Race - Vettel cruises to emphatic Monza victory 11 Sep 2011
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel moved ever closer to his second consecutive world championship with a totally dominant victory at Monza, his eighth of the season.
Vettel had to play second fiddle initially to the fast-starting Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, and then trail him obediently behind the safety car after an out-of-control Tonio Liuzzi spun down the grass on the inside going into Turn One and triggered mayhem at the start which accounted for his HRT, Nico Rosbergs Mercedes and Vitaly Petrovs Renault. Williams Rubens Barrichello, Force Indias Adrian Sutil and HRTs Daniel Ricciardo lost valuable ground in the melee and, after the race, Liuzzi was handed a five-place grid penalty for the next event in Singapore.
When the racing resumed on Lap Four it quickly became clear that the Ferrari was not going to stay ahead, and Vettel calmly breezed round the outside of it in the Curva Grande on Lap Five, despite having two wheels in the dirt, and then simply headed off to an easy triumph.
Alonso was then momentarily reeled in by similarly fast-starting Mercedes Michael Schumacher, who was containing Lewis Hamilton as McLaren team mate Jenson Button played a waiting game in their wake after dropping to seventh initially. Hamilton tried lap after lap to pass Schumacher, but was rebuffed.
He made it briefly at Curva Grande on Lap 13, only to be repassed immediately thanks to the Mercedes greater straight-line speed. Then on Lap 16 as Schumacher closed the door in Curva Grande, Hamilton had to put his right-hand wheels on the grass. As he lost momentum, Button was able to drag past with his KERS and then immediately took advantage of his DRS to squeeze by Schumacher going into Ascari.
As Button settled into a chase of Alonso that would yield fruit on the 36th lap at Curva Grande, Hamilton struggled in Schumachers wake until finally getting by going into Ascari on Lap 27.
Over the remaining laps Button held station behind runaway Vettel, trading fastest laps with him, as Hamilton closed to within half a second of Alonso on the final lap after claiming the fastest lap accolade a lap earlier. A small understeering mistake in Parabolica cost him his chance of the podium, however, and he had to settle for fourth.
Schumacher faded to fifth, ahead of the ever-unlucky Felipe Massa. Mark Webber lost his front wing in the first chicane against the car of the Brazilian, who was defending fifth place on the fifth lap. The Ferrari spun, and Webber crashed at Parabolica later that lap because his Red Bull had minimal frontal downforce as he headed to the pits. Thus delayed, Massa trailed in 10.3s adrift of Schumacher.
The final points went to Jaime Alguersuari who drove extremely well for Toro Rosso to seventh, while Senna failed by half a second to dislodge Paul di Resta from eighth as the Force India driver resisted his late charge. The Scots success moved the team ahead of Sauber, into sixth place in the constructors championship.
Alguersuaris team mate Sebastien Buemi took the final point, ahead of the Williamses of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello, the Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, Timo Glocks Virgin and Daniel Ricciardos HRT which, like Jerome dAmbrosios Virgin, had been left on the grid. The Belgian failed to finish, as did the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez as they battled for midfield points, and Adrian Sutils Force India.
Such is Vettels lead, if things go his way he could wrap up the title at the next round in Singapore. Currently he is 112 points clear with 284. Alonso moved to second place today with 172, with Button and Webber third on 167 and Hamilton fifth with 158. Red Bull have 451 points to McLarens 325 and Ferraris 254.
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