Button lost six places and dropped to the back of the field at the start, but used his tyres effectively to battle back up the order. He even caught and passed his team mate on lap 44, as Alonso struggled with tyre wear. The Spaniard opted to make a late stop for fresh rubber, sacrificing track position but helping to secure the fastest lap of the race.
Fernando Alonso, 14th
“We didn’t do a perfect race today – we made some mistakes here and there, including having a problem in the first pit stop, when the green light didn’t work. We lost a little bit of time there which probably compromised the stint.
“We didn’t really have the pace to be in the points today, so finishing 11th or 14th didn’t really make much of a difference. But at least we finished the race on a positive note, by setting the fastest lap.
“We fitted new tyres for the last two laps and I just went out and maximised the grip. It doesn’t make for much difference – it’s only good for the stats – as we were basically never in the running for points today.
“This was a circuit where we always knew we wouldn’t be competitive, but I think good times are coming our way from now on, as most of the remaining tracks on the calendar should better suit our car.”
Jenson Button, 12th
“There were a few mistakes on the first lap. I got a bad start, then, at the first Lesmo, one of the Saubers pushed me wide, then forced me off the circuit and into the gravel. I was last at the end of the first lap…
“After that, I couldn’t have wished for anything better: I had a lot of fun out there and pulled off some good overtaking moves, including one around the outside of Parabolica – something that doesn’t happen very often!
“I’m very happy with my performance. To come through and finish 12th isn’t great, but it wasn’t too bad considering the first lap. There’ll always be ifs and buts: if I hadn’t gone off on the first lap, I think we could have got into the points today.
“Singapore will definitely suit us better than here – this is our toughest circuit of the year, so to be that close to the top 10 wasn’t too bad, really.”
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda Racing Director
“We always knew that Monza was going to be one of the toughest races of the year for us from an overall car performance point of view, so the fact that we finished 12th and 14th today isn’t a surprise.
“Having said that, both our cars ran flawlessly, reliable from lights to flag, and our race pace was reasonable throughout.
“Jenson and Fernando had a good dice at one point – hard but fair – and I’m sure their battle must have made for great viewing for TV viewers and grandstand spectators alike. It sometimes looked a little too close for complete comfort from our pit-wall, but McLaren always lets its drivers race, and rightly so. After all, our drivers are both super-experienced professionals and they know exactly what they’re doing. Equally, we may be a very serious and focused organisation, but we should never forget that we’re also in the entertainment business.
“Talking of entertainment, we were happy to allow Fernando to make an extra pit-stop and take on a new set of Supersoft tyres just before the end of the race, the result of which was that he was able to record the afternoon’s fastest lap – the 22nd of his Formula 1 career.
“Next we go to Singapore, a diametrically different kind of racetrack. We’re always aware of the danger of over-promising, so I won’t do so; but it’s likely that the twisty streets of Marina Bay will suit our car rather better than the wide-open curves and flat-out straights of the Autodromo di Monza have this afternoon.
“We’ll be gunning for points, make no mistake about that.”
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
“As we expected, this was a difficult race.
“We definitely saw improvement and stability in race pace from our qualifying, although we still weren’t able to challenge the teams ahead of us.
“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t finish in the points today, but we showed potential to do so. Both the drivers and the team did a great job, and I think we had a good race at a tough circuit, so I’m not unhappy.
“We’re already looking forward to the next race where we hope we can have a better result.”
Perez and Hulkenberg both opted to stop twice and had reasonably quiet races in the midfield. Perez on older tyres was unable to keep a charging Verstappen behind in the closing stages, but both came home in the points for the third race in a row.
Sergio Perez, 8th
“I didn’t really enjoy myself out there today: it was a fairly lonely race for most of it, but at least it gave me a chance to look after my tyres. I think we got the maximum result we could hope for because we didn’t have the pace to achieve more. We tried an aggressive strategy, with a very early second stop, to try and cover Verstappen, but it turned out to be too early and in the end we had a lot of pressure from Massa. It was very important to keep in front of him and bring home as many points as we possibly could. We always knew it would be a challenging race and it’s shown that we need to keep working hard. I think we can fight back strongly in Singapore because it’s a very different kind of circuit compared to Monza and we’ve performed well on street circuits so far this year.”
