Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Italian Grand Prix weekend?
Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.
Italian Grand Prix driver-by-driver
Lewis Hamilton – Every session at Monza ended with Hamilton’s name on top of the times sheets. Some were closer than others: Ferrari turned the wick up for qualifying and were a genuine threat, but he delivered his 11th pole position of the season and converted it into his seventh win.
Nico Rosberg – Just didn’t get the rub of the green at Monza. First he had to switch back to an old engine specification, then he lost places at the start as he had to dodge around Raikkonen. Having passed Perez and then jumped both Williams drivers at a single pit stop, he was beginning to apply pressure to Vettel for second when his engine let go.
Daniel Ricciardo – Emerged from a trying weekend for Red Bull – which included one Renault engine failing just a few laps after it had been installed – with points for eighth place. An excellent start from 19th on the grid and a very long opening stint on medium tyres was they key to his progress, and an opportunistic pass on Marcus Ericsson at Parabolica on the last lap capped a recovery driver which deserved a greater reward.
Daniil Kvyat – Like his team mate, Kvyat took a hatful of power unit change penalties as Red Bull had an eye on the opportunities offered by the next race at Singapore. He followed Ricciardo through the field but having fallen behind his team mate at the start he wasn’t able to get back ahead again, though he wasn’t far behind at the flag.
Felipe Massa – Couldn’t improve on his first run in Q3 but it proved good enough for fifth on the grid ahead of his team mate. His track position advantage proved useful at the end of the race when Bottas pushed him hard, but wasn’t able to find a way past.
Valtteri Bottas – Said he wasn’t able to get a good tow in qualifying and started behind Massa. His pace at the end of the race on worn medium tyres was far better and he was beginning to put Massa under pressure as the race finished.
Sebastian Vettel – Was pipped to second on the grid by Raikkonen by a few hundredths of a second, but easily took the place at the start and ran there until the finish. He might have had a more difficult time had Rosberg’s engine not failed, however.
Kimi Raikkonen – Followed up his best qualifying position in over two years with one of his worst starts. Nonetheless having fallen to the back of the field he climbed back up to fifth at the flag, thanks in part to a very long first stint on soft tyres.
Fernando Alonso – McLaren split the strategies between their two drivers. Alonso kept his soft tyres for the end of the race and was shaping up for a pass on Button when his Honda let go.
Jenson Button – Qualified 16th, took a five-place grid penalty but started 15th as the back rows were filled with those who had taken even more penalties. He took advantage of the chaos at the first corner to briefly hold ninth place. However his car’s lack of straight-line speed left him “waiting for the other cars to come by,” he explained. “The other drivers were overtaking me in places that I didn’t previously think were possible.”
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Nico Hulkenberg – Having been hampered by more technical problems in Q3 Hulkenberg was one of the first drivers to pit in the race, leaving him with a long stint on medium tyres. His pace dropped of badly at the end: “I actually think we had a problem with the car,” he said, “it’s something we need to investigate because I was losing downforce, the car was sliding and the rear tyres were heating up too much”. Nonetheless he only lost one position – to Raikkonen – and crossed the line with Ricciardo and Ericsson filling his mirrors.
Sergio Perez – Briefly moved up to fifth at the start before Rosberg came past, then had to give up another position to Raikkonen who passed him easily in the DRS zone. Nonetheless collected a solid sixth place.
Max Verstappen – Went into the race knowing he would have to take a drive-through penalty after his team sent him out in qualifying without securing his engine cover fully, which shattered as he accelerated towards the Curva Grande. Nonetheless in his first Monza race he produced more of his late-braking flair as he recovered to finish 12th behind his team mate.
Carlos Sainz Jnr – Finally saw the chequered flag again after a string of failures in recent races, however a five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage when he went off at the start cost him a shot at a point.
Romain Grosjean – Out-qualified Maldonado as usual but a first-corner tangle spelled an early end to his race.
Pastor Maldonado – Both Lotus drivers were out early on as Maldonado also sustained damage on the first lap.
Felipe Nasr – Picked up a puncture in the first-corner melee which dropped him out of contention for points.
Will Stevens – Started from the rare heights of 13th due to other drivers’ penalties, but the Manors slipped back to their usual positions by the end of the race. Stevens had the measure of his team mate at Monza, beating him to the flag by 13 seconds.
Roberto Merhi – Felt there was room to improve on his performance and it looked that was as he was consistently shaded by Stevens.
Driver of the Weekend: My choice
Among the stand-out candidates for me this weekend were Vettel, who had another solid weekend, Massa, who continued to shade his highly-rated team mate, and Hamilton, whose emphatic domination of proceedings makes him a very strong candidate. But Hamilton faced even weaker opposition than usual last weekend due to his team mate’s power unit problem before qualifying.
I therefore opted for Ricciardo who made one of the best starts of the year, got the most out of the alternate strategy by running long in the opening stint, and brilliantly took eighth place within sight of the line. He was dealt a very weak hand at Monza, yet he played it for all it was worth.
Qualifying and race results summary
|Driver||Started||Gap to team mate (Q)||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate (R)|
|Lewis Hamilton||1st||-0.306s||50/50||1||1st||Not on same lap|
|Nico Rosberg||4th||+0.306s||0/50||1||17th||Not on same lap|
|Fernando Alonso||16th||+0.096s||3/47||1||18th||Not on same lap|
|Jenson Button||15th||-0.096s||44/47||1||14th||Not on same lap|
|Nico Hulkenberg||9th||+0.691s||0/52||1||7th||Not on same lap|
|Sergio Perez||7th||-0.691s||52/52||1||6th||Not on same lap|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||17th||40/52||2||11th||-15.867s|
Review the race data
- 2015 Italian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops
- 2015 Italian Grand Prix lap charts
- 2015 Italian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps
Vote for your driver of the weekend
Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?
Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.
Who was the best driver of the 2015 Italian Grand Prix weekend?
- Lewis Hamilton (48%)
- Nico Rosberg (0%)
- Daniel Ricciardo (7%)
- Daniil Kvyat (0%)
- Felipe Massa (9%)
- Valtteri Bottas (0%)
- Sebastian Vettel (9%)
- Kimi Raikkonen (13%)
- Fernando Alonso (0%)
- Jenson Button (0%)
- Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
- Sergio Perez (5%)
- Max Verstappen (3%)
- Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
- Romain Grosjean (0%)
- Pastor Maldonado (0%)
- Marcus Ericsson (5%)
- Felipe Nasr (0%)
- Will Stevens (0%)
- Roberto Merhi (0%)
Total Voters: 654
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2015 Italian Grand Prix
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