Dre’s 2014 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Race Review

Read time: 8 mins

“Advantage, Hamilton.”

And as the F1 crazy train rolls on after one of its most controversial moments in recent years, we headed to Monza for what was another pretty entertaining Italian Grand Prix! Nico Rosberg was in control but cracked under the pressure, as Lewis Hamilton took advantage for his 6th win of the season. Williams had one of their strongest performances to date, highlighted by Felipe Massa’s first podium for his new team, and Bottas’s rise through the field after a terrible start. The Red Bull’s pulled off a solid damage limitation drive, Ferrari have their worst weekend in recent memory, while Button, Magnussen and Perez put on another show for our entertainment, with varying results of success! Let’s break it all down here, as I review thw 2014, Italian Grand Prix!


[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]fe537961370c05235f0f6a706700ef60[/fusion_imageframe]Rosberg chokes under the pressure

Remember when Sebastian Vettel got ripped apart for losing it on the final lap of Canada 2011? Rosberg had his own issue, by twice locking up into Turn 1 at 220mph, from a position where was very comfortable. Hamilton as well as a couple others had terrible starts on the dirty side of the track, meaning Hamilton lost time being stuck behind Felipe Massa for several laps. But two lock-ups later, Hamilton took the lead and was in complete control and strolled to a comfortable win as Rosberg was left lamenting what could have been. It could very well have been the final dagger in Hamilton’s championship if he was down 36 points with 6 rounds left.

But Hamilton was near flawless, didn’t panic when caught behind Massa, and this season has shown that his tyre and fuel management has seriously improved, using far less fuel in the GP than Rosberg and keeping within range. A bit of a shame that Rosberg’s mistakes cost us a real dogfight for the win, but it showed the difference the two drivers have under pressure and it adds another layer to the crazy feud these two are having. 22 points down with 6 rounds left? Anyone’s ball game to me.

Anyone looking forward to Singapore already?

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Felipe-Massa[/fusion_imageframe]Dre’s Conflict On Williams

Williams had a very good weekend, the time their cars finished 3rd and 4th behind the two Mercedes, but this time it was Felipe Massa who benefited with a good start on the clean side, and drove a very lonely race to 3rd, while Valterri Bottas used Williams’ ridiculous aerodynamic efficiency to pass everyone in the midfield in sight, hitting 225mph in the process as he got to 4th.

It was about time Massa got his first Williams podium, he’s been solid yet unspectacular all season, and as much as I think Bottas has deserved the praise for showing tremendous improvement, it makes for a better story than the experienced guy pulling one over on his former team, and Felipe’s been tremendously unlucky this season, from crashes, to debris in the car, to an over-defensive Mexican in Canada.

But does anyone kinda get the feeling that Williams should have been closer? EVERYONE and their mother was telling me Bottas had a shot during this GP and mentioned the top speeds Williams were getting. Felipe Massa finished up 25 seconds off the win, nearly half a second a lap slower, Bottas 40 seconds back but obviously caught by a ton of a traffic after his terrible start. So how good a performance was it, really?

For me, Belgium was a red flag in terms of pace, a similar track where Williams again, finished half a minute plus back. And that was from a Red Bull, let alone a Mercedes at full pelt, given Rosberg’s issues with setup and time lost for a front wing change.

But whatever happens, or how their result is perceived, it was a sucker punch to Ferrari, a weekend that they would rather forget…

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]137977[/fusion_imageframe]Ferrari On The Brink Of Disaster

Ferrari’s had an awful season by their own ridiculously high expectations. Fernando Alonso is carrying that car as far as he can take it, and Kimi Raikkonen is limping around at FAR from his best. It goes deeper with team President Luca di Montezemolo critcised by owners FIAT and under an extreme amount of pressure to resign after six straight seasons without a Championship, and a risk of going for their first win less season in 21 years.

But maybe, an outside shot of a podium in-front of the Tifosi might soothe some of the pressure, right? Nope. Fernando Alonso was the last driver on EARTH who should have gotten a mechanical retirement, but an ERS failure meant he suffered his first retirement of the season and ending a [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Last time that happened? India…Last year.” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]15 race streak of finishing in the points[/fusion_tooltip],  while Raikkonen finished a miserable 9th. And to put that into contrast, the team they’re in a dogfight with for 3rd in the Constructors Championship, Williams, just scored 27.

