F1 Monza Results & Full Race Report: Alonso Wins in Italy With Fast Pit Stop

What Happens When the Crowd Goes Wild

9:24am EST — Fernando Alonso romped to victory in the 2010 Italian Grand Prix, his first trip to Monza as a Ferrari driver, beating out Jenson Button and Felipe Massa.  While Button got Alonso at the start, it was the Ferrari crew that gave the Spaniard a pit stop a second faster than McLaren’s for Button, allowing Alonso to fight off Button for the lead, despite ebing on colder tires.  Fourth-place finisher Sebastian Vettel could also thank his Red bull crew for putting in the fastest stop of the race to keep him in fourth when he stopped on the final lap.  Lewis Hamilton was out on the first lap, after colliding with Massa and damaging his right front suspension.  Nico Rosberg had a good race to finish fifth, but some of the closest racing in the final laps was between Mark Webber and Nico Hulkenberg for sixth, with the Australian coming out victorious, but angry after Hulkenberg kept hokding him off by cutting through the chicane.

Alonso kept the hopes of the tifosi alive with a run to pole for the 2010 Italian Grand Prix during Saturday’s qualifying, with Button attempting to catch him but not coming quite close enough to do more than start beside him on the front row.  Massa was quick all session and started in third as Mark Webber hauled his Red Bull into fourth as he and sixth-starting teammate Vettel seemed unable to catch the Ferraris or McLarens.  Hamilton started fifth.  Both Williams drivers made it to Q3, with Nico Hulkenberg outpacing Rubens Barrichello, as they started eighth and tenth, respectively.  Nico Rosberg again will start the race in the top ten in seventh, also again outqualifying teammate Michael Schumacher, who did not advance beyond Q2 and started twelfth.  Robert Kubica, who was quick through most of qualifying only managed ninth.  Kamui Kobayashi had some sort of technical issue on the grid and started from the pit lane.

The sun was shining brightly as the cars got away in Italy, Button had a good start to take the lead from Alonso through Turn 1 after Alonso pushed him to the right, as Massa came up beside Alonso to fight for second, with Hamilton soon up the inside of Massa in the second chicane and damaging his right front suspension when the two came together, ending the Briton’s day.  By the end of the first lap, Button had a half second on Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, and Kubica as the top five.  The Red Bulls were down in seventh and ninth, with Schumacher splitting Vettel and Webber.  Sutil pitted on L2 as Kobayashi’s gremlins forced him to a stop on the track.  Soon enough Alonso was right behind Button and searching for a way around the reigning world champion.  The top five remained unchanged through the first five laps, with Hulkenberg, Vettel, Schumacher, Webber, and Buemi the rest of the top ten at the end of L5.

Webber took eighth from Schumacher into Turn 1, but Schumacher fought back, though the Australian ended the scrap with the position.  The drivers seemed to settle in early, generally looking after their tires s the top ten did not change after Webber’s pass on Schumacher.  Alonso was a half second behind Button at the stripe, but both closer and farther away a points  through the lap.  Massa was nearly a second behind his teammat while Rosberg’s Mercedes might have begun developing a train of cars nearly six seconds off the podium positions, but for Kubica’s two second gap back in fifth by the end of the tenth lap of fifty-three.  Just two laps later and Button had taken off a bit, with the gap back to Alonso up to a second and a half as the radio suggested that McLaren was “in the [pit] window.”  Massa was just over a second behind Alonso and the two Ferraris appeared to be sliding back slightly.  Meanwhile, Senna had stopped on the circuit as well.

Sutil was providing the most on-track action as he made his way forward through the new teams.  By L15 he was up to fifteenth.  Meanwhile, Alonso was gaining on both Button and Massa, though only by a tenth or two at a time.  Alguersuari was the first to pit on L17 from fifteenth as Sutil moved up to seventeenth on the harder tires.  de la Rosa was the next in as the latter mid-pack started pitting before the leaders, as is not usually the case.  By L18, Button still led ALonso, Massa, Rosberg, Kubica, Hulkenberg, Vettel, Webber, Schumacher, and Buemi as the top ten, with Rosberg over ten seconds behind Massa and Hulkenberg, Vettel, and Webber quite close together.  Massa lost more time to Alonso with a big wiggle, dropping to nearly three seconds behind his teammate.

