedes and Ferrari, the two teams whose drivers averred that it was a tire issue that caused tires to mysteriously shred and not “course debris.” (it is interesting that in GP2 two drivers were suddenly disqualified for tire pressures under the minimum, setting a precedent for the post-race issues with Mercedes and, as it turns out, potentially Ferrari).

    3) If this was a “serious safety issue” how is it at all reasonable for only “certain” teams to be checked pre-race – allegedly randomly? This means other teams whose tires weren’t checked could imperil the safety – even lives – of their drivers because the FIA with Pirelli feel it more expedient to NOT secure the safety of all the teams and their drivers???

    4) That the FIA and PIRELLI checked the tires without allowing ANY team oversight specifically points to collusion on the part of the two regulation-relegating parties (this MUST be a fact because Mercedes was not informed of the tire pressure variance until after the race began).

    5) Notice last race at Spa and today, when there is a serious issue with the tire manufacturer/sponsor, the drivers are suddenly totally ignorant about their cars and the reasons for an post-failure effects of various key parts of the cars they drive? Other times, as we know, the drivers are said “to know best” when dealing with the most minute variance in their cars’ performances. As Lewis Hamilton said after the race, there is no way 3. psi on ONE tire could alter his car’s performance to equate to his dominant victory today. He also said that if there was a measurable deflation of ALL the tires, THAT is what would equate to an overall performance advantage. But Hamilton, who is his team’s at-track technical director, suddenly has no understanding of the various effects of tire pressure on car performance.

    6) That the under-inflation of the two cars left rear tires was not uniform – remember that EVERY piece of these cars are tested with extreme diligence an that the testing is on-going during the season – is another indication of either a testing problem or maleficence by the FIA and Pirelli. If .3 produces an over 20-second advantage over the nearest car, why under-inflate another tire to over one pound?

    7) How is Valtteri Bottas’ mixed tire usage of Spa a breach of “sporting regulations” and not a technical regulation breach??? Mixing tires is NOT a technical issue, NOT a safety issue?! How this discrepancy was arrived at must be adequately explain to even entertain the present kerfuffle.

    8) Finally, and I’m stopping for brevity-sake, that it is now known that “Pirelli had their suspicions [about tire pressure] after Spa,” and that Lewis Hamilton averred that a 1.1 psi difference in even ONE tire would be felt by the driver, why are tire pressures at ANY track “suggested,” given the fact that one track places extremes on tire performance in one manner, and different extremes at another track, and a certain minimum tire pressure is demanded at another track – like Spa (and how did Nico Rosberg NOT report that he felt a tire pressure difference in his left rear tire?!).

    • 1) There has always been a safety rule that tyres have to be run within the limits given by Pirelli specifically before every race. There was no rule change. Pirelli only changed their limits. The rule has been there beforehand. Spa wasn’t an infringement of the rule, mainly the limits given by Pirelli turned out to be wrong.

      2) The four fastest cars were checked, because Pirelli suspected that teams were going below limits. I guess they targeted Ferrari more than Merc, because the Ferraris were closer in quali than expected. The rear left tyre was checked on all of them because that’s where you’d gain most by running low pressure.

      3) Not all cars are weight checked in every practice. There’s only so many checks you can do. That’s what ‘random checks’ are all about.

      4) Bullshit

      5) Only one tyre was checked. It is reasonable to say that at least the second rear tyre was also under-pressured, else his car would have been seriously out of balance.

      6) The cars ran different engine evolutions and required different balance.

      7) Bottas at spa was a technical infringement. Too low tyre pressures are a safety infringement. Carry different penalties.

      8) Bogus argument. You only need to check one rear tyre. They are either both running the same pressure or the car’s balance is out of whack.

      • 5, 8: The teams will definitely vary the pressures across the rear axle, especially on a track like Monza.

    • I’ve decided to watch all of the 2002 races all over again. Far more exciting and competitive racing than this crap.

      • I agree, which is why I’m adamant it’s not the domination that’s hurting the sport, it’s the style of F1 we have presently… 2002 had brilliant racing, in my opinion, with cars on their absolute limit and hard racing. Qualifying was something to behold.

        What we have is a very strange formula from the tyres, to the pu, to the fuel… it’s an exercise best left for WEC, not F1. I personally like WEC, but in the context of WEC. When Lewis freaked out that he had to go quick all the way to the end of the race, that spoke volumes for me. Whether it was him personally, or he feared for the car is irrelevant.

  4. And I forgot, Paddy Lowe said the the tire pressures were okayed BY PIRELLI before the cars were on the track. So, what happened?!

  5. If the tires were a fraction (or more) under, why not Pump Zem Uppppp zu corrrrrrrrct prrrrressure? And why did we not hear about it until very near the end? When, exactly, (and where) were the pressure checks done?

  6. So why would they measure the tyre temp and pressure in the grid if they only would credit the measurements at the time the tyres were fitted? FIA kinda messed this up to begin with I guess. So all teams can get away with this trick if they say and prove the tyres were within spec at the time of fitting and get away with it?

  7. I believe all cars have tyre pressure sensors fitted – are these monitored by Pirelli or are they fitted by the teams themselves?

    You’d have thought it would be easy to monitor all cars this way.

    Also, what does ‘before the start’ mean? If they are manually reading pressure then this can’t be just before lights-out which is surely the literal meaning. If it is any time before the start then it is very open as it depends whether the tyres have been heated or not.

