F1 »

F1 Driver of the Day: Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton might have won, but was his performance the best of the day at Monza? You decide....

Just as had been the case seven days earlier in Belgium, a McLaren driver rose untroubled from pole position in Italy to claim a championship-boosting victory while his rivals squabbled amongst themselves.

This time around, it was Lewis Hamilton at the front of the pack, having put in a 'half-decent' qualifying lap to claim the front of the grid and then not putting a foot wrong over 53 laps of the high-speed Monza layout - despite the potential distraction of contract talks and rumours about his future. There were few negatives, and certainly no dodgy 'tweets', from the 27-year old, who moved back into second place in the overall standings courtesy of his third win of the season.

A slightly longer race could have made things tricky for the McLaren man, however, as Sergio Perez was still on a charge when the chequered flag fell. Having started from the outside of row six on the grid, the Mexican again made the most of Sauber's ability to extract more life from its tyres to assume the lead while everyone else cycled through their pit-stops, and then used the softer Pirelli option to reel in those ahead of him wehn he resumed from his own. Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were all among his victims, before time ran out on his pursuit of a maiden F1 win.

Alonso also staged his own comeback from qualifying problems, quickly moving from tenth into the top five, and then surviving a hairy moment when an attempt to pass Sebastian Vettel left him on the grass at the flat-out Curva Grande. The Spanaird subsequently passed his rival a couple of laps later and benefited from retirements ahead of him to move into the podium places. The inevitable then happened as Ferrari team-mate Massa moved over for him to add extra points to his haul, but Alonso was ultimately relegated back to third by the flying Perez.

Massa's pursuit of a first podium finish since Korea 2010 appeared to be on course even after he followed the Ferrari line and allowed Alonso into second spot. Sadly for the Brazilian, who otherwise enjoyed his best weekend of the year, neither F2012 had the pace to resist Perez, and he had to settle for another fourth place.

With the remainder of the top ten - Raikkonen, Michael Schuamcher, Nico Rosberg, Paul di Resta, Kamui Kobayashi and Bruno Senna - more or less performing to expectation, no better and no worse, and Mark Webber suffering an unfortunate end to another ordinary performance, the race's two highest-profile DNFs are also inclouded in the reckoning for driver of the day.

Vettel's defence of fifth place may have been overly-robust - at least in the eyes of Alonso, Ferrari and the stewards - but he still had the Red Bull perhaps higher in the order than its outright pace warranted. The German appeared on course for a healthy dose of points, and retention of second place overall, when another Renault alternator problem sidelined him with six laps remaining.

Jenson Button was on course for even more than Vettel, the Belgian Grand Prix winner overcoming the early obstacle provided by a fast-starting Massa to lead the pursuit of McLaren team-mate Hamilton. He may not have been able to live with his fellow Briton on this occasion, but the likely second place would have again boosted his points tally and stemmed calls for him to back up his team-mate from Singapore on. Suspected fuel pump failure may now dictate otherwise....

To have your say on who you think was the best driver at Monza, simply CLICK HERE and select your favourite from our list. Oh, and feel free to explain your choice in the comments section below....




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.09.2012- Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
09.09.2012- Race,  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
09.09.2012- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
06.09.2012- Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
31.08.2012- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
07.09.2012- Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.08.2014- Press conference, James Allison (GBR) Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
22.08.2014- Press conference, Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


OZFan - Unregistered

September 10, 2012 12:08 PM

Started 12th., and finished 2nd. With a four or five laps longer race, could easily have challenged Lewis for the win. Perez offered perhaps the most brilliant performance of the year.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.