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Italian Grand Prix - Race 
14th-Sep-2008 07:50 am
I haven't finished rebuilding the PC so these notes are going to be a little abbreviated again as I'm doing them on my 7" Eee. As usual, my notes are behind this cut...

Despite yesterday's forecast that it would be dry for today's race, it's raining in Monza again, so much so the race will start behind the safety car, and everyone will be on monsoon (full wet weather) tyres.

The provisional grid set yesterday is: SV, HK, MW, SB, NR, FM, JT, FA, TG, NH; RK, GF, DC, KR, LH; RB, NP, KN, JB, AS.

Ferrari seem slow to clear KR's car

01/53[SC]: SV leads away on the formation lap the first lap behind the Safety Car
SB is stuck on the grid - if he isn't restarted quickly he'll have to start at the back of the grid instead of P4
It's a sign of how slow they're taking the lap when the medical car is keeping up!

02[SC]: Finally SB exits the pits
SC in at end of this lap

03: SV leads the Grand Prix
LH appears to be falling back from KR already
Hopefully the monsoon tyres will clear the racing line after a few laps at higher speed
TG takes P7 from FA

04: FA re-passes TG into Turn 1
DC took P11 from GF
LH passes KR but can't stop for the chicane; cuts across it and lets KR pass him

05/53: SV, HK, MW, NR, FM, JT, FA, TG

07: SV's lead almost 6secs

08: LH is ~2secs of SV's pace
A dry line is slowly appearing

09: SV fastest lap 1:34.972
KR passes GF into Turn 1, which moves him up to P11

10/53: LH needs the whole length of the main straight to pass GF

11: SV's pit crew ask him about tyre balance, so his pit stop is probably a couple of laps away
LH goes up the inside of KR into Lesmos-1, and eases past him for P11
Finally it looks like LH has found some pace

12: FM closing on NR, pushing him for P4
The dry line is looking good, and drivers are reporting degradation in the full wet tyres (to be expected as the track dries out) so who will be first to try out intermediates?

13: FM passes NR but then NR takes back P4
LH passes NH for P10

14: FM passes NR again and this time keeps P4
Replay shows GF lose his front wing, which gets stuck under his Force India, so he can't make a turn and just slides head-first into the tyre wall

15/53: SV, HK, MW, FM, NR, JT, FA, RK; retirements: GF
LH enters T1 alongside TG, and holds his line through the chicane to take P9
TG fights back but LH takes the racing line, which forces TG onto the grass although TG keeps it tidy and falls in behind

16: LH takes P8 from RK
Pit-car for FA say rain expected in a couple of minutes and it will last "a long time"

17: SV's lead over RK over 11secs
KR still down in P12

18: SV pits from P1 - 8.4s stop - more extreme wet tyres - rejoins behind FM
LH storms past FA to take P7
TG passes RK for P9

20/53: HK, MW, FM, SV, NR, JT, LH, FA (KR=P12)
TG makes it look easy as he passes FA in Turn 1, taking P8

21: LH right on the tail of JT, and passes him before Turn 1
LH runs across the chicane and slows to let JT pass - seems unnecessary but he's gun-shy after the Spa fiasco

22: HK and MW pit from P1 + P2
FM pits too
LH passes JT again, well ahead of Turn 1

25/53: LH passes NR for P2
If LH is 1-stopping he's doing well
The rain hasn't arrived yet - if it doesn't start soon, everyone will need to swap to intermediates

26: Half distance

27: JT + KR pit
SV leads LH by just over 1sec

28: LH pits - 9.7s stop (fueled to the end?) - monsoon tyres
NR pits - slow to remove the fuelling rig

29: DC pits and is the first to move to intermediate tyres - if it rains, he's in trouble

30/53: SV, HK, FA, RK, MW, FM, LH; retirements: GF
FA pits - a turn of front wing and intermediate tyres

31: KR passes TG for P11

30/53: SV, HK, RK, MW, FM, LH, NP, KN

33: FM pits from P5 - intermediates
There's still no rain so should everyone swap?

34: HK pits from P2 - 6.4s - inters

35/53: JT passes RK into Turn 1
FM blasts past MW
MW spins (unrelated to FM's pass)

36: KR pits
NP has yet to pit!

37: SV pits from P1
LH pits - "splash and dash" - rejoins behind FM and MW
LH passes MW as the McLaren slithers around

38: SV, HK, RK, FA, NH, FM, LH, MW

40/53: FM tries to pass NH for P5 but cuts the chicane and has to yield

41: FM cuts another chicane; LH is closing in on him

42: SV has a 11+ second lead over HK
LH almost close enough to have a go at taking P6 from FM

43: KR and TG pass KN

44: SV pit-car say light rain before the end of the race
DC runs off, across the gravel and grass, then back onto the track
JB pushing DC for P10
RB put on extreme wet tyres in his pit stop - interesting!

45/53: SV, HK, RK, FA, NH, FM, LH, MW (RK=P10)
LH is struggling to stay on FM's tail

46: MW closing on LH

47: KR all over the gearbox of NP

48: KR takes P9
TG tries to pass DC into the chicane; runs wide and has to let DC pass

49: MW tries to pass LH into Turn 1; closes the door on MW; tap wheels; MW has to cut the chicane

50/53: SV, HK, RK, FA, NH, FM, LH, MW

51: KN passes DC but turns in too soon; DC clips him and KN's off; DC into the pits

52: FM drives through KN's debris

Final lap: SV still hits the chicane kerbs quite hard

SV takes the chequered flag - youngest GP winner ever!

Provisional results: SV, HK, RK, FA, NH, FM, LH, MW, KR, NP, TG, KN, JT, NR, JB, DC, RB, ...

Gerhard Berger congratulates Vettel during the Italian anthem (for the constructor) - it's been a while since he's been on a podium :)

Kovalainen doesn't look overly impressed with coming second

Post-race interviews:
SV: "Unbelievable"; "the best day of my life"; "being first, having no visibility problems, was key"; "there's still P1 on my board - how can it be?" :)
HK: "the maximum we could do today"; "a little bit difficult"
RK: first podium finish 2 years ago; "overtook Nick without seeing him"(!); "Lewis got by easily; he was much quicker"
SV: "I've seen every angle of the grid"; "now we can be proud of ourselves"

Next race: the first ever night race, in Singapore, in 2 weeks.
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