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Winners and Losers - Italy

07 Sep 2015

Once his Monza win was finally confirmed, Lewis Hamilton was able to celebrate extending his championship lead to over 50 points. Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, was philosophical on his retirement, after a weekend in which everything seemed to conspire against him. It was mixed fortunes too at Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel revelled in his first podium appearance in red on the Scuderia’s home soil, but Kimi Raikkonen could only wonder what might have been after his disastrous start. The happiest team were Williams, who scored their best points haul of the year, unlike Lotus, who effectively lost both cars at the very first turn. We take a team-by-team look back at Sunday’s action…


Lewis Hamilton, P1
Nico Rosberg, Retired lap 51, engine

It was a bittersweet race for Mercedes. Hamilton utterly dominated and raved about his F1 W06 Hybrid’s balance. And though there were post-race concerns about his car having one tyre 0.3 psi below the newly-mandated 19.5 psi safety limit by Pirelli, obliging the team to speed him up at the end just as his tyres were going off, all was well as the stewards said no further action was necessary once the situation had been thoroughly investigated.

Rosberg was on his back foot all weekend, the more so when his new-spec engine had to be changed after a coolant pipe fractured. He fought back on to Vettel’s tail with two laps to go, but the six-race-old motor finally cried enough and left him without any points for the first time this season.


Sebastian Vettel, P2
Kimi Raikkonen, P5

The race promised more than Ferrari could ultimately deliver, and they were well beaten by Mercedes. But Vettel was very happy with his second place, describing it as the best of his career on an emotional level. Raikkonen, however, had anti-stall problems at the start which cost him dear, and obliged him to fight back all afternoon from 14th at the end of lap one to his eventual fifth-place finish.


Felipe Massa, P3
Valtteri Bottas, P4

Massa and Bottas held third and fourth places until the pit stops, when they were both undercut by Rosberg. After that the Brazilian held fourth quite comfortably until his three-lap older medium tyres began to go off and the Finn moved in. They were nose to tail over the final three laps, but Massa just held on as Bottas encountered a system problem which cut power. 27 points was Williams’ best score of the season so far.

Force India

Sergio Perez, P6
Nico Hulkenberg, P7

Perez drove a great race to sixth, only surrendering fifth to Raikkonen in the closing laps. Hulkenberg should have been close to him, but suffered from a first-lap clash with Maldonado which damaged his VJM08’s floor and left him struggling for grip in the second half.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P8
Daniil Kvyat, P10

The two Red Bull drivers hauled themselves nicely up from the back of the grid and into the points, exploiting the great chassis that the RB11 has become even if they struggled on the straights. Both started on medium tyres, did long opening stints, then switched to softs. That worked out particularly well for Ricciardo, as he grabbed eighth from Ericsson right at the end.


Marcus Ericsson, P9
Felipe Nasr, P13

Ericsson once again drove a very strong race and deserved better than his eventual ninth on a track that suited the C34. Nasr clobbered Grosjean on the opening lap, and was always doomed thereafter as he tried to battle back.

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz, P11
Max Verstappen, P12

Both drivers struggled thanks to race penalties; Sainz had a five-second one for gaining an advantage after leaving the track, Verstappen a drive-through for being released with loose bodywork in qualifying. But both said the STR10 had great pace, and believed they’d have been points contenders without those misfortunes.


Jenson Button, P14
Fernando Alonso, P18, DNF

Button made a great start but inevitably fell back as others hit their stride. He started on soft Pirellis and switched to mediums, whereas Alonso did the opposite. They were having a great scrap in the closing stages until the Spaniard stopped with electronic control board failure.


Will Stevens, P15
Roberto Merhi, P16

There were no real problems here, as the drivers secured the team’s eighth two-car finish of the season.


Romain Grosjean, retired lap one, suspension damage
Pastor Maldonado, retired lap one, suspension damage

After Spa, Monza was a brutal let-down for Lotus. Both cars started in the top ten, but both retired on the opening lap with suspension damage. Grosjean was hit by Nasr, Maldonado by Hulkenberg.