It was a case of another great day at the office for Lewis Hamilton this weekend in Monza. Amidst controversy regarding Pirelli’s tyre explosions in Spa Hamilton managed to keep his cool and sail to yet another win this season.
Starting from pole Hamilton was already outdoing team-mate Nico Rosberg who qualified in fourth, behind the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, after an issue with his engine.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 5, 2015
Much to the dismay of the other teams Mercedes brought an engine upgrade with them to Monza but with problems on Rosberg’s he was forced to revert back to his previous engine, clearly no match for the new power that Hamilton possessed.
Ferrari wanted, and needed, a good weekend in front of their home crowd, the tifosi out in full force. For Kimi it was meant to be the perfect opportunity to gain some points and prove his expertise out on the track. But it wasn’t quite meant to be.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 6, 2015
The new start system, first trialled in Spa last time out, has proven to be a challenge for some drivers. For Hamilton and Vettel it was a great start as they led the race but Kimi failed to move from his position and once he did he was firmly at the back of the grid. For Rosberg it was difficult as, placed directly behind Raikkonen, his start had to be taken at a slight diagonal to take avoiding action and ensure he didn’t plant himself directly into the backside of the prancing horse.
Elsewhere on the grid penalties had once again taken their toll with the McLaren’s, Red Bull’s and Toro Rosso’s all at the back of the grid, meaning that the two Marussia’s of Will Stevens and Roberto Mehri had moved into 13th and 14th respectively, the best ever qualifying in the team’s history.
P13 & 14. Just a mere hop over the pit wall.
— Manor F1 Team (@ManorF1Team) September 6, 2015
But it wasn’t long before they were pushed back down, Raikkonen amongst the pack firing ahead of them on the first lap.
For Lotus it was a weekend very unlike Spa where Romain Grosjean managed a podium finish – within the first two laps both cars were back in the garage. Grosjean’s car was clipped leading to a rear suspension failure for him and as he swerved away from the incident he inadvertently caught a Force India which in turn touched Pastor Maldonado, finishing his race. This type of on-track drama could surely only happen to the Lotus team.
— Lotus F1 Team (@Lotus_F1Team) September 6, 2015
With the race in the hands of Hamilton and Vettel with his eye on a second place finish Rosberg knew he had to go all out to stay in with a chance of taking back some vital championship points. But once more it wasn’t meant to be.
Rosberg was the first of the third place challengers to pit and Williams knew they had to respond as the German began producing some quick lap times on the medium compound. Felipe Massa came in first and despite no issues with their stop he returned onto the track behind Rosberg. There was no luck for Valtteri Bottas either as he came out behind the pair.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) September 6, 2015
With only five laps remaining of the race Hamilton was told over the team radio to speed up and go all out but was given no reason. This bemused most as if there had been an issue with the car then going quicker would not be an option and with such a small amount left of the race then another pit stop would be entirely unnecessary.
Rosberg was gaining on Vettel and it looked possible for another Mercedes 1-2 but the German’s dreams were quashed as his car burst into flames with only three laps from the chequered flag. It was a disappointing end to Italy after a week full of such joy for his family after his wife Vivian gave birth to their first child, a daughter.
Tough weekend for me. Mist Wochenende. Here is my video message for you. https://t.co/aCcD04TJ2y
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) September 6, 2015
Once more Max Verstappen had some great overtakes, a particular tussle with Jenson Button a highlight, despite it showing off just how abysmal the McLaren Honda car actually is as he really struggled to fight back against the Toro Rosso.
Williams provided some interesting action by the end of the race as Bottas really stepped up a gear and came tantalisingly close to a podium finish, losing out to his team-mate as he was narrowly pipped to the post. If there was one more lap perhaps there could have been another outcome.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) September 6, 2015
In typical Formula 1 style more drama came off track than on as we finally discovered the truth behind the odd Mercedes radio messages, Hamilton’s tyre pressure was actually 0.3psi below the minimum requirements stated.
A sneaky Mercedes were attempting to gain a lead of more than 25 seconds over Vettel just in case Hamilton received a penalty without alerting any attention to the issue. Following a steward’s investigation Hamilton was allowed to retain his victory though.
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) September 6, 2015
Despite Hamilton’s blond new hair do there was no change in his attitude with the driver winning yet another Grand Prix. Vettel and Massa rounded off the podium with Bottas, Raikkonen, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Daniil Kvyat completing the top ten, the Red Bull’s Ricciardo and Kvyat coming back well from their back row start.
Hamilton now extends his lead over Rosberg by 53 points and with only seven races left of the season it is becoming increasingly difficult to see an Abu Dhabi finale with the German able to lift the world championship trophy.
The next race is the night time bonanza that is Singapore on 20 September. Hamilton won from pole in 2014 and in two weeks’ time it will be a major surprise if the winner is any different than then.
What did you think of Monza? Have your say below.