Alonso beats Button to Monza win (Italian Grand Prix review)

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Fernando Alonso lost the lead at the start of the Italian Grand Prix but recovered to win from Jenson Button.

Button finished second ahead of Felipe Massa. But team mate Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes suffered a blow when he crashed out on the first lap.

Button made the best start and even though Fernando Alonso squeezed him the McLaren driver emerged from the first turn in the lead.

As Alonso tucked in behind he clipped the left-rear end plate of Button’s car. But there was more significant contact between a Ferrari and McLaren when Hamilton stuck his nose alongside Massa at the Roggia.

Hamilton nudged Massa’s left-rear wheel, breaking his front-right and skidding out in the gravel at Lesmo to a costly DNF.

As lap one finished Button was already under crushing pressure from Alonso, with Massa in close attendance and Nico Rosberg, up from seventh, dropping back in fourth.

Behind him were Robert Kubica and Nico Hulkenberg. Only then came the first of the Red Bulls, Sebastian Vettel, followed by Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber.

Webber made amends for his poor start by passing Schumacher at the Roggia and then catching Vettel.

Vettel’s race briefly seemed to be over on lap 19 when he told his team he had an engine problem, lost two seconds and fell behind Webber. But the problem seemed to clear up and Vettel continued on his way.

Up front Button rarely had any respite from the attention of the two Ferraris. His higher downforce set-up allowed him to pull away in the corners but Alonso was 14kph faster down the straights and kept hauling in the McLaren.

With the field spreading out slowly behind them there was little opportunity for them to make their pit stops. Button finally came in on lap 36, the first opportunity after the cars behind had pitted.

Ferrari kept Alonso out for another lap and got him back out narrowly ahead of the McLaren. The car was stationary for slightly less time for Button, he emerged from the pits side-by-side with the McLaren and took the lead back at the Rettifilio.

Massa set the fastest lap and came in the next time by. But having slipped back from Alonso before the pit stops he couldn’t improve on third.

Pitting first didn’t work out for Robert Kubica either, who fell behind Hulkenberg and Webber.

Vettel delayed his pit stop until the last possible moment – finally making his compulsory stop as the last lap was beginning.

That worked out well as his team mate was having a hard time getting past Hulkenberg. The Williams driver cut chicanes on several occasions, leading to several frustrated comments from Webber on the radio.

The Red Bull driver finally squeezed past but didn’t have time to haul in Rosberg. That worked out perfectly for Vettel. His ultra-late stop allowed him to hold on to a fourth place which has looked unlikely halfway through the race when he was down in eighth.

Vitaly Petrov also left his sole pit stop until very late – though, unlike Vettel, he did his long stint on hard rather than soft tyres. He pitted from tenth, promoting Rubens Barrichello to the final point behind Schumacher.

Sebastien Buemi came home 11th ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi. Adrian Sutil in the other Force India was delayed on the first lap and made an early switch to hard tyres that left him 16th behind Petrov, Pedro de la Rosa and Jaime Alguersuari.

Timo Glock was the highest-placed driver for the new teams in 17th, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen.

The HRT of Sakon Yamamoto was 19th despite hitting a member of his pit crew during his pit stop. The mechanic was taken to the medical centre.

Lucas di Grassi finished 20th and Jarno Trulli was classified 21st despite retiring in a cloud of smoke with two laps to go.

Alonso survived a late scare when he clattered across the Rettifilio kerbs to claim a popular victory for Ferrari on home ground. It propels him back into the thick of the title battle as the championship moves beyond Europe for its final five races.

2010 Italian Grand Prix

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    Image © Ferrari spa

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    56 comments on “Alonso beats Button to Monza win (Italian Grand Prix review)”

    1. Forza Ferrari!!!

    2. great race for Ferrari fans.
      btw, did anyone notice the small hole tht feeds the air to the racers’ legs? there appeared to be a crack on Alonso’s car.
      was something wrong with that hole or was it supposed to be like that?

