Notebook – Italian Grand Prix – Review

Features Notebook

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton has taken the lead of the world championship after another dominating victory at the Italian Grand Prix. The British driver looked in form as he led every lap of the race building his lead over his team-mate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton in control

Hamilton was in control cruising it seemed to the win after leading every lap of the race to become the first back to back winner of the season. Monza was expected to be a strong race for Mercedes, the start as well was very good, and we have seen through the weekend that they have had the edge.

“Today the car was fantastic and really a dream to drive. I’m happy. We did a great job, the team did an exceptional job this weekend. Valtteri also did a great job.”

“We owe it all to them. It’s all just to do with the team pulling together and trying to maximise everything from the car, and Valtteri and myself doing the best job we can with the car.”

Ferrari ‘overwhelmed’

Ferrari appeared as if they just couldn’t stay with Mercedes, they I think knew that this weekend would be hard to stay with Mercedes on track. Vettel appeared in the latter part of the race as he couldn’t challenge the silver arrows.

Vettel finished a distant third behind Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and lost the lead of the world championship, with an off at the first chicane causing some damage.

After the race, he said that the last twenty laps he was driving with a problem which saw him finish four seconds down by the end of the race. Vettel said “I went off at Turn 1 and I think something broke. The left side of the steering was a bit down and I couldn’t trust the car on braking. It is a braking track, so the last laps didn’t show the pace I could have done.”

Vettel believes Ferrari was half-a-second a lap slower than Mercedes on pace at Monza, but insists he is not concerned by this after what he called an “up and down” weekend.


McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had a frustrating afternoon after an incident with the Renault of Jolyon Palmer. On lap xx, the two were battling side by going into Turn Eight when Palmer got alongside Alonso on entry, the Spaniard took his normal line forcing the Brit wide.

Palmer cut the chicane earning himself a five-second penalty as he should have given the place back. But, Alonso said the move deserved a harsher punishment. Palmer later retired from the race, with Alonso saying it was “karma.”

Alonso said “When we arrived at the chicane we were side-by-side, we braked late and I managed to take the chicane, but he didn’t and he jumped it and stayed in front.”

“Usually that’s something that’s very clear in the rules: when two cars are side-by-side at the chicane and one gets to take it and one doesn’t, you give back the position.”

Palmer said “”I was ahead coming in the corner, he braked super late and forced me off the track. Fernando is not very happy about it but I don’t care.”

Addin “We had a big meeting [at Monza] and if someone is on the inside you know you can just release the brakes. You are ahead at the apex, sure, but the other guy has nowhere to go apart from crash or cut the corner. I cut the corner, came back on side-by-side, and made it in the next corner.”

Lock up turned Stroll’s race

Lance Stroll says that his lock up following the start turned his race from an attacking one into a race where he needed to be on the defence. The Williams driver had looked in good form until his slow second pit stop, which was a slow one and allowed the Force India’s to close up.

He said “I felt very good on the second stint, on the soft tyre, catching Esteban again. But then I made a mistake and I locked up into Turn 1, which was devastating.”

“I went from attacking him to backing off and defending from Felipe all race. That was pretty nerve-racking, it came close at the end, good wheel-to-wheel racing, but great fun.”

Stroll speaking about his first front row start said “I’d had a great start but then Lewis defended me, and it cost me time because I had to back off and let Esteban go, which was a bit of a shame.”

Red Bull

It was a very good race for both of the Red Bull’s, who despite Max Verstappen starting thirteenth and Daniel Ricciardo sixteenth came back to finish tenth and fourth repetitively. I think that was better than they expected as they knew it was on paper going to be tough.

Verstappen as we know makes good starts, he was eighth fastest and Ricciardo made progress taking fourth from Vettel on lap thirty. Ricciardo said “  I’m very, very happy about the result and loved it out there today. It was good fun. Two of my favourite races this year have been starting from the back.”

“Silverstone and this one. Some good overtakes in the race kept me excited and I had some real pace in the end.”

Verstappen said “”I had a good start, immediately I was between the Sauber cars and then under braking I chose quite a good line, then out of turn two I got another position and it was all looking good. On lap three I had a touch with Massa and punctured my tyre so my race was really over.

I had to pit for tyres and change the front wing which meant swapping to a two-stop strategy. I tried to catch up and the car was working pretty well, so we cannot complain about that”



Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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