Eddie Jordan in BBC’s “F1 Forum” just called Fernando Alonso a “Ferrari Prisoner”, stuck in a car incapable of consistent wins, but with nowhere else to go. Kimi Raikkonen’s faced paddock wide criticism for his poor performances, and many within the media are calling for the entire team to be stripped down and reset. If the team drops out of the Top 3 of the WCC altogether, surely that must be a call for change? Because 2 points in front of your home fans is simply not good enough.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]26819.3[/fusion_imageframe]Red Bull’s Contrasting Strategy Calls are puzzling

Red Bull should be happy with their “damage limitation” job that Christian Horner so eloquently described during qualifying. Qualifying 8th and 9th and finishing 5th and 6th isn’t normally a bad day in the office when you have the worst powered cars in the field. However, the split of strategies on their respective cars was a head-scratcher.

Daniel Ricciardo was outstanding again. Made some brilliant passes on the midfield pack, including his own team mate in Sebastian Vettel for 5th (See Mercedes, that’s how team mates SHOULD fight), and had tremendous confidence in his car and brakes, but Seb was given a SEVEN lap undercut compared to Ricciardo, the first of the leading runners to change to his prime compound tyres on Lap 19, meaning he had to go 34 laps on his hards, ultimately finishing 10 seconds behind Danny and was very fortunate not to come under more pressure from Magnussen, Perez, Button and Raikkonen. How was that POSSIBLY a good idea?

It’s not the first time this has happened to Seb either. In Canada, Ricciardo was given the undercut that got him in front of Seb, putting him in prime position to clear Perez after his mistake and go on to win. In Britain, Seb was put on a 2-stopper when a [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Only 3 of the Top 10 finished on a 2-stopper…” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]1-stopper was the faster strategy[/fusion_tooltip]. In Hungary, Ricciardo was given 2-option stints, which was WAY faster than sticking the primes on Vettel to make him [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Williams got the wrong as well. ” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]run the distance[/fusion_tooltip].

Dr Helmut Marko admitted they messed up with Seb’s strategy again, and that nearly ruined what was otherwise a solid weekend for the World Champion. This is happening so often now I’m starting to wonder what is going on there. How can a team get it so right with one driver, but so wrong with another? I can’t lie, as a Seb fan, it IS a little frustrating. But as Seb himself would say… “Tough luck, right?”

Also, Ricciardo was the fastest through the speed traps at 227mph (362kph)… Is his car being powered on honey and smiles?!

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]26821.3[/fusion_imageframe]The Midfield steals the show…And shafts K-Mag

Props to Alonso, Bottas, Perez, and Magnussen for providing a lot of the entertainment in today’s race, with some hard, but firm racing, without any contact and even praising one another for their skill. See Fernando and Sebastian, it can be done!

What is concerning to me, is the treatment of Kevin Magnussen, who for the 2nd straight race, took a penalty from race direction from debatable incidents.

In Spa, he ran Alonso off the road but in my eyes, was given an overly harsh 20 second time penalty for it, dropping him out of the points. In Italy, he was given a 5 second penalty for running Bottas off the road, which I think was a very marginal incident, and a penalty that, due to the close nature of the race, dropped Magnussen down from 7th to 10th, 5 vital points in the fight between Force India and McLaren for 5th in the Championship.

I like Kevin, a lot. He’s clearly not intimated and he’s a hard, but ultimately fair driver. A proper racer, and has proved himself to be shrewd throughout the season. Spa was unacceptable, but I think Monza was very harsh and I have to question the stewards on this one.

Formula 1 needs full-time stewards, it would certainly make the decisions more consistent, and we as fans would have a better idea of where to draw the line. We were given the impression that the Stewards were told to be more lenient, then they give Magnussen 25 seconds worth of penalties in back to back rounds and have cost him a dozen or so points. Having so many rotating part-timers creates confusion and a lack of consistency, and it isn’t ideal for the fans. A dampener on what was otherwise, an incredibly entertaining midfield scrap.


Anywho, let me know what you thought of Monza in the comments, and I’ll catch you guys later for an open letter to you guys, the fans. Thanks for reading![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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