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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests