Monza keeps up F1’s run of satisfying races

2014 Italian Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The Italian Grand Prix seemed to have been decided within seconds of the start, as Lewis Hamilton slipped to fourth and Nico Rosberg seized the initiative.

But it was just getting started. Hamilton quickly went after his team mate and, having made it up to second, the sight of him looming large in his mirrors seemed to pressure Rosberg into making the mistake which gave Hamilton the win.

As has often been the case this year, there was plenty of action going on behind the Mercedes pair and we witnessed some marvellous scraps for position between the others. A single pit stop may have been the preferred strategy but with the Red Bull drivers in particular stretching the limit of how early or late they could pit, this created opportunities for close racing in the final laps.

Bottas, Riccardo, Perez and Button were among those who impressed with their tough but fair racing. That seemed to go down well with F1 Fanatics, who gave the race a solid average score of 7.4 out of ten.

A poor race for home favourites Ferrari did little to sap the enthusiasm of the crowd, which I had the fortune to witness first-hand. The atmosphere was incredible, though I was surprised to hear more cheers for Raikkonen than Alonso – the latter may be far ahead in the points but the latter is of course Ferrari’s most recent drivers’ champion.

I sat on the first corner for most of the sessions and observed many drivers braking too late and taking the slip road, however it definitely seemed to be Rosberg who did it more often than the others.

It was my first time hearing the turbo engines and after all the complaints, I was pleasantly surprised. The cars are not as loud as they used to be, but they do sound great, and more enjoyable than the GP2 in my opinion. As a plus, the volume allowed you to hear the tyres screech along with the commentary.

Here’s what the rest of you made of the Italian Grand Prix.


I joined in the tradition post-race sprint to the podium along with the other fans and it was great to see even the Ferrari supporters were still in high spirits. Sadly none of the speakers seemed to work for the podium interview. I thought that was a shame as I was led to believe they did the interview on the podium for the spectators benefit.

The great Monza crowd for podium: proudly waving Ferrari flags even when Ferrari are not winning, and showing their appreciation for Massa. They do not forget their Ferrari drivers.

Track limits

The polystyrene blocks at the turn one run-off had to be replaced a few times during the weekend, especially after a Porsche Supercup driver smashed through them all trying to catch the others up after a spin.

However for the most part it proved a useful deterrent to corner-cutting.

What I think was particularly important was that unlike many venues errors had repercussions. A driver making a mistake such as his breaking error lost out by a small amount of time.

All tracks should have this built in. Spa has it as we saw Vetted lose a place by running wide at the end of Les Combes straight. But Canada earlier in the year didn’t.

Physical barriers such as at tracks like Monza and Spa are the best way of having safe run-offs (instead of gravel) but with an unavoidable penalty. This is very important factor when looking at track design and satisfactory outcomes from drivers’ mistakes.

Drivers shine

The hard-fought battle for the lower half of the points places provided much entertainment.

Very fair fights from Bottas and Perez (this is how you do it Magnussen).

Great recovery by Hamilton scared Rosberg off the road, Great drives by Ricciardo and Bottas. Finally Massa on the podium again.

Really loved the save of Kvyat! Heroic stuff. Apart from that incident, a lot of expectations, but almost none fulfilled. Credits to Ricciardo though, intelligent moves.


Sitting at the first corner it looked like most of the cars fighting for position entered the corner neck-and-neck which made the corner very exciting. There were mixed opinions on DRS in your comments.

DRS was way over-powered once again.

I have to say I think I mind DRS even less now that you can pass without it. As we saw today drivers were fighting back through the Curva Grande into Variante Della Roggia, so DRS was stong enough to initiate a fight but not strong enough to conclude it (most of the time). Which, in my honest opinion, is how DRS should always work.

The added effect of slipstreaming and the difference in drag between the cars already created a ‘DRS effect’. You could see Bottas close up to cars even when both had their DRS open.

There was DRS overkill here. Never good.

DRS made 90% of the passes far too easy ans they were just no fun to watch. Seriously, how much longer do we have to put with this Dumb Racing System?

DRS is part of why we are enjoying the racing even more than we have done in the past, in most cases this weekend if you had bothered to look at the car being passed it also had its wing open, which in-effect cancelled out the DRS.

Needed a fight for the lead

Any battle for the lead was gone once Rosberg made that mistake. Massa had a quiet race in third, and it was obvious that Bottas would make up positions easily due to the speed of the Williams. The fights between Vettel, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Perez and Button were good to watch, but that was about it really as far as the action goes.

Plus, the race was so short, something I never like!

There weren’t practically any battles for the first three positions, except some tension, which didn’t live up to expectations. Of course, there were battles for lower positions, but they weren’t very meaningful.

I didn’t like it a lot. The start was promising, but race was decided just through halfway and the midfield fights couldn’t make up for this.

“A golden season for F1”

Loved it. Proper race refreshingly free of multiple tyre stops and nagging race engineers (and Hamilton completely ignored the instruction to stay two seconds behind, good man). Great passing skills from Ricciardo and Hamilton, and Bottas used his car’s strengths and DRS well. As good as it gets while there’s one or two teams clearly better than the rest.

I thought it was a great race.

The opening few laps seemed a bit quiet and I wasn’t optimistic about the rest of the race but after that there seemed to be action throughout the race.

We had Hamilton recovering from his bad start and pressuring Rosberg into a mistake to take the victory. Bottas also recovering from a bad start overtaking several cars in the process.

Then there was Ricciardo late stopping and charging through putting in some impressive overtakes to finish fifth and finally we had a good battle between Perez and Button.

Best race at Monza for a long time and awesome battles throughout the field! This is a golden season for F1. That I am sure of.

I rated it highly because the lack of pit stops kept the cars together forcing them battle each other on track, there was action all through the race, rather than just at the end.

