Start, Monza, 2016

Rosberg cuts Hamilton’s lead to two points with Monza win

2016 Italian Grand Prix summary

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Nico Rosberg claimed victory in the Italian Grand Prix to reduce Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead to two points.

Hamilton lost the advantage of pole position immediately after the start while Rosberg took up the lead. The championship leader had to fight his way past slower cars to finish second.

The Mercedes pair each made a single stop one their way to their fourth one-two finish of 2016. Behind them the Ferrari pair two-stopped to third and fourth position, Sebastian Vettel claiming the final place on the podium.

Daniel Ricciardo claimed fifth place with an audacious pass on Valtteri Bottas at the Rettifilio chicane with five laps to go. Shortly afterwards Max Verstappen put a similar move on Sergio Perez at the Roggia to claim seventh.

A good start helped Felipe Massa on his way to ninth place while Nico Hulkenberg took the final point.

An early collision between Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr put both drivers out of the race, while Pascal Wehrlein was the race’s only other retirement with a technical problem.

2016 Italian Grand Prix

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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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73 comments on “Rosberg cuts Hamilton’s lead to two points with Monza win”

  1. Can’t believe all that hard work going through quali is undone in 5sec. Cruel but oh well…

    1. Next time, instead of talking of poetry, maybe Hamilton starts to do his homework.

  2. Masterclass from Rosberg. He usually ends the season strong too so this is a good shot at the championship for him.

    1. Not exactly. 2014 Hamilton dominated the second half, last year he faded in speed terms from Singapore, though still managing to scrape wins until Texas, and Rosberg did indeed finish strongly. The points thrown away today by Hamilton will give a real boost to Rosberg.

    2. If Rosberg was great at ending seasons he would have had a couple of wdcs by now. He ended last year strong after the championship was wrapped up, that’s around it.

      1. Disagree@todfod. Last year Rosberg had engine issues in Monza but from then he was usually the quicker of the two. Hamilton got lucky with the safety car in USA allowing him to take the title but overall Rosberg had the stronger pace.

        1. @Ben yes, Rosberg is really dominant to the tune of a half second handicap in qualifying on a track with 11 turns

          1. If starts and engines were not an issue, it’s quite likely that Lewis might have actually been way, way ahead of Nico

          2. Starting your car fast is part of being a driver, Hamilton failed at it 5 times now by his own fault.

      2. In 2014 rosberg lost the wdc in the last race because of engine problems. That race the points were double and rosberg would have won it if hamilton would have had the engine problem rosberg had.

        1. in 2014 Nico was let back in to the championship due to qualifying reliability issues.

        2. Woulda, shoulda, coulda Toto. I’m a WDC with the same argument.

          1. Just pointing out things hamilton’s fans forget. They don’t remember rosberg lost many points and lost the wdc’s because of that too. Yet all hamilton’s fans are crying a river because of the reliability issues hamilton has had this year when rosberg has been affected by DNf’s in the 2014-2015 seasons

        3. But you’re argument seems to be, and correct me if I’m wrong, in a race where Lewis was far enough ahead to have 1. 5 hands on the championship if there wasn’t stupid double points, in a race that Lewis has a fantastic start and was leading, in a championship where Lewis had lots of reliability issues, if Lewis instead of Rosberg had an engine issue Rosberg could have one the championship…. Maybe

          Stretchy mc-stretch face is in the house

  3. I’m certainly not looking for a fight. Let’s keep this civil:

    When will Verstappen fans admit that Ricciardo is the true prodigy?

    There is fervent conversation in the media about Verstappen, but the fans who watch the races know that Ricciardo has the better of him currently.

    1. Would be a bit odd if RIC wouldnt be better at the moment, being more experienced with the team and overall.. That would be devastating for all drivers.

