Monza: a rich history enriched

Monza: a rich history enriched

Postby meteorite » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:56 pm

Up i northern Italy, just down the road from Maranello, lies Ferrari's home track, the historic racing circuit dating from well before Formula One was even created. Siding through the beautiful Italian countryside it has seen deep tragedy and wild triumph, and racing always unpredictable and forever challenging.

For this weekend qualifyng day brought out the challenge. Session 1 ran just about four minutes before a steady fall of rain that had already soaked the track turned without warning into a real downpour, catching out Romain Groxsjean who fell off the track, sideswiped one barrier, and bounced across to the other side's barrier, drawing a red flag. The stewards did not proclaim the track fit for even full wet racing for over 2-1/2 hours.

Session 2 saw mixed results as the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull runners experimented between intermediate and full wet tires, results depending on the state of rainfall at the moment. But the final session changed everything. Early runs showed that the track was demanding full wet tires - except from Ferrari which could not make them work and so drifted back down the grid.Max Verstappen kept the Mercedes honest, along with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, while Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon joined the top half dozen. But Hamilton rose to the challenge with a top lap that also made him the most prolific pole-winner in Monza's history and also in the history of Formula One. The whole group then were sorted out on times revised according to grid penalties applicable. One effect of this was to make Lance Stroll the youngest driver ever to attain the first row of a F1 startng grid, and first Canadian to do so since Jacques Villeneuve in 1998.

The rest of the grid forms up as follows:


01 03 Sep 2017 Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza
Race sponsor
Starting grid
Pos No Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.009 1:34.660 1:35.554 29
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:37.344 1:36.113 1:36.702 29
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:38.304 1:37.313 1:36.841 26
4 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:37.653 1:37.002 1:37.032 27
5 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:38.775 1:37.580 1:37.719 29
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.716 1:35.396 1:37.833 29
7 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:38.235 1:37.031 1:37.987 30
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.198 1:36.223 1:38.064 28
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:38.338 1:37.456 1:38.251 27
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:38.767 1:37.471 1:39.157 25
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:38.511 1:37.582 19
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:39.242 1:38.059 20
13 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:39.134 1:38.202 11
14 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.183 1:38.245 21
15 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:39.788 1:38.526 21
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:40.489 12
17 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:40.646 10
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:41.732 11
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:41.875 9
NC 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:43.355 3

Q1 107% Time - 1:42.416. Note - Grosjean failed to set a time within the 107% requirement and races at the stewards' discretion. Penalised for use of additional power unit elements: Alonso 35 grid places, Ricciardo 20, Verstappen 20, Sainz 10, Hulkenberg 10, Palmer 15. Ricciardo penalised a further 5 places for an unscheduled gearbox change.

The weather forecast for the race is a beautiful sunny early fall day, so the finishing order swill liikely sort itself into its accusxtomed form. But the first laps should be interesting.
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Re: Monza: a rich history enriched

Postby meteorite » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:32 pm

Once the penalties were sorted out the stage was set for an interesting and revealing race. Hamilton on the pole got away quickly enough to move ahead of Lance Stroll, causing the Canadian to brake heavily enough into the first turn that Ocon slid into the gap. Ocon and Stroll then gave a spirited demonstration of the relative merits of Force India and Williams which Bottas was content to observe from just behind as Hamilton softly extended his lead by about a half a second per lap.Behind Massa was swatted by Max Verstappen, charging up from a penalty-hampered starting position. It didn't hurt Massa, but Verstappen had to cover most of the length of the track to the pits to replace a tire blown in the impact. Max in turn formed a rolling chicane for everyone behind, slowing them as Hamilton opened his lead at a regular pace. Bottas swiftly but prudently slipped past Stroll and Ocon to take position a respectful four seconds behind his team leader, who by this time had his engine turned down to durability mode. They continued this way to the finish.

Behind Vettel, wanting to retain his points lead and uphold Ferrari's honour on their home track was making a determined drive up from is disadvantaged start that, even though he was half a minute behind the Mercedes, put him on the podium for third. It wasn't easy; Daniel Ricciardo, starting a remote 16th, was chasing him had, often closing at better than a second a lap, to fall short of the podium by a mere four seconds when the flag fell. Since he had to get by RAillonen, Stroll and Ocon to get there, hixs 12-place gain was a sxerious achievement. Raikkonen, Stroll, Ocon, Perez, Massa and Verstappen completed the point scorers.

The European races are now finished and the flyaway series, the final third of the season, begins. At the moment Mercedes seen to have used the summer break to advantage and seem poised to continue to exploit their lead in the driver and constructor points races. Though grid penalties and race incidents obscured the fact, the Red Bull cars were fast enough to look like a serious threat to Ferrari and regular podium contenders. How Ferrari ended up so wrong-footed in the race that counts so much for them is cause fr major concern. For the others, Force India now have a driver feud on their hands, Williams is coming on strong and rumours say Alonso could land there, Renault's hand grows stronger with the improving performance of their engines, while Haas wsill likely to stick with Ferrari. Some have heard that McLaren have struck deals with Honda and Renault to change the engine supply in an effort to retain Alonso.

Much can happen between now and seasons end, from unexpectedly successful tweaks to driver injuries and accidents, bad choices of tire strategies, weather surprises, natural and political events, and all the caprices of fate. At looks like Hamilton is the likeliest to claim the season champiship, but don't rule others with high point totals out either.


01 03 Sep 2017 Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza
Race result
Pos No Driver Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 44 Hamilton 53 1:15:32.312 25
2 77 Bottas 53 +4.471s 18
3 5 Vettel 53 +36.317s 15
4 3 Ricciardo 53 +40.335s 12
5 7 Räikkönen 53 +60.082s 10
6 31 Ocon 53 +71.528s 8
7 18 Stroll 53 +74.156s 6
8 19 Massa 53 +74.834s 4
9 11 Perez 53 +75.276s 2
10 33 Verstappen 52 +1 lap 1
11 20 Magnussen 52 +1 lap 0
12 26 Kvyat 52 +1 lap 0
13 27 Hulkenberg 52 +1 lap 0
14 55 Sainz 52 +1 lap 0
15 8 Grosjean 52 +1 lap 0
16 94 Wehrlein 51 +2 laps 0
17 14 Alonso 50 DNF 0
18 9 Ericsson 49 DNF 0
NC 2 Vandoorne 33 DNF 0
NC 30 Palmer 29 DNF 0
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