Hamilton wins, Rosberg retires in Italian GP

2015 Italian Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton dominated at Monza to win the Italian Grand Prix by almost half a minute from Sebastian Vettel as Nico Rosberg retired with engine failure three laps from the finish.

There was late drama for both Mercedes with Hamilton told to push to increase his already sizeable lead in the closing stages after concern over a potential penalty and Rosberg forced out with a smoking engine from third place only a handful of laps from the end.

Felipe Massa took the final place on the podium following a final lap challenge by team mate Valtteri Bottas.

All eyes were on Kimi Raikkonen’s at the start, but as the lights went out the Ferrari went nowhere. The former world champion eventually got going, but the Ferrari had already been engulfed by the entire field on the run to turn one.

At the front, Sebastian Vettel tried to pressure Lewis Hamilton for the lead, but the Ferrari was unable to make a serious challenge into the tight first corner and the Mercedes retained the lead.

Nico Rosberg continued a run of losing places at the start by dropping to fifth behind the two Williams, while separate contact for both Lotuses into the bottleneck first chicane put Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado out of the race on the first lap.

Despite a torrid start, Raikkonen was soon up into the points after barely ten laps of the race completed. After fending off Vettel at the start, Hamilton began to steadily open up the gap at the front.

Rosberg struggled to find a way past Valtteri Bottas’s Williams in the opening stint and so Mercedes opted to pit their man first for his one and only stop at the end of Lap 18. Williams responded by bringing in Felipe Massa at the end of Lap 20, but with clear air the Mercedes was able to successfully undercut both Williams to jump up to third.

Hamilton and Vettel waited until the half way stage of the race to make their single stops, with the Mercedes resuming with a more than comfortable buffer over the Ferrari. The leader duly pulled even further away from Vettel, who was now having to be mindful of the slowly closing sister Mercedes of Rosberg now in third.

Raikkonen continued to make progress up the field, eventually snatching sixth from Sergio Perez’s Force India on Lap 51.

With Hamilton’s win seemingly assured, Mercedes were suddenly vulnerable with Hamilton told to push to increase his comfortable lead by his engineer, without being told why. Just when it seemed Hamilton may be under threat of a late problem, Nico Rosberg’s engine burst into smoke out of Curva Grande, ending his chances of a podium finish.

This left the final place on the podium up for grabs between the two Williams drivers, with Felipe Massa ultimately holding on to his position over team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Despite the concerns for Hamilton, the world championship leader suffered no dramas and duly took his seventh win of the season, with Vettel and Massa rounding out the podium.

2015 Italian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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50 comments on “Hamilton wins, Rosberg retires in Italian GP”

  1. Word is Hamilton could be penalised for tyre pressures

    1. (@strontium
      Or disqualification, which is highly possible. Why would Mercedes do this to Lewis’ car? He finished 25 seconds ahead of Vettel. They didn’t need to put the tyre pressures 0.3 lower…

      1. It was starting tyre pressure, measured on the grid – for what they knew both Ferraris could have been ahead of them by the first chicane…

    2. Regardless of your partisan leanings…

      If the FIA can generate a situation where say Alonso and Button start in better positions than they qualified in after ludicrous grid penalties are applied and then allow a tyre manufacturer to determine race winning orders by judging tyre pressure after their own operatives have filled them with the normal nitrogen, prior to the blankets, DURING a race race…

      Ok that right there is bordering on the most ridiculous situation ever.

      And one that makes any further viewing pointless because it is quite clear that outside influences decide races.

      Not the drivers.

      And I simply cannot watch yet another Pirelli championship.

    3. Does anybody know what happened to Kimi at the start? Was it simply due to driver error, or was there a problem with the clutch mechanism??

      1. He reportedly went into anti-stall, no driver error @medman

        1. Perhaps, but he stalled it….lucky the fire didn’t go out completely leaving him stranded there, no?

  2. I’m curious about the whole tyre pressure issue. It was a somewhat boring race, so I’m hoping the drama will light things up :P

  3. Can technical infringement lead to disqualification?

    1. @ruliemaulana I think so. But I doubt it will.

    2. Sepang 1999 ferrari disqualified for technical infringement, but they get reinstated after appeal.

    3. Red Bull Australia 2014?

      1. @oletros Yes? I said it was possible. That’s doesn’t mean it will, or that it is will.

  4. If Mercedes and Ferrari are penalised, I wouldn’t mind because Massa will win!

    1. F1 grid tweet says Ferrari tyre pressure is on limit.

    2. So Mercedes and/or Ferrari should be disqualified because Pirelli technicans don’t know how to fill a tyre correctly to meet their own stipulated levels?

      Farce doesn’t do justice.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    6th September 2015, 14:47

    Thing thing is that Pirelli should know how the tyres will react and if the pressures will drop. They will have seen this throughout practice and qualifying and shouldn’t give the OK to pressures that will not last.

    If a penalty is issued that costs Lewis the win, things could get really interesting considering Bernie has attempted to gag the teams and drivers!

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      6th September 2015, 15:04

      Now I’ve heard more – it sounds like a slam dunk penalty. They were checked on the grid and both Mercs were under – Lewis by 0.3 and Nico by 1.1!

      1. 1. Pirelli fill the tyres.
        2. That 0.3 difference accounted for Hamilton’s win?
        3. Disqualifying Hamilton will have more negative repercussions on Formula 1. Also, if I were Mercedes, I’d stick two fingers up to any attempts by FIA to get the team to provide leeway to other teams trying to catch them up.

