We all give McLaren a lot of (deserved) stick because of the unreliability of their vehicle in recent years, but credit where it’s due – Fernando Alonso logged the quickest lap time of the race.
We said yesterday, after Lewis Hamilton’s stunning pole position in Monza, that the race was his to lose.
“When we were practising for the race on Friday I was looking really strong and at least I felt really good and I could push Lewis really well in the race either way, if he was in front or behind me I had a chance to win”.
“I could see Nico pulling away and I knew from quite an early stage that winning the race would not be possible”, said Hamilton. He’s also handed his team-mate the momentum in the drivers’ championship – Rosberg is now just two points behind.
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“It was all down to the start”.
“The start was the big opportunity and that worked out fantastically”, Rosberg said.
A football match between F1 drivers and ex-football players was held on the start-finish straight ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. Notably, he had alerted his engineers that it was his fault at the beginning of the race and maintained that he did everything normal.
“Well, obviously yeah it was lost at the start”, Hamilton conceded. To be honest, I knew my engineers would be anxious and nervous of how the start went, so that’s why I tried to put their minds at ease. Nobody. Because if you start to blame people this is when it starts going downhill because people will try to protect their a*** and make sure they have a conservative system in place rather that putting the best developments on the vehicle. His teammate Lewis Hamilton would cross the line a little over 15.0 seconds back. Despite going ahead of Hamilton at the start, Vettel conceded the advantage to the Mercedes driver. I think I just got lots of wheelspin.
“There is possibility to have space between us – Nico would say the same thing if it was the other way – but also we want to win every race as a team, so we are hoping for a good weekend”.
An engine change forced Hamilton to start from the back of the grid in Belgium, which in turn meant he could only manage a third-place finish, with Rosberg taking the win easily. This meant that his race was that of a recovery, where he had to overtake a number of drivers to climb back to second position and overtake the Ferraris, who were supported by the home crowd.
Most of this race’s drama came in the first 10 seconds.
“We are still leading the world championship”.
“I can tell you now that I do have a two-year contract starting next year with McLaren-Honda”, said Button.