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Race highlights - Italy 2017 // Could anyone get near the dominant Mercedes in Monza?

Published by Christine Blachford

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Credit: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

There was a lot of anticipation building up to this race in Monza, after a mixed up qualifying due to the weather, and an unusual grid thanks to a heck of a lot of engine and gearbox related penalties. With Lewis Hamilton out front and looking to take the lead of the championship on Ferrari's home turf, there was all to play for.

The race unfolded without major drama - a few driver collisions and complaints, a handful of retirements, and a couple of stunning overtaking moves but in the end the result wasn't as unexpected as we might have hoped. Read on for lap by lap coverage of the Italian Grand Prix, relive how it all unfolded at Monza.

As it happened: Italy 2017 - The race

Event Highlights

  • Lewis Hamilton wins from pole, Mercedes looking supremely comfortable throughout
  • Daniel Ricciardo puts in a stunning performance to rise through the order and chase for a podium, but has to settle for fourth
  • Palmer and Vandoorne retire with mechanical issues
  • Ericsson and Alonso retire on the penultimate lap
  • 12:15

    Hi there, F1 friends and fact-hunting fans, here we are back again just seven days after the last race, ready and raring to go. It's the Italian Grand Prix!

  • 12:16

    It's been a bizarre weekend so far, with rain mixing up the action during final practice and qualifying yesterday, and roughly three thousand penalties hitting the starting grid today.

  • 12:16

    Let's start at the beginning though, with our prestigious location: Monza. Heritage, passion, flooded with Ferrari fans, and generally a much-loved circuit.

  • 12:17
    Circuit Data
    Autodromo Nazionale Monza
    Local timezone+02:00 GMT
    First race1950
    Number of laps53
    Circuit length5.793km
    Race distance306.720km
    Start offset0.309km
  • 12:19

    The consensus of opinion is that Mercedes will have the advantage around this power-hungry track, but we haven't had much chance to see supreme domination. Lewis Hamilton did secure pole position though, breaking that total poles record that he equalled last weekend.

  • 12:19
    Medium tyreMedium
    Soft tyreSoft
    Supersoft tyreSupersoft

    We saw the wet tyres in action yesterday but it should be clear today for the dry tyres only.

  • 12:20

    Now I can put it off no longer. Let's talk about what happened in qualifying. The session ran for just long enough to allow Grosjean to crash, before being red flagged. There was a two and a half hour delay, before the running finally continued.

  • 12:26

    The trouble that we have now is that almost no one starts where they qualified. There are an incredible amount of power unit and gearbox related shifts to mix things up. We knew the Red Bull drivers were going to take grid drops but below is the current list of drivers with penalties:

    • Carlos Sainz - 10 places
    • Fernando Alonso - 35 places
    • Daniel Ricciardo - 25 places
    • Max Verstappen - 20 places
    • Nico Hülkenberg - 10 places
    • Jolyon Palmer - 15 places
    • Stoffel Vandoorne - 25 places
    • Sergio Pérez - 5 places
    • Romain Grosjean - 5 places
  • 12:27

    I take my hat off to the person having to calculate and verify the starting grid from this mess, but here's the latest version. Normally, I'd only go for the top ten, but I think the full grid is important today because it might provide some incredible racing action.

  • 12:29
    Starting Grid
    1L HamiltonMercedes
    2L StrollWilliams
    3E OconForce India
    4V BottasMercedes
    5K RäikkönenFerrari
    6S VettelFerrari
    7F MassaWilliams
    8D KvyatToro Rosso
    9K MagnussenHaas
    10S PérezForce India
    11M EricssonSauber
    12P WehrleinSauber
    13M VerstappenRed Bull
    14N HülkenbergRenault
    15C SainzToro Rosso
    16D RicciardoRed Bull
    17J PalmerRenault
    18S VandoorneMcLaren
    19F AlonsoMcLaren
    20R GrosjeanHaas
  • 12:29

    Yes, that is Lance Stroll starting on the front row of the grid.

  • 12:32

    The pit exit lights have gone green so drivers are making their way to the grid - if they can find the right spot, that is!

  • 12:33

    TweetTweet from @thebuxtonblog: Oh dear oh dear. Chaos on the grid. All the flags and markers and thus teams are in the wrong place.

  • 12:33

    Lots of facts spinning around such as Magnussen who was eliminated in Q1 of qualifying, but now starts inside the top ten. It really is a topsy-turvy lineup today.

