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Italy analysis - the magicians of Monza 10 Sep 2012

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber, race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrate on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrate.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Second placed Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber celebrates with Peter Sauber (SUI) Sauber F1 Team Principal and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03 and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams FW34 jumps across the chicane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7 takes off over a kerb.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 Team MR01 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Red Bull Racing RB8 rear wing detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012

Barely a week ago at Spa, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso were taken out at Turn One. On Sunday at Monza, all three were on the podium after a thrilling Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander d'Italia 2012. Hamilton’s flawless drive reignited his title charge; Perez showed yet again why he’s hotly tipped as a future champion; and the ever-canny Alonso somehow extended his standings lead from tenth on the grid. We take a team-by-team look back at a fascinating afternoon’s racing…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, P1
Jenson Button, Retired lap 33, fuel pick-up

Hamilton was never really challenged en route to McLaren’s 180th victory and his first at Monza. He was only headed, by Perez, during the pit stops, and had speed in hand as the Mexican was closing at a great rate in the final laps. His win was McLaren’s third in a row. Button seemed set for a podium finish, either second or third, when his engine cut out due to fuel pick-up problems. Red Bull’s issues move the Woking team within 29 points in the constructors’ stakes.

Sauber
Sergio Perez, P2
Kamui Kobayashi, P9

Sauber employed brilliant strategy with Perez, starting him on the hard Pirellis when everyone else went for the mediums. He got to lap 29 before he pitted for his mediums, and was thus charging in a fuel-light car for the rest of the race. A superb drive took him from eighth place to second, only 4.3s adrift of Hamilton. Kobayashi ran his race the other way round, and was a relatively subdued ninth to earn the Hinwil team a serious points haul of 20 for the second time in four races.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P3
Felipe Massa, P4

Alonso made a great start and was able to overtake Kobayashi, Di Resta, Raikkonen and Schumacher early on and then to settle in to challenge Vettel. An altercation at Curva Grande earned the German and drive-through penalty and left Alonso free to chase and pass Massa for second place after Button’s demise. Massa held second from the start until Button repassed in the pit stops, running despite the loss of telemetry feed to the pits, but severe tyre degradation slowed both him and Alonso in the last part of the race and neither was able to keep Perez at bay. Their haul of 27 points moves them back to third in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Lotus.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P5
Jerome D’Ambrosio, P13

Lotus lacked pace again, though Raikkonen fought tooth and nail with Perez in the closing stages as the Mexican was on his charge. His eventual fifth place moves him to third in the drivers’ title chase. D’Ambrosio had a tough race, bringing Grosjean’s car home 13th.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, P6
Nico Rosberg, P7

Mercedes were one of the few teams to adopt a two-stop strategy, but it didn’t do them an awful lot of good as the best Schumacher and Rosberg could muster was sixth and seventh.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P8
Nico Hulkenberg, Retired lap 51, brakes

Di Resta said he was happy with eighth, as his one-stop strategy left him vulnerable in the final laps to the charge of the two Mercedes on their fresher rubber. Hulkenberg was in the battle for the lower points, until his VJM05 developed brake problems.

Williams
Bruno Senna, P10
Pastor Maldonado, P11

Senna had an up and down race, with chicane clashes with Rosberg and then Di Resta losing him time. Nevertheless he held on to finish half a second ahead of recovering team mate Pastor Maldonado who started 22nd after his two grid place penalties were applied. The Brazilian thus took the final point.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, P12
Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 9, brake disc

A disappointing race saw Vergne retire early when a suspected rear-end failure - possibly a shattered brake disc - sent him aviating across the first chicane kerbs and into retirement. Ricciardo’s disappointment came at the end when he dropped from 10th to 12th as his STR7 starved for fuel exiting Parabolica for the last time.

Caterham
Heikki Kovalainen, P14
Vitaly Petrov, P15

Kovalainen and Petrov had a race-long dust-up which resulted in the two Caterhams crossing the finish line just a tenth of a second apart.

Marussia
Charles Pic, P16
Timo Glock, P17

This week it was Pic’s turn to beat Glock, after the German was delayed when his front wing was damaged by Petrov in the first chicane.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, P18
Narain Karthikeyan, P19

De la Rosa’s 100th Grand Prix saw him catch and pass fast-starting team mate Karthikeyan.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, Retired lap 48, alternator
Mark Webber, Retired lap 52, flat-spotted tyres

This was a disastrous race for Red Bull, as unlucky as Spa had been lucky. Vettel was on target for some decent points until the drive-through penalty he got for putting Alonso off the road in Curva Grande. Thereafter he was fighting back when he was instructed to stop as his Renault engine showed signs of imminent failure due to more alternator problems. One-stopping Webber struggled for grip in the closing stages, half spun exiting Ascari, and then crept back to the pits to retire with flat-spotted tyres.

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