Dominant Rosberg victory at Monza

Nico Rosberg scored a comfortable Italian Grand Prix victory for Mercedes as his team-mate and challenger suffered a bad start but recovered to finish second.

This was an easy, Sunday afternoon drive for Rosberg. Benefitted from a slow start from Lewis Hamilton, who qualified on pole and bang in the lap times consistently to stay ahead of the pack. In the end, recorded his first victory at Monza.

Mercedes recorded their fourth one-two of the season in the process. Win number of seven for Rosberg in 2016 and his 21st of his Formula 1 career. This result means Nico is just two points behind Lewis in the drivers’ championship with seven races remaining.

Sebastian Vettel gave the Tifosi something to cheer about by finishing third, 20.9 secondss adrift, with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

While Hamilton was swallowed up by the pack and dropped to sixth at the start, Rosberg held off a challenge from Vettel to take the lead into Turn 1.

The Mercedes driver set a series of fastest laps to build a gap as Vettel and Raikkonen struggled to keep pace.

Hamilton, meanwhile, passed Daniel Ricciardo through Curve Grande to move into fifth and then got a good run out of Parabolica to slingshot past Valtteri Bottas for fourth.

The reigning world champion inherited second when the Ferraris pitted for fresh sets of super-soft tyres.

Hamilton began closing the gap to Rosberg before both Mercedes pitted for the first and only time, taking the mediums.

He dropped back to fourth but reclaimed second when the Ferraris pitted for the second time.

Though Hamilton pushed to catch his title rival, he locked up at the first chicane, bouncing across the speed bumps in the middle before rejoining.

He was then warned by his team to build a gap to the Ferraris behind and his challenge faded.

Ricciardo, on fresh super-soft tyres, launched an attack from a long way back to pass Bottas into the first chicane to take fifth.

That overtake was the highlight of the Italian Grand Prix. It was a brave and superb move by the honey badger. So far back and yet Ricciardo pulled it off in passing Bottas.

His Red Bull team-mate also made a great overtake. Max Verstappen got a good run through Curva Grande and then passed Sergio Perez into the second chicane for seventh.

Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten.

The result means Williams moves back ahead of Force India into fourth place in the constructors’ championship with a three-point lead.

In a race of little drama, Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr collided on lap two with the Sauber driver being handed a 10s penalty by the stewards. Both retired with damage.

Not the most exciting Italian Grand Prix but in terms of the championship, this battle between the Mercedes drivers is getting more tense and dramatic. Two points the difference. Game on as Formula 1 departs Europe for the faraway races.

Italian Grand Prix, race results after 53 laps:

1    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1h17m28.089s
2    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    15.070s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    20.990s
4    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    27.561s
5    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    45.295s
6    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    51.015s
7    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    54.236s
8    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m04.954s
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m05.617s
10    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m18.656s
11    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
12    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
13    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
15    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1 Lap
16    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
17    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1 Lap
18    Esteban Ocon    Manor-Mercedes    2 Laps
–    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    Retirement
–    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    Retirement
–    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    Retirement

Drivers’ standings:

1    Lewis Hamilton    250
2    Nico Rosberg    248
3    Daniel Ricciardo    161
4    Sebastian Vettel    143
5    Kimi Raikkonen    136
6    Max Verstappen    121
7    Valtteri Bottas    70
8    Sergio Perez    62
9    Nico Hulkenberg    46
10    Felipe Massa    41
11    Fernando Alonso    30
12    Carlos Sainz    30
13    Romain Grosjean    28
14    Daniil Kvyat    23
15    Jenson Button    17
16    Kevin Magnussen    6
17    Pascal Wehrlein    1
18    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
19    Esteban Gutierrez    0
20    Jolyon Palmer    0
21    Marcus Ericsson    0
22    Felipe Nasr    0
23    Rio Haryanto    0
24    Esteban Ocon    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    498
2    Red Bull-Renault    290
3    Ferrari    279
4    Williams-Mercedes    111
5    Force India-Mercedes    108
6    McLaren-Honda    48
7    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    45
8    Haas-Ferrari    28
9    Renault    6
10    Manor-Mercedes    1
11    Sauber/Ferrari    0

Next race: Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay. September 16-18.