      1. I wonder when people will stop using this excuse.

      2. Excuses…

      3. Well, I won’t be as harsh as the other two, we all like different drivers and we all rate them different as well. But I think to be honest, Lewis, Schumacher, Senna, none of them needed time. Lewis took on and for all intents and purposes embarrassed (he was a rookie) one of the greatest drivers of this generation.

        So certainly time will help him, but it’s not just the rookie blunders, on pace he’s been lacking too.

        But, certainly, like so many other drivers, give him time and he just may become the force so many people have set him up to be. Just look at guys like Grosjean or Perez.

        Also, different cars suit different drivers, so, there is always some evolution in that. Admittedly that might not help him.

        But, I’m Australian, so on this one I am absolutely biased haha. :D

        1. Senna was older than Schumi, hamilton or Vettel when he came to F1, and Vettel was the fastest driver to adapt in 20 years.

    2. Ricciardo is definitely better at the moment, and also has a much better personality and attitude.

    3. i think any rational f1 fan will know that ricciardo will beat him this and next year, though Max has has the higher ceiling and after 2017 will be the better one. Ricciardo is losing time fast to be a WC. He will move from red bull if they don’t deliver a car that can challenge for victories next year.

      1. “Ricciardo is losing time fast to be a WC”

        I am confused by this comment, by what metric is he running out of time. Age? At 27 he would be nowhere close to being considered old for a world champion if he won in the next few years. Even recently, Raikkonen won at 29, as did Jenson. Hamilton (ok not his first championship) but was world champ last year age 30. And this years champ will be over whichever merc driver wins.

        Or do you mean length of time into his career? Because I would make similar arguments. This is Ricciardos 6th season, Raikkonen won his first in his 8th season, Button his 10th season. And this is just picking examples deliberately trying to keep it within recent history as it is unquestionably the case that the overall age demographic is decreasing in F1.

        I’m not aiming to cause argument or offense, just genuinely interested as to why you think this?

        1. Because his current team mate is better i believe. He jumped in the red bull and is challenging him right from the start. Daniel has the advantage of last years data and developing the car right from the start, but next year it will be equel and i think he will barely win that fight. Only to fall behind after that.

          It’s hard to predict If Mercedes will dominante, but we can assume they have more power then the Renault, which would mean it would be close with RB aero. I do think Lewis is a better driver and If things are equal, he would have the edge.

          It is safe to assume wehrlein is heading to Mercedes and that one of the vets stays, so i doubt going to Mercedes is an option soon.

          I don’t see Ferrari or any other team developing a WC car. So my prediction is that he has to get it next year with a big improvement of the RB, or he will be beaten by Verstappen. And there are drivers like sainz and vandoorne who also have the skill, but need the right car.

    4. @crunch

      I am not racist. I am not starting a fight

      Certain groups of people have significantly lower IQ scores than others, at least on average.
      Certain groups of people have significantly lower marshmallow test scores than others, at least on average.

      :p

      1. @crunch that said yeah I guess RIC better than VES. But there are better ways to state that.

        Start by not discounting any other drivers skills in an effort to brring RIC’s up.

    5. I have no idea how that’s your conclusion based on this race.

    6. Look, I don’t like the kid, but let’s be fair here. He’s new with the car, I say give him some more time. Ric had all the time in the world to figure out the car.

    7. Max is good but he aint no Danny Ric and while hes at Red Bull, Max wont be winning any championships anytime soon

      1. He will be much better than Ricciardo in few years, despite i don´t like his character.

  4. I want to know what happend to Lewis’ start, something tells me that Mercedes do have problems at the start… But, it looked like as if Nico too would have lost it to Seb. Well… now that I heard Totonator, he made a mistake. Seriously… he can’t make mistakes at this point!!! He and Nico are lucky that the W07 is just OP and allows them to comeback because it is difficult to overtake unless you have a huge advantage. (DRS excluded).

