Italian GP – Prancing Horse Gallops to Victory on Ferrari’s Home Turf

By Auto News Log • September 13th, 2010

Monza – Fernando Alonso produced a stunning drive to give Ferrari its first win on home turf since 2006 and to add to the delight for the thousands of tifosi who filled the grandstands opposite the podium, Felipe Massa was up there too, in third place.

McLaren’s Jenson Button joined them for the obligatory champagne spraying having come home second. This great performance is not only the perfect way to end the European leg of the season, but it also reignites the Scuderia’s fight for the championship titles, as Fernando is now third in the Drivers’ table, just 21 points, or less than one race win, behind the leader, while in the Constructors’ Ferrari is still third, but the gap to the leaders has now come down to 60 points.

Although Fernando had the advantage of being on pole position and made a good start, it was not as good as Jenson Button’s, who managed to muscle past to take the lead going into the first chicane. Indeed, for a moment, even Felipe pulled alongside his team-mate, before slipping behind him down the straight. At this point, Lewis Hamilton pushed his McLaren alongside the Brazilian and the two cars touched: fortunately the F10 was able to continue, but the Englishman’s race was over due to broken suspension.

The leading trio, who appeared to be tied together with an invisible thread, then gradually pulled away from the rest of the field, with Fernando right on Button’s gearbox for much of the race and Felipe close behind, with the three men trading fastest race laps. By lap 20, Felipe’s advantage over fourth placed Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes was almost eleven seconds. With the top three men all so close, the one and only pit stop to switch from the soft to the hard tyre was evidently going to be the key moment of the race.

It was the Englishman who came in first, and when Fernando came in on lap 37, the Scuderia pit crew pulled off the fastest wheel change of the day. It was a heart-stopping moment as Fernando rumbled down pit lane, as Button rushed down the main straight, but the Spaniard just had the edge, the two men almost side by side through the first chicane. Felipe came in next time round and maintained his third place.

For the rest of the 53 lap race, the lead trio again stayed in close contact, but not enough for the positions to change, while there were several good scraps lower down the order. Finishing just off the podium was Sebastian Vettel in fourth place for Red Bull, who instigated the unusual strategy of bringing him into the pits for his compulsory tyre change on the very last lap. Behind the German, the rest of the points went to Rosberg in fifth, then Webber, Hulkenberg, Kubica, Schumacher and Barrichello in tenth.

Source: Ferrari

 

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