Vettel wins in Italy; extends championship lead
MONZA, Italy-RIS- Despite having gearbox issues towards the end of the race, Sebastian Vettel managed to hold off a charging Fernando Alonso Sunday afternoon by 5.4 seconds to win the Grand prix of Italy at Monza. Mark Webber, in his final grand prix race in Europe, finished in third.
For Vettel, it is his 32nd grand prix win of his career, tying him with Alonso and his third win on this historic track.
“It was a fantastic race. It was very nice and very good job from the team and for Renault.” Stated Vettel afterwards.
Although there was a chance of rain, the track dried up and the skies cleared up for the start, which began with the first corner with Vettel getting away, but Alonso and Felipe Massa both moved up to the next two positions, with Massa moving ahead of the Spaniard. Paul Di Resta became the first retirement of the race when the Scot ran into Sergio Perez and twisted his left front tire and axle at Curva Della Roggia.
But as the race continued, so did Vettel’s gap time as it increased to 4.4 seconds to nearly 11 by lap 32. Jean Eric Vergne became the second and last casualty of the race as the Frenchman retired his Toro Rosso on lap 16 with engine failure. But as the race progressed, Vettel began to experience gearbox trouble, and as the laps wound down, the German could just keep enough of a time gap to just win by over five seconds.
For the rest of the grid, Massa took fourth, while Nico Hulkenberg kept his Sauber up throughout the entire race to give the team their best finish of the season in fifth. Nico Rosberg took a quiet sixth, while Daniel Riccardo was seventh, Romain Grosjean finished his Lotus in eighth, while Lewis Hamilton charged up the grid late to finish in ninth. Jenson Button took the last point position in tenth.
Vettel now leads the world championship by 53 points over Alonso, but considering the mixed cheers and boos from the Italian crowd, the German still felt that this was still an historic venue to race on.
“This is a great track to race on, and I am very glad to be here.” Vettel concluded.
A 12 year veteran writer who has covered race weekends for RIS for three years. Also did the same for motorsport.com.For the last two years, I have been a member of AARWBA.