  • 12:34

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Green Light: SuperSofts on. Let's head to the grid shall we! The countdown is on 'till LIGHTS OUT...

  • 12:35

    It's also worth mentioning that Fernando Alonso's luck with engines continued into the parade lap - his car broke down so he had to hitch a lift with Jolyon Palmer!

  • 12:40

    Lovely blue skies over the track today, and nicely offset by the searing red t-shirts and flags of the grandstands.

  • 12:41

    QuoteJean Today, on the impact of the engine penalties: "I’m not a magician, it goes through a process. The reason we introduced the penalty was to reduce the cost. If we can change the situation we will do it, but I am open to any suggestions."

  • 12:44

    Stroll has been overshadowed by his Williams teammate so far this season, in the qualifying battle he's been beaten 10 times to 2. And the race is a similar story, as the below table shows - but today could help tip the scales a little.

    Race Battle
    WilliamsFinished Ahead
    Lance Stroll2
    Felipe Massa9
  • 12:48

    A large cluster of people have gathered at the front of the grid now as the Italian national anthem is performed - unusual rendition, a woman and a big drum. Like it.

  • 12:51

    Race controlRisk of rain for this session is 0%. (Hooray!)

  • 12:52

    Nice display by the Italian aerobatic display, and now we have just about five minutes until the formation lap gets underway.

  • 12:53

    TweetTweet from @WilliamsRacing: All eyes on the prize. P2 man Lance Stroll is the youngest ever driver to start on the front-row. We're looking forward. Literally.

  • 12:54

    QuoteCarlos Sainz on the grid - starts 15th: "I think we have some chances, things could happen in this race. We might not have the outright pace to score points but we can use the opportunities to do it."

  • 12:55

    Weather icon

    24°C
    Track34°C
    Humidity29%
    Wind speed0.4mps
  • 12:58

    The top twelve drivers are starting on the supersofts - the softest of the three compounds available. Verstappen (13th), Ricciardo (16th), Palmer (17th) and Alonso (19th) are trying their luck on the yellow softs, the rest of the grid are sticking with the supersofts.

  • 13:01

    The grid clears and off they go - a formation lap led by Lewis Hamilton with Lance Stroll tucking in behind.

  • 13:01

    Some puffs of smoke as the grid move away, and Fernando Alonso gets away slowly off the line, but they're all up and running.

  • 13:02

    TweetTweet from @superlicense: I reckon Bottas has it hardest at the start here. Ferraris behind, and two unpredictable drivers in front. A man surrounded.

  • 13:03

    The pace slows again as Hamilton crawls along the grid and halts in his front row slot. The field piles in behind him.

  • 13:04

    Green flagRace started.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Good start at the front, Hamilton cuts off Stroll, defending well.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Clean first corner for most at the front, a small amount of contact at the back.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Kimi Räikkönen piles on the pressure to Valtteri Bottas and finally muscles past a few corners in.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Max Verstappen has soared five places to move into eighth off the line.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Bottas has a go back at Räikkönen and they are side by side round the final corner. Wheel to wheel action there as Bottas has the pace to stay ahead down the home straight.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Both Sauber drivers have dropped back significantly, and Jolyon Palmer is running last.

  • 13:07 Lap 2

    Team radioTeam radio from Romain Grosjean: "The front wing, yea, it's gone."

    He may have had contact on the first lap.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Race controlDRS enabled.

  • 13:08 Lap 3

    Valtteri Bottas is on a charge, he easily picks off Stroll to move into third (Stroll having dropped behind Ocon on lap 1).

  • 13:08 Lap 3

    Max Verstappen has a huge puncture! Replays show he made contact with Felipe Massa.

  • 13:09 Lap 4

    Race controlTurn 1 incident involving Max Verstappen and Felipe Massa under investigation.

  • 13:09 Lap 4

    The Ferrari drivers have swapped places, Vettel moving ahead of Kimi for fifth place.

  • 13:10 Lap 4

    Max Verstappen has come in for an emergency pit stop, a front wing change for that Red Bull, and he's off again but running last.

  • 13:10 Lap 5

    Romain Grosjean has also come into the pit lane for an early stop, after complaining of that damage from the first lap.

  • 13:12 Lap 6
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stHAM1:26.056
    2ndBOT+3.432
    3rdOCO+6.437
    4thVET+6.862
    5thSTR+8.057
  • 13:12 Lap 6

    As expected, Hamilton is running out front without trouble whilst Stroll is dropping back. Vettel has already passed him and has the Force India of Ocon firmly in his sights.