Nico Hülkenberg, 10th
“My initial start off the line was okay, but Max [Verstappen] in front of me really bogged down so I had to react and turn around him. That really hurt my traction and I lost all the drive going forward, which is why I lost a few positions. Later in the lap, I was side-by-side through turn four with Felipe [Massa] and was on the outside line for turn five. Felipe jumped over the kerb, gave me a little hit, and pushed me wide on the exit, allowing Fernando [Alonso] to get ahead. So it was not a great first lap. Then, in the first stint, it wasn’t easy to overtake and I was stuck behind Fernando until the first pit stop. The second half of the race was actually quite lonely for me, but the damage was done by losing so much ground on lap one. So I’m slightly disappointed with the outcome because I believed we would be more competitive here. We need to learn the lessons, understand where we can improve and come out much stronger in Singapore.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Overall I think getting two cars in the points means we’ve come away with a solid result. Both drivers have been chasing the set-up to try and find the sweet spot all weekend, so to come away with five points is a good return for all the team’s efforts. As is often the case in Monza, the outcome of lap one tends to dictate your finishing position and while Checo moved up, Nico was caught up in the rough and tumble of the midfield. The battle for fourth in the championship is likely to ebb and flow over the course of the season, but I’m optimistic that some of the upcoming events will play to our strengths more than Monza.”
A poor start by Gutierrez dropped him back to 18th place, and although he did well to battle up the field, points were never likely from that moment. Grosjean was the only driver to manage a one-stop strategy using just the supersoft and soft tyre, and despite significant tyre wear defended well in the final laps to keep hold of 11th place.
Romain Grosjean, 11th
“To be fair, I think we were just lacking a little bit of speed in the race to make the points. We tried a very aggressive one-stop strategy. I had a bit of graining on the softs in the first stint through those last few laps. That cost us a few seconds, but I don’t think I could have gotten the 12 seconds needed to get to P10 in the end. That was about the maximum today. We just need to learn what we can do better for the next race. I’m now looking ahead to Singapore. It’s one of the best races of the season.”
Esteban Gutierrez, 13th
“It was a very disappointing start to the race losing a lot of positions. It was very tough to recover, but I did my best. I struggled in the first stint with the overall pace, starting with the scrubbed tires from qualifying and fighting with people which were on new tires. It wasn’t very easy, but we kept ourselves together and pushed really hard to recover everything we could, but what we lost in the beginning was too much to get back to where we started. Now we’ll look ahead to Singapore and we’ll be focusing on that to come back stronger.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“Here we go again with an 11th- and a 13th-place finish. I think once we got going, it was a pretty good race. If you take off the first 20 seconds of it, we could have been in a different position with Esteban. He missed the start, and that put him back, but he recovered to finish 13th. Romain came from 17th to 11th with a good strategy and good driving and, overall, it was a good effort. Unfortunately, none of the big boys dropped out, so we ended up 11th again. We showed that we have some speed at this kind of track. Hopefully, we can bring that forward to some of the upcoming tracks we visit. Being ahead and fighting with McLaren is something we can be proud of. McLaren is a team that’s been around a long time, and we’re the newcomers. Fighting with them and racing with drivers of the caliber of Button and Alonso makes us proud. But, we still haven’t got any points from today.”
Verstappen had a poor start and was down to 11th on the first lap. He did well to battle back up the field into the points, keeping his nose clean in the process. Ricciardo had a good day at the office - the Mercedes and Ferraris were out of sight but a good turn of pace on the supersofts meant he was able to catch and pass Bottas in what was the overtake of the day.
Daniel Ricciardo, 5th
“You hope for a podium every race but realistically, coming here, we thought Ferrari would have an edge on us. We also thought Williams and Force India would be strong and we targeted fifth place. I just missed out yesterday in Qualifying but managed to make it happen today and for us to finish in fifth and seventh represents Championship damage limitation here at Monza. I was pretty close to (Valtteri) Bottas in the middle of the race and knew I could race hard from that position. It was a really enjoyable overtake (on Bottas). I have a three hour drive home tonight and didn’t want to spend the whole journey regretting not trying it. He is a fair racer and had seen me in the mirrors so I knew he wouldn’t turn in, so I had a go. It was great fun and felt nice to come from so far back and make it stick. We altered the strategy a bit which meant I had the supersofts on at that stage, so great work by the team to give me the chance to make the move. Our performance so far this season and the result we have achieved here makes me really excited heading into Singapore where I think we can challenge for the top spots.”
