Team-Mate Wars: Monza

Thursday 12th September 2013

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Smoking can damage your race

Smoking can damage your race

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 11 - Mark Webber 1
Vettel didn't outqualify Mark by his usual margin, although around Monza there are less corners to play with than any other circuit (apart from Avus - which, as a layout, is still more interesting than Valencia) so less chances for Seb to show his edge. Red Bull, but particularly Seb, benefitted enormously by having Massa and Hulkenberg between him and Alonso at the start - otherwise things could have got a lot hairier into Turn 1. He would still have won, but it would have been a lot more work and a far more thrilling race.

McLaren
Race: Button
Season: Jenson Button 9 - Sergio Perez 3
Button got the edge on Checo, but it's unlikely he'll be dedicating the 10th place to anyone. The 2013 Italian Grand Prix will be memorable more for the 50th anniversary flat caps and the retro shirts, than the miscalculated gear ratios. I wonder if they even bother packing the Rocket Red T-shirts to send to races now...?

Mercedes
Race: Rosberg
Season: Lewis Hamilton 8 - Nico Rosberg 4
Lewis's talent for grabbing pole positions is almost as great as his ability to beat himself up for anything less than a 100% performance. He said he drove like an idiot in qualifying and after the race he sounded totally deflated after producing an exhilarating drive that was hampered by a radio fault not of his making. This is where he misses McLaren. The experienced hand of Matt Bishop (McLaren's Head of Communications, who's been dealing with Lewis since he came into the sport) would have managed the situation better. This is no criticism of Mercedes, but maybe something that they need to look at. After all the TV soundbites - where he said the World Championship was over - were done he had a change of heart. Too late for most of the broadcasts.

Ferrari
Race: Alonso
Season: Fernando Alonso 10 - Felipe Massa 2
There was a lot of comment around at the weekend about Fernando Alonso doing something stupendously anti-Ferrari - being a bit sarcy on team radio. Since when has a bit of mild exasperation been a sackable offence? Of course he was fed up with the towing arrangements - even the Caravan Club could have done better than that, but drivers get sharp and say things in the heat of the moment. When Raikkonen has a go at his team for radioing him in the wrong part of the circuit or tells them to leave him alone - everyone smiles and says what a character he is.

Felipe Massa did everything that was required of him and moved over at the correct time, something that won't be such a nailed on certainty next year. His removal from the team will certainly sharpen and intensify the team-mate battles till the end of the year, even if he was fully supported by Alonso in his quest to stay.

Lotus
Race: Grosjean
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 9 - Romain Grosjean 3
Raikkonen's lack of qualifying pace has let him down at times this season and it gave him a lot of work on Sunday. He also made a rare mistake at the start and rammed his car into the back of Perez's McLaren. Ironically, Perez pushed a Lotus off the road at the last race and got a penalty. Raikkonen does the same, even more forcibly, and all he got was a new front wing.

The other Lotus of Romain Grosjean withstood quite an impact from Paul DiResta at the start showing just how robust a chassis James Allison has left behind, even if all the impact was taken on the tyre.

Force India
Race: Sutil
Season: Paul Di Resta 6 - Adrian Sutil 6
Sutil edged out di Resta in qualifying and Paul duly ended all speculation of his move to a better team in 2014 by parking his battered Force India before the Lesmos. Not great news if you wanted to see an entire race through a heat-detection camera, but we got the general idea from the footage in FP3 and Qualifying. Paul DiRestra's had a run of bad luck and it was further compounded by Nico Hulkenberg having an absolute blinder on Saturday.

Sauber
Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 11 - Esteban Gutierrez 1
Gutierrez looked really strong in practice but as so often this season, got eliminated in Q1. Hulkenberg booked his ticket out of Hinwill with a lap of genius in Q3. Despite a terrible start he recovered enough to have a tentative little poke down the inside of Fernando Alonso coming through Turn 1, but that was more about Fernando failing to find a way through the cars in front than Nico finding the perfect braking point. He also held off the none-too-sluggish Nico Rosberg at the close in what was his best career advert to date. Will Lotus opt for a driver with money, though...?

Williams
Race: Maldonado
Season: Maldonado 9 - Bottas 3
Bottas
Williams have been at pains to point out how good Valtteri Bottas is, but Pastor is regularly beating the supposed star-of-the-future. We've got the tight-and-twisty Singapore track coming up and Pastor does Monaco very well, so it looks like the Venezuelan could be the source of the next Williams points.

Torro Rosso
Race: Ricciardo
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 7 - Jean-Eric Vergne 5
Daniel was ahead of JEV before he parked his ailing Toro Rosso and finished the race where he started, in the top ten. He's going to have to get used to that. Interestingly, the most nerve-wracking race, his first one for Red Bull, will also be his home race, the Aussie GP. So no pressure then.

Marussia
Race: Bianchi
Season: Jules Bianchi 12 - Max Chilton 0
Bianchi continues to do what he has to - entirely dominate a competent pay driver.

Caterham
Race: Pic
Season: Giedo van der Garde 4 - Charles Pic 8
Pic reasserted himself.

The Kimi is Disappointed File: ""I was expecting to have a difficult weekend because it was last year."

Star of the Race
Alonso 2, Hamilton 2, Vettel 2, Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Perez 1, Rosberg 1, Grosjean 1, GHulkenberg 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Raikkonen 3, Vettel 2, Grosjean 2, Alonso 1, Button 1, Bottas 1, Webber, Hamilton 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Exciting 9 - Dull 3

Sat on the Naughty Step
Van der Garde 2, Sutil 2, Maldonado 1, Vettel 1, Red Bull 1, Gutierrez 1, Hulkenberg 1, Grosjean 1, Hembery 1, Stewards 1,

Media Watch
Tom Clarkson created a hybrid engineer at Monza, a cross between a well-known Mercedes veteran and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull engineer 'Rocky'. Tom was busy finding out information about the words written on the whiteboard during Lewis Hamilton's delayed pitstops and reported back... "that message from Rock Clear".

Eddie Jordan's F1 Masterclass "What you must do in F1 is keep the front two wheels on the car going forward."
Now that is what you call genius...

Andrew Davies

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