Italian Grand Prix 2012

/ Commentary

Race

13:01 Hamilton takes his position up on the grid, and the rest of the field forms up behind him. Charlie Whiting is happy and the lights come on...

13:00 it's a quick formation lap too; Hamilton is almost at the Parabolica already. My tip for the win is Button - Raikkonen will be strong but I think the Renault-engined cars will struggle to overtake even with DRS

13:00 We're away on the formation lap and Perez is the highest-placed driver starting on the hard tyre. Also on the hard is d'Ambrosio, Maldonado and Hulkenberg - the rest of the field on mediums

12:59 I'm quite looking forward to seeing what Massa can do today. Starting third, he'll be targeting his first podium since Korea in 2010. With Alonso down in tenth the two Ferraris are going to be good to watch

12:58 The drivers have been warned about turn one, and more specifically the run down to it. There's a large amount of tarmac on the inside of the start/finish straight and the drivers should not be using it unless avoiding an incident

12:57 Stephen says: "Hopefully Alonso will make his usually great start and Ferrari will develop a good tyre strategy to compensate for his misunfortune in qualifying at Monza and his accident at Spa."

12:55 Drean asks on Twitter about the DRS zones: There are two, one is on the start/finish straight and the other is between the second Lesmo and the Ascari chicane

12:53 Tom asks: "All considered between Hamilton and Button, do you think Mclaren has given them specific instructions regarding handling themselves in today's race?"

Not really to be honest. I think there will have probably been a word about turn one, and not forcing each other wide as forcefully as they may to other drivers, but aside from that they're experienced enough and McLaren let them race

12:51 Kit emails in to say: "Whatever happens, I sure hope Vettel will finish in front of Alonso..Would be better if Alonso never finish again! Go Vettel go!!! Hope that Lotus, Kimmi will be good today too!"

12:49 Alex asks about Alonso's problem in qualifying; it was a loose bolt on the right rear anti-roll bar and so has easily been fixed in time for the race. Ferrari has no concerns about the car today

12:47Stephan emails in to say: "The FIA has neutralized Grosjean and Maldonado, now let's hope Kobayashi does not do what those two did at Spa." As pessimistic as that might sound, it's true that turn one here can see some big accidents. Just remember Tonio Liuzzi last year in the HRT.

12:43 Another man to look out for is Jerome d'Ambrosio, who is taking part in his first race since the Brazilian Grand Prix last year - standing in for the suspended Romain Grosjean - and he's starting 15th, looking for his first points of his career and with a car that looks strong in race trim

12:38 If you want to get in touch with us here at ESPNF1 you can do so in one of two ways. Laurence is in the Monza paddock soaking in the atmosphere at this historic circuit and you can tweet him @ESPNF1 or you can email me live on commentary here using the link above

12:34 It's a hot and sunny day at Monza, as expected, but we're still expecting a one-stop strategy to be the preferred route for all of the drivers. There's a few drivers out of position who may go for something a little different - Hulkenberg starts last after a fuel pump problem and Maldonado is 22nd due to ten-place grid penalty

12:30 It's Lewis Hamilton that starts on pole, with Jenson Button alongside him just one week after the infamous telemetry tweet that hardly strengthened their relationship. Button probably needs the 25 points more than Hamilton, but with all the talk of a Mercedes move Hamilton will be keen to make sure questions are about is on-track performance. It could be an explosive turn one...

12:25 Hello and welcome to ESPNF1's live coverage of the Italian Grand Prix. McLaren's fill the front row but it's been a far from dominant weekend for any team so far and the winner is a tough one to pick

Lap 1

Massa beats Button off the line and attacks Hamilton but relents. Button attacks in to the Roggia chicane but doesn't make it stick. Hamilton's away well. Alonso up to 8th and Webber down to 14th. Hulkenberg with a good start up to 18th. ALonso passes Kobayashi in to Parabolica for 7th

Lap 2

And Alonso's past Raikkonen in to turn one as well! The Tifosi are loving it and Alonso is sixth. It needs mentioning that everyone was very careful through the first chicane at the start. Hamilton leads Massa by 1.2s so has broken the DRS gap already. Vettel following Schumacher closely

Lap 3

Hamilton pulls the gap out to 1.4s, with Button a second further back from Massa. DRS is now enabled and Hamilton is getting the hammer down at the front. Good clean racing between Hamilton and Massa in to turn one after their issues last year

Lap 4

Vettel dives down the inside of Schumacher for fourth at turn one - nothing wrong with that Renault engine. Alonso attacks Schumacher but loses ground in the second DRS zone after appearing not to go in to seventh gear

