Track: Monza Autodromo Nazionale
Race start: 2000 HRS SIN
Giancarlo Fisichella moves from the Force India team to take the seat vacated by Felipe Massa and luca Badoer. This is the fastest track on the calendar, consisting of long straights punctuated by slow and short chicanes. Very low downforce is needed, as reducing aero drag takes priority. KERS equiped cars are expected to gain up to 0.4s per lap .
Italian Grand Prix free practice session one
1. HAMILTON McLaren 1m23.936s
2. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m24.332s
3. SUTIL Force India 1m24.471s
4. ALONSO Renault 1m24.477s
5. HEIDFELD BMW 1m24.683s
6. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m24.703s
7. BUTTON Brawn 1m24.706s
8. FISICHELLA Ferrari 1m24.732s
9. WEBBER Red Bull 1m24.759s
10. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m24.761s
11. KUBICA BMW 1m24.813s
12. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m24.826s
13. ROSBERG Williams 1m24.927s
14. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m25.150s
15. GROSJEAN Renault 1m25.612s
16. LIUZZI Force India 1m25.689s
17. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m25.742s
18. VETTEL Red Bull 1m25.951s
19. TRULLI Toyota 1m26.020s
20. GLOCK Toyota 1m26.325s
Italian Grand Prix free practice session two
1. SUTIL Force India 1m23.924s
2. GROSJEAN Renault 1m24.163s
3. ALONSO Renault 1m24.297s
4. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m24.482s
5. KUBICA BMW 1m24.622s
6. GLOCK Toyota 1m24.634s
7. HEIDFELD BMW 1m24.693s
8. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m24.796s
9. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m24.799s
10. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m24.884s
11. HAMILTON McLaren 1m24.902s
12. LIUZZI Force India 1m24.921s
13. TRULLI Toyota 1m24.967s
14. WEBBER Red Bull 1m24.979s
15. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m25.003s
16. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m25.140s
17. ROSBERG Williams 1m25.215s
18. VETTEL Red Bull 1m25.386s
19. BUTTON Brawn 1m25.424s
20. FISICHELLA Ferrari 1m25.543s
Italian Grand Prix final practice times
1. SUTIL Force India 1m23.336s
2. BUTTON Brawn 1m23.404s
3. HEIDFELD BMW 1m23.490s
4. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m23.575s
5. HAMILTON McLaren 1m23.633s
6. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m23.803s
7. LIUZZI Force India 1m23.849s
8. ALONSO Renault 1m23.915s
9. GLOCK Toyota 1m23.959s
10. KUBICA BMW 1m23.996s
11. GROSJEAN Renault 1m24.197s
12. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m24.302s
13. TRULLI Toyota 1m24.326s
14. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m24.392s
15. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m24.572s
16. ROSBERG Williams 1m24.621s
17. WEBBER Red Bull 1m25.154s
18. VETTEL Red Bull 1m25.244s
19. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m25.791s
20. FISICHELLA Ferrari 1m25.951s
Italian Grand Prix grid
1. HAMILTON McLaren
2. SUTIL Force India
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari
4. KOVALAINEN McLaren
5. BARRICHELLO Brawn
6. BUTTON Brawn
7. LIUZZI Force India
8. ALONSO Renault
9. VETTEL Red Bull
10. WEBBER Red Bull
11. TRULLI Toyota
12. GROSJEAN Renault
13. KUBICA BMW
14. FISICHELLA Ferrari
15. HEIDFELD BMW
16. GLOCK Toyota
17. NAKAJIMA Williams
18. ROSBERG Williams
19. BUEMI Toro Rosso
20. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso
Italian Grand Prix result (53 laps)
1. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1h16m21.706s
2. BUTTON Brawn +2.8s
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari +30.6s
4. SUTIL Force India +31.1s
5. ALONSO Renault +50.1s
6. KOVALAINEN McLaren +60.6s
7. HEIDFELD BMW +82.4s
8. VETTEL Red Bull +85.4s
9. FISICHELLA Ferrari +86.8s
10. NAKAJIMA Williams +120.0s
11. GLOCK Toyota +163.9s
12. HAMILTON McLaren +1 lap
13. BUEMI Toro Rosso +1 lap
14. TRULLI Toyota +1 lap
15. GROSJEAN Renault +1 lap
16. ROSBERG Williams +2 laps
R. LIUZZI Force India +30 laps
R. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso +33 laps
R. KUBICA BMW +37 laps
R. WEBBER Red Bull +53 laps
Fastest lap: SUTIL 1m24.739s
I think it's game over for Red Bull in the title race now.
Rubens Barrichello took another chunk out of team-mate Jenson Button’s championship lead as he led an emphatic Brawn GP 1-2 in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
But any disappointment Button may have felt at losing the intra-team duel was more than offset by relief at the fact that a disastrous race for Red Bull Racing all but eliminated Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber from title contention.
Webber was sidelined in a first-lap collision with Robert Kubica’s BMW, while Vettel mustered just one point for eighth place after a scrappy drive.
The net result was that Barrichello has trimmed Button’s championship lead to 14 points, but Vettel and Webber are respectively 26 and 28.5 points adrift with 40 points still up for grabs.
The Brawn duo used superior one-stop strategies to overhaul the two-stopping McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, which led the early stages from pole position.
Having qualified ahead of Button, Barrichello was best-placed to lead the one-stop challenge and stayed close enough to Hamilton to breeze past him when the world champion made his second pit visit.
Hamilton dropped to third behind Button, but chased his countryman for all he was worth in the closing stages before dramatically crashing on the final lap at the exit of the first Lesmo.
The accident promoted Kimi Raikkonen to a surprise podium finish for Ferrari, the Finn repeating his Spa trick of fending off a faster Force India, this time Adrian Sutil, thanks to his KERS power boost.