      1. Smacked the rear of Button’s car, at Turn 1,

    3. Vettel did make the best of an unsuitable track..also, well done to Hulkenberg and Rosberg for their good races (apart from Hulk’s offs) far as Hamilton is concerned, well, I couldn’t have expected any more of him..McLaren fans should now yell in disdain that Ferrari should be thankful he didn’t take any of them (Alonso or Massa) out

      1. Vettle was indeed very classy today, delt with his problem maturley and made a difficult strategy work very well, with a little help from Hulkenburg, still Webber would have had to fight with Rosberg as well an Vettle got out ahead of him so possibly definaltey 5th maybe 6th was available.

    4. Kept hearing how the stewards would penalise drivers for cutting the track all weekend yet Hulkenberg was able to cut the track multiple times and was not penalised once.

      1. maybe it’s because Webber finally made his way past him..but he should have been penalised nonetheless, just like Alonso at Silverstone when he cut the chicane to pass Kubica..despite Kubica retiring/Webber getting past, the infraction had been done

        1. isnt the rule three times? correct me if im wrong

          1. if the rule is three times then Hulkenberg should have been penalised as he cut the corner at least three times.

      2. That was in my opinion, pretty bad. Unless the rule is extremely vague, Hulkenberg should have had a drive-through penalty.

    5. This is what happened at the HRT pitstop.
      Very nasty, no wonder they didn’t show it during the race.


        That is horrible, uhhh, humans should never moove like that.

      2. how little peripheral vision can one have?..but it’s arguable as the lollipop was up

        1. Very little. The rear view mirrors afford only a sliver of a view backwards, and the high sidepods of the cockpit combined with the HANS device – which stops a driver’s neck from turning too far (and potentially breaking in a high-speed crash) – severely limit a driver’s view. That’s they they rely on the lollipop man.

          1. And even if he might have been able to see by looking at it in his right mirror, he would be rather looking at the lollipop man to go away immediately not to lose any time.

            1. Here’s another link before it gets removed again.

              Absoluely no blame can be appropriated to Sakon

    6. Jaime Alguersuari got a penalty for jumping a chicane and he claims he didn’t gain any position from it. Hulkenberg did that several times and got away with it, even if he escaped being overtaken.

    7. by the way, no criticism for the so-called British bias for including Button in the title?

      1. eh? Alonso beat speciafically Button to the win, Button along with Alonso were the principle protaganists.

        1. I was being sarcastic, there’s nothing wrong with the title from my point of view

          1. But it might have been something like “Button gamble nearly pays off” if you want a brit bias there ;-)

    8. Ferrari won fair and square…no team orders necessary
      Excellent race Button and Vettel
      Hamilton bad judgment
      Webber frustrated
      Magnificent Monza
      This is how I would sum up this race. :)

      1. Its Hammer Time
        13th September 2010, 8:51

        I couldn’t have put that better myself – the Button-Alonso duel was fantastic.

        One can’t help feel though that Jenson’s set up cost him in the race.

        Roll on next race! :-)

    9. Video of the Yamamoto incident. A miracle he is Ok.

      1. Sorry just seen it’s already been posted.

    10. Exactly! Was so angry about it! Alguersuari s cutting was not shown on screen same as in Spa, but we all saw Hulkenberg cutting the first chicane 3 times during the race and even driving wild in 1st sector in at least one lap… Webber was waving his hand after that… And stewards did nothing… Don t know, if they fell asleep or what… they should judge race incidents equal…

      1. Yeah, I was very suprised that Hulkenberg didn’t get any penalty. After all that cutting and changing his line more than once when Webber was trying to get past him.

    11. Pity the Ferrari and Alonso haters that frequent this site. Pop down the pub for the afternoon and have a cold one to ease your frustrations eh?

      Good race all round. Very impressed with Jenson’s drive, drive if the day for me followed by Vettel. Ferrari’s very quick all weekend, not surprised by the win.

      5 way race to Yas Island is on. loving it! I wonder what will go down here if Alonso does a Kimi a nicks the title? lots of bitching and moaning I suppose?

      1. As teams go Ferrari is a lot of fun to hate, there just such incurable Ferrarist that theres always plenty to huff about, an that attitude, whatever you were right, great well judged race from Ferrari today.