By L21 Vettel was complaining of an engine issue, “it feels like the engine is dying on me!”, and Webber overtook him for seventh with no fighting between the teammates.  Vettel’s previous lap was his personal best.  His next was commensurate with Webber’s time.  Alguersuari was back into the pits again.  Alonso was shaving a few more tenths off his gap to Button as a tire change became imminent for the leaders.  They were also quickly catching up a fighting Glock, Alguersuari, Kovalainene, and di Grassi at the end of the field.  Kovalainen pitted on L25, but Button and Alonso had caught everyone else right up.  di Grassi let both Button and Alonso through easily.  Glock pitted the next time around, and Alguersuari let them through as well.

At the halfway point of the race the top ten had not changed after the Red Bull position switch, though Webber was catching up Hulkenberg.  Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes was tweeting about an accident in the HRT garage, “i think car went over a pit guest. but guest looks like hes moving so hertes hoping all alright…ambulance now in pit lane…i seee him moving so hope all is well,” but no one else was mentioning it, nor were replays shown.  Button and Alonso were setting quite similar times for laps twenty-five through thirty, though Button had just enough of an advantage through the second sector to keep the gap constant.

Liuzzi was next in after the pit lane was re-opened after that HRT incident, as Yamamoto hit his radio technician, who was not usually in the pit lane, but had been brought in to check on Yamamoto’s recalcitrant radio.  With twenty laps left in the race Button still led Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, and Kubica as the top five, with Alonso eight tenths behind Button, Massa another 2.2s behind his teammate, and Rosberg seventeen seconds behind the podium positions.  Kubica was another two seconds back as he pitted for the first time on L34, rejoining the action in ninth.

Rosberg and Webber pitted at the same time, with Rosberg getting out ahead of Webber, who returned to the track alongside Kubica, who flew past him into the first turn.  Button was the next in with a very quick and clean stop, returning in third.  Hulkenberg came out also alongside Kubica, taking the position from the Pole, who came under fire from Webber, who took the position.  Alonso pitted on L38 in another quick and clean stop, a second faster tahn Button’s stop, coming out next to Button, who made a move but could not take the position through the first turn, even as he went to the inside and outside, as they both were distracted by a Virgin Racing car.  Massa pitted and came out behind the fighting Alonso and Button with fourteen laps left.  Meanwhile, Hulkenberg and Webber were fighting for sixth, with the German cutting the chicane to keep his position, not giving it back, and fighting with Webber dramatically, multiple laps in a row.  The stewards were soon having a chat with the Williams team.

Alonso continued to set race fast laps with no one ahead of him, bringing the gap to Button to a second and a half.  Vettel and Petrov were the only drivers who had not yet pitted with ten laps left.  Webber was soon told that Hulkenberg “will not let you through. Keep pushing,” in a radio transmission broadcast on L44.  Meanwhile, Trulli, according to multiple Twitter reports form Lotus team members, had lost second gear for what may have felt like the fifth race in a row.  By the end of L45, Alonso had a 3.6 second gap on Button, who had Massa another second and a half behind him.  Webber, though, was setting the race fast lap while Vettel looked to nearly have enough of a gap on Rosberg to keep fourth when he finally stopped for the harder tire.

Neither Vettel in fourth nor Petrov in tenth had stopped for the required tire compound change with five laps left, as the gap at the front grew closer to nearly four seconds.  Trulli’s raced ended with a cloud of smoke as he stopped on the front straight.  Webber finally got Hulkenberg for sixth, after the younger German continued to frustrate Webber by chopping across his bow and cutting chicanes.  Petrov pitted, but the Red Bull garage looked quite settled when watching Webber’s pass, and Vettel had only two laps to pit.  The gap from Alonso back to Button had dropped to under three seconds.  Vettel came in in the final lap, locking up when slowing to the pit lane speed limit, and coming out ahead of Rosberg to keep his position with a 3.3 second stop.  Alonso brought home the Ferrari in first from pole.

Final Positions for the 2010 Italian Grand Prix:
1. Alonso
2. Button +2.9
3. Massa +4.2
4. Vettel +28.1
5. Rosberg+29.9
6. Webber +31.2
7. Hulkenberg +32.8
8. Kubica +34.0
9. Schumacher +44.9
10. Barrichello +64.2
11. Buemi +65.0
12. Liuzzi +66.1
13. Petrov +78.9
14. de la Rosa +1 Lap
15. Alguersuari +1 Lap
16. Sutil +1 Lap
17. Glock +2 Laps
18. Kovalainen +2 Laps
19. Yamamoto +2 Laps
20. di Grassi +3 Laps


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