9 September 2007
Italy 2007: Alonso, Lewis give McLaren boost.
McLaren got the perfect tonic to all the spy row shenanigans on Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix, when Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton brought their MP4-22s home in first and second to give the Woking-based team the best result possible.
Fernando was in a class of his own throughout the Monza weekend and after McLaren set the pace in pre-event testing, they maintained that momentum and topped the times in every single session, bar one.
Indeed on Friday, Alonso ended the day with the quickest time overall in practice and he then continued in the same vein on Saturday, setting the pace in FP3 and securing the pole.
Going into the race the Spaniard was unquestionably the favourite and he didn't disappoint, stamping his authority on proceedings from the off.
Indeed while he came under a bit of pressure from Hamilton in the opening stint - especially after the safety car period following David Coulthard's off - he was never really threatened and pulled out a comfortable cushion in the middle stint to see off the Englishman with ease.
Furthermore, while he did relinquish P1 to Kimi Raikkonen at one point, that was only because the Finn opted for a one-stop strategy, while the McLarens went for two.
In the end he took the victory, his fourth of the season, by just over 6 seconds, to close to within 3 points of Hamilton, at the top of the drivers' championship – something that sets things up for a thrilling finale, assuming the spy hearing this coming Thursday doesn't turn things on its head.
Hamilton for his part meanwhile did his best and minimised the damage, but was never really in contention for the win.
Although he ran second for the most part, he didn't have a completely trouble-free run and at the start he came under quite a bit of pressure from Felipe Massa, the two touching on the run down to the first corner.
Hamilton also had to pass Raikkonen towards the end after he dropped behind the Ferrari man in his final pit stop.
Kimi for his part never really recovered following his crash on Saturday in practice and in the end the best he could do was third, which was scant consolation for the tifosi, who had turned out in the hope that Ferrari would be able to win on home soil.
At least Raikkonen got to the end however, which was more than his team-mate, Felipe Massa managed.
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