Vettel dominates Italian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel led nearly every lap of the Italian Grand Prix, and extended his near-unbeatable points lead. Fernando Alonso took the lead at the start, but was quickly beaten by the Red Bull within a few laps.

Liuzzi loses control and slams into Petrov and Rosberg

Liuzzi loses control and slams into Petrov and Rosberg

At the start, Fernando Alonso made a miracle start, taking to the grass to leap into the lead. At the back, an out of control HRT launched into several cars, including Nico Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov. Daniel Ricciardo failed to start off the grid, while Bruno Senna and Kobayashi pitted for soft tyres.

The safety car peeled off the track on Lap 3, and the racing recommenced. Sebastian glanced at the lead at the second chicane, but Fernando was having none of it. Michael Schumacher swept past a slow-starting Lewis Hamilton for 3rd.

Even without DRS, Vettel shoved his way past Alonso – using the grass like the Ferrari did at the start. Mark Webber tried a move on Felipe Massa, but ended up clipping the back of Massa, taking off the Red Bull’s front wing, and spinning the Ferrari.

Later that lap, Webber crashed into the barriers as a result of the damage. The battle for 2nd place soon emerged, as Alonso began to lose pace. After being held up for several laps, Lewis Hamilton tried to pass Schumacher for 3rd, but the Mercedes wouldn’t back down.

As Button joined the back of this group, the McLaren’s strategies were becoming ruined, as Alonso and Vettel sailed into the distance. Lewis desperately tried to get past, but was pushed onto the grass, allowing Button through. The Variente Ascari gave Jenson the opportunity to take 3rd, which he graciously accepted.

Michael pitted at the end of Lap 17, setting the McLarens free to chase Alonso. Jenson opted to stop a lap later, followed closely by Hamilton on Lap 19. However, he emerged behind Schumacher, to his utter disgust. Alonso pitted on Lap 20, but was now 15 seconds behind the race leader.

Round 2 of Hamilton vs Schumacher begun, with the Mercedes cutting off the McLaren at every opportunity. Lewis got beside Michael on every single lap, but excellent straight-line speed kept Schumacher in front.

Eventually, after nearly 20 laps of tussling, Michael succumbed to Hamilton, and the McLaren moved into 3rd. Meanwhile, the other McLaren was now challenging Fernando Alonso for 2nd.

Once the Ferrari began to pick up pace near the end of the stint, Button took to the pits. Both Alonso and Hamilton pitted a lap later, with the positions remaining the same. An error by Fernando allowed Jenson to take the position a lap later.

With Vettel miles in front, and Button having good pace in 2nd, the focus switched to the battle for 9th. Sebastien Buemi on the primes struggled to hold back Bruno Senna on options, who had pitted on the first lap after the carnage. A brave dive down the inside of the Toro Rosso granted the Renault 9th place.

Hamilton was on the back of Alonso on the last lap, but just didn’t have enough pace to pass the Ferrari. This left Vettel free to take his second victory at the Italian Grand Prix, with Button 2nd and Alonso clinging on to 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton must have been disappointed with 4th, Michael Schumacher 5th and Felipe Massa 6th. Jaime Alguersuari has become the 9th driver in a row to take points after qualifying 18th, finishing 7th. Paul di Resta was 8th, Bruno Senna 9th, with Sebastien Buemi finishing off the top 10.

The Lotuses were an excellent 13th and 14th, with Maldonado heading Barrichello for 11th and 12th. Timo Glock was 15th, and Daniel Ricciardo was unclassified, after finishing the race 14 laps behind Vettel.

In theory, Sebastian could now wrap up the title at the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks time.

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