Italian Grand Prix – The Race

The Monza podium (there may have been some boos!)
The Monza podium (there may have been some boos!)

Okay I admit it, the thought of reliving last Sunday’s Dull-O-Rama race at Monza hasn’t spurred me into finishing my blog. But the Catholic guilt gnawing away at me coupled with being unexpectedly home alone on a Sunday evening has finally forced my hand.

So here is the story of the Italian Grand Prix…and slightly incongrously it is in live-blogging style (pretty much as I watched the race unfold) because I really don’t have the energy to rewrite it all now.

Well I fear the highlight of the 2013 Italian Grand Prix could well be Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert cruising around on a scooter. What a STUPENDOUS trip down memory lane. Quietly sobs for the old days in yet another sign of my advancing years.

A trip down memory lane as inspired by Damon and Johnny.
A trip down memory lane as inspired by Damon and Johnny.

BUT WAIT. WHAT IS THIS? People are holding umbrellas. Maybe just maybe the fabled Spa weather decided to save itself for Italy instead. You never know it is just possible that Anyone But Vettel might have an outside chance of winning this race. Of course having written that now, we are doomed to the inevitable crushing Vettel win. The husband appears to think so as he has decided while watching the race to help the 6 year old make a wooden submarine which appears to have several thousand parts. Photo to follow. Or possibly a visit to A&E given the accident-prone husband is picking at bits of wood with a knife.

#MartinsGridWalk. Please, please find Rowan Atkinson on the grid.

Why no interview with Mr Bean? The 6 year old was disconsolate.
Why no interview with Mr Bean? The 6 year old was disconsolate.

First up to be Brundled is Paul Hembury: Some of the circuit is wet but it is drying quickly. Can’t predict the changeover point between inters, slicks and wets. Could be a very interesting opening few laps.

Next up its Gary someone. They had a chat about the white line situation. Its okay to leave the track but not to gain an advantage. Turns out Gary is the chief steward. I’ll place a bet now that not all the drivers will listen to Gary. Looks long and hard at Grosjean and Maldonado.

Nico Hulkenberg told us the track was pretty much dry and slicks would be fine. Brundle thinks Nico would be a good option for Ferrari to consider. Is that a hint or just an opinion?

Edit: Probably just an opinion as Ferrari have announced that KIMI is partnering Alonso next year. When I told the 6 year old he said “you are lying”. Yet to determine whether he thinks this is a good or bad thing. I shall report back.

Its Jean Todt, the cuddly modern day Richelieu. He doesn’t mind that he has a challenger to the FIA presidency. Yeh right. He really enjoys being president as he likes the idea of power giving something back. Yeh right.

He might look cuddly but mess with Jean Todt at your peril.
He might look cuddly but mess with Jean Todt at your peril.

Oh a Royal Random Celebrity at a Race. Its Zara Phillips with Jackie Stewart. Zara will do well to get a word in edgeways there. Zara would like Mark Webber to win. Wrong answer love given who you are standing next to.

Time For the Start and Go Go Go…! Webber had a highly un-Webber like good start but still just got squeezed out by Massa. Meanwhile Di Resta retired almost instantly after locking up and crashing into Sutil/Grosjean. Taxi for Paul.

Kimi pitted at the end of the first lap. Boo. And some incredible live in-car footage of Alonso taking Webber on the outside. Imagined thought process of Mark Webber ‘defend, defend…oh its Fernando…come on through and hunt that bastard down’. Meanwhile Rob Smedley was telling Massa over the radio to concentrate on his race. Presumably until Alonso appears in his mirrors and then its business as usual.

Rob Smedley who might be moving to Williams next year. Allegedly.
Rob Smedley who might be moving to Williams next year. Allegedly.

Oh and Alonso easily overtook Massa in the least surprising development in Formula 1 since Alonso easily overtook Massa in some other races. Team radio to Vettel – they are monitoring the ‘right front’ at all times and they know it is not good. Oooooh this race might have just got interesting. Ish.

The stewards are investigating a collision between Di Resta and Grosjean after the race. Paul admitted it was his fault to be fair so that looks like a slam-dunk penalty. Its all gone a bit Pete Tong for Di Resta in the last few races. Lewis has been told to pit due to a slow puncture. But bizarrely he is not pitting – could be that his radio is still playing up as it was earlier in the race but anyway time for an old-style pitboard to haul Lewis into the pits.

Submarine latest: The wooden submarine is progressing nicely, mainly because the husband has taken over as the 6 year old has left the room.

Jean-Eric Vergne has STOPPED. Engine failure. Raikkonen from last is now running in 16th place. Not that the race was moderately dull (much) but Brundle had a lengthy monologue on what Alonso could do to win without driving a car designed by Adrian Newey. This is presumably what Alonso has been asking himself on a daily basis.

Adrian Newey in relaxed pose.
Adrian Newey in relaxed pose.

Good news for Vettel fans – the tyre has sorted itself out and they are in the one-stop window. Oh that is good news. Shoots myself.

Lots of pitstops. No more rain. Its fair to say the race now entered a Boring Phase.

Submarine latest: It is almost finished and the husband has not severed a finger yet. Amazeballs. God I’m really sorry for using that word.

Vettel told to pit. Say the usual novenas for a myriad of Potential Pit Incidents to strike Red Bull. As usual a flawless pitstop that sees Vettel emerge back on track ahead of Kimi. So Alonso leads the race but without having pitted. At the top order at the half-way point was:

  1. Alonso
  2. Vettel
  3. Gutierrez
  4. Webber
  5. Massa
  6. Raikkonen

Lap 28 and Alonso pits. Sure enough he rejoins in 2nd place as filler in the Red Bull sandwich.

Submarine update: There has been a hitch of some description and the husband has started to swear.

Hamilton and Hulkenberg are having a great dog-eat-dog battle that won’t at all chow Lewis’s tyres and mess up his race. Ahem. Anyhow he’s now up to 5th but will probably have to stop again. Interview with Martin Whitmarsh who sounded suicidal then I might have accidentally pressed the fast-forward button. Hamilton pits again on lap 39 after yet again doing the fastest lap of the race. I hope someone is keeping a close eye on Martin Whitmarsh.

Submarine update: It is now finished. Ha! Now the husband will be forced to watch the race after all. No apparently not. He is too busy photographing his prized creation which the 2 year old will probably tread on and break tomorrow.

The Submarine as lovingly crafted by the husband.
The submarine lovingly crafted by the husband. There are 20 odd pictures that still need hanging in our new house but yay we have a submarine.

Alonso and Webber are battling hard for second place. Crofty tells us there is no battle for the lead. Like anyone would be stupid enough to expect that. But we hear there is continuing gearbox trouble for Red Bull. Crofty spontaneously combusts as Hamilton overtakes Sutil for 12th place. They tell us the race isn’t over by any stretch and Brundle appeals forlornly for the boys to give us a race. Has Vettel won yet do we know? We haven’t seen him for about 2 hours.

I estimate that Crofty spontaneously combusts at least 5 times a race.
I estimate that Crofty spontaneously combusts at least 5 times a race.

Despite the fact that Webber’s gearbox isn’t even working properly he is still reeling in Alonso. This is what you are up against when you do not drive an Adrian Newey designed car.

Lap 49 and Hamilton takes Kimi for 11th. That was actually a bit more exciting than it sounded. Next to gobble up for Lewis was Perez and then Button. And all of a sudden it’s the final lap. Thank the Lord.

And so it came to pass as we all knew it would. Sebastian Vettel wins the Italian Grand Prix. Adrian Newey is crying tears of happiness. Lots of man hugs all round between Adrian and Sebastian.

Here are the results from the Italian Grand Prix 2013:

  1. Vettel – Just light years ahead of anyone else in his untouchable Red Bull. Again.
  2. Alonso – The best anyone can hope for these days seemingly is to finish 2nd.
  3. Webber – His first podium at Monza. A nice way to bow out in Italy.
  4. Massa – A good outing in front of the Tifosi and who knows where he would have finished but for the inevitable team orders.
  5. Hulkenberg – A very creditable and mature drive. Did anyone else find it odd that Vettel was surprised the Hulk finished 5th.

And so the current driver standings are Vettel with 222 points and Alonso with 169 points. Bets please at which race Vettel will win the world championship? I say Suzuka. You could be forgiven for forgetting we still have SEVEN races to go.

Singapore. Will Anyone But Vettel triumph?
Singapore. Will Anyone But Vettel triumph?
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