A very happy birthday-eve to you all! What a lovely early birthday present BBC gave me this weekend with an action packed Italian Grand Prix!
Monza hasn’t been a race I was eagerly anticipating this year. As Spa is my favourite race I was fully expecting to still be coming down from my Belgian high and unable to fully embrace the next race. As has happened time and time again this year though, I was thankfully grabbed by the eyeballs from the word go!
Apparently this year Monza wanted to prove itself by having the worlds deadliest grass at it’s disposal… with most major incidents happening after a driver touched rubber to grass and lost an aspect of control. The main incident was the first corner carnage of course, where Luizzi’s car was obviously feeling it hadn’t had enough media coverage this year and jazz-handed into view from stage left. I’m wondering how the stewards would have handled it if Luizzi had simply slotted in to the pack and kept driving Ken Block style… Stop-go penalty for managing to gain 10 places on the grid in one swoop?! I’d be inclined to reward him for managing to rally his F1 car into a points position!! Fantasy aside, the reality was one F1 car sliding sideways into the pack, immediately taking out Rosberg and Petrov and damaging the race of a few other drivers, Barrichello and Hamilton in those numbers.
I’m in two minds over first lap incidents like this. On the one hand it ruins the race of (more often than not) middle-of-the-pack drivers who are often trying to get a few points from the race. Rosberg and Petrov have both been on pretty good form this year and it must have been so disappointing for them. On the other hand, crashy crashy!!! This shakes the race up and can be the cause of some surprise faces in the points. For example the 2004 United States Grand Prix may have seen only 9 cars still racing at the end following a first lap pile-up, but it was a point for consistent underdogs Minardi and Takuma Sato stood on the podium to collect the third place trophy. I do love to see a break from the normal 3 teams being the top finishers, therefore I can cope when a few of my favourites have to sacrifice their race to accommodate.
Moving on, I must make reference to Vettel’s return to race-leader after a spectacular pass on Alonso. As my regular readers will have already realised, this is not a situation that made for comfortable viewing for me, mainly because I love Fernando and mega-loathe Vettel. I will admit it was a fabulous pass, HOWEVER that makes for perhaps two decent overtakes this year? I still maintain that Vettel isn’t the all-round racer some people assume he is just because he can lead from the front. Look at Button, Schumacher and Hamilton this year. They are all about the wheel to wheel racing and working their way up the pack, which makes for a much more exciting race. I hated Schumi when he did the same almost a decade ago, all leading, no surprises…. no fun!
The result was fairly standard of this year, with representation of each of the top three teams on the podium. Points for my faux-brother Di Resta were a plus, good lad! Bruno Senna also made it into the points which should not be taken lightly. I had wondered if Spa qualifying had been a fluke, however I’m starting to think that given the right car Bruno is beginning to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he first started hovering around F1. It’s exceptionally difficult to live up to a legendary family member. The Villeneuves, the Hills, the Rosbergs… that’s one thing. However to be the nephew of Ayrton Senna, perhaps one of the most highly thought of drivers of all time, puts the pressure on big time. I’m excited to see what he has in store for us for the rest of the season. Please don’t do a Rosberg and disappoint me Bruno!!!!
Till next time folks, I’ve got to go and age a year