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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Sunday, 11 September 2011 15:16 UK

Italian Grand Prix as it happened


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By Chris Whyatt

1515: That's all from me now folks. And BBC One. But don't forget the F1 Forum on the Red Button. And this here website. Also, there are full highlights on BBC Three at 1900 BST later. And, of course, on this here website. Great race. Doffed cap to Vettel and Button. Ciao.

Force India's eighth-placed Scottish driver Paul di Resta: "We lost a few positions, just unlucky at the restarts. We were in the wrong place at wrong time. But we went aggressively on tyre strategy and extracted as much as we had. The four points is good for the constructors championship. I'm happy going to fly-aways."

Milly Lawrence on Twitter: "Man, I love Schumey & Lewis. Ruthless competitors! #bbcf1"

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher: "It was a fun afternoon. I think my racing was clean. As far as I was concerned there was no request to see the stewards, so I guess all is in order."

Fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton tells BBC Sport: "It was a good race. I got some points and I finished, so I can't complain at all." And what about the incident with Michael Schumacher? "It was racing," he smiles. He's keeping schtum. Penny for his real thoughts.

1455: Here's your top five in the new championship standings...
Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull 284
Fernando Alonso - Ferrari 172
Jenson Button - McLaren 167
Mark Webber - Red Bull 167
Lewis Hamilton - McLaren 158

Third-placed Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso: "Well done to the whole team. There was a lot of stress racing here in Italy. But we did the best job possible. It's a great achievement to get on the podium."

A celeb has been spotted
Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel: "The podium is unbelieveable. You feel so blessed. The view is incredible, with all the people below. The car was amazing in qualifying - and ever better today. It's very special for me to win here again."

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn tells BBC Sport: "Michael drove a fantastic race, we know we haven't got the fastest car but we have seen everything we know about Michael Schumacher. The FIA were watching it [the incident with Lewis Hamilton] and asking us to be careful. It is a balance between racing and not overstepping the mark. They asked us to be careful, which we were. It was great racing - and great for F1."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anonymous texts on 81111: "Another over-rated win by Vettel. Overtake was brave but nothing special. Red Bull owe the win to Michael Schumacher."

1440: "Red Bull have turned the page and moved to a new level," says Eddie Jordan on BBC One. "And in Seb Vettel you could be looking at someone beating Michael Schumacher's seven world titles." Watching the replay of his overtake on Alonso, which won him the race, you have to say that was real racing. My. Total bravery.

Robyn Gallen on Twitter: "Humming along to the German national anthem whilst Seb's shedding a tear. So much love and respect for that man. #bbcf1"

1435: Rousing German national anthem, huge Ferrari flag unfurled by the adoring hordes nonetheless. There's their hero Alonso, managing a shy smile. Vettel's second win at Monza. Sweat pouring from his face. Bed hair. Still looks so hot. Sweat or tears? He's quite emotional actually. Hoists the trophy aloft. Unbeatable. And there's Button. His 38th podium visit of career.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "Are we watching one of the true greats? It's hard to say so early in Vettel's career. But he has shown he is prepared to take the race to the others, even when he doesn't need to. Anyone who doubted that Vettel could race wheel to wheel will have seen that today. He made a phenomenal pass on Fernando Alonso, and then drove away to victory."

1427: Button second, (relatively) superb result for him, Alonso was third, perhaps sating some of that Ferrari desire. Hamilton fourth. Frustrating? Then Schumacher, Massa, Alguersuari, Di Resta...

Chequered flag

It's bad news for a Brit
Final lap: Might be runnning out of track... heading down to Ascari... but. No. No third place for Lewis Hamilton I'm afraid.

Lap 52: Tantilising. New fastest lap for Lewis. DRS time?

Lap 51: Squeaky bum time [copyright: SAF]. Just under three seconds, the gap now from chasing Hamilton to Ferrari's Alonso.

Lap 50: Think Vettel and Button are nailed on for first and second. Sorry for stating the obvious. Force India's flying Scotsman Paul di Resta is in the points at present, in eighth. But Bruno Senna is breathing down his Caledonian neck. Hamilton fights through traffic.

Lap 49: Hamilton is closing. The gap is now 4.9 seconds to Alonso.

Lap 47: Anyone dreaming of Button and Hamilton flanking Vettel on the podium? "C'mon Lewissss!" I think I hear across the land...

