Start, Monza, 2018

Rate the race: 2018 Italian Grand Prix

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Italian Grand Prix.

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Rate the 2018 Italian Grand Prix out of 10

  • 1 (2%)
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  • 3 (1%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 6 (3%)
  • 7 (11%)
  • 8 (30%)
  • 9 (36%)
  • 10 (16%)

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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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196 comments on “Rate the race: 2018 Italian Grand Prix”

  1. This is a sick sport. Races being ruined by chance, by bad and inconsistent stewarding, by team orders and team strategy. This was a great race that ended in a farce. Shame.

    1. Lol Crashttel and Ferrari fan.

      1. You’ve got this jumping the gun to an art

      2. Also might be a Crashtappen fan.

    2. You’re only crying bc of the penalty Max took, deservedly. Boohoo.

      1. Where did Bottas want to go?

        1. As the car on the racing line, I suspect ideally he would have wanted to continue on the racing line, but failing that, a cars width around the left hand side of the track would have done

          1. There was asfalt left of Bottas of around 25 cm as they al used it to take that corner. So Bottas could moved more left and Max did left him space but overtaking on the outside isn’t possible you have to be clear in front of the car inside which Bottas didn’twas. That the reason was Max was mad.

        2. Where did Bottas want to go? – Well for starters, he wanted to stay within track limits, and he did, just. Yet he got rammed by Max. So, textbook offence, so he deservedly got a penalty. The gave him the least harsh direct penalty you can get.

          1. Oh come on…he would have not made the corner and Max was ahead! We can also argue that Max defended and then returned to the racing line…

          2. @Mike – irrelevant. The rules state the defending driver must leave a car’s width. Max failed to do this, as can clearly be seen from the replays, by squeezing Bottas who was going in a straight-line on the very left edge of the track and driving Into him. The stewards had no other option than to award a penalty for failing to adhere to the rules.

          3. The fact Bottas wouldn’t have made the corner only makes Max’ mistake bigger @Mike, means there was no need to not give him a bit more space to ‘hang’ himself, and with that Max would have been on the podium.

    3. Isn’t it interesting that the two comments above both accuse me of supporting different drivers, and both are wrong? This website and its tribalism, man, it’s mad.

      1. Some of us are neutrals! I don’t disagree with you in general, but I don’t think it’s even close to being as bad as you say and I would be interested to hear what about this race reinforced your idea of what is going wrong with the sport

        1. @sleepywill Man, I was enjoying this race. Yeah I support Kimi but it was counting down to the inevitable. I was so (positively) surprised at this race, at Hamilton not getting punished for the first lap, at all the overtaking. And then in short order Mercedes ruined the race by throwing away Bottas’ race for Hamilton, which is all legal and allowed but blatant and cynical (too cynical for my taste) and then one of the drivers of the race lost his podium over contact that was utterly dime a dozen, especially for this race. I approached the race a neutral, because as Kimi fan I have no more expectation than that. And it hit me, this race showed a few things which are wrong with F1.

          1. Hamilton left room for Vettel, and Vettel turned into Hamilton, so how you work that out as Hamilton’s fault beats me entirely.

            Bottas finished third – which is where he would have finished had he not held up Raikkonen. So how did they throw his race away?

            Verstappen (said as a fan) didn’t leave enough room for Bottas and gained a huge time advantage, hence the time penalty. I agree unfortunate for the race but also see why it couldn’t go unpenalized.

            Finally the race was excellent after a lot of duds this season, so it does seem you just didn’t like the result.

          2. @david-br I don’t work out that it’s Hamiton’s fault nor am I saying he should have been ;-). I was positively surprised at him not getting a penalty, considering all the other stewarding

          3. @hahostolze OK, understood now! Yes, I was a bit surprised too, a decade ago it would certainly have been an undeserved penalty.

        2. @sleepywill @matt90
          Don’t let yourself get fooled by hahostolze. He ís a notorious Max-FBoy.

          1. just a realist. Try it yourself!

          2. erikje, everybody was unanimous in that Max deserved the penalty. The stewards, the commentators, every analist, former drivers, former WDCs, everybody. Everyone bar you, Mike, hahostolze, anunaki and all the other orange fans who choose to stick to your broken record ‘Max did do nothing wrong’ excuse.

            The only one’s in need of a reality check are you lot.

      2. …its only entertainment…Take a deep breath and enjoy your Sunday.

        1. “only entertainment” — too true — and Monty Python re-runs are more entertaining.

    4. I’m not sure I really see anything in this race to justify that response.

      Verstappen had been on shaky ground by cutting the chicane previously, so it was understandable that they penalised him after pushing Bottas off track. He also could have avoided losing position to Vettel by letting Bottas through (which may have even avoided the penalty had he done so quickly enough), but he chose not to.

      Chance also has been and always will be a factor. Generally it’s a lot better than in the past anyway due to improved reliability, so I don’t really understand this complaint or how you imagine it could be fixed.

      Strategy has also always been a major part of F1, and seeing as Bottas finished on the podium you can’t even say that Mercedes forced him to ruin his own race in support of Hamilton. And even if they had, getting the team a win has always been the main priority.

      What way do you actually think that the race ended in a farce?

      1. @matt90 For most of this comment I want to refer you to my other comments, but let’s zero in on one thing.

        Verstappen had been on shaky ground by cutting the chicane previously, so it was understandable that they penalised him after pushing Bottas off track.

        Yeah, so this. I really need someone to explain this to me. Because Bottas did a crazy move, and it spooked Verstappen (as it would anyone) into going wide to avoid the contact that for a moment seemed unavoidable. And everyone on TV, Sky, autosport.com, whatever, seemed to go: yeah, that makes sense, Bottas did a crazy lunge. Instead Whiting tells Red Bull that was Verstappen’s joker. And for what? Bearing in mind this race had umpteen instances of touches, of near touches, of running over the run-off, Verstappen locks up and avoids the corner because he has the real view of someone going to hit him. He doesn’t ‘keep’ a position, he doesn’t get a new one, nothing about it was untoward. Yet Whiting feels the need to tell Red Bull this was the last drop. And yet he does nothing about all the other moves which include contact? Somebody explain the stewarding here, because I can no longer keep up, and at a race like this, inconsistent stewarding ruins it for me completely.

        1. @hahostolze

          Bottas did a crazy move, and it spooked Verstappen

          Did he? Or did he follow Verstappen who locked up by himself? Genuine question, because I didn’t get the impression that Verstappen was trying to avoid Bottas, just that he ran off the track completely irrespective of Bottas going too deep himself.

          I think it’s well established that on a first lap, contact isn’t looked at in the same way because it’s very difficult to perform calculated overtakes in the midst of a swarm of cars, so unless you have a particular incident you are referring to later on I can’t really comment on the consistency of stewarding decisions.

          To be honest, regardless of the earlier incident, punting another car like that puts you on shaky ground and may well have earnt a penalty on its own.

    5. “chance”
      Do you want the races to be scripted?

