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.