        1. The teams adjust the pressure David.

    2. Pirelli engineers filled the tyres prior to the race.. As always.

      Yet suddenly during a race, an Italian tyre company under a bit of media pressure generally, are able to determine that tyre pressures on the non Italian leading car are actually less than they ‘specify’ and demand intervention…

      Frankly I am just stunned that once again we, the paying fans, are required to believe that this is absolutely honest and correct.

      1. During a race – how do Pirelli know? When they bring the tyre in after a stint. At what pressure, heat etc etc?
      2. If they prepare the tyres – who is at fault?
      3. Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari in second, italian tyre manufacturer with four years of the most ridiculous influence on races in history because they pay Bernie and co a lot?
      4. All this because drivers complained?
      5. The racer has no influence on the tyre pressure during a race, a selection of tyres from just four cars were checked, and shock horror, it must be the non Italian Leading car that somehow has tyres that despite the Pirelli technician sorting the tyres, suddenly, they are a bit lower than an arbitrary pressure check done post race use. When it’s never been an issue!

      What a total farce!

      1. Could not put it any better than this.
        Now thinking if ALL cars were not checked, there is no way they can impose a penalty.

      2. 1) They check the pressures on the grid

        2) If a driver wins with an illegal car, the penalty is applied regardless of fault. Sucks, but that’s the way it is

        3) And down the rabbit hole we go. Tin foil hats on everyone, I leave you at this stop.

        1. Let’s put this into perspective. The whole thing is supposed to be a safety issue ,correct?
          So why did Pirelli not inform the stewards before and either stop Merc competing with what Pirelli deem an “unsafe” car or why not have the pressure re adjusted , it would take 10 seconds!
          Vote with your feet Don’t buy Pirelli.

        2. larry onyekwere
          6th September 2015, 15:26

          please who fills the tires with nitrogen before it gets to the grid? mercedes?

          1. Mercedes fill it with their own equipment under direct observation of the Pirelli engineer who is allocated to the team.

          2. Paddy Lowe already stated that the tires were filled under Pirelli technician supervision and checked by him before they went to the grid.
            We really do have to get real here, how can you expect the public to be interested in a sport that can be manipulated by outside interests, whether it be tires, the commercial rights holder or an old fart that’s past his time and should be in jail.

      3. German team, German driver didn’t pan out last year.

        Now it’s Italian tyre, Italian car?


  6. What can I say, great result from Lotus.

    As usual, hats off to “Luigi” and Seb. Imagine these two as teammates…wow

  7. Last race Bottas had mismatched tyres which is surely a technical infringement in the same way tyre pressures would be, his penalty can’t exceed the one Bottas received.

  8. Gutted for Nico. Was very much looking like a great finish to the race between he and Vettel.

    1. I am not. Nico was given Monaco and today kind of made up for it.

  9. I love Monza. Get it together F1, there is no way that track should ever leave the schedule, under any circumstances.

  10. If merc are penalized for the tire pressure problem and it is proven that Pirelli themselves supervised the original tire adjustment it will be a further nail in F1 coffin.
    If Ecclestone intervenes with his 10 cents , even more so!

    1. +1 billion – I thought the Spa LH overtaking farce was bad enough years ago but now what do we have…

      Yet again Pirelli deciding championships and races…

      Cos their tyres blow up at Spa?

  11. Let’s be honest, a DQ for Hamilton isn’t likely to really change the championship. It’ll be more bad press for F1 though, more off track nonsense about tyres is how it’ll look to the casual observer.

    1. But that’s not the point really, 38 years as a viewer, 20 years as a race related engineer and 15 as a participant in many classes, I have seen some daft things but never have I seen such a negative influence almost designed to destroy the sheer fun of racing.

      It’s got silly…

  12. It’s now rumored that one of the Ferrari cars is also under investigation

  13. Were Hamilton and Rosberg driving the same updated engine spec?

    1. Sir , you obviously have been asleep the weekend or not follow any of the news or f1 on tv today!!

  14. As an aside, though a shame for the championship that Rosberg’s engine let fly at the end, I’m impressed that the Merc engine almost made it 7 races.

    Not only is it the most powerful engine on the grid but it’s also the most reliable. The other manufacturers might catch up on power, but would that make them more likely to fail?

    1. in terms of pure power, with reliability not being a concern mercedes admit that the ferrari PU is just as powerful. Now during the race where reliability and fuel efficiency affects the performance the engine produces that is where the mercedes PU is the best plus drivability is much better, although ferrari claim to have improved in that part a lot

      1. I heard on the Sky commentary that a new fuel used by Ferrari at Monza means they have gained 40HP from the start of the season.

        40HP from fuel alone, I would never have thought that.

        Mercedes are expecting to see another significant HP boost themselves in the next few races, I would love to know what the actual numbers are, could we see these engines matching the HP of the old V8s before the energy recovery systems are accounted for?

  15. Funny how everybody was killing Nico for the start he made the last race, yet nobody is killing Kimi for boxing up the start at Monza.

  16. Groan!!! Same story every weekend

  17. I don’t understand why Nasr wasn’t punished in this Grand Prix. He taken out Grosjean in first corner because he braked too late. Plus, the mess that he made forced Maldonado to cut the first corner, damaging the floor of his car (again).

    This is not the first time that Nasr got involved in a crash and isn’t punished by Stewards.

  18. In fairness to Rosberg, he lost those places at the start by having to avoid Kimi. In the end it didn’t even matter.

    1. He tried so hard, and got so far…

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