One-stop Vettel makes Italian GP ‘straight-forward’
Sebastian Vettel won a 32nd career victory at the Italian Grand Prix in uncomplicated fashion, using only two sets of Pirelli’s tyres in the exclusive supplier’s home race. Fernando Alonso, with whom Vettel shares that career wins total, also used a one-stop strategy in his Ferrari to get second place, having started from fifth on the grid, meaning that he limited Vettel’s championship lead to 53 points – likely too much to make up already.
Starting in ambient temperatures of 26 degrees conditions remained dry, despite a few drops of rain just before the start. Every driver started on the medium tyre, apart from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, all of whom took a chance by starting the race on the hard compound, with the former two drivers’ chances of beating the dominant German fading with every race. Raikkonen registered the longest stint (29 laps), while Hamilton registered the fastest lap (1.25.849) on the mediums, but neither was able to match the consistency of Formula One’s top two drivers.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “With some light rain 30 minutes before the race, some of the cars went onto the grid with the Green intermediates but as the rain subsided we saw the majority of drivers start the race on the mediums. This was a straight-forward one-stop race with no degradation and many cars set their fastest laps towards the end of the race.
“Any strategy would have been dependant – as always – on a number of factors, but as the rain held off, Vettel’s decision to start on the mediums with one stop to change to the hards proved a winning combination. Monza is a big test for the tyres with the surface temperature of the tyres heating up to 130 degrees Celsius as the cars exit La Roggia but the tyres coped well with the demands for the whole weekend. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the fans here this weekend – as always the atmosphere is electric at this circuit and we are truly proud to call this our home race.”