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Italy analysis - Alonso limits the damage 09 Sep 2013

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138 and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrate wuth Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 (L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and John Surtees (GBR) on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 The Tifosi watch the podium ceremony.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber C32 is followed by Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and Andy Shovlin (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Race Engineer on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham CT03 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02 leads Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06 crashes at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013

There was nothing anyone could do to stop Sebastian Vettel winning the Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia 2013 on Sunday, but a storming drive to second from Fernando Alonso at least gave the tifosi one Ferrari on the podium as the Spaniard split the Red Bulls. Alonso’s superb early pass on Mark Webber also kept him firmly in the title hunt, as Vettel’s other key championship rivals - Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton - scored just two points between them. We take a team-by-team look at the race formbook from Monza…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P3

Both RB9s had gearbox issues during the race. Vettel’s was less serious than Webber’s and his only other concern was a slightly flat-spotted front-right tyre which gave him vibrations until his pit stop on the 23rd lap. Otherwise it was plain sailing yet again on a low-downforce track that supposedly doesn’t suit the car. Adrian Newey said they’d come to Monza prepared for damage limitation; Vettel said if that was damage limitation, he’d be happy to have damage at every race. Webber’s gearbox problem obliged him to short shift to save the gears, but he was still within a second of Alonso’s Ferrari by the finish after another tour de force afternoon for the Milton Keynes team.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P2
Felipe Massa, P4

Once again Ferrari lacked the pace to challenge Red Bull, but Alonso’s feisty drive salvaged the best that the Scuderia could hope for on their home ground. Massa was less impressive but reaped fourth place after a strong start saw him initially run in second. The team’s haul of 30 points took it back ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ stakes.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, P5
Esteban Gutierrez, P13

The development of the C32, allied to the revised Pirelli tyres and low downforce put Sauber back into the sort of position that became familiar in 2012. Hulkenberg couldn’t stay ahead of the Ferraris he’d out-qualified, but a strong and intelligent drive kept him in fifth place ahead of Rosberg’s Mercedes in the team’s best run of the year. Gutierrez had no complaints, but was disappointed not to be in contention for points by the finish.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, P6
Lewis Hamilton, P9

Mercedes’ race was compromised in qualifying, in Rosberg’s case by his hydraulics problem which lost him valuable set-up time in FP3, Hamilton’s by his errors in Q2. The German finished on Hulkenberg’s tail, but Hamilton’s race was further compromised by a slow right-front puncture which necessitated a debilitating extra stop. He put in a storming drive to ninth, but admitted that he got out of his W04 at the end angry with himself for getting things wrong the previous afternoon. With Ferrari taking so many points, the silver arrows fell back to third in the constructors’ championship.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, P7
Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 15, transmission

Ricciardo held off Grosjean after a race in which he was never able to relax, and was delighted to turn a solid top 10 qualifying performance into a similarly strong race finish. Vergne should also have been in the points, but retired after 14 laps when his STR8’s transmission failed when he was fighting with Hamilton and the McLarens.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, P8
Kimi Raikkonen, P11

Lotus’s race was compromised from the start when Raikkonen got short braked as Perez swerved from the right-hand side of the track to the left right in front of him at the start, and he could not avoid damaging his front wing against the rear of the McLaren. That condemned him, like Hamilton, to a two-stop race, but his tyres were finished by the end after he’d set several fastest laps playing catch-up, and he just failed to take the final point from Button. Grosjean was also hit on the opening lap when Di Resta went over his right-rear wheel, but he escaped undamaged and battled Ricciardo to the flag.

McLaren
Jenson Button, P10
Sergio Perez, P12

On their 50th birthday weekend McLaren looked stronger in low-downforce trim and were always in contention for points, but Perez faded towards the end and Button was very fortunate to keep Raikkonen at bay.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, P14
Valtterri Bottas, P15

Once again the Williams FW35s were reliable, but they lacked the pace to mount any sort of challenge for points.

Caterham
Charles Pic, P17
Giedo van der Garde, P18

Caterham comfortably outpaced Marussia as Pic led Van der Garde home after jumping him at the start.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, P19
Max Chilton, P20

There were no big deals here. The MR02s simply weren’t fast enough, but Bianchi and Chilton at least made it to the finish.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, P16, Retired lap 53, brakes
Paul di Resta, Retired lap 1, collision with Grosjean

Force India had another hugely disappointing race. Di Resta went over the back of Grosjean’s right-rear wheel and ripped off his own left-front on the first lap, and then Sutil retired from 13th place with a lap to go with brake problems. After Di Resta’s broken brake disc in FP3, the team deemed it prudent to withdraw him immediately.

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