Hamilton untouched in Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton won the Italian GP with nary a wrinkle in sight.  Apart from losing the lead briefly to a good starting Felipe Massa during pit stops, the Englishman was untouchable.

Sergio Perez drove a storming drive for Sauber, using his one stop strategy to tear through the field and claim second place.  Alonso took third over Felipe Massa in fourth.  It was another brilliant drive from Alonso, charging up four places on the opening lap and he extended his lead over most of his rivals, particularly Jenson Button, who retired due to fuel pick up problems.  As much as Spa boosted the Briton, Monza really crushed him.  Button is now 78 points back of Alonso, and realistically out of the championship.

The other notable retirement for the day was both Red Bulls.  Sebastian succumbed to alternator failure, the same failure at Valencia and during practice on Friday.  Mark spun by himself with a couple laps to go and flat spotted his tires.  The team retired the car but was still classified in the final results.

Kimi Raikkonen used a daring one stop strategy, but unlike the other front runners, got his stop out of the way back on lap 17, running the rest of the distance on the harder tire.  He just barely beat out Schumacher at the line.

With race 13 of 20 in the bag, the race to the championship has managed to only slightly resolve itself.

Fernando Alonso leads with 179 points.  Below him, with 142 is Lewis Hamilton who is closely followed by three other drivers, all within ten points.  They are in order, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.  Jenson Button, as I said, seems to be out of it, a further 30 points behind.

Overtaking at Monza was plentiful, both of the DRS assisted kind, but also drivers getting creative entering Parabolica and the chicane before the Lesmo corners.  Of particular excitement was when Sebastian Vettel pushed Alonso completely off in the Curva Grande, very similar but roles reversed to last year.  The stewards decided, fairly so, that Vettel did not leave room and so was given a drive through penalty.

Roll on Singapore!

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