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.

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea