Disaster for Red Bull as Perez pushes Hamilton to Monza win

A surprisingly drama-free first corner

A surprisingly drama-free first corner

Lewis Hamilton has taken another victory at the Italian Grand Prix, but was pushed all the way by Sauber’s Sergio Perez. Fernando Alonso recovered from his poor grid position to take a podium, while Felipe Massa faltered and could only manage 4th.

The Red Bull’s races fell apart, as Sebastian Vettel was handed a drive-through penalty, and both drivers retired with only a few laps to go. Here is the full report:

At the start, Hamilton defended his lead against Felipe Massa, who had charged past Jenson Button on the main straight. Button made a move on the Ferrari, but was held back. Fernando Alonso began his charge back up the field, while Mark Webber had another awful start, dropping to 14th.

Michael Schumacher lost 4th place to Sebastian Vettel, while Alonso began pressurising the Mercedes from behind. After a few laps of tussling, Fernando used KERS to blast past him on the main straight.

Further back, Paul di Resta shoved Bruno Senna off the road at the Roggia chicane, and the Williams lost a place, nearly crashing into Mark Webber’s car when he rejoined.

Jean-Eric Vergne flies over the kerbs

Jean-Eric Vergne flies over the kerbs

Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a terrifying crash, as his suspension failed entering the first chicane, and the Toro Rosso nearly flipped crashing over the kerbs. The safety car was not called out, but DRS was temporarily disabled while the wreckage was cleared.

After a terrible few opening laps, Mark Webber sliced his way past Paul di Resta for 10th. However, by then, his teammate was all the way up in 4th, getting closer and closer to Jenson Button. Interestingly though, his team complimented the Brit on his pace, indicating a possible 1-stop strategy.

On lap 18, when most of the frontrunners were thinking of a pit stop, Sergio Perez pulled an excellent move around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen for 6th. At the same time, the sister Sauber was passed by Mark Webber for 9th place.

There were problems for Felipe Massa, as his team informed him that his car had lost telemetry transmissions. It got even worse for the Ferrari, as Jenson Button easily got past him at the Roggia chicane.

Massa pitted in response, taking on the harder tyre. After Pastor Maldonado set the fastest lap on a fresh set of tyres, Vettel and Alonso pitted in unison. They emerged just behind the slowing Massa. This pack of cars all battled to pass Daniel Ricciardo, and Alonso did his absolute best to get past the Red Bull.

Button soon pitted, but an unusually slow stop put him out only just ahead of the Massa-led pack. Hamilton pitted a lap later, leaving Sergio Perez in the lead of the race.

Alonso gets pushed off the track

Alonso gets pushed off the track

Alonso and Vettel soon began to battle lap after lap, with Sebastian eventually pushing the Ferrari onto the grass before Roggia, in a similar fashion to last year. Alonso just about held the car in a straight line, and rejoined the track behind the Red Bull.

Perez still led, but his hard tyres simply didn’t have the pace, and Lewis easily re-took the lead. At the same time, Alonso finally got past Vettel for 5th position. Surprisingly, the stewards showed unusual discipline on Vettel, handing him a drive-through penalty for forcing Alonso off the track.

Soon after, McLaren’s 1-2 fell apart, as Jenson Button pulled over with a mechanical issue. This left Felipe Massa in second, with Alonso fast approaching behind, and Schumacher 4th after Vettel’s penalty. However, Sebastian wasn’t slowed for long, finding his way past Mark Webber for 7th place.

Sergio Perez got past Kimi Raikkonen for 4th, and began closing in on the Ferraris at rapid pace. The situation was very clear, so Massa offered no resistance against the charging Alonso, allowing him into 2nd.

Almost 2 seconds a lap faster, Perez eased past Massa with absolutely no trouble. After only a few more laps, he managed to get past Fernando Alonso as well. Despite an amazing charge up the field, he didn’t stop there, instead putting the pressure on Lewis Hamilton for the rest of the race.

Alonso entertains the fans on the podium

Alonso entertains the fans on the podium

With only 5 laps to go, a disappointing race ended prematurely for Vettel, with a mechanical issue. Amazingly, it got even worse, as a spin and ruined set of tyres ruled Mark Webber out of the race with 2 laps to go.

Despite his insane pace, Perez was unable to catch Hamilton, who crossed the line 4 seconds ahead to win the Italian Grand Prix. Perez and Alonso took excellent podiums, while Michael Schumacher pushed Kimi Raikkonen all the way to the line, finishing in 6th place.

Kamui Kobayashi took a quiet 9th, while Bruno Senna leaped up from 12th to 10th on the last lap to snatch a point.

In terms of the championship, this leaves Alonso still well in front, while Hamilton moves up to 2nd, with Raikkonen further behind. Their double retirement leaves the Red Bull drivers 4th and 5th.

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