Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has said it was an 'emotional' victory for him today in Italy, one that takes him another step closer to retaining his F1 Drivers' crown.
Vettel, who has dominated all year and who took yet another pole position on Saturday, slipped back to second at the start, with Fernando Alonso leaping up from P4 to P1. However he soon re-took the lead and once the safety car period ended, he dispensed with the Spaniard in an extremely brave move around the outside of the Ferrari through the Curva Grande.
After that he pulled ahead and was never troubled en-route
to another maximum 25 point haul and his eighth win of the season. The result further extends his lead in the drivers' championship and it is possible he could now sow things up in Singapore in two weeks time.
“It was an emotional win today. This circuit means such a lot to me and is very special. I had my first win here, so when I crossed the line I remembered every single bit of it,” Vettel reflected.
“The podium is absolutely unbelievable here; when you stand up there you feel blessed, as it doesn't happen to many people. There are so many people underneath and you can see them all coming, even from Curva Grande – it's just unbelievable.
“This circuit has been tough for us for the last two years and so... to come back this year and win [is fabulous]! The car was amazing in qualifying yesterday and in the race today it was even better.
“The start was not that good, Fernando was suddenly there and I didn't know where he was coming from – it took me a while to see we were three going into Turn 1. I kept second place and then after the restart, I was able to pass Alonso. He didn't give me much room there, but it was just enough, so it was very enjoyable. It was a great race for us.
“As it's 150 years for Italian Unity also, I think it makes it special for every one here, so thank you to all the fans.”
Team-mate Mark Webber meanwhile failed to finish, after tangling with Felipe Massa early on at Turn 1. Although Webber could continue, he lost his front nose and unknown to him it was lodged under the front of the car. By the time he then got to Parabolica he had no steering and thus sailed off into the barriers and into retirement.
“I didn't get the best start, me and Jenson [Button] were together, so I lost a few spots there. I think also Sebastian didn't either, so there were a few different starts going on. Fernando made a phenomenal one. Then there was the restart after the safety car; I got a good one that time and managed to pass Jenson straight away,” Webber recounted.
“Then, on the next lap, I was lining up Felipe, breaking around the outside for turn 1, trying to get the inside line for turn two. I probably wasn't quite far enough to get completely inside, but when I tried to come out of the move the kerbing on the inside is obviously pretty high; as soon as I touched that I unfortunately made contact with Felipe and that was that.
“I then tried to get back to the pits, trying to lose the minimum time possible, the car wasn't too bad for the first part of the lap, but at some stage the wing got caught underneath, so I couldn't turn the car or brake. I went straight out of Parabolica and that was the end of my race.”