4 thoughts to “Dominant Rosberg victory at Monza”

  1. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was left feeling baffled by his bad start. has the full details.

    Lewis Hamilton says he is baffled by the poor start that wrecked his Italian Grand Prix and only accepted the blame initially to reassure his Mercedes Formula 1 team.

    Hamilton dropped from pole to sixth at the start of the Monza race and could only recover to second, as title rival Nico Rosberg won and closed to within two points in the drivers’ championship.

    Initially Hamilton radioed Mercedes to say the poor launch was his own error, but after the race he suggested that might not have been the case.

    “I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous of how the start went so that is why I tried to put their mind at ease [by accepting the blame],” he said.

    “I don’t know really what happened at the start. I’ll try to understand it later.

    “I did everything normally.

    “I remember a bunch of cars going by. I did the sequence, everything exactly the same.

    “I just got lots of wheelspin, a bit like Nico’s start in Hockenheim.”

    When Rosberg suggested the 2016 rule changes meant variable starts were normally down to driver performance, Hamilton argued that there were still many technical reasons why a getaway might be slow.

    “I don’t agree it’s more down to the driver, it’s the same as before,” he said.

    “We have a relatively inconsistent clutch.

    “In the past, we could be told our clutch temperature, it would be easier to hit the target.

    “Now it’s a lot less easy to know what your clutch will be delivering and what it is not.”

    Hamilton admitted he knew victory was lost in the opening laps.

    “In the moment, you’re just thinking about getting back to where you started,” he said.

    “My goal was to get back to where I was but I could see Nico pulling away.

    “I know from experience here, while everything can happen, the chances of the win decrease lap by lap, second by second.

    “I knew at an early stage that winning would not be possible but I could try.

    “I went after second and that was the most I could do.”

    Rosberg has won back-to-back races following Hamilton’s grid penalty and third place at Spa, but the German denied the ‘tide’ of the title battle was currently going his way.

    “I don’t see waves, I just see race by race,” said Rosberg.

    “The next race is Singapore and I’ll try to win there.”

  2. Double world champion Fernando Alonso believes McLaren-Honda may challenge Ferrari this year. has the story.

    Fernando Alonso believes McLaren can fight for top five finishes and possibly challenge Ferrari at certain races before the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season.

    Both McLarens finished outside the points in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, a result Alonso said was expected because of the high-speed nature of the circuit.

    But with Honda’s weakest race out of the way, Alonso believes “good times are coming”.

    “We didn’t have the pace today to be in the points,” said Alonso, who finished 14th with team-mate Jenson Button 12th.

    “But we knew – we expected this coming here, so it was just a confirmation.

    “From Singapore [next race] we should be in the points regularly with the performance of the car we have now.

    “Some races, like Austin, Abu Dhabi, we can be in the top five fighting with Ferrari I hope.

    “From Singapore onwards a different championship will start for us.

    “The car seems quite competitive so we can be comfortably in the points.

    “We know what we are doing, we know our weakness, we know the strong points of the car.

    “There are some races coming now that should be good for us so we need to execute them perfectly and maximise the points.”

    While Alonso felt little was possible for McLaren at Monza, Button – who passed the Spaniard on a recovery drive after a disastrous first lap – believes he had one of his best races and a points finish might have been realistic.

    “So close to 11th and only 13 seconds off 10th, which is not too bad at all and I had a lot of fun out there,” said Button.

    “If I didn’t go off on the first lap – I was forced off at the first Lesmo by a Sauber – we could have challenged [Nico] Hulkenberg for a point.

    “Singapore will suit us more, I think we’ll struggle with traction but to be that close to the top 10 here wasn’t too bad.

    “There were some good fights, it felt like the pace was there and I feel like I did a damn good job today.

    “On the first lap I just made too many mistakes that I shouldn’t have, but the rest of the race was good – very happy with my performance which was one of my best races.”

  3. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says suggestions Ferrari chose the wrong strategy for Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix made him laugh.

    Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished a distant third and fourth to Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Monza, opting for a two-stop race while the reigning champion team stopped its cars just once.

    “I was hearing straight after the race some comments that maybe one stop was the better strategy,” Arrivabene told reporters in the Monza paddock.

    “I was laughing about this with our engineers.