    Oh, and how did we get down to 19.5 PSI? I thought Pirelli were talking 22/23 PSI? Did the teams shout them down?

    • Problem with pressure as a measurement is that it’s entirely dependant on temperature. I did the math (well, OK an online calculator did the math) and found that to hit the reported pressures, HAM temps were 104.106C for LR and ROS temps were 88.3865C. Max tyre warmer temps 110C. Seems to me that as it’s racing pressure that Pirelli are interested in the embedded engineers need to do the calc and then certify the pressures. Problem for FIA is to prevent tyres from being tampered with after fitting before race, but a simple FIA seal out to solve that problem.

        • that’s the issue, pressure at start were proxy for pressures in race. teams were alleged to crank up heat in warmers to up pressure and then let them drop to optimum pressure as temps came down so FIA issued max temps for tyre warmers. But as the TD went out, it was pressure at “start” as defined by FIA that was benchmark. Problem with that is environmental factors beyond teams control can affect pressure in tyre, so Stewards told FIA and Pirelli in effect, take your homework back, correct it and turn it in before the next race. Apparently Mercedes were able to demonstrate that when the tyres came out of the blankets that the pressures were correct, and that the tyre temps on the grid had dropped resulting in the readings the FIA got. We’ll never know whole story, but this kind of shoddy, ill thought out regulation’s been plaguing the sport for the whole of the time I’ve followed it

          • Tyregate 2.0 then? Haha! Just wanted to ask how the GP2 boys managed to get DQ-ed for tyre infringements as hippo highlighted earlier. I really wasn’t listening to sky’s fillers until they had significant updates to provide.

          • yeah, not as exciting as Testgate no doubt. GP2 DQ’ed b/c their lawyers not as good I guess. Wondering if they will appeal their exclusion in light of this result

          • Good one matt hahaha! The GP2 website lacks info on what point of the qualifying session did they measure/find out that the tyre pressures of Evans and Canamasas were below the limits

  8. Far from a great race, not much to be said. Hamilton managed another race perfectly yet again, Vettel could present no challenge and Rosberg had quite a cruel weekend. The midfielders did their best but there was little genuine excitement except for the preocupation that Hamilton might somehow lose the win due the the tyre pressure measurements, which now we know he won’t.

    Hamilton and Mercedes are just too strong right now. If they lead from the start, only catastrophe prevents them from winning.

    • Both Lotii being out really hurt the race tremendously, as did Kimi’s non-start. I was really excited about the prospect of a genuine race to Rettifilio at least, and more if RAI could take the first corner, which I think he would’ve had he managed to get off the line.

  9. Another rubbish race with a depressing outcome (although I was pleased to see the Williams scoring well and Massa on the podium). As so frequently the case the only interest in the proceedings was the squabbling suspicious sharp practice by Mercedes – as if they needed any additional advantage! Jeeze but that T.W. character’s smirking self-satisfaction is annoying.

  10. The FIA are just daft along with their stewards. They don’t even have a standard way of measuring tyre pressures. Something that is easily affected by atmospheric conditions.
    The teams don’t have a standard way of keeping the tyres warm after the blanket is removed. Some mechanics on one side will keep the blanket wrapped round then just opposite or to his side, you’ll see another mechanic fold the blanket and place it on top of the tyre. Obviously the tyres will lose heat at different rates.

    On track, some cars could be in the shade while others are exposed to direct sunlight. But we know temperature greatly affects pressure, ask your weather balloon. So why not always measure the tyres under the same conditions.

  11. I know Bernie’s pretty old, but Boyle’s Law has been around since the 17thC…

    And the FIA technical delegates are surely younger than the gnome.

  12. Hmm, think Mercedes kind of got away with this particular incident (although their team of lawyers must be good too). Hamilton had done the perfect race weekend from his end so it would have been stupid to lose it because of a technical infringement. I would assume that Ferrari supporters will be unhappy for obvious reasons, Rosberg’s engine problems are concerning for me because they could very well happen to Hamilton later on. Does 0.3 psi of pressure difference on just one tyre really affect performance positively ?

    • Rosberg power unit was installed in Canada and was basically at the end of its life cycle. He was the only Mercedes car not to have a new power unit this weekend.

  13. Seems Vettel’s jinx on his team mates is continuing. I was really hoping that Räikkönen would challenge Hamilton at the start and make him work for his win, even if it was a foregone conclusion that Hamilton would succeed. But it was nice to see that Räikkönen has lost none of his skill at overtaking. I gave the race an 8 just for that.

    • I’m not sure. He sits behind people a lot lately. And he overtakes almost only with DRS now.

      I’ve always thought Vettel is one of the unluckiest drivers. But Raikkonen takes the cake. Absolutely.

  14. Instead of many spread posts answering others, why not post a long article – more or less 5000 words – explaining in details why Hamilton should have been outright DSQed yet political powers that be thought it better to allow him to keep the win. It would be quite useful if it were explained how FIA/FOM/whomever colluded to ignored the rules and thus favor Mercedes and simultaneously shut down the hopes of a more exciting title fight (and deny Ferrari a deserved fair win at home, nonetheless), which is basically against their best interest in every single aspect.

    And the more bitter and resentful the article, the better, as it should then provoke hamfosi to countless responses and plenty of activity thourh the weekend.

    Just saying.

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