Ferrari and the tifosi have good reason to celebrate as double World Champion Fernando Alonso clinched victory at the Italian GP after starting the 53-lap race from pole position. The Ferrari ace became the first driver to cross the finish line ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, who was actually ahead of the Spaniard prior to the pitstop. Although a Ferrari 1-2 victory in Italy would paint the perfect picture but Felipe Massa’s third place finish shouldn’t be considered as a shortcoming.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel only managed fourth today after losing out to both Ferrari and McLaren in terms of vehicle performance. Nico Rosberg made it a fruitful race for the Mercedes outfit with his fifth place finish. This was followed by Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg who drove a respectable race, Renault’s Robert Kubica and Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello from Williams finished in the final point-paying position, tenth.
It wasn’t really a good race for the Lotus guys despite enjoying a commendable qualifying yesterday. Heikki Kovalainen was only able to secure 18th place, behind Virgin’s Timo Glock. Jarno Trulli on the other hand became part of the retirement’s list no thanks to a transmission problem on Lap 46.
Jenson Button had a very good start after shooting off from second place on the grid. The World Champion managed to overtake pole sitter Alonso and went on to lead the race. Alonso on the other hand suffered from a poor start and nearly lost his second position to teammate Massa. Bad news for McLaren’s other driver, Lewis Hamilton. The Brit was challenging Massa for third place at the opening lap but his attempt to overtake the Brazilian failed after suffering from a damaged front suspension.
As the dust settled it was Button who was leading the race ahead of both the Ferrari drivers with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica in fourth and fifth places respectively. The Red Bulls failed to make an impression at the start and by Lap 13 it was Nico Hulkenberg behind Kubica with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in seventh and eight.
The race was pretty much incident-free but the battle among the top three made up for the slight lack of action. Alonso clearly had a quicker car but Button managed to position his McLaren on the right places and kept Alonso at bay. Massa was strong in third and through out the race the top three drivers exchanged fastest lap times. However Button’s lead ended following the pit spots at about Lap 36. Alonso stayed out on the track for an extra lap and managed to leap frog his rival.
Massa made his stop a lap later but only managed to cut his gap from Button short. The top three positions were maintained till the checkered flag was drawn although Massa was closing up to Button with Alonso increasing his lead. In the closing stages of the race, Alonso gave the tifosi a shock as he went off track after missing his braking point behind a back marker on Turn 1. Fortunately he got up to speed right away and eventually won the race.
Today’s race result has pushed Mark Webber back in the Driver’s Championship lead with 187 points. Hamilton drops to second with 182 points while Alonso is now third with 166 points. Button and Vettel are in fourth and fifth with 165 and 163 points respectively. Massa is sixth with 124 points. The battle for the title is still going on strong with 24 points between Webber and Vettel. Red Bull is still leading the Constructor’s Championship with 350 points. McLaren is just three points adrift with 347 and Ferrari is third with 290 points.
With five more races to go, Formula 1 now heads to Singapore for some tire burning action under the beautiful night sky. You can view the full race results of the 2010 Italian GP here.