      “bad and inconsistent stewarding”
      Hamilton had the better line, Vettel tried to defend and failed spectacularly. It’s not Hamilton’s fault that Vettel was too stubborn. Verstappen flat out turned in on Bottas under braking and forced him off the track.

      “team orders and team strategy”
      Team orders and strategy in a team sport? MADNESS!

      1. why was vandoorne or Erricson not penalized for sandwiching Hartley as well? And why oh why did it the take director 3 laps to show what happened?

        I think Max got off lightly, it cost Bottas 13 seconds from memory, so surely Verstappens penalty of 5 seconds is no where near long enough.

        1. Vandoorne and Ericson were not penalized because it was the first lap. It’s agreed by the stewards that they are very lenient with incidents in the first lap. For a first lap incident to get a penalty it has to be something really serious, like Hulk in Belgium.

          Max got off lightly indeed, he caused a collision deliberately (mind you, I wanted Vers to get the podium, but he did what he did). Some stewarding decisions are taken for politic reasons. Giving Vers a fitting penalty (say, excluding him from the results) would be too unpopular.

  2. That’s a proper 10/10

    1. Indeed. Best race I’ve seen in years! And the first time I give a race a 10, after rating more than a hundred races.

  3. Congrats to Lewis for the championship. Vettel has blown it

    1. Christ. We have 7 races to go. Nothing is over till it’s over.

      1. +1 Underestimate Seb and Ferrari at our Peril… Mind you, Lewis is looking MIGHTY at the moment…

    2. People were saying the championship was over last week when Vettel crushed Hamilton.
      That’s why I say it’s still open and hopefully it goes until the very last race.
      By the way if Vettel were to win all remaining races and Hamilton second, Vettel would win the championship by 19 points. So there you go.

  4. Superb race. Plenty of battles, strategies, tactics.. had it all!

  5. Great race. Seb must iron those mistakes…

  6. An exciting race. One of the best of th season so far. Now for the second season running this circuit has produced a rather decent race for its standards.

  7. That race was awesome and tense, but I’m mad that Kimi missed out on the win. And I really dislike Mercedes more than I ever have.

    1. Ditto for me with Ferrari. I more than really dislike them! But you gotta give credit where it’s due and Ferrari have really created a great car.
      Something that hasn’t been picked up on anywhere after the race..
      When I was watching sky brundle mentioned Ferrari had a very late oil or fuel test was requested by the FIA (can’t remember if it was oil or fuel). Is this standard practice? Seems to have gone completely unmentioned after the race.

  8. This race was the most intense of the season in terms of everything occurring at the same time and along the race. However I feel a bit strange at the Mercedes ‘tactics’. Hamilton whining about Ferrari “tricks” and Bottas about NOT being a wingman and at this race they just proved they are what they say they’re not. Heartbroken for Ferrari, I hope they win this championship so this race can be forgotten.

    1. I really feel for Bottas. He reminded me of one of Lewis’ little lap dogs today.

      1. Those are British bulldogs my friend. Far from lap dogs! BOTTAS? What else was he going to do? He was never near the pace of the front runners all weekend. It helped Lewis and cost him nothing. What’s the problem?

  9. 9/10, really enjoyed this race. There were plenty of battles and good racing throughout the field. But Vettel has just thrown away this title. It’s a shame, he can only blame himself for losing this one provided nothing out of the ordinary happens in the next 6 races.

    1. Nah. There are still 175 points up for grabs with Vet having ‘just’ a 30 point-deficit. Nothing out of the ordinary has to happen.

      1. Mmm, yeah, kinda: VET needs to win like almost all races. RAI is of no use as a no.2 either, although some still roll that BS as a no.2. What I’m trying to say is that BOT is a better no.2 to HAM than RAI was to ALO or VET in all these years. There’s no chance RAI would have managed to keep behind HAM the way BOT did with him. I have a hard time remembering a race when RAI gave VET such help, 2017 Hungary is probably his best and only worthy no.2 performance.

        1. Assuming Lewis finishes second in every other race, Vettel has to finish first.

        2. @mg1982 Yeah, I think you’re right by saying that BOT is a better no. 2, but still I wouldn’t say Vet is out of contention just yet.

        3. I don’t know @mg1982, Bottas was very good earlier in the year, but very unlucky; Raikkonen has been very close to Vettel’s pace this year, but initially never got Q3 right. But, in Hungary, he was the Ferrari that was ahead on Saturday, and he had a good race (after letting VET through a bit clumsily in the 1st corners), but not a great strategy. And here, he made Hamilton at least work for the win – Vettel didn’t get that pole, and got himself out of the running early on. I’m not all that convinced it will ever happen again for Kimi, but he is still ahead of Bottas and, certainly in the last races, on merit. If anything, had Vettel and Ferrari made less mistakes (including lacking strategy for Kimi), Ferrari might be leading both championships.

  10. I’m so fed up with Sky. Please, stop telling offended that Ferrari is using team tactics. Mercedes won because of team tactics and have had used Ferrari team tactics the championship would still be open.

    1. great interesting race, btw

    2. disgusting team orders. disgusting speech by ham after the race.

      1. What did he say? I missed it.

        1. He said, amid the cascade of boos from the Italian loser fans, that there was a lot of negativity. ‘billy’ clearly has issues with people keeping it real.

          1. YOU David cleary have issues with “italian loser fans” for keeping it real.

          2. And people say Vettel doesn’t handle himself well enough. Not a good one Lewis. Thank for the info by the way!

          3. There was a lot of negativity, and I don’t see what’s wrong with the grand prix winner taking offense to being booed on the podium after a hard-fought win.

        2. he was trying to rile the crowd up by invoking that the negativity shown towards him spurred him to victory. While i feel it is great to have this kind of determination and drive to win, he should not have expressed those feelings publicly. He was playing tit for tat with the crowd. It just goes to show why ham is so hated by many for his egoistic attitude even though he is a great driver.

          1. What should he have done, complimented them on their grace, class & spirit of competition amid the chorus of boos? I feel I’ve strayed into some sort of weird twilight zone. I’m having a hard time comprehending the thought process of some of you. It’s like rationality isn’t even a concept in your world.

          2. And “the finger” is a class act?

          3. Anyone in his position would’ve done the same thing. If the tifosi can boo the race winner to try and gain some “closure” from a race that the team they support lost, I don’t see why Lewis cannot return the favour.

          4. Hehehe HOW on earth anyone took offense to what Lewis said is beyond ridiculous. He showed composure and just enough respect in the face of massive provocation. He basically said I understand the booing but understand it makes me stronger. Suck it up boys

  11. Favorites aside, if you didn’t like this race something is definitely wrong with you. First flat-out race in the loooooongest while. Definite 10/10.

    1. Interesting. This is the only race in years I’ve settled for the Channel 4 highlights rather than wait for the, er, full race to be available online. I would give it 8/10 at best

  12. Please get leclerc. Ferrari never gonna win any championship with Seb and Kimi.

    1. Did anything happen on the HART-LECL incident on lap 1???? vDeemed racing incident?

  13. It was a great race (Hence why I rated it an 8) but I hate the way it ended…. Not because of who won but just the way it went down towards the end with the tyres blistering again as they have been increasingly more prone to this year.

    In the past you saw the tyres blister or grain on rare occasions during a season but this year it seems like it’s been almost every race & it’s just getting silly.

    1. Race was amazing.

      I agree @stefmeister regarding the tyres. Mainly due to the fact that you get ounisged for pushing at the start of a stint, this limits options for attacking and defending. On the other side of things, Mercedes played it well to force Raikkonen to push when he ideally wouldn’t have and ultimately caused him to get the blistering

      1. Well said @3dom, I get what you are saying @stefmeister, but have to agree with @3dom, we have seen examples of drivers (like Kimi earlier in the year, don’t forget!) finding a way to take it easy early in the stint so the tyres keep up, here Mercedes made that hard to do for Kimi, and it worked. Yes, would have been a great story to have Kimi win in Monza, but alas.

  14. Brilliant race, one of the best dry races in recent years. Hamilton really earned this one against the slightly faster Ferraris. And sorry to say Ferrari fans, but they kind of deserve this after the poor sportsmanship shown yesterday towards Lewis (booing for no reason and the childish meme poster shown in the roundup). Great racing both at the front and through the field, with strategy and teamwork playing their parts too. More of this the rest of the season please.

    1. Slightly faster ferrari – I guess you were watching a different race? Dis Bottas not have enough oomp on very old tyres to keep kimi behind?? Did you not see the pace of merc in clear air. To me this race was won by a very quick merc (would have been the same result if Bottas was the lead driver)and credit where it is due – kimi kept that merc behind him for so long.

      1. I guess which car is faster is an opinion, difficult to prove either way. But I use Vettel as the benchmark of Ferrari pace since he is usually quicker than Kimi and we didn’t get to see what his true pace was due to the lap 1 incident. Hamilton was quicker than Kimi though, I can agree on that but the pace at the end wasn’t representative, it was due to the old and blistered tyres on Kimi’s car.

        1. So, how Ferrari can be a better car when they destroy their tyres in just 10-15 laps, and it was the harder tyre?!?!

          1. There’s a lot of things that can influence how long the tyres last, it can be the difference in drivers, how hard they are pushing, whether they are following another car closely for a long time, etc. However, I will retract my ‘faster car’ comment if it’s upsetting people and just leave it as – I thought it was a great race for the lead between two competitive cars.

  15. 8/10 nice fight between HAM and RAI.

  16. Very good race with tension and drama throughout. Not once did I consider switching to watch the EPL game.

    1. I did my normal pre-race ritual, which involves putting my beer mug & a bottle in my freezer to get good & frosty while Brundle finishes up his grid walk & the formation lap is about to begin. I usually watch the start of the race, wait for the bumping & scraping to end, then get my beer when things settle down after a lap or so. Well, it ended up freezing solid today…

      1. 😄🍺❄️

        Made me chuckle @aldoid

      2. Haha, I did the same, I put a pizza in the oven, and by the time I remembered, it was a black disk and the champagne was being sprayed on the podium!

        1. LOL! At least I’m not alone!

          1. @sleepywill @aldoid Haha, these are great comments. I needed to be at the garage down the street working on my own car at 9am, but wanted to watch the start at least. 29 laps later…I finally left for the garage at 9:45.

  17. Absolutely 10/10. Fight for the lead. Fight for P3. Vett fighting back. A Vintage Hamilton. What a race. Loved it.

  18. Well that was intense

  19. 10/10. Great race. Fight for the lead for the majority. Vettel bottled it in the start of the race, should have let Hamilton through. Great recovery though and minimized the damage. I for one don’t share the feeling that the championship is over. We have 7 races to go and anything can happen.

    Verstappen had good pace in that RB and I feel his penalty was unfair. Great job though at keeping Bottas behind. Bottas is a complete joke. He has completely been relegated to a No.2 Driver, Lewis’ pet.

    Kimi was great in the race but Ferrari took the bait of the Merc. I think those pit farces though should be banned. It isn’t racing if it is decided by tricks.

    Grosjean in P6 was great and has definitely started to close the gap to KMag. Disappointing for Alonso and Ricciardo. Renault engine is a joke. Williams in the points as well Sainz and both FI which is also great.

    Overall great race and looking forward to Singapore.

    1. Ves pen was unfair. I usually criticise max for being over aggressive but this time he left more than enough room. Agree with the merc tricks in the pits as well, hard it very much.

      1. Bottas was against the white line and Verstappen hit him. I honestly don’t understand how anybody could interpret that as leaving enough room.

        1. agreed that Bottas was right up to the edge of the track & Ves veered into him. Deserved penalty. A shame because otherwise a good drive

    2. Ves pen was unfair. I usually criticise max for being over aggressive but this time he left more than enough room. Agree with the merc tricks in the pits as well, hate it very much.

      1. It’s not about the room VER left to BOT, it’s that he moved under braking, then simply bumped into BOT. He’s obviously racing borderline to cheating, cutting the chicane exactly when BOT was about to overtake him doesn’t look like a simple coincidence anymore.

        1. BOT should have backed-out…He was not ahead!

          1. Of course he wasn’t ahead, ’cause VER braked so late to push himself into cutting the chicane. He knows what he’s doing, he used these tactics in the past, like Mexico.

          2. How could he back out, didn’t the bump happen while he was already braking as late as possible?

  20. these tyres are an embarrassment. never in my life have i seen so many problems with them falling to bits with blistering or graining or whatever any any point in the 40 odd years i have been an f1 fan.

    i dont care who won i am just tired of the tyres playing such a big role because of how utterly terrible they are.

    this is no longer about high degredation or durability this is purely about this years tyres been awful, pirelli were not asked to make tyres that fall apart with blisters and graining so it just shows how bad there tyres are now.

    we need proper racing tyres to come back which allow drivers to drive super hard without having to worry about blistering this terrible all the time, it is embarrasing that the pinnacle of the sport has to use such rubbish tyres.

    simply terrible tyres, awful!

    1. 😂😂😂😂 How’s those lemons?

      1. like i said it is not about the result, i do not care who won or was 2nd or whatever.

        i have been complaining about these tyres this year long before todays race and in fact mentioned all of this in a discussion about the 2020 tyre tender 2-3 days ago.

        to say my complaints are just because of who won today is wrong and is just a way of trying to ignore the obvious fact that these tyres are awful, you simply cannot dispute this.

        should a tyre used by the top category of the sport fall apart every single race with blistering or graining? at what point has this ever been looked at as been acceptable? i recall back to 1997 when the good year tyres suffered some blistering in hungarian gp they were heavily criticised for it so why is this sort of thing now not criticised?

  21. 9/10, best race I can remember since Canada 2011. I could be wrong but it seems like a long time since there was a pass for the lead, excluding first lap passes.

    1. You summed up my thoughts too. A fight, and at least an attempted pass, for the lead is pretty much a requirement for me to give a race more than 8/10. This race delivered.