Max Verstappen, 7th
“I went into anti-stall at the start. I don’t know what happened there so I have to analyse that. After that it was just very difficult, because you have to push harder on the tyres to get past people and that compromises your strategy, but in the end our last stint was very positive. I think we did the best we could with the tyres we had so we can be very happy about that. The car behaved very well today even though this track is not our favourite. We’re definitely looking forward to Singapore and hopefully we can put in a strong performance there.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“We knew coming to Monza that this would be the most challenging circuit on the calendar for us. This weekend was all about trying to limit the damage and I think we’ve optimised our performance today with two very strong drives from our drivers. After a difficult start for Max, who got an anti-stall, he recovered extremely well to finish seventh, and Daniel finished well in P5 after an outstanding passing move on Valtteri Bottas. To be leaving Europe 11 points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship heading to circuits that hopefully suit our strengths more than here, means this has been a positive weekend.”
Palmer collided with Nasr on the second lap, losing his front wing in the process. The Brazilian was deemed culpable, but that made little difference to the Briton - he made it back to the pits but had sustained too much damage to continue. Magnussen at least saw the chequered flag, having spent most of the race keeping Ocon company at the back of field.
Kevin Magnussen, 17th
“My start was okay but there were incidents everywhere… I had a better start than the Saubers ahead of me, which meant going around them, then another car on the grid. After that, I was able to build-up the momentum into turn two but had to avoid a spinning car by going on the grass. From then on, it was a quiet race with just a bit of early action with one of the Manors. It’s a shame that we didn’t get a good result today but we still learn more about the car every weekend and this race was no exception.”
Jolyon Palmer, DNF
“I had a really good start and made a lot of positions. I was alongside Nasr through turn one with no problem then he decided to run me off the road in turn two. I can’t explain why he did that or imagine what he was thinking. I went as far off the track as I could without risking a spin from the gravel and he still made contact with me. There was no racing room and both our races ended way too early. For me I feel I’m driving better than ever and I’m hopeful that will show in Singapore.”
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal
“After the promise of Spa, Monza proved to be our toughest challenge of the year. Jolyon made a fantastic start but was robbed of the potential to improve further by the actions of Felipe Nasr, who was punished for the incident. Kevin did what he could in a car which was clearly not suited to Monza. We knew this season would be tough and this weekend was particularly so. The positives are not easily seen on track but rather lie in all the hard work going on behind the scenes in Enstone and Viry and we know that in 2017 we will be far stronger. Our immediate focus is now on Singapore where we should show better performance than here.”
Kvyat didn't make it to full distance, pulling into the pits and retiring with technical issues. Sainz at least did finish but on a track not expected to suit the STR11, he was a lap down in a distant 15th. Toro Rosso can take heart from the way Sainz battled with Gutierrez and Wehrlein in the opening stages though.
Carlos Sainz, 15th
“I think we tried everything we could today to make it into the points, but when you just don’t have the pace, it’s impossible. We had decided to go for a one-stop strategy and at one point it looked possible, but in the end I was losing too much time so we had to pit for a second time… Not the ideal race, but all I can say is that we extracted the maximum out of the car today and in the end a P15 was the most we could achieve. Here the car behaved better than last week in Spa, so this is something positive for us – the last three races have been very tricky, racing at very power-dependent circuits, and this has made it very difficult to fight… Hopefully in Singapore this situation changes a bit and we can get back to where we deserve to be.”