  • 13:13 Lap 6

    Team radioTeam radio to Romain Grosjean: "The end plate was broken on that wing, so you were correct to change the wing."

  • 13:13 Lap 7

    Verstappen changed on to the supersoft tyres during that early stop, and the fresh rubber has allowed him to pick up the pace - he's just set the fastest lap so far, but is, of course, running last at the moment.

  • 13:14 Lap 7

    TweetTweet from @Jamesallenonf1: Bottas must surely be doing a job for Ham today. If Ham wins with Vettel 3rd or lower Ham takes championsip lead

  • 13:14 Lap 7

    Daniel Ricciardo is quietly making his way through the field, he's up to ninth now, having started seven places lower.

  • 13:15 Lap 8

    It's another easy move for Sebastian Vettel, the crowds cheer as he sweeps past Ocon and moves into third place.

  • 13:15 Lap 8

    Meanwhile, Räikkönen is asking if he's got any damage as the car doesn't feel good under braking, but the pit wall can't see anything at the moment.

  • 13:16 Lap 9

    Valtteri Bottas is picking up his own pace though, sets the fastest lap of the race so far.

  • 13:17 Lap 9

    Race controlTurn 1 incident involving Max Verstappen and Felipe Massa - no further action.

  • 13:17 Lap 10
    One to Watch
    E Oconvs.L Stroll
    4th+0.632s5th
  • 13:18 Lap 10

    Worth a quick shoutout for Stoffel Vandoorne as well, who has risen six places from his starting position to run 12th at the moment.

  • 13:18 Lap 10

    Nico Hülkenberg has come in to the pit lane for an early stop, he's back out and running on yellow soft tyres.

  • 13:20 Lap 12

    Hülkenberg is told that his radio is still on, they can hear everything he's saying and should probably stop. Basically, Nico is butt-dialling the pit wall.

  • 13:21 Lap 13

    Vandoorne makes a move on Sainz and jumps up into 11th place. The points are in sight!

  • 13:22 Lap 13
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    10L Hamilton0
    22V Bottas0
    33S Vettel0
    4-1E Ocon0
    5-3L Stroll0
    6-1K Räikkönen0
    70F Massa0
    82S Pérez0
    97D Ricciardo0
    10-2D Kvyat0
  • 13:23 Lap 14

    Carlos Sainz takes his turn in the pit lane, which drops him down the order. He rejoins in 18th place, with those yellow-striped tyres on.

  • 13:24 Lap 14

    Räikkönen is encouraged to keep as close to the cars ahead as possible, but he's panicking about the balance and speed of the car. "What can I do?" he asks.

  • 13:25 Lap 15

    Team radioTeam radio from Fernando Alonso: "What Palmer is doing? He needs to give me back the position."

    It does look like Palmer cut the chicane a little, but he's not ready to give up 12th place just yet.

  • 13:26 Lap 16

    Out front, Hamilton continues to set fastest lap after fastest lap. He's got a 3.5 second lead over his teammate now.

  • 13:26 Lap 16

    Kimi Räikkönen pits from fifth place, the first of the front runners to come in.

  • 13:27 Lap 16
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverK Räikkönen
    TeamFerrari
    Pit lane25.367s
    Stopped3.7s
  • 13:27 Lap 17

    Max Verstappen outguns Romain Grosjean to overtake the Haas, but it's all for 19th position after their early pit stops.

  • 13:28 Lap 17

    Esteban Ocon dives into the pit lane, responding to the strategy call by Ferrari. He wants to rejoin in front of Kimi... and he does.

  • 13:29 Lap 17

    Daniel Ricciardo puts in a stunning overtake to pass Sergio Pérez for sixth place. The Force India tries to make a move back but the Red Bull is off and away.

  • 13:29 Lap 18

    Race control5 second time penalty for Jolyon Palmer - leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

  • 13:29 Lap 18

    That should cheer Alonso up.

  • 13:30 Lap 18

    Lance Stroll has lost out in his pit stop, rejoining behind not only Ocon but also behind Räikkönen as well.

  • 13:30 Lap 19

    Team radioTeam radio to Daniel Ricciardo: "Massa's next, he's alone now."

    "I like 'em vulnerable."

  • 13:31 Lap 19

    TweetTweet from @ForceIndiaF1: Change of pursuer for Esteban - he's now got The Iceman in his mirrors...

