Lewis Hamilton wins the 2015 Italian Grand Prix from lights out to chequered flag.
The temple of speed became the temple of Hamilton as Lewis took victory at Monza to complete the perfect clean sweep in Italy. While Raikkonen faltered on the grid, Rosberg’s old-spec engine blew and Vettel could not challenge, Lewis ran the perfect race to take the win from lights out to chequered flag, but his tyres did reportedly drop bellow Pirelli’s tyre pressure limits. Even with Hamilton dominating the 2015 Italian Grand Prix for the 25 championship points, the rest of the field ensured their was a show.
The race weekend had been going perfectly for Lewis Hamilton leading into race day with the fastest lap in each individual practice session and qualifying stage. Compare this to his team-mate and Rosberg was more than just on the back foot, after the team were forced into swapping back to the Spa-spec engine in change of the new, upgraded power unit after a leak in the cooling system contaminated Nico’s Power Unit.
This gave the Ferrari’s the chance to split the Mercedes duo on the grid with the Italian outfit taking second and third in qualifying for their home race. At the other end of the grid, McLaren, Red Bull and Toro Rosso found themselves behind both Manor drivers after a hoard of engine penalties resulted in mass grid drops.
When the lights went out and the racing at Monza got underway, Manor instantly found themselves slipping back down the order. But it was at the top of the grid were the shocking action happened with Kimi Raikkonen stalling from second on the grid, and fell all the way to last.
Off the line, Rosberg also lost places from fourth of the grid to the fast starting Williams duo after being forced to slow his start and not run straight into the rear of Kimi’s Ferrari. But while the two of them set about their comeback drive, Lotus were already clearing a space in the garage for Maldonado and Grosjean was pulling off to the side of the track for a double DNF for the team.
For Pastor, his retirement came as he broke the floor of his car by clattering over the turn one sausage kerbs while taking avoiding action. As for Romain, his retirement came due to damage caused my contact at the rear on the opening lap.
Out in front, Hamilton was already easing away from Vettel and denying the Ferrari the use of DRS as he pulled away by more than half a second a lap. As for their team-mates, Kimi was on a charge from the rear of the field, picking off car by car with every lap. The braking for each chicane was playing into Raikkonen’s hands as he reeled in the opposition and cruised around them.
McLaren’s Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso also found drivers cruising around them as their powerless McLaren-Honda car simply did not have the legs on the straights to keep anyone behind. At the start, Jenson’s race was initially going well as he moved into the points but once the race truly got underway, the obvious problems the team face caused his race to appear in reverse.
Honda’s claim of having more power than Renault also became a blatant lie and exaggeration during the Italian Grand Prix when Jenson lost twelfth to Verstappen into the Parabolica before attempting a fight back down the pit straight. Yet even with DRS and being tucked right under the gearbox of the Toro Rosso, Max had the legs on Button to keep him behind and even managed to hold the position under braking by taking the wider line into turn one for the inside line of turn two.
Speed was a completely different matter for Hamilton, who saw no threat coming his way from Vettel as the Ferrari edged into the distance to become a dot in Lewis’ mirrors. But Rosberg’s day continued to progress slowly as he sat behind the Williams’ while his brakes began to get dangerously hot. Luckily for him, he was not forced into a high braking move to gain Massa’s or Bottas’ positions as once he pitted, he managed to complete the undercut Massa as Williams instantly reacted to Mercedes’ call. When Bottas eventually pitted, he also found himself behind both Rosberg and his team-mate.
Once the trio of Rosberg and the Williams had made their mandatory pit stop, Raikkonen was running in third place. But due to his poor start to the race he was yet to pit and fell down to tenth once he was called into the box. That call however did not come until Kimi recommended to do so when Rosberg was latching himself onto the rear of the Ferrari.
With medium tyres fitted for Kimi, he set about re-catching and re-overtaking Ericsson and Hulkenberg for the lower points scoring positions, which he did with ease in the second fastest car on the track. Meanwhile, Vettel continued to fall further away from Hamilton, with the race leader dropping the hammer for new fastest laps of the race. Vettel was also coming into sight for Rosberg, although not enough for an overtaking chance by half race distance.
Like Raikkonen, although not through his own fault, Max Verstappen was having a great day of it on his charge from the rear of the field. For Max, his day started from 20th due to his engine change, followed by a further drive-through penalty for the start of the race due to his engine cover blowing off through the Curva Grande in his short qualifying appearance. But come Sunday, Verstappen was putting together a lovely nice to fight off the disadvantage he started with, including a superb move around the outside of Nasr into turn one for 13th place.
As the race neared its end, Hamilton had a strange call come over the radio. At the time, Lewis was over 20 seconds clear of Vettel, who now had Rosberg right behind him, but the team asked him to pick up the pace which saw Lewis set more fastest laps of the race.
But while he did so, Rosberg was pulling over to retire as his engine packed up and caught on fire on the run into the second chicane. While the team calmed Hamilton on his car being fine on the radio, Lewis was not happy with being told to push without a reason given to the concern.
But clearly something serious had developed on Hamilton’s car with the team not wanting to talk about it over the radio to their driver nor talk about it to the media after the race.
But after the race had ended, Pirelli reportedly confirmed Hamilton’s car had dipped below the minimum tyre pressure recommendation given to the teams. Mercedes then confirmed it was tyre related, which they did not understand at the time and if found guilty, Lewis would face a serious penalty.
Regardless of the curious problem to Hamilton’s car, Rosberg would clearly be feeling worse as he lost any points on offer while Lewis stretched his championship lead on his team-mate by a further 25 points.
After Lewis took the win by 25-seconds and Vettel claimed second place for Ferrari’s home Grand Prix, the Williams duo were still fighting hard for the final step on the podium hanging over the Monza circuit. For the former Ferrari racer, Felipe Massa held off the challenge posed by Bottas to take third.
|Position||Driver||Gap to leader||Points|