Daniil Kvyat, DNF
“Not the race we wanted. We had an issue with the floor, which got damaged after Turn 1, as I was sandwiched by a few cars, and we therefore lost a lot of downforce… A part from this, the battery was also constantly overheating, so we decided to retire the car. We knew it was going to be difficult here, but it’s a shame to have to end my race early… We just need to be patient and hopefully the next tracks will suit us better.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“As we could expect after yesterday’s qualifying, we had a difficult race… Nothing happened in front of us and, because of the fact that all the cars in front of us finished the race, we didn’t get the chance to score any points today. We called Daniil in as, in addition to a damaged floor, there was also a problem with the battery, which was overheating. There was absolutely no chance to score any points so we decided to retire him to save mileage on the engine. Regarding Carlos, he drove in the best possible way under these conditions and finished in P15. After Spa and Monza, we now look forward to Singapore, where we hope to finish within the points again.”
Bottas looked extremely racy in the first ten laps, keeping a much quicker Hamilton at bay with some superb defending. Once Hamilton made it past, he kept hold of fifth position for much of the race until being outdone by Riccardo on the faster tyre. Massa took advantage at the start to work his way into the top ten, thus ensuring a double points haul for Williams - helping the team move back ahead of Force India in the constructors' standings.
Valtteri Bottas, 6th
"I was personally expecting a bit more from today. I set myself a target of finishing on the podium, but we didn’t quite have the pace which meant that I had to push the tyre a little bit more in every stint just to secure my position on track. This meant that towards the end of the stint I was struggling a bit. The pure pace wasn’t there today, but overall we leave Monza with a positive result for the team, taking back fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.This gives us a bit of confidence and shows that we can definitely keep hold of fourth if we keep doing the right things."
Felipe Massa, 9th
"I think it was a good race apart from the fact that we didn’t have the pace we expected to have with the option tyres. My race started after I changed on to the supersoft tyres and my pace was really good. If I could have got a bit more out of my tyres then it could have been better but I’m pleased that we managed to get enough points to take fourth place back in the Constructors’ Championship."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering
"I think that was pretty much the most we could achieve today. We stopped a little bit early with Valtteri but the strategy played out well. Ricciardo got us at the end but he had been quite a lot quicker throughout the race and was right up behind Valtteri, but we did what we could to race him. It would have been nice to have held on to fifth but we just didn’t have the pace over the Red Bull. With Felipe, we went into the race planning a one-stop, but stopped earlier to cover Hulkenberg and then tried to keep Felipe out as long as possible to try and chase Perez at the end. The qualifying tyre we put on for the final stint was better than we expected and with one more lap we may have been able to gain another position with Felipe. Overall, in terms of strategy, pitstops, and how we operated as a team we managed the race well and it is satisfying to reclaim fourth in the championship."
Nasr tangled with Palmer on lap two, an incident that left both drivers limping back to the pits with damage. Despite being handed a time penalty for causing the collision, Nasr never had the opportunity to serve it as his stricken C35 was soon retired. Ericsson had an entertaining four-car battle with Button, Gutierrez and Magnussen but never had the pace to stay in contact and came home 16th.
Marcus Ericsson, 16th
“It was a decent race. It is surely disappointing that we could not fight for points higher up in the midfield. It feels like we have taken a step forward compared to the race weekends before the summer break, but we are not where we want to be yet. Monza is unique in terms of the track characteristics with it being a high-speed circuit. The track in Singapore requires much more downforce, so it will be interesting to see our potential there in regards to our package.”
Felipe Nasr, DNF
“It was a disappointing early end of the race for me. Again I had quite a good start, moving up four positions. It is a shame we had to retire the car after the collision with Joylon (Palmer), as the damage was not repairable. I hope we will have a trouble-free weekend in Singapore.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal
“We had a difficult race, which was again unlucky for Felipe as he had to retire due to an accident. This incident was not his fault, so we do not understand why he was penalised. Marcus did his best and put in a good performance. This weekend should encourage us that we are able to finish races higher up if we could get the most out of qualifying.”
Yesterday it was Ocon who suffered electrical issues, today it was the turn of Wehrlein to have reliability problems as he was ordered to an urgent stop by his engineers at half distance. Ocon finished, albeit two laps adrift of the leaders.