    RIC for overtake of the year. I wonder why Perez didn’t defend hard since most people wanted to see him against Max…

    1. I belive Hamilton said on the radio that the start was his mistake..

      1. +1 Toto confirmed this in a quick post-race interview I just watched. Ominous sign for HAM that the start issues he appeared to have solved seem to have returned. Good news for ROS as the other teams aren’t really at the races…

        1. Mercedes should think twice now when attempting the “harder q2 strategy”…. Had REosberg had a slower start, Vettel would have gotten him…

      2. Do the Merc drivers still have to handle two levers by hand at the start?
        I think that Hamilton is probably the one of the two suffering most from not having the mechanics allowed anymore to help setting the clutch’s ‘bite point’.

  5. Was I the only one hoping that Ferrari would one-stop, or at least split their strategies, and have a decent (if short-lived) scrap with Hamilton instead of safely avoiding Hamilton by two-stopping? I really didn’t see Ferrari being threatened by the people behind them.

    1. Problem is Q2 and fact that Merc can just go into Q3 on more durable tire and better race tire. I was gutted that Ferrari gave away track position but no way they could made SS-MED and finish the race with Ham behind them.Still they could maybe try with split strategy but again i dont think they would gain anything. Maybe that Q2 starting tire rule should be scraped because with these joke tires it is clear that Merc has even bigger advantage to rest of the field.

      1. Mmm, good point. I forgot the difference in starting tyres.

  6. Pfff only positive I can say about the race is that it thankfully was short. Can’t recall a more boring race.

    1. @mayrton
      Try the 2010 Bahrain GP for maximum boredom.

      1. Good overtakes, some spectacular driver errors, the race leader suddenly retiring and a driver who wins for his new team for the first time? I’d hardly call that boring.

        1. @dh1996 VET finished 4th.

          Fewest cylinders operating in a car that finished an F1 race (in the points, too), ever?

          1. @davidnotcoulthard, there have been a few races where the driver ran out of fuel on the last lap and pushed the car over the line, so technically zero operating cylinders would be the lowest number.

          2. Ah yeah, forgot about that (I think Jack Brabham did that once – and was it to win the title?)

          3. @davidnotcoulthard, yes, in 1959 Brabham ran out of fuel in the final race of the season and pushed his car over the line to claim 4th place. However, Brabham had already claimed the title without needing the points for 4th anyway, though he didn’t know that at the time.

            In fact, quite a few drivers have tried to or have pushed their cars over the line – Prost tried to push his car over the line in the 1986 German GP, although it proved to be too much for him, whilst Mansell also famously collapsed from heat exhaustion whilst trying to push his car over the line in the 1984 Dallas GP.

            It’s not something that was encouraged in the past though, in part because Beltoise, in the 1971 1000 km Buenos Aires sportscar race, ended up killing another driver when he was trying to push his car back to the pits and pushed it into the path of Ignazio Giunti, who hit it at nearly full speed as he came through a blind corner.

    2. Baku was pretty dull and the Hungarian was worse still and that’s just 2 races this season that were boring…

      This race was a reasonable race, with some good action outside of the top 4…

  7. Verstappen crossed the pit exit line and there was not even an investigation. Looks like he can do everything he wants.

    1. @michal2009b
      Are you sure? I didn’t see anything like that, and it’s safe to assume that someone would’ve reported it to the Stewards in that case.
      Which line do you think he crossed? Bear in mind that the white line is meaningless before it rejoins the track.

      1. Ok, he wasn’t coming out of pitlane, my mistake.

        1. RTL Germany made the same mistake, so don’t feel too bad @michal2009b :)

  8. ROS admirably keeping his head down, doing his job and letting HAM commit the unforced errors. Maiden wins at circuits at which HAM expects to win must also taste extra sweet and provide even greater motivation going forward. Too late in the game for HAM to have his chronic start problems recur. I reckon ROS will be the 2016 WDC even without the benefit of the engine upgrade Merc have the option of introducing into his pool at Suzuka. He would deserve it.

