Italian Grand Prix: Race Recap

Event:  Italian Grand Prix (Round 14 of 21)

Date:  Sunday, Sept. 2

Location:  Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Layout:  5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit

Weather:  Mostly cloudy

Air Temps:  21.6-23 degrees Celsius (70.9-73.4 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps:  29.5-34.4 degrees Celsius (85.1-93.9 degrees Fahrenheit)

Race Winner:  Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes

Haas F1 Team:

●  Romain Grosjean – Started 6th, Finished 6th (Running, completed 53/53 laps)

●  Kevin Magnussen – Started 11th, Finished 17th (Running, completed 52/53 laps)

Romain Grosjean delivered a strong sixth-place finish in the Italian Grand Prix Sunday at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, allowing Haas F1 Team to eliminate the gap to fourth-place Renault in the constructors’ standings. The American squad, in only its third year competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship, is now tied with the factory Renault team atop the midfield.

Grosjean started sixth in the 53-lap race around the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit and after a savvy start that saw him pick up fifth place when frontrunners Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton made contact, sending Vettel’s Ferrari spinning as Hamilton powered away in his Mercedes, Grosjean fought off Carlos Sainz Jr. in his Renault to hold on to fifth.

Grosjean relinquished the spot on lap 23 when he pitted, swapping his Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires for Yellow softs. This dropped Grosjean to 11th, but as pit stops cycled through, he climbed back to sixth by lap 40. Fifth place was unobtainable as a resurgent Vettel came all the way from the back of the field after his opening-lap spin to take fourth. This was Grosjean’s fourth straight points-paying result, a streak that began with the July 22 German Grand Prix where he also finished sixth.

Grosjean’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, endured a difficult Italian Grand Prix. After starting 11th, he was forced to take evasive action in turn one as the field stacked up in front of him. This dropped Magnussen to 12th. Three laps later, contact with the Force India of Sergio Perez in the Lesmos turns sent Magnussen to the pits for new tires and an attempt to repair some damaged bodywork. Magnussen exited the pits in 19th and wound up 17th after the retirements of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.

Hamilton went on to win the Italian Grand Prix by 8.705 seconds over polesitter Kimi Räikkönen, denying Scuderia Ferrari a win in its home race. The victory was the 68th of Hamilton’s Formula One career, his series-leading sixth this season and his fifth at Monza, equaling the record of Italian Grand Prix wins held by the legendary Michael Schumacher.

While not able to climb the top step of the podium, Räikkönen’s drive marked his milestone 100th podium finish in Formula One. He is one of just five drivers who have scored 100 or more podium finishes. Schumacher leads the way with 155, Hamilton has 128, Vettel has 107 and Alain Prost has 106. Räikkönen’s first podium finish was scored 16 years ago in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s win, combined with Vettel’s fourth-place finish, allowed Hamilton to extend his lead in the championship standings to 30 points over Vettel, his closest pursuer.

Fourteen rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team is tied for fourth in the constructors’ standings with Renault. Each team has 84 points and holds a 32-point advantage over McLaren, the next closest team. Magnussen is eighth in the driver’s championship with 49 points and Grosjean is 12th with 35 points.

Seven races remain, with the next event coming Sept. 16 with the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“It’s great to be in the points again and enjoying a good series of races. It was a good race, but tough. The Force Indias were definitely faster today. I had to push the car very hard to keep them behind. I was very happy with that, and very happy with the team’s progress. We’ve now moved up to fourth in the constructors’ standings, so that’s pretty amazing. I’ve never really had a good race at Monza, but today that wasn’t the case. I’m happy and looking forward to going to Singapore.”

“It was a pretty long race for us today. We had some damage on the rear tire after the first lap. I had to box for mediums and just went nowhere from there. Our race ended on lap one. We were then doing the whole race on one set of medium tires – the slowest – so it was never really going to be a case of us getting back in the race.”

“Sixth place and eight points is a good result. Kevin, at the beginning, had problems. He didn’t have a good start, then there were problems. Nevertheless, it was a great race for Romain and good points for Haas F1 Team. We are now tied for fourth with Renault. It’s getting interesting now. We’re really looking forward to going to Singapore and seeing what we can do there.”

Round 15 of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Practice begins Sept. 14, qualifying takes place Sept. 15 and the race runs Sept. 16.

This article contains: Italian Grand Prix