ITALIAN GP

 

Qualifying        Race    

 Round 13 – Monza, 1 to 3 Sep

 

Day

Session

Times

Sky

Channel 4

Fri 1st

FP1

0900 to 1030

0845 to 1100

 

FP2

1300 to 1430

1245 to 1500

Sat 2nd 

FP3

1000 to 1100

0940 to 1110

 

Qual

1300 to 1400-ish

1110 to 1350

Recording: 1730 to 1900

Sun 3rd 

Race

1300 to 1430-ish

1130 to 1615

Recording: 1745 to 2000

TYRES:

 

Ultra Soft

Super Soft

Soft

Medium

Hard

Intermediate

Wet

 

Drivers MUST keep at least one set of the softest tyre for Q3.  (This set will be returned to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10.  Remaining drivers will not have used them in Q3 so will not hand anything back.)

Drivers MUST use at least two different compounds during the race.

 

Individual driver’s tyre choices:

 

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Medium

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Soft

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Super Soft

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

1

3

9

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

1

3

9

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

1

2

10

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

1

2

10

Lance Stroll (Williams)

1

2

10

Felipe Massa (Williams)

1

2

10

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

1

2

10

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

1

2

10

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

1

2

10

Jolyon Palmer (Renault)

1

2

10

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

1

3

9

Sergio Perez (Force India)

1

3

9

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)

1

2

10

Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)

1

2

10

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

1

2

10

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

1

2

10

Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

1

2

10

Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)

1

2

10

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

1

3

9

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

1

3

9

 

FP1:

·      With the threat of rain very much in the air, and on the radar all the cars except one went straight out on their installation laps.  The exception was Verstappen whose car was being worked on as the session started. He went out eventually and didn’t really lose much of the 90 minutes available for running.

·      After half an hour slight rain was reported, and it seems that the worst of it had past by the circuit by a mile or so.

·      Then we saw Palmer parked in the garage as the mechanics worked on his car. Some sort of electrical failure I believe. He got back out as well, but after how well the Renaults ran at Spa I was expecting them to do better than they did. The Saubers though are expected to be at the back, using a Ferrari engine that hasn’t been effectively improved since the end of last year!!

·      Track limits: here we go again. The outside of the Parabolica (the last corner) and in the dry nearly all the cars were running wide onto the green stuff so it must be getting a faster exit by doing this, and yet nobodies said anything. Then when it got wet that green stuff can be treacherous, and guess what, once the rain had fallen nobody was running wide there.  Rather proves the point, eh?!

·      No more rain, light or otherwise with 15 to 20 minutes to go but no improvements in time either!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m21.537s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

5

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

6

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

7

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

8

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

9

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

10

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

11

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

12

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

13

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

14

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

15

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

16

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

17

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

18

Palmer

Renault

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m25.687s 

 

FP2:

·      Dry and sunny throughout this session.

·      Mercedes remain easily on top, but then they always do at Monza!

·      The pack came in two by two almost all the way down the field, or pretty close to it. This normally indicates a track which is fairly easy to drive and the times are determined more by the car than the driver. As you go down the list it can show up significant differences in the drivers, unless there was a fault with the car or its setup.  In the case of Force India I suspect that was Perez’s case as Ocon is good but not that much better than him.

·      I think someone must have said something about exceed track limits because there were one or two who ran wide at the Parabolica, but that soon stopped and everyone kept inside the line!

·      Sainz had a major snag with his Renault engine in that it pushed out copious quantities of smoke and stopped working!

·      Hulkenberg didn’t go very much after the first hour when they found a hydraulic failure.

·      Magnussen stopped at the side of the track with rear suspension failure, but not so much that the marshals couldn’t clear it away under the Virtual Safety Car, about which people insist on saying it is deployed – which, of course is nonsense.  It’s not real, but the protocol can be activated or applied, so time to stop using the wrong word, yes?

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

1m21.406s 

2

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

5

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

6

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

7

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

8

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

9

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

10

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

11

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

12

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

13

Palmer

Renault

 

14

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

15

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

16

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

17

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

19

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

1m25.295s 

 

FP3:

Lots of rain at session start (earlier sessions with lower formulae had been cancelled due to the very wet track) meant the session was delayed indefinitely. Then the rain eased and they decided it was OK to go out on wets. The green light came on wit 16 minutes to go. Everybody went out at one point or other but, as you can see, only 7 drivers recorded a time. Interestingly, the Williams is said to be really bad in the wet…!!!

They are expecting it to have stopped raining by the time qualifying starts but the track will still be wet.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

1m40.660s 

2

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

3

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

4

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

5

Palmer

Renault

 

6

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

7

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

1m45.033s 

 

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

No time 

 

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

No time 

 

Vettel

Ferrari

No time 

 

Raikkonen

Ferrari

No time 

 

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

No time 

 

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

No time 

 

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

No time 

 

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

No time 

 

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

No time 

 

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

No time 

 

Bottas

Mercedes

No time 

 

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

No time 

 

Hamilton

Mercedes

No time 

 

Q1:

·      Loads of rain coming from a swirl of cloud that was hardly moving, so there was no telling if it would ease off or intensify at any given time. At the allotted time for Q1 the rain did ease off so the cars were allowed out. There was some moaning going on, but as Martin Brundle says, “the throttle goes both ways!”

·      After Hamilton set a fastest time of 1m40.128s Grosjean, apparently unheedful(!) of Mr Brundle’s advice at first felt the car slide a bit on the straight, a sign of aquaplaning, lifted, but when it settled he applied the throttle again obviously too much as the car aquaplaned off into the barrier. He was okay but the car had a busted right rear wheel so was immovable as it was – out came the red flags. His car was removed on the back of a lorry but by then the rain was even heavier so the session restart was delayed.

·      There were 13 minutes to go. Every 15 minutes for two hours the safety car went out to check the conditions. At last the session was restarted at 1540hrs UK time.

·      They all went out except Grosjean who, under the rules could not run which is why his time is in brackets.  It was still wet so the wet-weather drivers were the ones to watch, including new boy Lance Stroll. I expected the Ferrari pair and Alonso to be higher up.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

1m35.716s 

2

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

 

4

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

5

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

6

Raikkonen

Ferrari

7

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

8

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

9

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

10

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

11

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

12

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

13

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 14

Hulkenberg

Renault

15

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

1m39.788s 

16

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

1m40.489s 

17

Palmer

Renault

 

18

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

1m41.875s 

20

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

(1m43.355s) 

 

Q2:

·      Still raining – slightly, so the session went ahead. A mix of wets and intermediate tyres being used, although the inters at this stage were a bit ambitious, and most changed back to wets.

·      Good to see Stroll up there again.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m34.660s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Vettel

Ferrari

 

5

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

6

Raikkonen

Ferrari

7

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

8

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

9

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

10

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

1m37.580s

11

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

1m37.582s

12

Hulkenberg

Renault

13

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

14

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

15

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

1m38.526s 

 

Q3:

·      Light rain at the start but it got a bit heavier but not enough to consider stopping the session.

·      Stroll and Ocon excelled but Bottas and the Ferraris were unexpectedly slow. Bottas just didn’t seem to get it together, but both Ferrari drivers were quick say they “didn’t know” why they were so far back.  My suspicion is they sacrificed their grid positions in favour of the race, when, because it will be dry, everyone gets a free choice of tyres.  They can’t change the set-up of the car though, so have Ferrari got cars set up for dry running?  We shall see.

·       Good to see the Red Bull pair going for it, even thought they have penalties that will remove them from their positions.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m35.552s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

5

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

6

Bottas

Mercedes

7

Raikkonen

Ferrari

8

Vettel

Ferrari

9

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

10

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

1m39.157s

 

GRID:

·      Sorry this has been a bit late but working out the application of the penalties has been a bit difficult, and only tomorrow will tell if I’m right.

·      Of course, if the FIA applied the penalties properly the order after Grosjean should be Verstappen 15th, Hulkenberg 16th, Sainz 17th, Ricciardo 18th, Palmer 19th and Alonso 20th.  So only the first two reversed and it would be correct!!

