Sebastian Vettel claimed his sixth victory of the year in a race comparable to the theme of the 2011 season. The German beat home Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, with an assured victory.
The typical sun-soaked setting of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza went missing for race day as the threat of rain lingered around the circuit, only making a small appearance during the GP2 sprint race a couple of hours before.
Spectators’ brollies were set to cover the grandstands, eager by the prospect of an interesting race. However the prayers for rain went unanswered as Vettel notched up his 32nd win of his F1 career, equalling the tally of second-placed finisher and crowd favourite, Fernando Alonso.
Mark Webber finally made an appearance on Monza’s unique podium in his last race on European soil, while Nico Hulkenberg surprised many by finishing a season-best fifth after his Saturday qualifying heroics.
Vettel got a clean getaway along with teammate Webber, although the two were too busy fighting each other to the corner that Massa was able to sneak into second past Webber.
Massa made his case to keep his seat next year by finishing 5th, while Romain Grosjean salvaged Lotus some points after Kimi Raikkonen was involved in a first lap incident with Sergio Perez, causing him to make an unscheduled stop for a new front wing.
Paul di Resta was the talking point for the rest of the first lap as he out-braked himself and ran into the back of Grosjean, damaging his suspension and ending his race early.
Lewis Hamilton provided some much needed entertainment towards the end of the race by chasing down Raikkonen and the two McLarens, but had technical difficulties with his pit radio earlier on, making an already tough race more difficult as he copped a slow puncture, and stayed out two laps more than the team wanted him to.
As Vettel started to take a commanding lead of over nine seconds, Vergne was the next retiree of the race, pulling his smoky Toro Rosso off the circuit when his transmission exploded.
Just as all seemed to be going smoothly for Red Bull, Webber received a message telling him to short-shift between second and third gear. A few laps later Vettel received the same message but for fourth and fifth gear. It was a potentially worrying problem for the outfit, as both gearboxes have another race to last before they can be changed. And with the streets of Singapore next up, the gearboxes will be put through a strenuous test of over 70 gear changes per lap.
There were encouraging signs for Daniel Ricciardo; a best lap of 1:27.294 saw him only a tenth of a second off his future teammate’s fastest lap.
2013 Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Final Classification (53 laps):
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||53||1:18:33.352|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||53||+ 5.467|
|3.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||53||+ 6.350|
|4.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||53||+ 9.361|
|5.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||53||+ 10.355|
|6.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||53||+ 10.999|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||53||+ 32.329|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||53||+ 33.130|
|9.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||53||+ 33.527|
|10.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||53||+ 38.327|
|11.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||53||+ 38.695|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||53||+ 39.765|
|13.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||53||+ 40.880|
|14.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||53||+ 49.085|
|15.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||53||+ 56.827|
|16.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||52||Brakes|
|17.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||52||1 lap behind|
|18.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||52||1 lap behind|
|19.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth MR02||52||1 lap behind|
|20.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||52||1 lap behind|
|DNF.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||14||Transmission|
|DNF.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||0||Collision|
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