      2. A pity about this being the first you notice. I haven’t seen many Ferrari and Alonso haters here in the afternoon.

        I suppose the great win in Italy might have something to do with that.

        Not that i don’t like to quip at Ferrari at times (they do ask for it with their rants and behaviour sometimes), but now i was just enjoying we saw a fascinating battle going on on track today.

    12. The fact Alguersuari got a penalty and Hulkenberg didn’t is ridiculous. Especially as Nico did it 3 times as many times as Jaime. Shows FIA are back to their inconsistent ways.

    13. Great result for Ferrari.. you have to give it to Alonso for making the win happen.

      Too bad for HAM. Even if he had come 4th, he would have been in a great shape in the championship standings. Now, with Webber leading, the next few races will probably see this gap widen.

      Can’t wait for Singapore.

    14. This was great to see from Ferrari; they were calm, the drivers were both of impeccable quality the entire weekend esp Alo of course but Mas was good on tyres he hates, they got the strategy right and the pit crew never gave in to pressure. They kept their heads on and emotions in check which has been a change.

      I’d actually like to say a massive thank you to the crowds at Monza. They were cheering and filling out the stands all weekend. It was a joy to see.

    15. I didn’t quite catch it…did Ferrari win or something?

      Just kidding. Well done, you rosy lil’ chaps!

    16. Again a very disappointing performance by the stuarts today. Apart from Hulkenberg, they didn’t punish Button for setting an absolute best in the second sector under yellow.

      1. Be fair, the last time the Stuarts governed anything was the 17th century, so can’t expect them to get up to speed on Formula 1 that quickly! :0)

    17. Autosport says all the teams have passed the new rig tests , but watching the redbull onboard today it is still flexing .The ferrari was rigid ,so was the mclaren . One thing is that it appears as if the redbull is not flexing as much as before , that slight deflection downwards is still there to see

      1. Monza uses extremely low downforce. There would be less force to flex the wing

    18. Younger Hamilton
      12th September 2010, 17:38

      The McLaren vs Ferrari Rivalry was revived today but unfortunately Lewis crashed out so who knows what would have happened if he didnt crash out anyway Great Race Jenson!!!

    19. Hello all and congrats to Keith for this great blog.

      Alonso deserves all credit today. It wasn’t an easy race for him, Button did fantastic and Massa gave a good run for his money at the start, no team orders this time.

      Very disappointed with Hamilton, school boy error leading the championship? can expect that from Vettel but not from him.

      I think right now the n1 fav is Webber: the distance with Vettel is almost a race now, giving the season that Horner had, he need to put all now in the australian. Hamilton and Button will still take points from each other, and Alonso could do a Kimi but I think RB dominance will get back in the next circuits.

      It would be great to know which car is on paper favourite in each of the next races.

    20. Great race for us, Alonso got the best win of the season for him, Massa also on the podium.

      I think just as Alonso came out of the pits and was almost overtaken by Button shows how much quicker in the straight line Ferrari was to McLaren. Button could have easily took the lead, and yet Alonso coasted from then on in.

      I think that Vettel’s title campaign is in deep trouble. Alonso and Button could be back in it, Hamilton really needed a good result today and Mark Webber will still be fuming over Hulkenberg cutting chicane.

    21. I can’t help but thinking that there is some weird spiritual/karmic bond between Vettel and Webber. Webbo gets held up by two Nicos while Vettel builds a pitstop gap, and comes out ahead of Nico. Hungary in reverse, anyone? Just that this wasn’t for the victory, that’s all.

    22. Does the red bull strategy make any sense? A team order masked as an engine problem, but later Vettel benefited in expense of title leader, Webber…
      If that not a complete personality disorder, I don’t know what is…
      One can see that there’s more to Webber’s frustration than Hulkenberg, granted of course that he relied far too much on the stewards and only pushed to overtake the Williams after his team advised him that Hulkenberg would not be penalised.