·      Reasons: Hulkenberg – new MGU-H, Verstappen – new power unit and MGU-H, Sainz – new MGU-H,  Ricciardo – new power unit, turbocharger and MGU-H, Palmer new turbocharge and MGU-H, Alonso – new, well, loads of stuff.

·       

Sunday morning

·      Grosjean ended up with too slow a time to qualify, but they are allowing him to start at the back.

Pos

Driver

Car

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

20

 

2

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

19

 

3

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

18

 

4

Bottas

Mercedes

17

 

5

Raikkonen

Ferrari

16

6

Vettel

Ferrari

15

7

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

14

8

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

13

9

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

12

10

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

11

11

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

10

12

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

9

13

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

8

Penalty

14

Hulkenberg

Renault

7

Penalty

15

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

6

Penalty

16

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

5

Penalty

17

Palmer

Renault

4

Penalty

18

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

3

Penalty

19

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

2

Penalty

20

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1

NQ 

 

RACE:

·      With so many drivers ‘out of place’ on the grid, this was always going to be an exciting race. Hamilton did his usual good start but Stroll lost his place as Ocon went by. Down the field there was a lot of jockeying for position and by the end of lap 1 the order was: 1.Ham, 2.Oco, 3.Str, 4.Bot, 5.Rai, 6.Vet, 7.Mas, 8.Ver(!), 9.Per, 10.Mas, 11. Kvy, 12.Hul, 13.Sai, 14.Ric, 15.Van, 16.Alo, 17.Eri, 18.Gro, 19.Weh, 20.Pal.

·      Bottas soon took Str for 3rd, and Verstappen was soon in trouble mixing it with Massa at the chicane.  Massa definitely squeezed him and he came out of it with a puncture right tyre, so a trip to the pits put him right at the back.  Meanwhile Raikkonen let Vettel through into 5th, which he soon made 4th as he went past Stroll. Bottas didn’t take long to get by Ocon for 2nd.

·      And so it went on. If I was going to remark on every bit of excitement we’d be here all night! Suffice to say it was hectic and lots was going on. Stroll and Ocon seemed to be battling off and on all race. The Ferraris were pretty much also-rans and had no chance to catch the Mercedes pair who spent some time swapping fastest laps.

·      Once Ricciardo got going he seemed to be enjoying himself as he carved his relentless way through the field, helped in some part by starting on the harder tyre and running long before his late pitstop. By lap 23 he was up to 4th and after those ahead had stopped for fresh tyres he was up to 3rd  and his own pitstop on lap 37 only dropped him to 5th. He got by Raikkonen and set about catching Vettel at 1 second a lap but ran out of laps.

·      Poor Verstappen fought valiantly from the back of the field following his pitstop, and sometimes quite aggressively (ask Magnussen) but only managed to squeeze in to the points. When will the Dutch boy catch a break?

·      There was more excitement towards the end as Ocon, Stroll, Massa and Perez ran in convoy for the few laps.

·      After Palmer had royally upset Alonso when he passed, he got awarded a 5-second penalty, which he later served, but only ran a little way further before retiring with transmission failure.

·      Vandoorne had yet another MGU-LK failure and had to retire, getting out of the car a very angry boy, and who can blame him. Expect an announcement from McLaren soon.

·      Ericsson’s engine temperatures went off the scale so they called him in.

·      Alonso was called in to retire with what the team are saying was a gearbox problem.

Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

53

20

 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

53

19

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

53

18

 

4

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

53

17

 

5

Raikkonen

Ferrari

53

16

 

6

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

53

15

 

7

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

53

14

 

8

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

53

13

 

9

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

53

12

 

10

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

52

11

 

11

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

52

10

 

12

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

52

9

 

13

Hulkenberg

Renault

52

8

 

14

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

52

7

 

15

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

52

6

 

16

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

51

5

 

17

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

50

4

Gearbox

18

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

49

3

Overheating

19

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

33

2

MGU-K

20

Palmer

Renault

29

1

Transmission

 

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© Ian Bushnell, 2017