Previous rate the race results

2014 Italian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

23 comments on “Monza keeps up F1’s run of satisfying races”

  1. Formula Indonesia (@)
    16th September 2014, 12:23

    2014 is actually really interesting season apart from engine noise and car look

    1. @f1indofans Which makes it even better for us fans who absolutely love the new sound :)

    2. Formula Indonesia (@)
      16th September 2014, 12:49

      anyway its quite weird to had a dull Chinese GP this year while it was always in top 5 in the last 4 years, while Bahrain continuing it fine racing (as it was highest rated last year)

    3. @f1indofans

      I agree, I am loving watching F1 on TV this year. It is purely a TV sport for me now.

      I went this weekend and saw some ‘real’ F1 cars at Silverstone for the ‘Ferrari Racing Days’ weekend. It was GLORIOUS to hear that sound again and made me feel so sad we have lost it.

      1. You say that but at Silverstone GP this year, i think DC came round in a RB7 and yeah it was cool to hear the V8 again but i left the GP with my hearing intact and not feeling nauseous. The V8s were always amazing for the first few laps but after that the novelty wears off.

        1. @jdsunset

          I understand what you are saying, it is true that after the three day onslaught off a GP weekend prior to this season, I was always feeling a bit shellshocked!

          I still miss it like hell though, and let’s not forget that we all had the option of using ear protection with the old engines. I just can’t get fired up by the current ones where you can literally have a conversation over them. In my view, a live F1 car should stop you in your tracks.

          1. Lets just be thankful they dont sound like Formula e :) That was like listening to a scalextric race.

            Good thing is we still have GP2 to remind us of the noise that once was (ish)

    4. I’ve liked the engine noise from the start of the season and the more races I watch the more I like being able to hear the gear box, tyres and other parts of the car instead of them all being drowned out by engines screaming at high revs due to the limited power band and lack of low to medium range torque of the V10’s and V8’s.
      I completely agree with you that this season’s cars aren’t very nice to look at but that’s nothing new, the cars have been getting progressively worse looking for many years now – luckily the way they drive has been amazing to watch this season which, for me, more than makes up for the terrible styling.
      In an ideal world I’d love to see beautiful cars that are exciting to watch in action but I’ll settle for the great action we’ve had this season any day.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        16th September 2014, 15:27

        still, its better to have fine racing with ugly cars and engine noises compare to have a good cars and noises but having a dull racing

        1. @f1indofans

          I agree, but there is no reason we can’t have great racing as we do now with beautiful looking cars that sound incredible. It is really very simple:

          Continue to keep downforce as low as possible.
          Significantly reduce the size of the front wings.
          To make the sport ‘environmentally acceptable’, simply have a fuel allowance for the race. The most efficient way to minimize fuel usage would likely be normally aspirated engines, sounding wonderful, rather than the heavy and complex hybrids, which, if one looks at the big picture, are actually not very efficient at all.

          1. Formula Indonesia (@)
            16th September 2014, 16:12

            Paul, yeah The problem is not the fans, but FIA need to think about that

      2. @beneboy I agree.

        Love the sound of the engine, especially live. FOM have improved, but more needs to be done to capture the noise for TV.

        The cars don’t look great, but for me that doesn’t matter one bit. Diggers and tanks don’t look great. They are designed to do a job, and aesthetics are not even a secondary concern. They do not matter a jot.

        Same goes for F1. The cars are designed to go fast. That is their purpose. They are not works of art to be put in a gallery to be looked at. The beauty of an F1 car is in it’s function, not it’s form.

  2. @brawngp

    I thought that was a shame as I was led to believe they did the interview on the podium for the spectators benefit.

    I was under the impression it was a TV Audience thing, designed to get ‘heat of the moment’ controversy out there, rather than the PR-cooled post-race press conference.

    1. When I was at Silverstone, I took part in the track invasion and I got to the podium in time for the interviews, but again, there were no speakers there either. It seems borderline insulting that they don’t bother letting the crowd hear the interviews, since we’ve all paid our hard earned money to be there and enable it to happen. It would be a great way to improve the interaction between “Us and Them”.

    2. I really, really hate the podium interviews. I just walk off after the champagne now…

  3. Why was the 2012 Italian Grand Prix rated so highly?

    1. @william-brierty
      Vettel didn’t finish the race and Lewis won it ;-)

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    16th September 2014, 13:54

    It showed that 1 stop races aren’t boring.

  5. i thought it was a great race. button-perez was a highlight and ricciardo’s dummy pass made me stand up from the sofa. the ratings numbers seem to be drifting quite a lot from any kind of standard. after you get a number of great races (ie. most of this summer) the rating drops because people are comparing against the near past.

    similarly, the high rating for china 2011 (for example) was down to a dull few preceding races. it’s not really a useful number anymore. (and looking back to the older races their used to be a qualifier attached to the number i.e. 1=terrible, 10=perfect, so those races can’t really be used for comparison either.)

    rating with a number becomes more arbitrary as times change anyway because the “show” is different every time. my favourite race of all time is 1995 nurburgring (even though alesi got passed) but if we saw that again now it might not be considered so hot; a lot was down to the context of that’s year’s title fight.

  6. So the new bar is “satisfying”?

  7. I feel like the wheel to wheel racing this year has been the best I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been watching F1. The last 5 years have been a big improvement since the switch to the lower front wings and higher rear wings. I wouldn’t be surprised if this year gets the best average score across all the races since Rate the Race started :)

    1. Don’t forget China and Malaysia though, which to some extent were a little dull. But at least not as bad as Abu Single last year.

  8. Plus, the race was so short, something I never like!

    @Jamesjames123abc About that. How awesome would a Monza 500(km) be? 350 at least.

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