Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 7. syyskuuta 2014

Italian GP: Hamilton from pole to victory!

Once again it was so exciting to watch the lights go out at legendary Monza. I was a bit afraid to see the Mercedes duo rushing into the first corner but to my huge surprise Hamilton took a lousy start from pole and lost three positions right away! His team-mate Rosberg stormed to the lead and the Danish McLaren driver Magnussen jumped 2nd from P5. Massa at the wheel of his FW36 took a stunning start as well and the Brazilian jumped 3rd. Massa´s team-mate Bottas was one of those who failed badly at the start: the Finn dropped back to P11! I was so happy to see Sebastian driving in P5 after the start. I was hoping to see a strong race from the talented German.

Magnussen´s joy was premature: by lap 5 both Massa and Hamilton had managed to get past the Dane. At this stage Kimi was driving in P9 with Bottas right at the Iceman´s tail. Ferrari seemed to be desperately slow on the long straights of Monza and Kimi had absolutely no chance to prevent his compatriot from overtaking him. On lap 10 Hamilton made an overtaking move on Massa and got past the Brazilian. Mercedes drivers now had double lead and they were separated by two seconds only!

Bottas´ FW36 seemed to be flying at Monza and the Finn started storming towards podium places. First he overtook Perez in his Force India, then Alonso in his Ferrari and then Button in his McLaren! Although the superior straight line speed and DRS made the overtaking moves look easy, it was so admirable to watch how Bottas managed to keep his head cool in spite of the bad start and concentrated on overtaking his rivals one by one. No stupid moves or questionable manoeuvres but pure racing at its very best.

Vettel at the wheel of his RB10 was the first top driver to pit for a fresh set of hard-compound tyres. Meanwhile amazing Bottas had moved past Magnussen and made his way up to P4. The Finn had made his way up to P3 already when he pitted for the first and only time. The timing wasn´t perfect: Bottas rejoined the track in P9 right behind Vettel and Magnussen. That meant only one thing: there was more overtaking to come! After the pit stops Rosberg was leading the race with his team-mate second. On lap 29 we saw a dramatic turn: Rosberg went wide at the first chicane already for the second time and Hamilton took immediately the opportunity to pass the German. So under huge pressure Rosberg made a mistake which cost him the lead.

At the same time Alonso faced his first DNF of the season as he suffered from a mechanical failure. The ERS of his F14T failed and the Spaniard´s race was over. Surely not the result that all the tifosis were hoping for! Bottas and Magnussen fighting for P5 provided some really entertaining wheel-to-wheel racing. Bottas made a move on the Dane but Magnussen cut right ahead of the Finn and forced Bottas off the track. A few laps later Magnussen was also penalised for his move and he was handed a 5-second stop-and-go penalty. Bottas didn´t get nervous even at this point but kept his head together and overtook the McLaren pilot a few laps later. Bottas was clearly driving a staggering race!

Although I like Bottas a lot and he has definitely proved to be an amazing driver it still hurt me to see the Finn overtaking Vettel on lap 40. There was nothing Sebastian could do... At the same time Sebastian´s team-mate Ricciardo was storming his way through the field. I was so amazed to see Ricciardo topping the top speed sheet! He was going 362 km/h whilst Sebastian couldn´t even make it among the ten fastest drivers! I couldn´t help wondering about the difference between the top speed. Why was Ricciardo´s RB10 so much faster? 5 laps before the chequered flag the fact that I had been afraid of for the whole race came inevitable: Ricciardo moved past Sebastian and the fact that it looked so easy made it feel even worse. That moment hurt me a lot, too. This year has been so difficult for Sebastian. Hearing comments from Ricciardo saying that he should become the number one driver in the team from now on feels so awful! Maybe there´s an understandable reason why Ricciardo´s car was so much faster and his pace so much better but as I have no technical knowledge I can´t help but wondering about this. And when it comes to my favourite drivers the emotional point of view always outstrips the technical side, haha!

Rosberg had no chance to challenge his team-mate for victory today so a well-deserved victory for Hamilton today. Massa in his Williams captured the first podium finish of the season and brilliant Bottas finished in P4. Ricciardo was 5th and Sebastian 6th. Magnussen finished the race 7th but due to the penalty he was dropped down to P10. So Perez finished 7th, Button 8th and Kimi 9th. After the race Kimi said that his car had felt okay but they were lacking both grip and power so Ferrari´s race was really tough. Very frustrating for Kimi indeed. Although 2 points are better than no points at all.

Rosberg is now leading the championship with a 22-point gap over his team-mate. Ricciardo is third 50 points off Hamilton. There´s already a 60-point gap between the Red Bull team-mates, which makes me sad. Although I completely accept that all drivers go through difficult times. For Williams this was a perfect race as they made their way up to P3 in constructors´ standings. Now the European rounds are over and it´s time to head to stunning Singapore in a fortnight. That´s one of the races I like the most! That venue is supposed to suit Red Bull very well and I hope to see Kimi, too succeeding well under the shining artificial lights of Singapore.

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