Esteban Ocon, 18th
“The objective was to take the chequered flag, but in a much stronger position. It was a long, tough Grand Prix from where I started. We were on the Medium tyre for a very long stint – 32 laps - and none of the opportunities that we hoped might change the face of the race happened. At the end, on the Soft tyre, we were really on the limit. So it’s good to finish, especially after the problem for Pascal’s car. That’s two race distances with a lot of learnings about the tyres and managing races, but now I’m ready to use that experience to fight for something more. I think we were capable of much better here, so it’s a shame.
“The last two races have had their difficulties, but they were also my first two races in Formula 1. I achieved my dream in Spa, after a long road to get here, and when things did go our way this weekend, we saw that the car is improving, same for me. I’m disappointed today, but I’m looking forward to better things in the seven remaining races. It will come good for me soon.”
Pascal Wehrlein, DNF
“Pretty disappointed, of course. When I heard my engineer telling me to “Stop the car. Stop the car”, I couldn’t believe it. I had to check what I was hearing. Of course, it was for good reason, to protect the car, so I knew what I had to do – I just didn’t want to believe it, I guess.
“The team is making really positive steps with the car, though the positive signs must make today’s retirement all the more tough to take. Splitting two McLarens in qualifying, the expectation that you can fight for Q2, if not higher, and fending off the competition in qualifying and in the race.
“Yes, today’s situation is difficult to take, knowing what is possible from the car and having pushed so hard all weekend again. But I know the team will want to sort the problems out as quickly as possible; it’s disappointing for everyone and we can’t afford for a good result to get away from us again if we are to protect our position in the championship. We’ll come back fighting in Singapore, a race I’m really excited about. I hope we can make it happen for us there.”
Dave Ryan, Racing Director
“A tough day at the races, and not one we want to repeat any time soon.
“We came to Monza with high expectations and as demonstrated by Pascal’s qualifying performance it’s fair to say that this was justified. However, we were let down by reliability on both cars at various times over the event and as a result suffered the consequences.
“Both Pascal and Esteban have been brilliant all weekend and are obviously frustrated that we have let an opportunity pass us by, but at the same time they appreciate it is a team sport, collectively we are Manor Racing, and on that basis we move on, lessons learned and looking forward to the next race in Singapore.”
A poor getaway from Hamilton at the start cost him a chance of victory. Down to sixth, he spent his early laps battling past Bottas and Ricciardo. By the time he was up to second, Rosberg - who enjoyed a clean start - was already ten seconds down the road. The German was never troubled, picking up a serene first win at Monza - and closing his championship deficit to Hamilton to just two points.
Nico Rosberg, 1st
"It means so much to me to win here at Monza. The crowd were unbelievable over the entire weekend and especially during the podium ceremony. This win is incredibly special for me and standing up there and singing with thousands of people gave me goosebumps. The race went perfectly for me and after a good start I was able manage the gap between myself and the car behind. Our car has been amazing this weekend and I extend a massive thank you to the whole team. I'm looking forward to Singapore, which was our weakest race last year. Hopefully we've learnt lessons from 2015 and we'll come back even stronger!"
Lewis Hamilton, 2nd
"It's tough to take when you lose a race because of such a poor start. From there it was just about managing the tyres during the first stint and I was delighted to get back up to second after the first stop. I kept pushing as hard as I could and came within 15 seconds of Nico when we crossed the line. I'm happy with my performance this weekend but after such an incredible qualifying day yesterday it was disappointing to be unable to capitalise. I'm sure we'll work on what happened at the start between now and Singapore."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"First of all, a pretty perfect afternoon for the team in terms of the end result, with a 1-2 finish in front of an amazing Monza crowd this afternoon. The decisive moment was clearly the start: as Lewis dropped back to P6, Nico was able to take the lead and that set the pattern for their races. Nico did everything he needed to in just the right way: he managed the pace, kept the tyres in great shape and delivered a perfect one-stop race. As for Lewis, it was a balancing act for him as soon as he went into recovery mode: he needed to make the stint lengths in order to stay on the one-stop strategy but also fight his way back through. He judged it to perfection and limited the damage in terms of the points situation. As for the start, we obviously changed the rules this year in order to make the process more manual and more variable, and we are seeing that play out. When you start from the front row, poor starts are more visible and good ones not so obvious, so we need to be careful jumping to conclusions. Lewis said on the radio that it was his fault but he also followed all his procedures in a good way - it's simply not an easy thing to get right and there are a lot of different factors at play. But there is no blame game: we will come together, analyse everything, learn our lessons and keep on improving so we don't find ourselves losing places off the line. But looking at the big picture, we have a perfectly balanced championship battle, with two points between Nico and Lewis after 14 races. The pendulum will keep swinging back and forth to the end of the season, I am sure; it will give us some more grey hairs but I think it will be a great fight for the fans to watch."