Lap 5

Rosberg is down in 12th and told he needs to clear the cars in front because they're one-stopping. That must be a two-stop race for Mercedes. Senna attacked Rosberg and was pushed off the road at turn one. Rosberg's gone back to 13th now

Lap 6

Hamilton leads by 2.2s, Massa matching pace at the front and Button 1.7s off. Alonso attacks Schumacher on the start/finish straight but can't outbrake him and stays sixth. Rosberg radioed in to say Senna needs to let him past, but Webber is between them now

Lap 7

Hamilton extends his lead to 2.6s with the fastest lap. Alonso gets Schumacher using DRS and is up to fifth. Vettel is next up the road and Alonso is only 7.4s off the lead. The Tifosi enjoyed that

Lap 8

Hamilton 2.8s ahead now, and the closest battle is with Button and Vettel; Vettel is in DRS range on the pit straight. Senna attacking di Resta and is pushed off on to the grass under braking for the Roggia chicane - di Resta didn't leave enough room. Senna loses a place to Webber too

Lap 9

Vettel is still closing Button down at 0.1s per lap. Vergne loses the Toro Rosso under braking for turn one and slides across the grass, getting airborne on the kerb. He says he has pain in his back but walks away from the car - looks like a suspension failure at the rear caused it

Lap 10

No overtaking in to turn one due to the yellow flags. d'Ambrosio has a KERS failure and is told it cannot be fixed. Such a shame for him, and that puts him at a disadvantage in 15th place.

The gaps at the front are: Hamilton leads by 3.4s, Button is 2s back from Massa and Vettel a second behind him. Alonso in fifth is 2.1s behind Vettel

Lap 11

The top three all doing identical lap times and Vettel and Alonso both within 0.2s too. Webber uses DRS to pass di Resta in to the Ascari chicane for tenth place.

Lap 12

Massa drops a few tenths to Hamilton and Button - the top five are covered by 8.9s while Schumacher is now 12.1s off the lead. It appears rear tyre degradation could be starting to be an issue as the track temperature hits 41C

Lap 13

Schumacher appears to be preparing for a pit stop and Mercedes asks for "three qualy laps". Perez in eighth is in the best position of the hard tyre cars. Hamilton has extended his lead to four seconds, and Button is closing Massa down now. Hulkenberg and Maldonado made good starts but are stuck in 16th and 17th now

Lap 14

Maldonado pits from 17th after Webber runs a bit wide out of the second Lesmo. Schumacher has Raikkonen and Perez both within DRS distance of each other in the battle for sixth, while Button is now 1.5s behind Massa and Alonso 1.8s behind Vettel

Lap 15

Hamilton does the fastest lap and extends his lead to 4.7s. Button is told his pace is "very good", while Rosberg pits from 14th place. Hulkenberg passes d'Ambrosio in to the Roggia chicane for 15th. Schumacher struggling with his rears as he drifts out of the Roggia chicane and Raikkonen is close behind now

Lap 16

Button now just 1.3s behind Massa, and Alonso 1.4s behind Vettel. Schumacher pits from sixth and rejoins in 15th place. Hamilton's pace is good at the front, but we're still uncertain who is planning which strategy. A lot of activity in the Ferrari garage as Button is told he's on "Plan A" - so you'd assume a one-stopper

Lap 17

Raikkonen looked strong in clear air but he's just had a sloppy middle sector and Perez is past him. It was a good move from Perez around the outside in to the Roggia chicane and Raikkonen pits

Lap 18

Hamilton leads by 5.4s, and Button is almost in DRS range of Massa. No telemetry for Ferrari appears to be the problem in its garage, Rob Smedley saying "you'll have to talk to me we are completely blind"

Lap 19

Button attacks Massa in to the first chicane but can't get through. He muscles his way through in to the Roggia chicane though, and McLaren is now first and second. Ferrari ready for a stop - and it's for Massa. Schumacher passes d'Ambrosio in to Parabolica - Raikkonen rejoined behind the Mercedes

Lap 20

Massa pits and rejoins down in 11th behind Ricciardo. Not a great place to be. di Resta attacking Kobayashi, while Button is told to push after Massa pitted. Button is 6.9s behind Hamilton

Lap 21

Vettel and Alonso pit together. Perez now up to third. Alonso released side-by-side with Vettel but the Red Bull exits ahead. They're right behind Massa too who is still being held up by Ricciardo

Lap 22

Button told to aim for "target plus two" to clear the traffic Massa is in. He;s closed the gap to Hamilton to 6.4s too. Webber and di Resta pit. Massa finally past Ricciardo exiting the first chicane, and Vettel and Alonso make it through before the first Lesmo

