Vettel closes in on second title with tearful win

It was his rivals who should have been crying after the Italian Grand Prix, but on the podium the emotion of the moment got to Sebastian Vettel as he moved ever closer to a second consecutive world championship just three years after he had stood there savouring his first victory here.

The success brought Vettel's points advantage to 112, meaning that a podium finish in Singapore in two weeks' time will cement his title. But as somebody pointed out after a routine win, it might make the competition better if he were to take a holiday until Abu Dhabi, whereupon he could resume racing and still win the crown.

"It was a very emotional moment, because this circuit means a lot to me," Vettel said. "I scored my first win here, and as I crossed the finish line I remembered every single bit of it. When you stand up there on the podium, you feel so blessed because it doesn't happen to many people. And to see all these people below you... The only way it could get better was if you were wearing a red suit."

The last comment referred to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who made a startling getaway from fourth on the grid to take the lead by the first corner. Vettel stayed behind him for the first four laps, three of which were run under the safety car after an out-of-control Tonio Liuzzi had spun down the grass on the inside going into Turn One and triggered mayhem at the start which accounted for his HRT, Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and Vitaly Petrov's Renault.

The race resumed at the end of the fourth lap and it quickly became clear that the Ferrari was not going to stay ahead. On lap five Vettel went round the outside of Alonso in the fast Curva Grande right-hander, at around 180 mph, and despite having to put two wheels in the dirt made it stick.

"I didn't know where [Alonso] had come from at the start," Vettel admitted. "When I saw my chance he didn't give me much room and I was half on the grass, but once I got ahead the car was fantastic."

Further back, fast-starting Michael Schumacher was preoccupied trying to keep ahead of the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, who had both made poor starts. Lap after lap Hamilton tried to pass, but Schumacher was in his usual uncompromising mood. The Englishman briefly made it by in Turn One on lap 13, only to be repassed immediately in the Curva Grande thanks to the Mercedes' greater straight-line speed. Then on lap 16 as Schumacher closed the door there, Hamilton had to put his right-hand wheels on the grass and, as he lost momentum, Button used his Kers system to drag past and then took advantage of his DRS to squeeze by Schumacher going into the Ascari corner.

Behind the scenes, the race stewards had advised Mercedes that Schumacher was moving around too much in his defence of third place, and he had left Button a little more room than he had been giving Hamilton. Eleven laps later Hamilton was able to duplicate the move. According to the Mercedes' team principal, Ross Brawn, he and Schumacher were having a discussion and as the veteran mistakenly hit the rev limiter he fluffed a gear change and Hamilton was finally able to squeeze through and pull away.

Button, meanwhile, had settled into pursuit of Alonso, passing the Spaniard for second on the 36th lap at Curva Grande, while Hamilton then hunted down the Ferrari and was only half a second adrift of it when the chequered flag came out.

"It was a really fun race, fighting with Lewis, Michael and Fernando," Button said, "but it wasn't for the lead, which was a shame. I'd seen Lewis struggle on the outside with Michael a few times, but gave it a go and pulled it off. It was one of my best passes."

A philosophical Hamilton said: "We were a little bit slow on the straight today, which meant it was hard to get past Michael who was faster even when I had my DRS activated. I had to really fight him, but the fact that I finished ahead of him meant everything was OK. That's racing."

Monza details

Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy

Final positions after 53 laps

1 S Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1hr 20min 46.172sec

2 J Button (GB) McLaren 1:20:55.762

3 F Alonso (Sp) Ferrari 1:21:03.081

4 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:21:03.589

5 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:21:18.849

6 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:21:29.165

7 J Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso at 1 lap

8 P di Resta (GB) Force India at 1 lap

9 B Senna (Br) Renault at 1 lap

10 S Buemi (Swit) Scuderia Toro Rosso at 1 lap

11 P Maldonado (Ven) Williams at 1 lap; 12 R Barrichello (Br) Williams at 1 lap; 13 H Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus F1 at 2 laps; 14 J Trulli (It) Lotus F1 at 2 laps; 15 T Glock (Ger) Virgin Racing at 2 laps. Not classified: 16 D Ricciardo (Aus) HRT-F1 39 laps completed; 17 S Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 32 laps completed; 18 K Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber-Ferrari 21 laps completed; 19 A Sutil (Ger) Force India 9 laps completed; 20 M Webber (Aus) Red Bull 4 laps completed; 21 J d'Ambrosio (Bel) Virgin Racing 1 lap completed; 22 V Petrov (Rus) Renault 0 laps completed; 23 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 0 laps completed; 24 V Liuzzi (It) HRT-F1 0 laps completed.

World Championship standings

1 Vettel 284pts; 2 Alonso 172; 3 Button 167; 4 Webber 167; 5 Hamilton 158; 6 Massa 82; 7 Rosberg 56; 8 Schumacher 52; 9 Petrov 34; 10 N Heidfeld (Ger) Renault 34; 11 Kobayashi 27; 12 Sutil 24; 13 Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso 16; 14 Buemi 13; 15 P di Resta 12; 16 Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 8; 17 Barrichello 4; 18 Senna 2; 19 Maldonado 1.

Manufacturers' standings

1 Red Bull 451pts; 2 McLaren 325; 3 Ferrari 254

4 Mercedes GP 108; 5 Renault 70; 6 Force India 36; 7 Sauber-Ferrari 35; 8 Scuderia Toro Rosso 29; 9 Williams 5; 10 Lotus F1 0; 11 HRT-F1 0; 12 Virgin Racing 0.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Life and Style
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil