Date:Monday September 12 2011
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel's eighth win of the season edged the German closer to claiming back-to-back Formula One World Championships.
Vettel started from pole position in Monza, but lost the lead of the Italian Grand Prix to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the first corner much to the delight of the Tifosi.
An early safety car extended the Ferrari fans enjoyment. A first corner crash which was caused by the HRT of Liuzzi.
Liuzzi lost control heading towards the first corner under-breaking, stepped out on to the grass lost control and slid into the first corner backwards crashing into Petrov and Rosberg.
Despite being penned in Barrichello managed to escape relatively unharmed and continued the race.
Once the safety car was back in, racing continued at the front of the pack with Vettel taking to the outside to over-take Alonso.
The Red Bull stepped out onto the grass and wobbled momentarily, but rather than colliding with the Ferrari, Vettel completed the pass to take the lead in a breath-taking overtaking manoeuvre.
Team-mate Mark Webber wasn't haven't such a good time, a collision with Felipe Massa broke the Red Bull's front wing and on the final corner before the pits, the Australian lost control and drove off through the gravel and into the wall, ending his race.
With Vettel leading from Alonso and Schumacher over-taking Hamilton on the re-start after the safety car in third ahead of both McLaren's, that meant that five world champions were in the top five positions, with two of them putting on a great show for the spectators.
Schumacher was putting on a master-class of defensive driving in the Mercedes, while Hamilton attacked full of aggression in a bid to get past.
The former seven-time F1 champion arguably over-stepped the mark on a number of occasions, Hamilton had certainly been penalised for far less in terms of double blocking and aggressive driving, but the two drivers avoided contact.
Hamilton eventually over-took the German, but the Mercedes straight line speed enabled Schumacher to re-take the lead within a few corners.
With Hamilton and Schumacher battling, Jenson Button was able to catch up the pair and join the battle.
An incident on lap 18 would completely change the dynamics of the race for both Hamilton and Button.
Hamilton got the run on Schumacher and took a tighter line going into the corner, an aggressive Schumacher slammed the door shut giving Hamilton two options, stay on the throttle and hit the wall, or go on the grass and slow down. Hamilton took the second option which allowed Button passed.
That then meant that McLaren would give preference to Button at the pit-stop, while Hamilton would have to wait two laps to pit for new tyres.
Once the trio had completed their tyre stops, Button was third ahead of Schumacher, while Hamilton was once again stuck behind the German.
The battle continued with Schumacher appearing to make two defensive blocks on one area of the track lap after lap, with one incident proving so obvious that Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn began to give the radio messages to Schumacher to leave a gap.
With Hamilton losing around a second a lap behind the Mercedes his race for a podium was over, around 10 laps later he managed to finally get passed Schumacher. For once Schumacher stayed on the inside rather than sweeping back to the outside lane, everyone expected some kind of investigation by the stewards and possible penalties applied to Schumacher, but nothing was forthcoming by the race stewards, the incident wasn't even investigated.
With that scrap out of the way the race could concentrate on who would be where on the podium.
Button got passed Alonso to take second and while Hamilton closed the gap to Alonso in the closing stages of the race, the Ferrari held on to the final place on the podium to give Ferrari a third placed finish at the Italian Grand Prix.
The result leaves Vettel 112-points clear of second place Alonso and with a chance of clinching the title as early as the next race in Singapore.
Date:Monday September 12 2011
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