      1. Kimi retaking the lead after Lewis passed him was my favorite of the race. Didn’t expect that! I thought “Ah, damn it Kimi…” and that it was over for him then, but he timed it beautifully down into second chicane and did very similar to what Lewis did to Seb.

  22. YellowSubmarine
    2nd September 2018, 15:47

    Great race. Vettel’s immaturity showing again in thsg incident with Lewis. And Max, what a dumb kid. Instead of letting Bottas past and then using the slipstream to drift out of vettel’s reach, he chose to pursue a quixotic and pyrrhic ‘victory’ over Bottas that meant nothing. He will be expensive for RBR in the long run.

    1. Well put. Pretty much sums up my view. Vettel and Verstappen get so angry in the car and let it affect their driving. Ferrari deserve better, shame Kimi hasn’t quite got the pace he used to.

  23. 8/10
    Thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Not a big fan of holding up other drivers, but it’s a team sport first and foremost*

    * although Bottas forgot to leave Vettel 5s behind Verstappen.

  24. 10/10, Best race of the year so far! Couldn’t stop watching.

  25. Gave it an 8, should have given a 9, @ all this driver fanboy hostility’s very silly IMO.
    Sure I root for Lewis but not at the expense of any other drivers putting on a show if he doesn’t..
    I’d loved to have see Kimi win.

  26. Pretty good race. 6.

    What this race underlined, and hopefully will close completely the mouth of jokers around the globe, is that Ferrari’s engine power and faster car is a myth. Mercedes was obviously faster, HAM reckoned himself he has no problems keeping up with RAI. Ferrari offered RAI full back-up, yet RAI failed… again… although he had to fight only 1 driver: HAM! So, I think we can end for ever this chapter with RAI being kept at bay by Ferrari to help VET. Mercedes, instead, offered another premium show with BOT in the role of the WINGMAN! They threw away BOT place in his fight with VER just to help out HAM. He was just lucky that VER showed again his on-the-limit tactics and got a penalty, promoting BOT to 3rd in the end.

    VET is a fool, probably should retire before he makes a complete joke out of himself. Ferrari could give him a helping hand and fire him already and get Leclerc.

    1. I don’t know, only a week ago Vettel blew Hamilton out of the water at Spa, Merc couldn’t keep pace with Ferrari at all.

      I read somewhere before this race that the lack of tight, low-speed corners requiring heavy braking followed by heavy acceleration at Monza would mitigate the traction deficit that Mercedes has to Ferrari, and so it proved. Apparently Merc also made some gains in power for this race.

      Singapore next no? I believe we’ll see another swing back to Ferrari having the clear pace advantage with Merc having to do damage limitation, possibly against Red Bull too.

      I still think Ferrari has the faster overall car on a wider variety of circuits, but really depends on development to the end of the season.

      1. If a 5sec advantage after 22 laps = blew HAM out of the water… don’t know what to say. I thought blew out of the water is more like 15-20sec advantage after 22 laps.

        Don’t know what you read, but this race proved it’s not real. It’s not the 1st time the theory doesn’t translate into reality. As soon as RAI pitted, HAM blew out of the water the fastest lap. Also, when asked to keep behind RAI, BOT set his personal best. So, Mercedes had some significant pace unused, it’s just that some other cars were in front and messed up their race. Otherwise, the race would have been, more or less, a repeat of 2017: a walk in the park 1-2. HAM set the FL, that says something.

        1. Fair enough, but I though Vettel finished 9 seconds ahead last week? Or maybe I’m having a brain fart.

          In the context of a fairly close battle for the champion that’s a pretty significant advantage, but not like the 30 seconds or so Merc had at the start of the turbo hybrid era.

          1. No, you’re right. And, actually, it was like 11sec in the end. But that’s because HAM did not push anymore in the last 15 laps. He realized he doesn’t have the speed to overtake VET, so he settled for 2nd and saved his engine.

        2. 5 secs after 22 lasts is still an average of over 2 tenths per lap @mg1982. Last weekend the Ferrari looked better in almost every part of the track. I think the tyres had a big thing to say in today’s race, and this type of high speed track is not typical of the rest of the race calendar. It is very close though. Certainly in qualifying trim, the Ferrari is faster. It’s almost an opposite of last season

          1. Yeah, but 0.2sec difference per lap doesn’t mean blew out of water. Or am I wrong? I mean, how would you describe HAM gap to VET of almost 40sec from last year at Monza? Then, this was the race, not quali. HAM also said last week that Monza won’t that bad for them as Spa. He was right…

  27. 9/10 We got an actual fight for the lead over 40 laps. I take 1 point off because I don’t like team tactics like this, but when you have a focus on the team like in F1 it’s going to happen anyway.
    Doesn’t mean I can’t recognize this is one of Hamilton’s best, if not the best, win in a dry race.

    1. Hardly believe this can be labelled as the best or so since BOT helped him out cancel a +5sec difference. HAM could have taken that much life out of his tyres trying to close the gap that helped him overtake RAI, so it’s hard to say it was HAM merit for this win.

    2. @mbr-9

      I gave it a 9 as well. There was a battle for the race lead all the way till the last few laps of the race. Strategic battle was intense as well. Vettel binning it on lap 1 and then climbing back up the order also added a little drama to the race.

      Ideally, I would rate the race a 10, but gave it a -0.5 for the steward spoiler in the Verstappen-Bottas battle and another -0.5 for not seeing enough midfield action, especially between Haas & Force India.

      1. Good points about the midfield @todfod but I don’t understand your problem with the stewards in the Ves Bot battle

        1. @3dom
          Not saying the decision was wrong.. Just bummed we didn’t get to see Verstappen and Bottas battle settled on the race track.

  28. ” Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.”

    What i see:
    If Hamilton wins – 10
    If Vettel wins – 4

    1. It’s not so much about who wins as how they win.

    2. Having seen 10 years of these, that’s not the case at all. You see wrong.

  29. Best podium interviews. Ottimo lavoro Felipe.

    1. Eh, sounded like Felipe was interviewing himself, as he did most of the talking. Still, nice to see him again.

  30. I feel that they really need to do something about the tyres as we have been seeing so many problems with blisters this year, Far more than I can recall from the past.

    For a sport that is supposed to be about high performance, High technology & the top pinnacle of the sport I feel it’s wrong for them to have tyres that act in this way.

    Yes fine we saw the odd issue with blisters in the past but it was never this frequent or even as big a problem as it seems to be this season and I really feel like it is something which needs to be looked at and improved.

  31. 9
    Could be a 10 . But same blistering on yellows for the 2 drivers on same areas after short time?
    Pirelli sabotaging ferrari’s race?
    why mercs tyres had no issues whatsoever on their tyres? or any other team?
    I don’t know why but I feel Something fishy happening
    Stewards have inconsistent judges.

    1. Yes. Pirelli, an Italian company, is in bed with Mercedes AMG.

      It all makes perfect sense now. How could I be blind to it all? It certainly had nothing to do with Kimi pitting far earlier than Hamilton and chewing up his tyres behind Bottas.