    “You have to protect yourself if you go for one stop. We were doing the opposite, we were aggressive.

    “If we did the same strategy as them, we were [going to be] 11 seconds slower than we were.

    “So we were on the faster strategy.”

    Vettel, who finished six seconds ahead of Raikkonen to be the only Ferrari driver on the podium at its home race, believes the team got everything it could out of the afternoon.

    “We knew it would be tough against Mercedes and it has been,” he said.

    “But we’ve done a great job, finished third and fourth which is the optimum we could get.

    “We had a different strategy, we had fresher tyres at the end so it was expected that we would be quicker and catching up.

    “But it was not enough to put them under pressure.

    “We extracted our best race and it has been a while since that’s been the case.”

    Vettel challenged Rosberg for the lead at the start as Hamilton made a poor getaway from pole, but he said it was inevitable that the championship leader would come back through.

    “Lewis did one stop less so it was clear he would be ahead,” added Vettel.

    “The problem was he was too far ahead. We weren’t quick enough to catch up.

    “We had good pace, but [the result] was expected – they are quicker in race pace and in the end the result was fairly clear.”


  4. Italian Grand Prix race review as reported by

    A poor getaway scuppered Lewis Hamilton’s chances of winning Sunday’s Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2016 and left the way clear for an untouchable Nico Rosberg to take victory – and with it cut his title deficit to his Mercedes team mate to just two points. Sebastian Vettel consoled the tifosi with third place for Ferrari at their home race.

    Hamilton fell to sixth by Turn 1, but clawed his way back up the order to finish 15 seconds adrift of Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, followed Ferrari team mate Vettel home in fourth, ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

    Valtteri Bottas was Williams’ lead runner in sixth, split from team mate Felipe Massa by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and the Force India of Sergio Perez, whose team mate Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten.

    Rosberg, second on the grid, was in control from the moment that polesitter Hamilton got so much wheelspin off the line – a driver error – that he had lost five places by the first corner.

    Thereafter Rosberg drove with the same precision he demonstrated last week in Belgium and was able to ease away on his soft Pirelli tyres as the supersoft-shod Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen led Bottas and Ricciardo at the end of the lap. As Rosberg punched in quick laps, making as much hay as he could while the Italian sun shone on him, Hamilton took only a lap to dispose of Ricciardo, but another 10 before Bottas finally succumbed as his Williams’ supersofts began to lose their edge.

    Mercedes’ strategy of single-stopping both cars – starting them on softs and finishing on mediums – eventually paid out handsomely. Ferrari went for two-stoppers, running supersoft-supersoft-soft, and though Vettel was catching up bit by bit at the end, it was never going to be enough to dislodge Hamilton as the Englishman trailed home second, 15s down on his team mate.

    Rosberg’s seventh win of the year was perhaps his easiest since Baku, and brings him within two points of Hamilton, 250 to 248.

    Raikkonen set a couple of fastest laps but never looked like doing better than fourth behind his team mate, but the red cars were well ahead of Ricciardo who battled hard with Bottas and used better tyre strategy to deprive the Finn of fifth place six laps from home.

    Like Hamilton, Verstappen paid a high price for a poor start which saw him slump to 11th. He too spent the rest of the afternoon trying to recover, but had to settle for seventh after catching and passing Perez.

    Mercedes remain well ahead in the constructor’s stakes with 488 points, but Ferrari have edged closer to Red Bull with 279 to their 290. Williams move back to fourth on 111, with Force India on 108.

    Amongst the close-but-clean racing, incidents were few, though Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr tangled at Turn 2 on the second lap; both failed to finish and Nasr was given a 10s penalty for causing their collision.

    Of those who did get to the end, Jenson Button battled with and beat McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso and was only half a second behind the one-stopping, 11th placed Haas of Romain Grosjean by the flag. Esteban Gutierrez, another to make a terrible start, was 13th in the second Haas as a late stop for supersofts took Alonso to 14th and the fastest lap of the race.

    Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz led Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen home, as Pascal Wehrlein joined Palmer and Nasr in retirement when told to switch off his Manor’s Mercedes power unit. Daniil Kvyat was the other non-finisher, the Russian pulling his Toro Rosso into the pits to retire after 36 laps.

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