Carnage at Monza

Written by Murtaza Ali on .

( 7 Votes )

The 2011 Italian Grand Prix started off with carnage as Vitantonio Liuzzi's marquee spun on the opening corner and got transformed into a marauding flying-saucer which simultaneously took out Petrov and Rosberg, and subsequently D’Ambrosio and Ricciardo. Alonso had taken an early lead with a brilliant move on Vettel while Schumacher, courtesy his trademark ingenuity, had shot to the third position from his starting position of eighth on the grid. However, Alonso’s advantage was nullified with the deployment of the safety car which provided Vettel with ample time to cover the Spaniard.

When the race restarted, Vettel stunned Alonso with a signature passing maneuver of his. Schumacher’s early flurry at Monza gave his fans hope of a possible podium finish. Hamilton—in high dudgeon being driven by his chagrin—started a hot pursuit on Schumacher. Soon a psychological battle ensued between Michael and Lewis as their tussle—initially for the third spot and later on for the fourth spot—became the main attraction of the race. Schumacher frustrated Hamilton with his unparalleled blocking technique for almost thirty laps. Hamilton tried every possible move in his repertoire but found it virtually impossible to outfox the guileful veteran. In the meantime the commentators started questioning the legalities of Schumacher’s unremitting blocking maneuvers. Hamilton too raised questions on his team radio regarding Michael’s blocking tactics.

There was conjecture as to whether Schumacher has breached the legitimate blocking limit of a single move in order to keep Hamilton at bay, but the videos showed otherwise. Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn warned Schumacher several times over the radio asking him to leave greater space at the turns, but Michael was undeterred as he showed glimpses of his old insane brilliance. Hamilton finally managed to overhaul Michael thanks to Mclaren’s superior aerodynamics, but Schumacher was quick to return him the favor. Jenson Button capitalized on this game of cat and mouse between the two former world champions and overtook both of them in a single maneuver to start off a decisive battle for the second place with Fernando Alonso. Hamilton finally claimed fourth from Schumacher when the latter made his scheduled stop. Hamilton eventually finished fourth within half a second of his former Mclaren teammate, Alonso. The tussle with Schumacher possibly cost Hamilton a chance for a podium finish, but there were some important lessons to be learnt for him. Vettel continued his dream run and finished almost ten seconds ahead of Jenson Button. Vettel once again proved that he is nigh untouchable in his Red Bull and looked all set for his second consecutive championship.

Michael Schumacher finished fifth at Monza, and though questions were raised at his blocking tactics against Hamilton, he was vindicated by the F1 authorities. Even though his over competitive spirit might have caused him an outside chance to finish third at Monza, he proved it yet again that he still is a nightmare for any driver on the circuit and on his day he is still capable of doing the inconceivable and unimaginable through sheer brilliance. Ross Brawn cheekily termed Schumacher’s bewildering blocking maneuvers at Monza as vintage Michael.

The drama at Monza has undoubtedly raised the bar for the remaining races of the season as the battle for the second and third spot has reached its crescendo with as many as four drivers in contention including three former world champions. As the attention shifts to Singapore for one of the most anticipated Grand Prix of the year, all eyes would be on Vettel to close in on his second world championship.

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F1 Statistics

23-25 November, 2012

Practice 1 : Result

Practice 2 : Result

Practice 3 : Result

Qualifying : Result

Race : Result

1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Räikkönen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jenson Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66
Full Table

1 Red Bull Racing - Renault 460
2 Ferrari 400
3 Mclaren - Mercedes 378
4 Lotus - Renault 303
5 Mercedes 142
6 Sauber - Ferrari 126
7 Force India - Mercedes 109
8 Williams - Renault 76
9 STR - Ferrari 26
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
Full Table