    2. Ferrari only took one set of softs for the whole weekend, so didn’t do any running on them prior to the race. Perhaps if they’d taken more, they would have found a better compromise setup for running super-soft and soft tyres. So, no, not fishy, just a poor tyre allocation choice by Ferrari.

    3. I hope you’re not insulating that Italian Pirelli are sabotaging Ferrari! Comedy gold.

    4. Because Hamilton and Bottas know how to take care of them. When said that his tyres needed to last to the end Lewis immediatly started avoiding the kerbs.

  32. Perfect race. Excitement and tension throughout and a lot of overtakes that weren’t down simply to DRS.
    And yes, seeing the tifosi suffer for their bad grace is always good.

    1. Mercedes was faster, so the outcome is no surprise at all. Maybe it’s a surprise for you and others, ’cause you don’t know how to read what’s going on, but told you from yesterday that RAI won’t win against HAM.

      1. @mg1982 Oh, OK. So nothing to do with Vettel taking himself out, failing to maintain a Ferrari 1-2 (which covers them much better tactically) and nothing to do with poor pit timing for Raikkonen? You were right, of course, to anticipate that Hamilton/Mercedes could still win despite having a slower car (see the restart and Raikkonen’s retake of first for confirmation of their pace deficit).

        1. But I was right! If you can’t see it, it’s your problem. I’m done responding to you, you’re not reasonable. Just 2 “small” examples why Mercedes was faster today (in race trim): HAM set the FL, demolished the FL as soon as RAI was out of his way (RAI pitted), he created a 3sec gap in just 2 laps!

          Why you bring VET in discussion?! He messed up, good for RAI: 1 less problem. It was a fair fight between 1 Ferrari and 1 Mercedes. What did you want, VET to play no.2 to RAI against HAM?! Probably you didn’t see HAM overtakings against VET and RAI, so Ferrari’s engine power nowhere to be seen.

          1. you’re not reasonable

            =

            you don’t agree with me!

            If you calm down a bit, I’ll explain why I mentioned Vettel: because had Ferrari been leading 1-2 in the early part of the race, they could have forced Mercedes into pitting Hamilton earlier. And certainly the leader would have had a much larger buffer. As for FLAP, that’s never a sound indication of the fastest car, there are just too many variables when it’s being set (tyre condition, fuel loads, faster drivers conserving equipment etc.) Hamilton overtook Vettel by guile, good track positioning and taking a risk. Same with Raikkonen the first time, the second time due to tyre wear differences.

      2. For crying out loud man, enough.

  33. Just to elaborate. I think there were probably fifteen instances of contact in the first corner, if not more (never mind the other corners, the second chicane and the Lesmos for instance) and only one gets punished with a penalty. It was no different than the others. And it annoyed me because F1 stewarding is inconsistent and loves doling out the sort of punishment that chances the outcome, but doesn’t care when the contact is between drivers lower down the order. It’s like Premier League refereeing, and that’s a terrible example to take.

    1. Presumably you’re talking about the Verstappen-Bottas incident. I think Verstappen miscalculated the space, it wasn’t deliberate, but he didn’t leave enough room, shoved Bottas off track as a consequence and gained a ton of time. I’d have preferred no penalty too as it would have reduced Vettel’s points further, but I get why it was given.

      1. So where is the penalty for Ricciardo hitting Gasly for misjudging the braking zone? Where is the penalty for Magnussen for hitting Perez in the Lesmos? Where is the penalty for Vettel for misjudging the area in the chicane on lap 1? Etc.

        1. You have to leave a car width in the braking zone. It’s clear as can be. I really don’t understand what you’re going on about in these comments.
          Agreed about Ric, however he got by on the next lap.

      2. Bottas had a meter at least on his left

        1. @hahostolze @anunaki Maybe, I’ll have to see it again, but it didn’t look like he left room from the race replays.

          1. @david-br regardless of whether he left room, the others didn’t either, and weren’t punished

          2. @hahostolze But did anyone else have to drive through the bollards? My internet connection was playing up so may have missed that.

    2. Vertappen moved across under braking. Period. Or are you blind?

  34. Yes it was a great race, but to me the penalty for Max takes away my fun.

    Bottas on the outside still had a full meter on his left to go and he was behind in the first place. Where did he want to go anyway? Ridiculous

    1. Huh @anunaki? Bottas was all the way to the white line, are you talking about him using the grass? Or are you mistaking the actual incident that Ves was penalised for? They we side by side into turn one

  35. One of the most exciting races in recent years. And why? Because a slightly faster car was behind a slower one, being unable to find a way past, while all the time there was still a realistic chance of an overtake.

    Good stuff.

    1. @kaiie good point, it reminded me of Austin 2012 when Hamilton in the McLaren passed Vettel for the win. The fact that they also overtook each other at the start, Lewis made another pass on Vettel, and Mercedes had the twist in the strategy from the undercut to the sandwich made it even more enjoyable than Austin though.

  36. I usually find Monza pretty dull, but this was an absolute treat. Heartbroken for Kimi, but Lewis really got in there and proved why he’s the best driver of his generation. I have a feeling Lewis just won the championship.

    Max’s temper is his biggest weakness. The boy is a Real Racer but he needs to lose that petulance. Can I file a restraining order against Jos on his behalf?

    Can’t help but think Ricciardo’s made a bad career choice. Gasly keeping him behind for as long as he did was great to see, and gives me hope for both Gasly & Honda next year.

    Ciao, Italia.

  37. Fantastic Race – had to give it a 9, though I feel gutted for Kimi. If he had won, he would have won his 100th podium, gone out with a win before retirement, and secured the first Ferrari win in 8 years at their home circuit to honor Marchionne. Otherwise, fantastic race – excitement with strategy, good fights for the lead, a dramatic start – it had it all. I don’t know who is to blame for the first lap incident, but I’d lean towards Vettel – I feel he was too intent on attacking Raikkonen and thus ignored Hamilton on his outside, plunging into him. I will no doubt vote Kimi driver of the weekend, but these times have been hard for a loyal Alonso and Raikkonen fan.

  38. To me this race was entirely about pitstops, a lap 1 incident and team orders – I genuinely find it hard to see how that makes a fantastic race.

  39. Seb blew it.

    Still (as a Seb fan), a fantastic race, the way we love F1 at its peaks.

    From my view, I understand Kimi wanted to win it and I believe he was entitled to trying. But for the team, knowing that it was Monza, he should have done a Bottas, let Seb past in the first shicane (he had a slight lead on the outside) and held up Lewis. He wouldn’t have done it, of course, and again, I accept that.
    It was unfortunate that he didn’t let Seb past in the second shicane, either (and Seb, fearing a Ferrari crash, the greatest possible desaster, backed up), since he then basically left his team mate to be passed by Lewis.