Lap 23

Button was catching Hamilton but now he pits because Massa is past Ricciardo. A slow stop though for Button but he rejoins in clear air ahead of Senna in third place. Massa then passes Senna in to turn one. Vettel attacks Senna and is through in to the first Lesmo. , while Alonso passes before the Ascari chicane using DRS

Lap 24

Hamilton pits from the lead and a quick stop gets him out behind Perez in second place. Schumacher and Hulkenberg fighting over ninth place, while Senna's gone backwards behind Ricciardo to eighth

Lap 25

Alonso with the fastest lap and attacks Vettel but the Red Bull defends the inside line. Button is 8.3s behind Hamilton now and 2 seconds ahead of Massa, Raikkonen has past Hulkenberg for eighth - the Force India yet to stop

Lap 26

Button with the fastest lap and he takes 0.7s out of Hamilton. Vettel does well to defend from Alonso in to turn one, while Vettel then pushes him out on to the grass at Curva Grande in a replica of last year! Alonso does well to control the car but was completely on the grass and angrily radios in to Ferrari. Very tight in my opinion, but at such speed it was dangerous

Lap 27

Perez only 1.8s ahead of Hamilton now having yet to pit. Button slowly closing in on Hamilton too. D'Ambrosio goes wide at the second Lesmo and pits

Lap 28

That gap at the front is now 1.2s and Button 7.5s behind. Alonso is on the back of Vettel again, while Schumacher has Raikkonen close behind.

Lap 29

Button with the fastest lap as Hamilton passes Perez for the lead in to turn one. Perez has just been told his target has been extended for another four laps, so he's not racing at the front. Alonso is through past Vettel before the Roggia chicane! The Tifosi celebrates, and Alonso is now in fourth as Perez pits from second

Lap 30

The stewards are investigating the Alonso and Vettel incident as Perez rejoins ahead of Rosberg. He's on the medium tyres now with 23 laps remaining. Webber in tenth place is told that both Mercedes and Raikkonen ahead of him have to pit again

Lap 31

Hamilton with the fastest lap but only 0.02s quicker than Button. Massa is 4.1s behind Button and has Alonso 3.1s behind him. Perez is the only man on medium tyres in the top 12

Lap 32

Alonso was so much quicker than Vettel when he approached - and Vettel is give a DRIVE THROUGH PENALTY for forcing Alonso off track. Fifth-placed Vettel will drop back to around tenth place. The problem with that decision is when Alonso did the same to Vettel last year (to a slightly lesser extent) and didn't get penalised

Lap 33

Hamilton leads Button by 7.3s, with Massa five seconds back and Alonso 2.3s off his team-mate. No longer BUTTON IS OUT!

Lap 34

Button has had to park up on the inside of the track before Parabolica, and he takes a second before climbing out of his car - his championship hopes have just disappeared in an instant. Button radioed in to say "Yeah, no drive, no drive, engine's off". He's told it's a fuel pick-up problem.

Lap 35

Vettel takes his drive-through and rejoins in ninth place. Willem emails in his anger at that penalty; it could have caused a big crash for Alonso though at that speed.

Lap 36

Perez attacking Raikkonen for fifth place after those issues for Button and Vettel. Perez passes in to the Roggia chicane but then Raikkonen gets him back in to the first Lesmo. A message to Massa is: "Think about how you're going to look after the tyres Felipe ... Fernando behind in third position"

Lap 37

Perez goes round the outside of Raikkonen in the first part of the chicane, giving him the inside line in the second part and he's up to fourth with the fastest lap as Schumacher pits

Lap 38

Webber and Vettel battling over seventh after Schumacher pits and Vettel is through in to turn one. Rosberg passes Raikkonen in to the Roggia chicane for sixth

Lap 39

Alonso catching Massa now, while Perez sets another fastest lap and is 7.8s behind Alonso. He's also travelling at a second faster per lap... Perez definitely in the mix for the podium now. Rosberg pits but Raikkonen stays out. Massa also told Alonso should get DRS now - the switch is coming

Lap 40

And there it is, Alonso uses DRS and Massa barely defends. He needs to pick the pace up if he wants a podium though as Perez is now just seven seconds behind him and over a second a lap faster. Hamilton leads by over 13s, but Perez is really flying...

Lap 41

Perez is only 4.2s behind Massa now with another fastest lap that is nearly THREE SECONDS quicker than Massa. He's 1.6s quicker than Hamilton too and 1.3s faster than Alonso. Second is his for the taking at least

Lap 42

Hamilton is told about the gap behind to the Ferrari's, while Perez is now 2.5s behind Massa. Sauber has nailed this strategy so far. Hamilton should be safe as long as he doesn't hit issues, but Alonso and Massa are in big trouble

Lap 43

Perez just 0.8s behind Massa, who is less than 2s behind Alonso. Vettel has "a car problem which may cause him to stop suddenly" Webber is told on radio. What a bad day for the reigning champion.