    1. Yes, I think this season will come down to a basic mathematics. Hamilton marginally faster on most circuits but the starts a real Achilles heel this season, and only himself to blame at this stage. Rosberg meanwhile had early season luck in avoiding the engine problems Hamilton faced, and has weeded out some of the crass braking errors, under pressure, that lost him points before. It’ll be close, and fortunately no 50 pointer at the end of the season this time to distort the finale.

      1. The starts have been an issue since last year when both Ferraris and Williams swamped the Mercedes duo at the start. It’s not just Hamilton and it’s an obvious issue with the Mercedes – of course, it will affect one driver more than the other. The biggest drawback of this is that it leads to Red Bull-esque drives similar to Vettel and Webber. You can’t put them together on the track after it happens. Unfortunately, it has affected Hamilton massively as he isn’t able to convert pole position (brilliant poles too) to victory.

      2. The starts were already an issue in 2014. For instance in Silverstone did both Williams cars pass them at the start.

        Wow, just remember that Williams was leading races only 2 years ago ….

        It’s not just Mercedes though. Verstappen had a bad start too (again) and Gutierrez had the worst of starts.

        It’s just that the starts are more random because they need to set up the clutch before they leave the pitlane. It’s always a gamble what the grip and tyre/clutch temperatures are going to be when they are actually on the grid.

        In this case Hamilton admitted to making a mistake so of course that can still happen as well.

        1. @partickl well, Hamilton admitted to making a mistake but even so, it shouldn’t be that hard to start the car that you can literally bungle it up entirely. I can understand losing 1 spot to your teammate but these starts are practically getting in the way of racing. I’m not sure I’ve seen as many P1s being lost at the start as this year.

      3. Who will have the best nerves of the two if it comes down to the last race?

  9. Impressive from Rosberg, the championship’s wide open now.

  10. Alonso has 5.5 seconds stationery, puts him behind Hulkenberg after getting into the points at the start and no one bats an eyelid. Button finishes 12th and everyone loses their minds ;) But in all seriousness, McLaren has to get the basics right. Williams do the small things right with super fast pit stops. McLaren has to focus and make sure that the stops, systems and strategies make sense. Today it didn’t. Stoffel has the potential to come in with a good performing car by next year, but the management need to optimize this. We have seen what bad management has done at Ferrari.

  11. This nicca Rosenburg will have my vote for two weeks in a row.

    1. For DOTD yes, he was the best today. However DOTW I don’t think it can be given to Rosberg because of his performance compared to his teammate in qualifying.

      1. difference in quali was unreal and look how he performed at the start, like it never happened.
        Btw. Alonso won DOTW last weekend, how was his quali?

        1. Yes how he recovered from quali today was very impressive, like I said I think he was the driver of the day. However he was not the best all weekend as quli shows, therefore i dont think he should get DOTW. Also the comparison to Alonso last week isn’t equal as it wasn’t Alonso’s fault it was the car.

        2. Alonso’s car break through no fault of his own. What’s your point again? ;)

  12. Here’s to hoping Mercedes struggle in Singapore like last year

    1. I’ll drink to that;)

  13. Señor “Crashgate” Alonso: Button was better than you, again…

    1. Wrong strategy by McL for Alonso in this one. Button got the fastest tyres.

      But let’s check the facts:

      Times you’ve said Button was better than Alonso: Too many to count

      Times you’ve said Alonso was better than Button: Never

      Championship points: Alonso 30, Button 17

      Sorry, it just doesn’t add up

      1. hyoko, ignore him – he has an obsessive, and almost psychopathic, hatred of Alonso and spends virtually all of his time on this site desperately trying to crowbar constant streams of abuse against him into every single conversation he can. I don’t think that he has ever had a positive thing to say about a driver or a team, except when he is boasting about how they have beaten Alonso.

      2. And alonso did not compete in one race. The same as last year. And alonso had more points at the end.

    2. But Alonso had the better evil/sarcastic laugh of the weekend!

    3. @jorge-lardone Please go and watch wrestling. The adults are talking here.

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