• Italian Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

Laurence Edmondson and Chris Medland September 11, 2011
Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his trophy © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel - 1st He now has one hand on the 2011 drivers' title trophy after another textbook victory in the resurgent Red Bull. He had to fight Alonso for position at the start and pulled off a ballsy overtaking move for the lead, which proved just how hungry he is to get his second world championship done and dusted. After that it was a master class in how to lead and control a race and he was rewarded with win number eight.

Jenson Button - 2nd He has been on top form lately and deserves every one of the podiums he has taken at the last three races. Once gain it wasn't easy as he dropped to seventh early in the race and had to pull off a daring pass on Michael Schumacher in order to chase down Fernando Alonso for second.

Fernando Alonso - 3rd A brilliant start gave the adoring Tifosi some hope early on but rather inevitably it didn't last. Despite Alonso's heroics at the first corner, there is no doubt that Ferrari now has the third fastest car on the grid and more wins now look unlikely this year. However, the team saved face in front of its home fans by ensuring Alonso still made the podium - even if it was only by 0.5s.

Lewis Hamilton - 4th His battle with Michael Schumacher cost him dear but it could have been avoided if he had been closer to Sebastian Vettel at the restart after the safety car. By his own admission he was "caught napping", but there is no doubt that he was fully awake for the next 16 laps as Schumacher did everything in the book (and possibly more) to keep him behind. His hunt of Alonso in the final stages of the race was impressive and gave an indication of what could have been.

Michael Schumacher - 5th For the first time this year Schumacher had a car that was competitive and it certainly made a difference. His start was brilliant and he then took advantage of the Mercedes' top speed to move up to third and even challenge Alonso for second. His battle with Hamilton raised a few eyebrows and his tactics were certainly questionable, but it marked the return of the Schumacher of old - for better and worse. If Mercedes can provide a more competitive car next season he could be thrilling to watch.

Felipe Massa - 6th His race was ruined when Mark Webber crashed into him at the first corner on lap four. He had a half spin and dropped from fifth to tenth, although his car wasn't seriously damaged and he was able to carry on. From that point he battled back through the field but there was no chance of getting any higher than sixth.

Jaime Alguersuari - 7th On four of the five occasions Alguersuari has scored points this season he has done so from 18th on the grid. His seventh place at Monza was the best finish of his career and quite a remarkable result. He had the benefit of two sets of fresh soft tyres and also made up positions after the first corner pile-up. Nevertheless, it was another impressive performance and one he should be given full credit for.

Paul di Resta - 8th The car probably wasn't as quick as Force India had hoped this weekend, so eighth place was a solid result. He pitted relatively early on lap 13 but made it pay off with a strong drive, an early second stop and long a long stint on the mediums until the end of the race.

Bruno Senna - 9th He started on medium tyres in fear of being on softs and getting stuck behind Nico Rosberg (who had to start on mediums) in the early stages. However, Renault's best laid plans went out the window with the first lap pile-up and it decided to pit him under the safety car, dropping him to 15th but allowing him to stay on the faster soft compound until the end of the race. In the end it was a very solid performance in just his second outing in the R31 and he fully deserved his first championship points.

Sebastien Buemi - 10th He sustained damage trying to pick his way through the first corner carnage and that undoubtedly hindered his progress. Tenth place wasn't bad but it could have been better, and at this stage of the season he needs good results to secure his place on the grid in 2012.

Pastor Maldonado - 11th The Williams' lack of pace was laid bare as Maldonado found himself as high as sixth on lap nine but then dropped out of the points by the finish. He gained a huge amount of positions at the start and continued to make good progress until the second half of his first stint. The car looked woefully slow on the straights and he was an easy target for the faster cars stacking up behind him.

Rubens Barrichello - 12th He was lucky not to be taken out in the first corner but did get blocked by the crashed cars and dropped to the back of the field. He pitted on the first lap to try and make the best of a bad situation and Williams' decision to go onto medium tyres worked quite well. His pace wasn't bad but the start ruined any chance of a points finish.

Mark Webber's race ended early after contact with Felipe Massa © Sutton Images
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Heikki Kovalainen - 13th Did all he had to do, most importantly avoiding the turn one incident with Liuzzi, which allowed him to capitalise on the retirements to give Lotus another 13th place despite not having the pace to trouble the midfield.

Jarno Trulli - 14th A strong two-car finish for Lotus, again just managing to keep out of trouble. Sustained some slight damage after Massa ran in to the back of him recovering from his spin, but was able to pit for repairs and continue to beat Glock.

Timo Glock - 15th Got away well but then was blocked off at the first corner and cut the whole chicane. Was not punished due to Liuzzi's accident and ended the lap in 14th place but dropped back behind the Lotus pair, although was closer on pace than recent races.

Daniel Ricciardo - NC His car went in to anti-stall and jammed in third gear, leaving him stranded at the start. Once going again engine temperatures rose so he pitted for more work before finally completing 39 laps for data.

Sergio Perez - DNF - gearbox Was driving a solid race and looked to be pulling off an impressive one-stop strategy up in seventh place when he lost third gear, before eventually losing all gears and having to retire.

Kamui Kobayashi - DNF - gearbox Also planned on one-stopping but had his strategy ruined by front wing and tyre damage following the turn one incident, before his gearbox failed too.

Adrian Sutil - DNF - hydraulic Avoided the first corner carnage though lost some time, but was in good shape on the medium compound in his first stint when the power steering went before a hydraulic failure.

Mark Webber - DNF - accident Put his car in a poor position in the first chicane when fighting Massa and broke his front wing, but was unfortunate it lodged under the car and caused him to understeer straight on at Parabolica.

Jerome d'Ambrosio - DNF - gearbox Found he had no second gear during the formation lap, and although he took the start he was immediately dropped off the line before crawling back to the pits.

Vitaly Petrov - DNF - accident Had made a solid start but looked likely to lose out to Rosberg when Liuzzi ploughed in to the side of him at turn one. Very unfortunate.

Nico Rosberg - DNF - accident Was slow off the line on medium tyres but positioned himself well for the chicane to gain a place before being on the outside of Petrov, feeling the knock-on effect of Liuzzi's accident.

Tonio Liuzzi - DNF - accident Made a good start but was forced on to the grass, unable to brake he approached the back of a Sauber too quickly and lost control taking avoiding action, sliding sideways across the grass and taking out Petrov and Rosberg.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010