    At that point, Seb just should have let Lewis past, but wasn’t quick enough, tried to hard, lost grip and slid into him. I guess that is a very difficult call to make in such a short amount of time and at such high speeds, but still…

    Lewis will have to have one DNF more than Seb for this to become a close title fight again…

    1. Lewis will have to have one DNF more than Seb for this to become a close title fight again…

      Don’t think so. It’s exciting right now because there are 8 races left and Vettel is 30 points down, but has the fastest car on the grid. If Hamilton’s championship lead was cut down to 10 or 14 points this race, I would think the championship was as good as lost for Hamilton and Mercedes.

      Technically, Sebastian should get a DNF due to mechanical reasons… that would level out the ‘luck’ tally between Lewis and Seb this season. But it would most probably be game over for Seb and Ferrari then. I think it just goes to show how much better Lewis has been as compared to Seb this season. Despite having a slower car and poorer reliability than his closest rival, he still has a 30 point lead in the championship.

      1. The thing is, it is not that much faster, is it?
        Looking at the race today and the times they were posting, it seemed pretty close. Too close for us to think Vettel should win the last races.

  40. A decade ago tyres constantly suffering from awful blisters like we have seen pretty consistently through this year would have been seen as a massibe negative. Yet today it seems liek it’s just accepted & even applauded.

    Shows how far F1 has fallen I guess :(

  41. Really, really good race. Proper battling all over the place, a real fight for the lead, DRS was just right for once and while we had a few bumps, most of the racing was high quality and clean. The only downside was that I really don’t like the whole using of a team-mate as a buffer (consistently disliked it since the late 1990s), but that didn’t detract too much.

    Gave it a 9. Don’t recall a dry Monza that I’ve enjoyed that much.

    1. I agree. We were due a great Monza race after a lot of staid events.

  42. What a nice race! 9/10. Surprising tactic from Mercedes by letting Hamilton out because at some point it seemed he had lost it to Raikonnen. I wonder how Raikkonen suddenly had his tyres destroyed and if Mercedes pushed Ferrari for errors but it looks like it was a very mental race. Grosjean finally having a decent weekend, and it looks like a strong race from Vandoorne too who finished 13th.

  43. Great race with multiple overtakes for the lead actually on track, gave it a 9.

  44. 1 Hamilton, 2 Raikonen, 3 Charlie Whiting.

    Whiting saw it fit to air a paradoxical “message” to Verstappen with the explicit aim of underminig his concentration:

    “You were not breaking the rules but break the rules again and you will be punished.”

    After which Bottas again showed his inability to overtake a slower car with a better driver – moving into no room with no change of succes.

    Around 40 laps verstappen managed his corner exit speed better than Bottas did. He managed to keep a much faster car behind. For this skill he was rewarded bith poo from Whiting.

    As nobody dared to punish Hamilton for benefitting from the collision with Vettel, Vettel was given some compensation points by Whiting taking out Verstappen. That’s what happend here today, and it is a disgrace to the sport. Whiting should step down and be replaced with a man who can stand his ground when he is being pressured by Mercedes and Ferrari.

    1. Do people think Charlie Whiting is some kind of 20 armed demon who can (just looking at what people think he did in this race alone) – Decided to penalise Max, because that’s apparently also his job – Decide to only air the cameras showing Vettel at the start of the race, not the leaders, forced the team to give Max a message deliberately to mess with his concentration, presumably with blackmail? for reasons… then decided to air that message, because that’s also his job.

      Do you people even like the sport? Or do you just like a Belgian racing under a flag of convenience.

      1. Agreed. Bizarre logic above. Whiting doesn’t even give penalties, just refers incidents to the stewards. Verstappen got penalized because he bumped into another car side by side with him with the left wheel on the line and grass beyond. Braking at that speed with wheels off left would have speared Bottas right into Verstappen and neither would have finished the race today. The reason Bottas went through the bollards was he released after the touch and no longer had enough braking space to make the corner.

        Or do you just like a Belgian racing under a flag of convenience.

        Oh snap!

  45. Solid 9/10 race. Lots of overtaking, a great battle for the lead and a bit of drama thrown in. Mercedes bringing it home in formation for the Italians was the perfect finish.

  46. 9. Because of Vettel, Magnussen and Verstappen 😂

  47. Here is something to ponder:
    1) Would you say that Monza is the closest F1 track to indy track (oval track)?
    2) Would you say that Monza always adds excitement because cars are fighting each other?
    3) Would you say we need more Monza-like tracks to add excitement to F1 racing?

    1. Just very quickly:
      1) Sort of and no. Although Monza’s track layout is sort of a squished and elongated oval, it doesn’t have the banked turns of varying steepness of Indycar circuits.

      2) No. Most races at Monza tend to be dull affairs. The circuit isn’t wide enough except for the main straight, and the non-spec series that F1 is are not conducive to the pack racing and drafting on Indy ovals, although changes to F1 aero rules could help close the gaps.

      3) No. See previous. Monza races tend to be dull, but like Monaco it’s historical significance and unique atmosphere somewhat help the overall spectactle.

      1. Just to expand on 1: Indycar ovals have no real corners or braking zones, but turns in which various amounts of throttle and countersteer are applied to negotiate. Indycar ovals are really about pure speed and not much else, but don’t be fooled by people who say oval racing doesn’t involve much skill.

        1. Townsend Bell gave the best description of Indycar oval racing the other weekend. He said driving super speedways like Pocano and Indianapolis are much more like flying a plane than driving a car because the speed makes the aero so important. Once you think of it in that sense, it makes more sense to know what to do as a driver. Frankly, the fact that Alonso had a month to practice this before Indy 500 and did as well as he did was impressive, because it takes years to master. The same is true of Wickens who managed very impressive pace on ovals in only his first year.

          Monza was a lot more like Indy when the banked sections were in play, but they are only related these days by their similar stature in motorsport and their comparatively high speeds versus similar tracks.

    2. @f1supremo

      1) Would you say that Monza is the closest F1 track to indy track (oval track)?

      Hell no, and thakfully so. It might be slightly closer to something like an oval than any other F1 track, but in essence, it’s completely unlike an oval. It does have long straights and lots of slipstreaming, but the crucial parts of every lap are the slow, technical chicanes and the medium- to high-speed corners that have to be tackled with minimum downforce.

      2) Would you say that Monza always adds excitement because cars are fighting each other?

      Absolutely not. This year was something special, as cars were apparently able to follow each other closely through the corners, so that the slipstream was a net benefit. But it hasn’t always been like that. There have been countless processional races in Monza, where the effects of dirty air outweighed the slipstream by far, leading to stagnant gaps of 1-2 seconds between similarly competitive cars.

      3) Would you say we need more Monza-like tracks to add excitement to F1 racing?

      No. What we need, is variety. There is no failure-proof formula for a perfect race track, and small changes can mean that a track that produces good races suddenly produces processions, and the other way around. ‘Cloning’ race tracks for the sole reason that they’ve produced a memorable race only means that when the cars evolve in the wrong way, we end up with a load of tracks that dont’t work as intended.

