Pirelli's first home race at Monza
At Pirelli’s home race in Monza, the tifosi were treated to a spectacular race that resulted in another victory for Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, bringing the young German even closer to his second consecutive drivers’ title. The German led his 500th lap this season on Pirelli tires during the Italian race, the fastest on the calendar.
Vettel stopped twice en route to a commanding win, starting on the P Zero Yellow soft tire that he used to set pole position yesterday, before pitting for a new set of softs on lap 20 and finally changing to a set of the P Zero White medium tires with 18 laps to go on lap 35, in a pit stop that lasted for just 2.9 seconds.
A two-stop strategy was the most popular choice, with only the Sauber of Sergio Perez planning a one-stop race – but the Mexican was denied a likely points finish by a mechanical problem just after half-distance.
While Vettel enjoyed a comfortable victory, there were some incredible fights for position behind him. Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had a breath-taking battle for third that lasted for the entire first half of the race on the P Zero Yellow soft tires.
In the second half of the race, Jenson Button fought his way past Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso – who led into the first corner after a great start – on the P Zero White tires. These harder tires were also used by Lewis Hamilton to set the fastest lap of the race: 1m26.187s.
Hamilton then chased down Alonso in the closing stages of the race, moving to within a second of the Spaniard on the final lap. Alonso resisted to score Ferrari’s 650th podium in Formula One on home territory, and brought the total of his career driver points to beyond 1000.
It was also a successful home race for the Toro Rosso team, which brought both their cars home in the points thanks to seventh place for Jaime Alguersuari (who made up 11 places after starting from 18th on the grid) and 10th for Sebastian Buemi. Both cars started on soft tires, before completing a second stint on the soft compound and finishing the race on the harder tire.
Bruno Senna claimed his first points finish in Formula One with Pirelli in ninth place, using a three-stop strategy after qualifying 10th and starting on a new set of medium tires after not running during Q3. This meant that he was able to finish the race on the softer P Zero Yellow tires.
“Our first home race in the very special surroundings of Monza was everything that we hoped it would be, and the fact that there are five world champions in the top five just underlines the quality of the action,” Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said. “We experienced a very hot Monza weekend but despite these high temperatures and the sheer energy that the track puts through the carcasses, both the soft and the medium tires stood up extremely well to this massive test, with no blistering beyond the usual parameters and very good durability. It meant that none of the drivers had to hold back and we saw some great entertainment all the way down the field from start to finish. We’re now looking forward to our very first night race at Singapore, which the heat here has prepared us well for, where we will see the return of our P Zero Red supersoft tires.”