Sutil harried Raikkonen all the way but had to make do with fourth place, easily the best result of his young F1 career, and underlined his pace by setting the race's fastest lap.
But like former team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella at Spa, Sutil would likely have beaten the Ferrari had he been able to stay ahead in the early laps.
Hamilton had made a textbook getaway from pole, but the similarly KERS-equipped Raikkonen was even sharper out of the blocks from the second row and put two wheels on the grass in a bid to pass the McLaren down the outside.
His McLaren rival comfortably covered his advances, however, and the Ferrari had to settle for taking second place away from Sutil going into the chicane, while behind Barrichello crucially moved to the head of the one-stoppers after taking fourth away from Heikki Kovalainen.
Otherwise the rest of the pack all managed to expertly navigate the tight Rettifilo without incident and any chicane-cutting.
However, the usual frantic action associated with a first lap at Monza would only be delayed until the second chicane.
First Webber’s championship hopes suffered what is surely a terminal setback after he collided with the fast-starting BMW of Kubica in the middle of the Roggia.
The Red Bull driver spun out into the gravel, while Kubica suffered damage to his front-right wing endplate - race control soon ordering the Pole to pit as bits of the wing remained flailing off his car.
Then Kovalainen lost out to the second Brawn of Button into the second Lesmo, the championship leader bravely hustling his BGP 001 down the inside of the McLaren after Kovalainen had been caught up trying to repass Barrichello.
The Finn, who just minutes before had been considered in a prime starting position for the race after qualifying on a fuel-adjusted pole, was then amazingly relegated to seventh after the similarly Mercedes-powered Force India of Tonio Liuzzi simply outdrove him down the backstraight.
But while the second McLaren’s afternoon had unravelled already, race leader Hamilton immediately got on with trying to build the kind of lead he needed to make his two-stopping strategy work.
The world champion pulled 2.1s clear of Raikkonen by the end of lap three, with a succession of fastest laps ensuring his advantage was up to 3.5s three laps later, with third-placed Sutil in turn closing to within a second of the Ferrari.
The one-stopping Brawns, meanwhile, were generally lapping around a second off the pace in fourth and fourth, the pair told over the radio on lap eight that they needed to lap within 0.9s of the race-leading McLaren to make their strategy work.
Barrichello duly responded, the Brazilian – whose one stop would come one lap later than his team-mate’s – at this stage just over a second clear of title rival Button and beginning to eek further clear.
On lap 14, two laps earlier than expected, Hamilton peeled into the pit lane for his first stop with a 6.8s lead over Raikkonen, with the Brawn duo 17 and 20.5s respectively adrift.
After Sutil on lap 16, and Raikkonen a lap later, then pitted and returned in the same order behind Hamilton, Brawn were promoted to the lead and now really needed to turn up the wick as their heavy starting fuel loads burned off.
In truth, the next 10-12 laps couldn’t have gone any better.
Appearing to push each other to the car’s limits around the challenging high-speed circuit, the pair’s pace proved too strong for the now heavier Hamilton behind.
While often matching each other for sector time after sector time, Button was invariably a fraction faster and managed to close his once 3.5s deficit to 2.1s by the time of his one and only stop on lap 27.
Nevertheless, Barrichello still emerged from his own pit stop a lap later with his advantage increased once more after a slightly quicker service and a better in-lap.
With Barrichello now truly in the box seat to take the victory should Brawn’s one-stopping plan work, all attention turned to whether Hamilton, now back in the lead, could build a big enough advantage to hold the lead through his second stop.
However, as it turned out, he only had five laps to do so and his 14s lead over Barrichello was no where near enough to rejoin either ahead of, or between, the two Brawns – the pair in sight but realistically just tantalisingly out of reach.
Nevertheless, never one to give up easily, Hamilton set about closing down second-placed Button over the remaining 20 laps and got the gap down to under two seconds with just a couple of laps to go.
But, in the end, the world champion’s renowned racer’s instinct would cost him what would have been just his third podium finish of the season.
Having just set the fastest time through the first sector on the last lap, he then lost the back-end of his car as he went over the Astroturf on the outside of the kerb at the first Lesmo, Hamilton losing control and slamming nose-first into the inside wall.
The accident littered debris all over the circuit, meaning the safety car was called, and the Brawns were afforded the luxury of cruising around the remainder of the final lap, Barrichello leading home Button for the team’s fourth 1-2 of the season.
Hamilton’s crash also ended Sutil’s hopes of catching Raikkonen, the German having lost his chance of jumping the Finn when they had pitted together for the final lime on lap 38.
With Ferrari’s pit stall at the top of the pit lane, Raikkonen appeared set to lose the position when a hesitant lollypop man put his lollypop up, down, and then up again as the pit stop came to its conclusion, the confusion causing his driver to get a stuttering exit.
However, Sutil was suffering his own pit dramas at the same time, the Force India man knocking over one of his mechanics after slaloming into his pit box – the lost time meaning Raikkonen still got out ahead.
With the pair eventually finishing nose-to-tail in third and fourth, Fernando Alonso matched his and Renault’s best result of the season to claim a morale-boosting fifth after a lonely afternoon.
The Spaniard had made full use of his car’s reintroduced KERS system to make up ground at the start after an initial poor getaway, and then raced typically consistently on his one-stop fuel load.
Kovalainen’s early slide meant he could do no better than sixth, while Nick Heidfeld produced one of the drives of the day to take seventh from 15th on the grid following BMW’s engine problems in qualifying.
Red Bull inherited the final point with Vettel, but given Brawn’s resounding 1-2, that may be little comfort for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
After initially making a decent start from ninth, Vettel quickly lost ground and didn't have the speed to respond and was lucky to finish at all after a wild ride across the gravel at the second Lesmo corner.