It's good news for a Brit
BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I've just been to the McLaren garage, where the plan is to catch Alonso - and pass him. The team say: 'We think he can do it, but we just need to persuade Lewis that he can after the day he has had'."

Lap 44: "Another great weekend this for Jenson Button," says BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard. "Great passing, good use of the strategy. Cleverly he sat back and watched the race unfold for the first half. All keen as we are to hear from Schumacher and Hamilton after the race? Lewis seven seconds behind third-placed Alonso with less than 10 laps remaining. Jean Alesi waves to the TV camara.

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC 5 live analyst and Team Lotus reserve Karun Chandhok: "Got to remember this is a big race for Toro Rosso drivers Alguersuari and Buemi because this is their home Grand Prix as well, and they are doing well in seventh and eighth."

Lap 42: Ferrari's Massa pits and slips right back...

Lap 41: Massa in fourth but he is yet to make his second pit stop. Button has just set his fastest lap of the race, but Vettel responds once again. No letting up. Full 16 seconds between first and second. Renault's Bruno Senna hunting some points in ninth at the moment.

Lap 38: Schumacher pits from P2. Now on the harder tyre. Alonso looks to be getting more comfortable on his hard tyres... If the race finishes like this, Vettel will take a 112-point lead to the next Grand Prix in Singapore. Virtually unassailable position, you'd have to say.

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC 5 live pit-lane reporter Natalie Pinkham: "Confirmation from Sauber that both their drivers, Perez and Kobayashi, retired with gearbox problems."

Lap 36: Leader Vettel pits. Rapid. Totally fine-tuned. Alonso and Button now just a penalty kick away from each other. Button's through into second! Slow off the cornering was Fernando. Pretty simple. Is that Ferrari lacking traction? The McLaren certainly isn't. So. Lewis Hamilton will be eyeing Alonso's rear now, no question.

Lap 35: Alonso has a little bit of breathing space... Jenson Button now five seconds adrift. But the gifted Spaniard pits now. Swift.

GunnerFox30 on Twitter: "First time I've seen Vettel this race !!! Your boring Seb lad!! Come on Lewis. 2nd place still on cards. GO LEWIS GO GO GO!!!

Lap 32: We also think Vettel's next pit stop will be in five or six laps' time. His tyres are holding up much better than any of the engineers expected. "He's just enjoying himself now, testing himself more than anything else," laughs BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle.

It's bad news for a Brit
BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I'm down in the Red Bull garage. Mood? Relaxed and delighted..."

Lap 28: Ah. Repentant - not the right word! - Schumacher now yields to Hamilton, who flys back into third position. Alonso having to race defensively now. McLaren's Englishman Button silky-smooth, mostly, though he clips a kerb coming into Ascari.

Lap 27: "Once again Jenson comes alive for the second half of a race," says Martin Brundle excitedly. Really pressing the knife to Alonso's collar now. They are nearly eight seconds ahead of the Schumacher-Hamilton tete-a-tete. Slight problem for both Button and Alonso, though. Vettel is nearly 13 seconds ahead of them both.

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan: "We have not been starved of excitement. We've seen some unbelievable passes between Schumacher and Hamilton and then Button caught them all napping. It's incredibly exciting and an honour to be here watching."

A celeb has been spotted
Lap 25: "Just a reminder, Michael," says Mercedes team principal [take note, not his engineer] Ross Brawn with a veiled reminder of the rules. "Make sure you leave room at Ascari." There's, erm, Brit jazz pioneer Jay Kay. Hat. Tick.

Lap 22: Stewards will investigate that messy first-lap tangle after the race. Ferrari's Alonso just 1.6 seconds ahead of Button now.

Lap 20: Alonso pits. Then Vettel. On examination, Schumacher made two moves to block Hamilton. That's not strictly legal. Brundle says he expects to be hearing a message over the radio anytime soon... and there it is. Lewis tell his team: "I though you were only allowed one move!". His team respond: "Yes, the FIA are looking into it." Drive-through penalty for the seven-times world champion?

Lap 19: Lewis pits. Good one from McLaren. New set of softs. But... Button way ahead. And Schumacher retains his position in fourth.

Lap 18: So Vettel is flying in front, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso. The chasing pack are five seconds adrift of the Spaniard... and Button is now third! Hamilton tried to take Schumacher, who took them both wide, and Jenson took full advantage. Heart-stopping. Lewis lost lots of speed. Schumi pits. Now Button pits. Stewards unconcerned with Schumacher action...