Perez passes Massa before the Parabolica and is on the podium. Alonso is next, and Hamilton is 14.9s further up the road

Lap 44

It's actually good for Hamilton that Perez looks set to put himself between him and Alonso. Kobayashi loses out to Schumacher for ninth place. Perez continues to reel in Alonso and you think Alonso should be fairly careful once Perez attacks

Lap 45

Perez takes 1.7s out of Hamilton's lead, and is within a second of Alonso. You can imagine him sitting in there thinking of driving a Ferrari next season

Lap 46

No sign of Vettel's problem as yet, whatever it was. Perez right on the back of Alonso, but he's running out of laps to get past and set off after Hamilton. Perez uses DRS to pass Alonso for second before Ascari, and the gap to Hamilton is now 11.2s

Lap 47

Rosberg attacking Kobayashi for the last point but he's not through yet. He is now - he's through before the Roggia chicane. Hamilton gets the hurry up from McLaren and he responds in the first two sectors.

Lap 48

Hamilton's responded with his personal best lap. He still lost 0.6s to Perez but the laps are running out. There's the problem; Vettel is out of the race too! His car has stopped on the pit straight

Lap 49

It's ANOTHER alternator failure for Vettel, he was told to stop the car "it's the same problem as P3". Perez now 9.4s behind Hamilton, while Schumacher passes Webber before the Roggia chicane for sixth place. Raikkonen is next up the road - 6s ahead.

Lap 50

Perez now 8.4s behind Hamilton. Four laps to go, but if Hamilton can't keep this pace up then Perez could be in with a sniff. Rosberg pressuring di Resta for eighth place and is through in to the Roggia chicane

Lap 51

Vettel was also told Red Bull needed to save the engine. And Webber's gone off! He dropped it coming out of the Ascari chicane but he somehow kept it out of the wall. He's dropped down to tenth place and has Ricciardo right behind

Lap 52

Hulkenberg retires as Hamilton crosses the line with two laps to go. Webber is cruising and out of the points now - looks like a potential puncture. What a day this is for Alonso. Webber radios in to say "I have massive flat spots"

Lap 53

Hamilton begins the final lap with a 5.8s lead over Perez. Schumacher hunting down Raikkonen for fifth place too...

Hamilton comes through to win at Monza for the first time, and Perez is an outstanding second place just 4.3s behind. Alonso comes home third ahead of Massa and Raikkonen just holds off Schumacher for fifth

Ricciardo with a poor final lap and he drops out of the points; Rosberg was seventh ahead of di Resta, Kobayashi and Senna.

What a day for Alonso. He may have been third - 20 seconds behind Hamilton - but both Red Bulls retired, as did Button, and only Hamilton closed the gap to him. Hamilton is now second in the championship and 37 points behind Alonso, with Raikkonen third - 38 points back.

Hamilton thanks his team for "an incredible job ... I'm so grateful for this opportunity I really appreciate it"

Hamilton celebrates with his team in parc ferme and gets congratulations from Alonso. Alonso's last radio message was very noisy; he's delighted with that result.

The Tifosi stream out on to the circuit and they have two big Ferrari flags this year! Perez telling Hamilton that he had "a really good car" today, and he looks delighted. What more does he need to do to prove that he's ready for a Ferrari seat if Montezemolo has any doubts?

Rosberg set the fastest lap on the final lap, and he was in a line of cars from fourth to seventh covered by just four seconds.

I could make out Hamilton saying to Alonso on the podium "This is the best podium ever" as the national anthem rings out and he looks over all the fans below. Perez receives his trophy to cheers, but the big one is saved for Alonso.

As the champagne is sprayed over the crowd below, it's time to sign off. I'm pretty sure there were boos from the crowd while Hamilton was talking - obviously not a favourite after his past with Alonso - and the crowd go wild for Alonso on the microphone on the podium. It was a good day for both, but Alonso must be the happiest man leaving Monza tonight. Heading to Singapore he leads by 37 points, but Hamilton is closing in.

Alonso takes a camera out on to the podium and broadcasts some pictures to the world! I get the feeling he'll have some good things to say this afternoon so stick with ESPNF1 for all the reaction. Thanks for all your questions and comments - sorry we couldn't answer them all but it's such a quick race here. We'll be back with live coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks. Bye for now.