The Italian’s call it La Pista Magica (The Magic Track). It’s a track with few twists and turns – giving it a real chance for high speeds. The tifosi (fans) here at Monza have witnessed some spectacular racing since the first Formula One Championship here in 1950; astounding victories and unfortunately some horrifying crashes.
Monza GP Race Results 2016
Today Nico Rosberg took his first ever Italian win, his 7th this season and the 21st of his career. It was not a race overflowing with excitement – but may have helped set up a down-to-the-wire end of season finale! Hamilton’s lead is now just 2 points.
Hamilton in Pole Position, but his Start lets him Down AGAIN!!!
Hamilton started in pole after an amazing performance on Saturday, but struggled with a nightmare start – where he appeared to be ‘going backwards,’ dropping to 6th after the first corner. He fought back to second, but was unable to challenge Rosberg for 1st place. He admitted blame for the poor start – but couldn’t explain it “I really don’t know what happened.” Later, he suggested that it was a problem with the clutch that caused his floundering start. A Mercedes Achilles Heel? “On Tuesday in the factory…that’s the only thing we’ll be talking about.” (Hamilton)
It was the first time in 7 years that this race was not won from pole position. The poor starts that plagued Hamilton in Australia, Bahrain and Canada this season returned, as he lost the race in the first 20 metres. Thus, preventing him from equalling Juan Manuel Fangio’s hat trick of Italian victories and claiming his 50th career victory. Second place did give Hamilton his 98th podium finish – a record only bettered by Alain Prost with 106 and a seemingly unbeatable Michael Schumacher with a whopping 155.
Getting it Right from the Start is so IMPORTANT!!!
So what happened? As Hamilton stumbled, Rosberg gathered momentum and was propelled into a race all on his own at the front. On a track famed for high speeds – he was able to maintain the distance that he had put between himself and the rest of the pack.
“It was all down to the start.”(Rosberg)
Can the Ferraris` Bring a Home WIN!!!
On regaining control, Hamilton passed Ricciardo at the 2nd chicane on Lap 2 and then Bottas going into Turn 1, Lap 11. Both Ferraris then pitted out of his way. By Lap 17 he was now in 2nd, 15 seconds behind Rosberg – at one point he reduced the gap to 9.1 seconds (Lap 31) – but could not find the pace to really challenge his team mate if he was to conserve his tyres.
Mercedes had a one stop plan, starting on softs and finishing on mediums.
While Ferrari were following a two stop plan: super-softs, super-softs and softs. A successful strategy; as Ferrari were comfortably quicker than any other team chasing Mercedes.
Hamilton was advised not to push his tyres unnecessarily, he was told over the radio:
“Remember Lewis, the three cars ahead are on super-soft tyres so they’ll be quick for a few laps and then they will degrade.”
Another Great Day for the Aussie in the Red Bull Team!!!
Ricciardo had another good day; on supersofts for the final stint he produced a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Turn 1 Lap 47 rocketing from far behind Bottas to pass him on a tight corner. Was it the ‘Pass of the Year’ as suggested in the Australian news? He celebrated the pass with a ‘shakas’ gesture, often seen in surfing.
Button had a positive race the day after announcing his 2017 ‘break’. Starting 14th – he had a poor start leaving him in 20th on Lap 1, but managed to pass team mate Alonso on Lap 44. Unable to pass Grosjean, he eventually took 12th place.
Despite finishing 14th, Alonso took the fastest lap. It was Honda’s first fastest lap for 24 years. But his race wasn’t easy, “We knew it would be hard and so it was.” (Alonso)
Verstappen also had a bad start, but managed to grab 7th place with 5 laps to go. He had been given a warning by Charlie Whiting (FIA F1 Director) about his conduct in Belgium last weekend. Verstappen’s fearless spirit is hugely popular with fans – will the threat of disqualification help to calm or quash him?
It was the third successive race where both Force India cars finished with points – but they dropped to 5th place in the Constructor’s Championship. Williams regained 4th place following a favourable day where Bottas came in 6th and Massa 9th.
Bottas had hoped for better: “ I set myself a target of finishing on the podium, but we didn’t quite have the pace which meant that I had to push the tyre a little bit more in every stint just to secure my position.”
Palmer collided with Nasr at Turn 2, the first chicane. Palmer was run off the road and lost his front wing before they were both forced to retire. Nasr was given 10 penalty points for the incident. Wehrlein was retired when told to switch off his Manor’s Mercedes power unit. Kyvat was another non-finisher after 35 laps.
On the Podium it Sounds Like Vettel in the Ferrari has WON!!!
Vettel taking the 3rd podium place and Raikonnen coming in 4th gave the crowd something to really cheer about. But despite the unlikelihood of a victory at home – Monza had a wonderful day. The tifosi love it here.
Next Hear the Roar in the Lion City!!!
Night racing is up next……on to Singapore (18.9.16) – For information on our Singapore GP hospitality packages please go here.
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