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC 5 live commentator David Croft: "Hamilton is looking for Schumacher to make a mistake, but he is not making any."

Lap 15: McLaren will call one of their drivers in quite soon, we think. They'll have to change their strategy now. Agree with that? Frantic.

Lap 14: Hamilton takes Schumacher for third - but then the German sweeps back in front of him immediately. Button now breathing down his team-mate's neck! This could be interesting...

Lap 12: So Hamilton in fourth and big gainer Michael Schumacher in third chasing the front two of Vettel and Alonso as hard as they can. But the German world champion is flying. Lewis not using Kers yet. "He's choosing where to use it," says Ted Kravitz. "But it's difficult to charge and cool. McLaren insist it's available." Now eight seconds behind the Red Bull. Vettel 6.8 seconds up on Alonso.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "They had a new nose and hard tyres ready for Mark Webber in the pits but he didn't make it back. Lewis Hamilton had a glitch with his DRS on that lap but McLaren have fixed it now."

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "Mark Webber should have bailed out of that move. He cut back in on Felipe Massa and there was always going to be contact."

1314: Five world champions fill the top five places...

1312: Another tangle. Mark Webber's lost his nose, clipping Massa briefly points the wrong way. And Vettel has bravely overtaken Alonso on the outside at over 200mph! Remarkable. Webber's crashed now. Schumacher eyeing second place now. Wow.

BBC 5 live analyst and Team Lotus reserve Karun Chandhok: "Liuzzi was going right, then left, then right, then left trying to get through traffic at the back and he misjudged it, got a wheel on the grass and then slid into the first corner backwards."

Lap 4: We've lost Liuzzi and Petrov and Rosberg. Barrichello made it to the pits. Safety car is still out. Quick reminder: Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Schumacher. 'Tifosi' joy. Safety car in. They're racing!

Safety car
Lap 1: Instant drama. Alonso makes a great start from fourth to take the lead into the first corner! Then Vettel and Hamilton. Schumacher has made a big jump too. But the safety car is out. Liuzzi and Petrov and Rosberg and Barrichello involved.

A celeb has been spotted

1300: How could you forget about our driver tracker, which is live (and singing and dancing) now? Very handy tool. Engines revving, they're lining up on the grid. Nervous? Optimistic?...

The sun is out
1257: Not long now. It's 41 degrees track temperature. I'm not going to say 'scorchio'! What's it like where you are?

Red Bull's Mark Webber told BBC Sport: "It's nicer to have a straightforward Grand Prix, weather-wise. The strategy will be interesting today, to see how the DRS [Drag Reduction System] works. We've done everything we can. I'm looking forward to a decent start - and then it's head down for the rest of the afternoon."

Tom Millard on Twitter: "This heat bodes well for [Ferrari's Fernando] Alonso. Nobody's mentioned him yet on the #BBCF1 coverage. Drifted to 10.5 for the win."

Sir Jackie Stewart tells BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle: "There is more atmosphere here than at any other race track in the world. The Italian fans are the best advised in the world. This is what the Wimbledon tennis championships are like for people in Britain."

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "McLaren have got a reverse Gurney on the back wing. Typically, you'd have it on the top side. That would suggest the McLaren wing is too big."

1245: Brundle's on his grid-walk. Sublime. Bustles past someone he calls 'Mikey Muscles'. "The safety car has only been used three times in the last 10 years at Monza. It's a fast track, but there's plenty of run-off areas," he says. Scrunching up his face and flapping at it, he tells us there used to be loads of flies down there when he used to race. Here's Button: "It's so hot. Every man for himself out there."

It's bad news for a Brit
McLaren driver Jenson Button tells BBC Sport earlier this week: "If Sebastien Vettel fails to win [the championship] this year it will be a big surprise. We're all fighters and we all want to win the championship - but it's pretty much over. Having a great end to the season is what we need for 2012. I want to win all the remaining races, that's got to be my aim."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Jay in Corby: "Vettel is due a retirement (since Korea) and the short top gears could leave his engine on limiter too often... fingers crossed for a blow up!"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner tells BBC Sport: "We've geared Sebastian Vettel's car so that he will be competitive on a heavy fuel load. Even if he gets behind a McLaren we should have enough straight-line speed to get past."

1235: What's this? Red Bull sounding ominously-confident...

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan: "I can see tyre blistering as a problem, it's very hot. I see Nico Rosberg winning his duel with Michael Schumacher as soft tyres at the end will be an advantage."

McLaren's Jenson Button (who starts in third): "All the way through practice I've been improving the car and I've got a lot more confidence in it now. I have a good feeling, like the last couple of races, so that's positive. We don't know what's going to happen in such heat. Strategy will be a moving target. It's going to be an exciting day, and I'm looking forward, hopefully, to a good result."

1227: Listen up New York, Paris and Milan. The shirt in question has a curtain-like purple print. Huge Harry-Hill collar swallowing his neck. And dark piping with dark buttons. Very lounge lizard. Jenson Button has, according to his McLaren gaffer Martin Whitmarsh, executed some of the "most spectacular drives in Formula 1" this season. Might we expect another today? Let's hear from the man himself...

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anonymous (don't forget to let us know your name!) texts on 81111: "Where did Eddie buy "that shirt" from? I like it."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monza: "Mercedes have decided to do something different with Nico Rosberg's race strategy in Italy - and mostly because they just felt like it. Rosberg will start his race on the harder 'medium' tyres, which means he has two sets of the faster 'soft' tyres to use later in the race, and will be on them when everyone else will almost certainly be on the mediums. This is a strategy that was used to great effect by Mark Webber in China and Jenson Button in Belgium when they were in artificially low grid positions. The danger for Rosberg is that the hard tyres run are around 0.7 seconds per lap slower than the soft tyres, so he could find himself losing ground in the opening laps. The good news is that both Mercedes cars have shown fantastic propulsion off the line and strong straight-line speed here. One other thing worth mentioning is that Bruno Senna is also likely to start on hard tyres for Renault. He didn't take part in the final phase of qualifying as he did not have any new sets of soft tyres left."

1221: Monza is, without question, intoxicating. But BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan can still see a gap in the market, bemoaning the absence of a native driver representing the home team. "I'd love to see the passion of an Italian driver in a Ferrari car here," he says.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali tells BBC Sport: "The fans are special, this is the reason why Ferrari is unique. The most important thing for the fans is Ferrari and then the drivers come second. Everyone would like to see us win like last year but for sure it will be challenging. It will be tough but we will try."

1218: The tartan trousers, of course, were Sir Jackie Stewart's. As for another proud Scot, DC? Pastel pink shirt, white trousers. Tan resplendent. "You know when a pass has happened here at Monza," says the natty BBC F1 co-commentator. "The atmosphere is electric." Shall we hear from Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali?

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monza: "I've managed to grab a quick word with England cricket hero Kevin Pietersen, who was busy watching Wales and South Africa in action in the Rugby World Cup at McLaren HQ. He tells me that he's always been a big F1 fan but that this is the first European race he's been able to come to because he was pretty busy this summer. And despite England's Test series whitewash over India he is still big pals with Force India owner Vijay Mallya. In fact, he was just off there to say his hellos down at the team's motorhome ahead of qualifying."

1210: Heady bass line kicking in, screechy electric guitar... our BBC One coverage with Jake and the gang is go GO GO! Refresh your page (UK users) to ensure you have pictures at the top. Opening package in Italian. Beautiful language. Questo Monza! Humphrey tries his hand.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who starts in second: "We're still fighting for the championship so I don't want to take any chances. Hopefully we'll get a good start and we're in the best position to still fight. We've been strong all weekend and have had good long-run pace. There's only one step for both of us to do [to take a one-two] and starting from pole isn't the best position to start on because it's such a long run down to Turn One. There's no reason why we can't compete with the Red Bulls."

1207: Crazy trousers alert in Monza! Hmmm. Do we think it's David Coulthard? Any other guesses...
Tartan trousers

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monza: "Ferrari described their home grand prix as 'a weekend of passion'. But one passionate weekend among their beloved tifosi is not enough to make amends for an otherwise relatively barren season which has seen the team win just one of the first 12 races. 'If you win in Monza it's an important result, but that's it,' said Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali. 'This championship is not really the best one, even if we could have won more races. We need to take the situation as it is without crying and be sure that the extra races from here to the end are very important because we are fighting for something, positions and other stuff.'"

The sun is out
Zoe Anderson on Twitter: "Looking forward to the #f1 about to start on #bbcf1 - hoping some Monza warmth comes through my telly!"

1153: Let's dig into some statistics in light of the championship standings. Red Bull's dominant pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel is 92 points clear of Webber at the top, with a maximum of 175 points up for grabs (including Monza). Feels like a tipping point today. Another romp for the German and surely he's retained his title. PS - Quite enjoyed not shortening the word statistic to 'stat'. Small things.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monza: "Sebastian Vettel may have gambled on what he described as a 'racy' strategy to secure his first pole for Red Bull at Monza. The German, who took pole from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by nearly half a second, opted for a shorter top gear than his team-mate Mark Webber. That means he reaches his maximum straight-line speed sooner. Vettel set the slowest mark through the speed trap, fixed on the pit straight, of all 24 drivers, reaching just 327km/h compared to Sauber driver Sergio Perez's top speed of 349km/h. It could leave Vettel vulnerable to the McLarens and Ferraris behind him, especially in the two areas where drivers can use their DRS overtaking aid. Vettel needs to get away quickly off the line and build a lead to help him turn pole into victory."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Phil in Coventry: "Not biased in anyway. But I hope Vettel's engine explodes in spectacular fashion today. Leaving the championship a little more interesting..."

BBC Radio 5 Live
1145: Green lights will flicker at 1300 BST. Our live coverage on BBC One with Jake, DC, EJ, MB [Martin Brundle] et al starts at 1210 BST. UK users can also watch all that jazz online. And we'll also have a frenzy of updates on BBC Radio 5 live. Got that?

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monza: "For most of the year Monza's Villa Royal park, 14 miles from Milan, provides a picturesque route for joggers and cyclists. But buried deep within the woodland lies Formula 1's fastest challenge. The historic circuit is dubbed the 'cathedral of speed' and it holds the records for the highest speed - 231mph - recorded by an F1 car, the fastest ever lap, the quickest grand prix in history and the closest finish, with just a hundredth of a second separating the first two cars back in 1971. This season's fastest man, Sebastian Vettel, was inspired to reach new highs this weekend as he took Red Bull's first pole position here. But there are many here who believe Monza could provide another close, high-speed spectacle today, which would be a fitting way for F1 to finish its European leg of the season."
Text in your views on 81111 (UK)

1135: Benvenuti. Monza. Dripping in history. Plenty of traffic jams. Glamour galore. Speed guaranteed. Competition? That's what we're craving for the 13th race of the season, surely. Be grand to hear your thoughts ahead of the race. And during. And after. To get involved use Twitter [via the hashtag #BBCF1 ] or text us via 81111 with F1 before your message. Grazie mille.

1130: Fearful of another Red Bull procession today? After landing second on the grid next to best qualifier Sebastian Vettel yesterday, McLaren's 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton declared that pole position at Monza is "not the best place to be" anyway. Hope! Sort of. What followed was somewhat confusing and seemingly contradictory - "second is not the easiest as it's a bit of a dirty side" - so maybe the smart money should be on Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button, who starts in third. Dunno. Get your crystal balls out.

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2016

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 385
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 380
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 256
4 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 212
5 M Verstappen Red Bull 204
6 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 186
7 Mexico S Perez Force India 101
8 Finland V Bottas Williams 85
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 72
10 Spain F Alonso McLaren 54
11 Brazil F Massa Williams 53
12 C Sainz Toro Rosso 46
13 France R Grosjean Haas F1 29
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 25
15 Great Britain J Button McLaren 21
16 Denmark K Magnussen Lotus 7
17 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 2
18 J Palmer Lotus 1
19 P Wehrlein Manor Marussia F1 1
21 Mexico E Gutierrez Haas F1 0
22 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 0
23 E Ocon Manor Marussia F1 0

Points projected from latest race positions

see also
Trulli extends stay at Team Lotus
11 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Vettel pips Hamilton to take pole
10 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Italian Grand Prix qualifying results
08 Mar 11 |  Results
Ferrari boss gets job assurance
11 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Vettel tops final Monza practice
10 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Button to stay, says McLaren boss
09 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Vettel heads Hamilton in practice
09 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Italian GP practice as it happened
09 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Red Bull extend Renault contract
09 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Hamilton rues 'worst year' in F1
09 Sep 11 |  Formula One

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