    3. No,No and No.
      okay?

  48. 9/10 for me…a proper race(especially after the farce of the Belgian gp)…Hamilton gave one of his best ever drives in a car that was not quite as fast as the red ones…..Max I thought may not have been penalised if he had let Bottas past, but who knows…..Sainz who they are letting go outdrove his team mate….as did ocon with his…..and Kimi did enough to get another year at Ferrari….
    Bring on Singapore

  49. You have to be honest here. I was rooting as a long time Raikkonen fan for this win with all of my heart. I went yesterday to see qualy at the track and watched the race on tv from home today. I cried yesterday for joy and cried today with disappointment. I had nerves during the race to the point that is was uncomfortable. The racing was all over the field and the spectacle was overall amazing. You have to realize that even if your favorite driver was beaten, the emotions the event provided were rare and intense, not just for a sporting event but for whatever kind of event you might consider. Thank you F1. It didn’t go as I was hoping for, but this race got a rare 10 from me. Battle for the lead, drama for the championship contenders, charges from the back, battles in the midfield, fair racing and unfair racing (all is good if the latter is punished), good venue and big attendance figures, this race had it all. Got to love F1 these days.

    1. Fantastic comment. Pleasure to read it.

    2. Well said. I have similar sentiments about the outcome, but the race was a standout for the tension and excitement. I literally was shouting “Go Kimi!” at the TV because only in the last 10 laps did the outcome feel decided.

  50. A vast more entertaining race than Spa. 9/10

  51. Rare are the Monza races like that one over the past years.

  52. 10/10
    Best race in a LOOONG time.

    I think ferarri had the slightly quicker car on super softs, but were too harsh on the yellows. I’m not sure that Ham wouldn’t have won even if vettel didn’t take himself out because of ferraris difficulty with the softs.

    Mercedes were strategically perfect. They forced ferrari to abuse their softs.

    Vettel made another stupid mistake. Possibly costing him the championship.

    Well done Mercedes.

    After last week, i was concerned ferrari were going to walk away with it. It looks like it is going to be an excellent race to the end of the season.

    1. I think ferarri had the slightly quicker car on super softs

      You think wrong…. as many others. Probably just because 1 Ferrari was in front and managed to keep there the entire 1st stint. Reality: when RAI pitted and remained in free air, HAM demolished the fastest lap. End of the story what car was faster.

      1. @mg1982
        No … i stand by my argument. I didn’t say kimi was faster than Lewis. At this stage of their careers, i don’t think any sane person would argue that kimi is faster than lewis. But did you see how easy kimi went back around lewis after curve grande? If seb hadn’t thrown it away, again, i don’t think Lewis would have won this race. Seb is much faster than kimi. Had seb shown a little patience, he could have cleared lewis just as easily as kimi did. Then, because seb is faster (or team orders), would have gotten around kimi. Lewis would probably finish second. But with the issues ferrari had with the softs, Lewis may have gotten seb too.

        1. @mg1982
          To further support my argument, vettel made 2 stops to Hamilton’s 1, started last after the accident, was missing a barge board, drove through traffic, and still finished less than a pitstop gap behind Lewis. I calculate about 20 seconds with 2 laps to go. Hamilton was going flat out the whole race except maybe the last 2 or 3 laps. So the gap want because Lewis was managing from the front.

  53. Ruined by these stupid Tifosi booings…

    1. Really!? That just fires Lewis up.

      1. @budchekov Maybe afterwards. I think at the time he finds them seriously unpleasant, his demeanour before the podium was nervous, not relishing the win. Seeing the tifosi behaving like that just makes me wish them another 11+ years without a title.

  54. A hot-headed Seb could learn a lot from the cooler-headed Kimi. The Championship is not won on the first lap of a mid-season race. Seb should have let Lewis through and, with his huge car advantage, breezed past at the end of the next long straight. Just my opinion.

    1. @gnosticbrian
      +1. Couldn’t agree more.

    2. Exactly

      1. Very true + 1

    3. Yup. That and he should worry more about beating Lewis than his teammate. Worry about that after dusting the other team, if you can. If it’s a fight all the way, take the second and celebrate your teammate on a driving a great weekend.

  55. Very enjoyable. One of the best races I’ve watched in some 20+ years. I gave it a well deserved 7.

    1. @shrieker
      Best race you have seen in 20 years and only gets a 7? I would love to see the race you rate a 10! 😀

      1. I said “one of the best”, not the outright best. There were probably some 15-20 races better than this one. Actually, I always wanted someone to ask about it :) In order to get 10, it should be a hollywoodesque race. Imagine Brazil 2008 final, but for the lead between multiple championship rivals. They overtake each another all race. They show great skill and racecraft. There’s all sorts of drama. Other people get involved, and they have to get them out of the way too. One of the WC contenders makes a heroic come back from dead last, and is involved towards the end. Only that sort of climax would deserve a rightful 10 imho. I usually vote in the 3-6 range. Your typical run of the mill F1 race does not merit a higher score.

        Cheers

  56. Ok here is what I think:
    Stroll DOTW obviously
    8 for the race, excellent battles and dramas. Only disappointment was a slightly drab ending.
    Lap 1 incident, Vettel’s fault. Hamilton left him enough room.
    Sad that Kimi didn’t simply because he must win a Ferrari race once. Surely he can’t go 2017 and 2018 without a win
    Verstappen ludicrous again. Seems like some people have short memories of the first 6 races.
    And schadenfruede for Horners smugness.

  57. What a race! It had it all – Vettel and Verstappen being the quintessential hotheads. Kimi and Hamilton showing everyone what wheel-to-wheel racing is all about – other drivers need not apply :-)

    The strategy from Mercedes was like watching a Star Wars twist – at first, we all thought Hamilton was trying the undercut but then we all realized they were trying to squeeze Kimi between the 2 Mercs.

    Drama galore!

  58. That was a proper motor race. A few silly incidents, to be sure, but that’s racing. I’m surprised at just how highly some people are rating it, but it’s definitely the best Monza race in years.

  59. 9/10. I really enjoyed this race. It has to be the best at Monza for several years.

    There was quite a lot of real overtaking, a fight for the win, some clever strategy calls and plenty of tension. I don’t recall feeling boredom at any point. It was good to see Kimi put in a strong performance. It has to be his best race for several years as well.

    It’s a shame I think that his tyres finally did for him but there, we cannot have everything I suppose. I must also say that Lewis drove superbly. No let up at any point.

  60. That was thoroughly enjoyable on almost every level and although I really wanted to see Ferrari finally win at home, Vettel only has himself to blame.

  61. 8/10 very good on the edge of the seat race. Good strategy play by some teams.the chase downs by mercedese was awsome. The struggle to hold on by kimi was excellent. The fyt back by vettel was good. The dual betwen verstappen and bottas was good too. But the boy only races as far as he can see over his nose. Like a console racer. Selfish and thinking only of himself. Well deserved penalty.

  62. A perfect race in my opinion with genuine racing throughout the whole race. The safety car was also early enough not to interfere with the quality of racing. I had thought Mercedes blew it with their strategy but the fact they tried something different made this a classic.