      1. … had he pushed Nico a little sooner, he might have gained another place

    23. Isnt it amazing that Vettel’s engine trouble lasted just long enough for Webber to get around him ??

      1. Yeah it was very strange. Could very well be a masked team order, even though that wouldn’t make sense with the rest of the race where they gambled with his strategy and jumped 3 cars in the pits, which did cost Webber points. I don’t know what to make of it, but it was very suspicious that it is just when Vettel is in front of Webber and then Webber passes him and the problem stops the next lap. Though i think that Vettel did sound pretty convincing on the radio.

    24. Nice job alonso (At last).

      Cheater of the race – HUL.
      Permanent cutting chicanes must be penalised.

    25. This has been a weekend of a Champion by Button, brave but ultimately clever and correct decision made by him and his side of the garage to go with the high down force / F- duct package, excellent quali yesterday, followed today by a sublime ballsy start and a faultless drive in what was quite obviously a slower car than the Ferraris today – with the intense pressure of Alonso up his backside for much of the race – If that drive doesn’t persuade the few doubters left that Button is a worthy World Champion I don’t know what will, the guy just doesn’t seem to make mistakes during a race that loses him position – in fact I’m having trouble remembering his last one.

      Hat’s off to Alonso today as well, other than his start a great drive and banged in the laps when needed.

    26. For those who are allways asking for many overtakings and spectacular moments, I have to show them how a calculated race, measured pressure and strategy can keep us in suspense throughout almost the whole race.

      Finally, an overtaking is a beautifull moment, but a fight as Alonso-Button give us an hour of pleasure.

      For the boring drivers! chapeau!

    27. First of all, let me admit that i’m guilty as charged for being a tifosi and i was rather chuffed to bits as i saw a Ferrari win at Monza. Wasn’t perfect, that is 1-2, but it was a good job well done by Alonso who recovered from the poor start that he made.

      I think Ferrari could and should have given Massa an extra lap before he pitted but he would have been mixed up in the Alonso-Button battle to make it 3-way, or stopped early to go on fresh tyres and faster times, which may have infact propelled him into first place… Currently Alonso is more likely to win championship this year than is Massa and that perhaps explains the decision to stop Massa when they did.

      Button… people scoffed at the notion when i suggested that he will have measure of Lewis at the beginning of this season. I’ll bet many will start to see sense in my reasoning now. Lewis though in his 4th year now in F1, still needs to learn a fair bit, mostly on how to keep things together. I haven’t seen any other driver have an incident with safety car (Valencia), or stop a healthy car on track (Canada) etc., etc.

      I get my broadcast from Star-Espn… What’s with the commentator about legacy of Schumacher being the chop??? Well, Steve Slater kept confusing the name of the drivers for that matter, so i don’t know what to say about that. Wish we could get the Beeb broadcast here in India too.

    28. I still think Vettel will be champion 2010! The remaining circuits are better for RBR than Monza.

    29. If we only take one thing away from this weekend, it is this: Never, ever write off Fernando Alonso.

      It was interesting that this week it was the turn of Hamilton (who some have suggested has now usurped Alonso as the best all-round driver on the grid) to make a silly amateurish error that put him out of the race. Just two weeks after Alonso was widely criticised for doing the same. I guess they’re all human, after all.

    30. I had a feeling Alonso would win, for once my F1fanatic tipping paid off !

    31. Ii am a Alonso fan but I must say that out of the four (Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, button), who ever wins will have to do a very good job and will deserve it.
      Vettel doesnt deserve this year’s crown. MOst of u wont agree with me on this but this is the fact. He has hit on his own foot many times in this season. He was unlucky in the initial races but so were many other drivers.
      In the end, i think its Webber’s title to lose.

    32. Good race for Ferrari bad for Mclaren, I think bringing Button first then Alonso was a mistake as many knew that he was faster then Button.I thought that Kubica could have improved but it was a race to forget for the Sauber team.

      Hamilton should have been a little more careful, he should have waited for the time to get pass Massa & then I think he could have also pass Button.String result from Roseberg, I had an heart attack when saw Vettel slowing but he recovered very well.This championship isn’t over by any mean & NOW i think anyone of the top 5 can have the crown.

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