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Italy analysis - Rosberg pays the price for errors

08 Sep 2014

While Lewis Hamilton took the plaudits at Monza, team mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg was left kicking himself after a braking error at the first chicane dropped him out of the lead and handed the race to his title rival.

Thus, as was the case in Belgium, a minor error had major consequences, though Rosberg did at least follow Hamilton home to record Mercedes' seventh one-two of the season. The pair were followed home by Felipe Massa, who scored his 37th career podium - and more importantly his first since joining Williams. We take a look back through a thrilling 53 laps at the 'Temple of Speed'…

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, P1

Nico Rosberg, P2

It looked like being a familiar story when Hamilton's car bogged down terribly from pole and Rosberg sped into the lead. But once Hamilton recovered he set about a remorseless pursuit of his team mate, aided initially when the German made an unforced error and went down the escape road at the first chicane, Rettifilo, on the ninth lap. The crucial moment in the pair's fight came on lap 29 when Rosberg repeated the error, at a time when Hamilton was really putting on the pressure. The Briton moved into the lead and thereafter sped away to a comfortable sixth victory of the season. The pair never looked like colliding this time, and their seventh one-two of the year was exactly what the Mercedes hierarchy had demanded of them.

Williams

Felipe Massa, P3

Valtteri Bottas, P4

Massa was in excellent form at Monza and soon passed fast-starting Magnussen for second in Rosberg's wake, but he couldn't keep Hamilton back and had to settle for third. It was his first podium for Williams, and he was rightly delighted. Bottas got badly bogged down at the start, falling from fourth to 11th, but he steadily clawed his way back up and overtook car after car in yet another starring drive that marks him as a potential future champion. With a 27-point haul, Williams have moved back ahead of Ferrari and into third in the constructors' championship.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P5

Sebastian Vettel, P6

Red Bull lacked the pace to challenge Williams this time, and had to settle for fifth and sixth. Strategy largely dictated the contrasting fortunes of Vettel and Ricciardo: Red Bull opted to be aggressive with Vettel and pitted him early, but that compromised his race in the closing stages. On fading rubber he was unable to resist Bottas's recovery drive and later fell prey to team mate Ricciardo, who made his sole pit stop eight laps after the German. Both drivers said they got the most out of the RB10, but it could be argued only one of them was right.

Force India

Sergio Perez, P7

Nico Hulkenberg, P12

Perez did a fabulous job, making a great start and then working very diligently to save his tyres while battling incredibly fiercely, but fairly, in the upper midfield. His duel with McLaren's Jenson Button was one of the highlights of the race, and seventh was a just reward for his efforts. Hulkenberg struggled with oversteer throughout the race, and had a lonely run to 12th - the first time this year he has finished outside the top ten.

McLaren

Jenson Button, P8

Kevin Magnussen, P10

McLaren didn't quite have the race pace they'd hoped for, which left Magnussen and Button battling behind Williams and Red Bull, and split by Force India. Magnussen made a brilliant start to run second initially before falling back, and later dropped from seventh to 10th after receiving a five-second penalty for squeezing Bottas off the track at the first chicane. Button, meanwhile, had a great wheel-to-wheel run with former team mate Perez, which included going side by side through the first Lesmo. He couldn't get the better of the Mexican, however, and that allowed Force India to close on McLaren in the constructors' fight - McLaren now have 110 points and Force India 109.

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen, P9

Fernando Alonso, Retired lap 29, ERS failure

Ferrari expected a tough time here, and they got it. They were never in the hunt even before Alonso suffered an ERS failure and pulled to a halt at mid-distance - his first mechanical retirement since Malaysia 2010. Raikkonen said his only problems were lack of speed and grip, which about covered it, and was only ninth thanks to Magnussen's post-race penalty. Worse still, the team lost third place to Williams in the constructors' table.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, P11

Jean-Eric Vergne, P13

Kvyat drove a super race to claw his way into contention for points right at the end, before a brake disc failure forced him into a leery slide down the escape road at the first chicane, Rettifilo. He managed to recover and somehow hang on to 11th place, but a point after starting from 21st at Monza would have been a huge achievement. Vergne struggled with his STR9, and had an unremarkable run to 13th, a handful of seconds behind his team mate.

Lotus

Pastor Maldonado, P14

Romain Grosjean, P16

Lotus got both cars to the chequered flag for only the fifth time this year, but there was no great salvation as both finished one lap down and well off the battle for the points. Maldonado did at least leave Caterham, Sauber and Marussia well behind.

Sauber

Adrian Sutil, P15

Esteban Gutierrez, P20

It was another hard race for Sauber. Sutil did his usual feisty job for 15th, but Gutierrez got it wrong trying to pass Grosjean near the end, clipped the Lotus's front wing as he cut in, and had to crawl back to the pits for a fresh right-rear tyre. Later he was given a post-race stop-and-go penalty which dropped him from 19th to 20th.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi, P17

Marcus Ericsson, P19

Kobayashi played a starring role as he beat Marussia fair and square at Monza, but Ericsson had another undistinguished outing, finishing one lap down on his team mate.

Marussia

Jules Bianchi, P18

Max Chilton, Retired lap 6, accident

Marussia had a tough race. Chilton engineered an early exit when he got it wrong at the second chicane and launched himself into the gravel trap, while Bianchi struggled unsuccessfully to keep up with Kobayashi - meaning neither Marussia driver finished in front of a Caterham for the first time since Malaysia in March.