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
"Congratulations to Nico on his first win here at the Italian Grand Prix. It's an incredible experience to win here, at one of the most iconic venues on the Formula 1 calendar, and the crowd always comes out in force. It was a very controlled drive from Nico as it was difficult to manage the one-stop strategy and make the two tyre sets hold out for the necessary number of laps. For Lewis, the start was clearly a bad one as he went from 1st to 6th before the first corner and that made it extremely difficult for him to compete for the win. He completed a perfect recovery drive to get back to 2nd though and, with his fighting spirit, he didn't give up on the win until it was clearly impossible. Clearly we need to analyse what happened to Lewis at the start and do better next time. After such a great qualifying lap yesterday we all share Lewis' disappointment that he lost position. It's fantastic to get the 1-2 here today and it's been a sensational performance all weekend from the drivers, race team and the team back at Brackley and Brixworth."
Both Ferraris got the jump on Hamilton's slow moving Mercedes at the start, but on a two-stop strategy they couldn't keep him behind after the pit stops. Nonetheless, they weren't challenged by Williams or Red Bull and came home an encouraging third and fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen, 4th
"I think that today we were closer to our rivals than we expected after qualifying. Obviously we were on different tactics, but we did the correct things, the right choice with tyres and the fastest race we could. We had a pretty good speed but we were not fast enough for gaining a better position. Fourth position is not exactly what we were looking for, but this is not the easiest circuit for us against the Mercedes, and we did our maximum. With Sebastian we were more or less driving behind each other and when you race against your teammate there's not much that you can do, we both know what the other guy is going to do. After the start it was a bit tricky, I got close after the first pit stop, but then he was able to pull away. In the last few weekends it seems that we are going in the right direction, now we have to keep trying and improving doing our maximum. Every race is a different story, a small mistake here and there from somebody might give us a chance, who knows.."
Sebastian Vettel, 3rd
"Of course I am very happy for all the team. It is a very special race for us, to stand on the podium here in Monza, is just great. But for sure you are always aiming for the top step, so well done to our rivals, they have been in a league on their own in the race. Yet, we tried our optimum, this is the perfect result for us, the whole weekend has been very smooth, no issues with the car. We brought an engine update, so grazie anche to the guys at Maranello, for their support. I feel things are changing: it will still take a little bit, but we are heading the right way. And on a day like this, you realize that life is to enjoy, to get so much support is just unbelievalble. I feel we have the best fans in the world, it is difficult to find the right words. This podium here, it's not the Adriatic sea, it is the sea of tifosi.. We had a rough season, we had high expectations, we have put ourselves on high pressure, we have also done mistakes, but the most important thing is that we stay a team, that we stay together. We have a lot of races ahead, we know we have a good car, unfortunately not yet quick enough for being able to say, here 'we have the best car', but I am sure that one day we will be."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal
"Today we did our best, especially at the start which was very good. We chose the fastest possible strategy for the race, trying to achieve the best possible result. It was a good race, but of course we would have liked to do much better, as a way to pay back our fantastic fans who never failed to give us their support and were always close to us, in particular here in our home race at Monza. The team worked well and unitedly, both here and in Maranello, and we've seen some positive signs. Now the focus has already shifted to the next round at Singapore."
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director
“Tyre strategy formed a key part of our home race, with an exciting start putting the accent further on tyre tactics. Although Lewis Hamilton lost the advantage of pole position at the start, tyre strategy meant that he was up to second position before the halfway point of the race and was able to retain it. From there on it was a strategic battle for the podium with the two-stopping Ferraris. Before the next grand prix in Singapore, we will be hard at work in Barcelona with Ferrari and Paul Ricard with Mercedes this week as we continue to test the wider 2017 tyres with mule cars.”