  • 13:32 Lap 20

    Replays show a little wobble for Lewis Hamilton, as the left rear of the car just slides into the gravel, but he retains control and continues on.

  • 13:35 Lap 22

    Esteban Ocon attempts to put a car between him and Räikkönen by overtaking Vandoorne, but the Ferrari sweeps through as well. There's 15 seconds or so ahead of Ocon now, but the next car is teammate Sergio Pérez - and we know how well that always works out.

  • 13:36 Lap 23

    Team radioTeam radio to Valtteri Bottas: "Let us know how the tyres are."

    "No problem, all stable."

    Cool as you like.

  • 13:38 Lap 24

    Ted News: Hamilton is easing off already in the race, turning down the engine, prepping for his pit stop soon.

  • 13:38 Lap 24

    Fernando Alonso is complaining, frequently, about the five second penalty for Palmer. He says it's a joke.

  • 13:39 Lap 25

    Four cars have dropped a lap down, but all of them were those coming in for early pit stops - Verstappen, Grosjean and the two Saubers.

  • 13:40 Lap 25

    Pérez has given feedback on his tyres, he's running fifth and has yet to stop. He says they're running well.

  • 13:40 Lap 26

    Ricciardo reports his tyres are just about hanging on as well. No tyre drama for the front runners, then, and likely a one stop strategy for them.

  • 13:42 Lap 27

    Kimi Räikkönen takes an aggressive line to pass Esteban Ocon for sixth place. Ocon looks for the outside line at the next corner, but has to drop behind.

  • 13:42 Lap 27

    Kimi getting ahead of Ocon has neutralised the Force India teammate problem.

  • 13:43 Lap 28

    Sebastian Vettel reports he's starting to lose his rears - first of the front runners to report tyre wear.

  • 13:46 Lap 30

    Lull in activity now, as we're waiting for the front five to come in for stops.

  • 13:46 Lap 30

    Max Verstappen has pitted for the second time today, he's put the supersofts on and is back running in 18th place.

  • 13:47 Lap 30
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stHAM1:25.771
    2ndBOT+3.943
    3rdVET+23.413
    4thRIC+38.315
    5thPER+47.743
  • 13:47 Lap 31

    The battle is back on between Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon, with the Force India having to display some solid defensive moves.

  • 13:48 Lap 31

    Team radioTeam radio to Jolyon Palmer: "Jo, we need to box the car, to retire."

  • 13:49 Lap 32

    TweetTweet from @natesaundESPNF1: A lot has been said about Verstappen's bad luck this year - whatever you think of him, Palmer's this year has been on another level

  • 13:50 Lap 32

    Vettel takes his pit stop, a lot quicker than his teammates earlier.

    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverS Vettel
    TeamFerrari
    Pit lane24.307s
    Stopped2.5s
  • 13:50 Lap 33

    Mercedes react and in comes Lewis Hamilton for an almost identical pit stop.

    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverL Hamilton
    TeamMercedes
    Pit lane23.725s
    Stopped2.5s
  • 13:51 Lap 33

    TweetTweet from @ForceIndiaF1: Checo pits! 32 laps on SuperSofts come to an end, Softs bolted on and he's back racing!

  • 13:52 Lap 34

    Valtteri Bottas is next in line for the Mercedes pit box, and it's a supreme stop for him. 2.2 seconds!

  • 13:52 Lap 34

    Fernando Alonso is a sitting duck as the cars sweep past him, leaving him down in 16th place.

  • 13:53 Lap 34

    Meanwhile, Vandoorne reports no power. He slows down and peels off into the pit lane.

  • 13:54 Lap 35

    Replays of Verstappen and Grosjean show a bit of contact as the Red Bull attempted to pass at turn one. Brief contact, flying debris, and the stewards are taking a look.

  • 13:54 Lap 35

    Race controlTurn 1 incident involving Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen noted.

  • 13:55 Lap 36

    Daniel Ricciardo is the only driver yet to stop, he's up in third place at the moment and must be due a change of tyres soon.

  • 13:55 Lap 36

    Race controlTurn 1 incident involving Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen - no investigation necessary.

  • 13:57 Lap 37

    Kvyat dives to the inside of Hülkenberg, and they switch this way and that before the Toro Rosso takes the position. Nico pulls alongside for a moment of wheel to wheel action but Kvyat has the inside line and keeps the position - 11th place.

  • 13:58 Lap 38

    Daniel Ricciardo comes into the pit lane, and it's a superb stop from the Red Bull crew.