  63. Maybe the most enjoyable race of the year so far, I rated the race an 8.25.

    It was not only a great race but it was also a great qualifying session, anyone of three drivers could have taken pole, they all took turns in being quickest on their final runs and it was the driver who was probably least favourite out of the three who ended up top of the timesheets.

    The race was very tense I was not sure of the final result until late on when Hamilton managed to get past Raikkonen and make it stick, although leading up to that point I never really thought Hamilton would get past Raikkonen, but as he was always close there was still the possibility that something might happen.

    Also although DRS played a part in overtakes, as it almost always does now, it didn’t seem as powerful as normal so they were more enjoyable than is usually the case, for example I thought it wouldn’t take long for Bottas to get past Verstappen but that didn’t happen.

    Going into the weekend I expected a comfortable 1-2 for Ferrari given the pace they have shown recently, it was closer than I expected in qualifying when Hamilton managed to put some good laps in and he even held provisional pole after the first runs in Q3, but it still ended up being a Ferrari front row, although with Raikkonen on pole which was a surprise.

    I would have thought Ferrari would have had Raikkonen run first in qualifying so Vettel would have had the benefit of the slipstream, and given Vettel’s comments on team radio afterwards it may have been a decision he questioned also.

    Even though qualifying was closer than I anticipated it would be I still thought Ferrari would easily win the race and the only question was as their tactics had not favoured Vettel in qualifying would they use team orders to make sure Vettel won the race.

    It would have been the sensible option for any team in their position at this stage of the season and considering Ferrari’s history with team orders and having a clear number one driver it was surely just a matter of how and when they would do it rather than if.

    A Raikkonen win at Monza would have been popular, he seems to be one of the most well-liked drivers on the grid and he has not won since returning to Ferrari, but a Ferrari WDC would be more important to the Tifosi no matter who the driver is.

    But the way Raikkonen and Vettel raced each other at the start it did not look like they had been told beforehand that team orders would be enforced to allow Vettel to win, Raikkonen did not let Vettel past nor were they driving in some pre-arranged formation start so as to secure first and second places first and then worry about a position swap later on.

    To me it looked like Vettel was focusing too much on Raikkonen and trying to get the lead on the opening lap and almost forgot that he needed to worry about Hamilton behind him, it seemed that the two of them initially had a slight touch at the first chicane before the main contact at the next chicane.

    I thought the coming together between Hamilton and Vettel on the opening lap was a racing incident, if you had to blame someone it would be Vettel, but as he was the one who dropped to the back it was definitely not enough to earn him a penalty, if it had been the other way around and Hamilton had come off worse than an argument could be made I suppose, but even then I would not expect any sort of punishment.

    Hamilton may have managed to take the lead at the restart but Raikkonen took it back straight away at the next corner and I thought that would be it. When Raikkonen retook the lead Hamilton showed when it is best to give up the corner and the place, you can’t win a race at one corner in the early laps but you can lose it.

    Hamilton said after qualifying that they had changed some things overnight which had brought them closer in qualifying and so he was confident heading into the race despite Friday running seeming to indicate Ferrari had the better race pace, and judging by his speed on Sunday that confidence was justified.

    When Raikkonen pitted Hamilton started to put in quicker laps and one point it looked like he may have been able to pit and re-join in the lead but despite Mercedes telling him a few times he only had one more lap before his stop they didn’t bring him in and then Raikkonen was the one going significantly quicker and any advantage Hamilton may have had seemed to have passed, if the opportunity had been there for Hamilton to pit and take the lead that gap had gone..

    At that point I thought that Mercedes had thrown away their best chance of a win through a bad strategy call once again, but by deciding to delay their pit stop they knew they would have fresher tyres to attack later on.

    I didn’t think this would matter as even though Hamilton had been close for most of the first stint he never had an opportunity to attempt an overtake after the restart, and surely the soft tyres would be more durable than the super softs that they had started on so I didn’t think the variance in tyre age between Raikkonen and Hamilton would make a significant difference, but this strategy proved decisive.

    The whole team played a part in the victory as Mercedes kept Bottas out longer than they may have otherwise so that Raikkonen did not have a clear track and could not build a big lead, even then I thought this would be pointless as surely the Ferrari on fresh tyres and with DRS would just go straight past the Mercedes as soon as he caught him, but this wasn’t how it turned out and Bottas skilfully defended his position and while Raikkonen was trying to get past Bottas Hamilton closed him down after his stop.

    But then my thinking was that if Raikkonen could not get past Bottas, how would Hamilton get past Raikkonen when Hamilton had also not been able to manage to do this in the first stint either? The answer was that Raikkonen’s tyres were deteriorating while Hamilton’s fresher tyres were in better condition.

    Whether it was because Raikkonen had pushed his tyres to hard too early or having to follow another car so closely, or maybe just that on that day in those conditions the softs were not working on the Ferraris, Raikkonens tyres were visibly in bad condition.

    Later on when Raikkonen had lost the lead but was secure in second place Ferrari even told him to completely avoid the kerbs which momentarily allowed a Williams to unlap itself.

    I normally don’t pay that much attention what tyres the teams choose for a race weekend, there is sometimes a slight variation between the top teams which can occasionally prove a major factor in the race but you don’t expect any team to make major errors.

    But they mentioned in commentary that Ferrari had not brought many softs to the meeting, looking it up it was two sets for Raikkonen and only one set of softs for Vettel, that to me just doesn’t make sense.

    I would have thought that any tyre you are likely to run in the race you would bring at least two sets to a race meeting so you can run one set in practice to try it out and keep a new set for the race, If you only bring one set you can’t use them in practice as if something unexpected happens, say a flat spot or puncture due to debris, that set is ruined and then you can’t use them in the race.

    I could understand a team only choosing one set of a type of tyre that they had absolutely no intention of running as my understanding is that they have to choose at least one of each compound that Pirelli has nominated for that weekend. But as they have to run two different compounds in a dry race then surely they should try out both those types of tyres in practice so there are properly prepared for the race.

    I was surprised Bottas could not get past Verstappenon on track during the race, after Vertsappen’s time penalty was announced, which in my opinion was the right call, you could understand Bottas not giving it his all to get past as he knew he didn’t have to take any unnecessary risks but I thought early on in the race he would have easily got past considering the power difference between Mercedes and Red Bull.

    Mainly because of this I did not think Hamilton would be able to get past Raikkonen, he may have been quicker but not by enough to make the move stick..

    Some in Hamilton’s position may have settled for second taking the safety first approach knowing his main title rival was behind him and that he would be increasing his points lead in the championship, even though beforehand it looked like that it would be cut, but he didn’t give in and pushed for the victory all race which earned him the win.

    Winning at your rivals home track when they are favourites is all the more sweeter, just look at Vettel’s response after his victory at Silverstone.

    After Spa I thought the only hope Hamilton had of beating Vettel, for the next few races at least, was if it was wet as it seemed that the Ferrari had a big enough of an advantage over the Mercedes in the dry. The momentum in the title battle seems to have changed again, who know what will happen in the remaining races.

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