    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverD Ricciardo
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane23.951s
    Stopped2.2s
  • 13:59 Lap 39

    Ricciardo rejoins in fifth place, which is a brilliant rise of 11 places for the Red Bull racer.

  • 14:00 Lap 39
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    10L Hamilton1
    22V Bottas1
    33S Vettel1
    41K Räikkönen1
    511D Ricciardo1
    6-3E Ocon1
    7-5L Stroll1
    8-1F Massa1
    91S Pérez1
    10-1K Magnussen1
  • 14:02 Lap 40

    Huge lock up from Stroll as he tries to defend from teammate Massa.

  • 14:03 Lap 41

    Another outstanding move from Ricciardo to surprise Räikkönen and snatch fourth place from the Ferrari.

  • 14:03 Lap 41

    Team radioTeam radio to Daniel Ricciardo: "Vettel is a bit slow, I think you're going to catch him."

  • 14:05 Lap 43

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: While the strategy at the front is predictable, the alternative strategy of starting on soft has worked very well for @danielricciardo

  • 14:06 Lap 44

    Ricciardo puts in the fastest lap of the race as he starts the hunt for third place.

    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    3rdVET1:24.664
    4thRIC+9.647
    5thRAI+13.725
  • 14:06 Lap 44

    Ten laps to go.

  • 14:08 Lap 45

    Hamilton still looks nice and comfortable out front, he's not pushing too hard and is saving the engine where possible.

  • 14:09 Lap 46

    Just nine drivers on the lead lap now, as the front runners speed towards the end of the race.

  • 14:09 Lap 46

    Ricciardo is closing the gap, inch by inch.

  • 14:10 Lap 47

    Meanwhile, in the other Red Bull, Max Verstappen has indulged in a spot of his own overtaking to move into tenth place, just inside the points.

  • 14:11 Lap 47

    TweetTweet from @toomuchracing: Verstappen though now in to the top ten, great comeback after that puncture

  • 14:12 Lap 48

    Magnussen suggests the overtake from Verstappen was "crazy".

  • 14:14 Lap 49

    Race controlTurn 4 incident involving Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen under investigation - forcing another driver off the track.

  • 14:14 Lap 49

    Ricciardo has set a couple of fastest laps now, and he's got the gap to Vettel down to 4 seconds. Red Bull are telling him he'll be on for an overtake on the final lap.

  • 14:15 Lap 50

    Race controlTurn 4 incident involving Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen - no further action.

  • 14:17 Lap 51

    Verstappen gets a stream of information about where he is losing time to Ricciardo and simply replies: "Yea, what do you expect?"

  • 14:17 Lap 52

    Team radioTeam radio to Marcus Ericsson: "Okay, Marcus, we will retire the car, so slow in."

  • 14:18 Lap 52

    Team radioTeam radio to Fernando Alonso: "Fernando, back off, back off, we need to retire the car."

    Double DNF for McLaren.

  • 14:19 Lap 53

    Ricciardo hasn't been able to make up any more of the difference to Vettel, just over 4 seconds still between the two. Final lap.

  • 14:20

    Chequered flagLewis Hamilton wins the Italian Grand Prix!

  • 14:20

    Bottas crosses the line just four seconds behind, and Vettel keeps hold of his third place to earn a spot on the podium.

  • 14:20

    There's final lap action between Massa and Stroll, Lance just managing to stay ahead, and Pérez moves up behind the Williams of Massa.

  • 14:22
    Race Winner
    DriverL Hamilton
    TeamMercedes
    Race time1:15:32.310
    Race distance306.72km
    Average speed243.626km/h
  • 14:24
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    10L Hamilton1
    22V Bottas1
    33S Vettel1
    412D Ricciardo1
    50K Räikkönen1
    6-3E Ocon1
    7-5L Stroll1
    8-1F Massa1
    91S Pérez2
    103M Verstappen1
  • 14:25

    The win puts Lewis Hamilton into the lead of the driver's championship for the first time this season, with Vettel doing damage limitation in third place.

  • 14:27

    That was another pretty dull race, which is disappointing because it had the potential to be so much better. We all expected Hamilton to walk it today, so that was no surprise, but with so much chaos behind, there could have been fireworks. Instead it was a procession.

  • 14:27

    Next time out, Singapore, so expect more of the same. But the good news is, after that, we get the final and most exciting leg of the season, with Japan and the US, Brazil and Mexico. Hooray!

All content in the series Italy 2017