Live Commentary: Italian Grand Prix - as it happened

Live Commentary: Italian GP - as it happened
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Read how Sebastian Vettel strolled to yet another victory at the Italian Grand Prix, extending his sizeable lead at the top of the world championship.

In the final European race of the 2013 Formula 1 season Sebastian Vettel was again the man to beat at the Italian Grand Prix.

The reigning three-time world champion started on pole and never relinquished the lead in a trademark Vettel victory that extended his lead at the top of standings to 53 points.

Read how it all unfolded at Monza in our lap-by-lap updates below.


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12.31pmGood afternoon folks! Mr Vettel was expected to be unstoppable this weekend BUT it's raining in Monza and that could provide us with a more intriguing race than expected.

12.33pmFind out the full lineup on the grid in our qualifying report here.

12.35pmThere is one change to that grid, though, with Adrian Sutil of Force India dropping to 17th because he impeded Lewis Hamilton in the second session yesterday.

12.38pmHamilton had claimed pole in the previous four races but didn't even make it to the top-10 shootout yesterday as Vettel got top spot as expected. He's joined on the front row by teammate Mark Webber while Sauber's Nico Hulkenburg was the surprise package by nabbing third ahead of the two Ferraris.

12.40pmTWEET TWEET! As always at Grands Prix there is a number of celebrities present. Here's Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who starts sixth, with Rowan Atkinson in the garage:


12.42pmSky Sports F1 reporter Martin Brundle has just described the track condition as "slimy". It was raining very heavily around half an hour ago but it's eased off now and drivers are expected to start the race on 'slick' or dry tyres, not the intermediates or wets.

12.44pmHulkenburg says that most of the track is dry apart from the curbs on a couple of the corners. I think we might see the odd spin if a driver lets it slide a little wide.

12.47pmVettel heads into this race with a 46-point advantage over Fernando Alonso, who starts fifth after a mix-up with teammate Felipe Massa. Ferrari had planned to 'draft' the cars to get a better qualifying time but Alonso dropped too far behind Massa and lost his chance.

12.50pmIMAGE! Here's Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo, who begins seventh, arriving at the paddock this morning. A good result today would seal a great few days for the Aussie after he was announced as Webber's replacement at Red Bull for next season.

Daniel Ricciardo signs autographs for fans at the paddock ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 8, 2013© Getty Images

12.53pmNeutrals, like myself, are hoping that it isn't a completely dry race as that could mean another simple win for Vettel. Some precipitation would cause plenty of problems!

12.54pmHere's what Caterham tweeted about the weather a little while ago: "Latest weather update... more than 80% chance of rain around 1300, down to 40% for 1400 and 1500....."

12.58pmPREDICTION TIME! Just a few moments before we begin so it's time for my thoughts on the race ahead. Unfortunately it looks like it will stay completely dry but even so, I'm going to plump for Webber to have a good race and shock his teammate.

12.59pmThere's stars from other sports present at Monza with England cricketer Stuart Broad shown walking down the grid. Caterham have also just tweeted this picture of Juventus footballers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente:


1pmFORMATION LAP! Vettel leads the cars off for a single circuit to warm up the cars. There are three drivers starting on the harder compound of tyres: Raikkonen, Hamilton and Gutierrez.

1.02pmRaikkonen (11th) and Hamilton (12th) are out of position and could be using the harder tyres as a different strategy and out-fox their rivals further forward. Seconds away!

LIGHTS OUTGO GO GO! We're underway at Monza!

Lap 1Vettel holds the lead but is now ahead of Massa, with Alonso all over the back of Webber.

Lap 1OUT! Di Resta has lost his front wing and he's out before even completing a lap. It's been a nasty weekend for the Scot.

Lap 2Bad start for Raikkonen as well. His front wing is damaged and he's had to come into the pit.

Lap 3Unfortunately for us neutrals it looks like Vettel may streak away like he is famous for.

Lap 3WHAT A PASS! Alonso sends the throngs of Ferrari fans crazy with an outrageous overtake on Webber through the middle chicane. Vettel, Massa, Alonso, Webber, Hulkenburg is the top five.

Lap 4The new thermal imaging cameras are quite spectacular and they show that Di Resta locked up his front tyres to slam into the back of the car in front and end his race on the first lap. It's the first time that he's retired on the opening lap in his F1 career.

Lap 6Leader Vettel hasn't pulled away that much from Massa, with his lead hovering around the three-second mark. Further back, Hamilton has moved up to 10th but has just been told by his team that they can't hear him on the radio.

Lap 7Alonso is into the one-second window that will get him DRS behind teammate Massa.

Lap 8ALONSO makes no mistake as he breezes past Massa on the opening corner. He'll now try to hunt down Vettel, whose lead is over three seconds.

Lap 9Hamilton's hard tyres aren't looking good at all as BUTTON gets the job done to move above him into the top 10.

Lap 9"We're monitoring right front at all time, we know it's not good though," says Vettel's engineer Rocky. Is that the brake or tyre that's bad?

Lap 10TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Alonso 3 Massa 4 Webber 5 Hulkenburg 6 Rosberg 7 Ricciardo 8 Perez 9 Vergne 10 Button

Lap 12"Box, box!" Hamilton is told as he has a slow puncture. That completely ruins his long run.

Lap 13Up at the front, Vettel's pulled his lead out to over five seconds ahead of Alonso. Hamilton doesn't pit and the team again urgently tell him that he must pit. There were radio issues earlier, can the 2008 world champion not hear his team?!

Lap 14Hamilton finally gets the message and pits for a set of medium compound tyres. He'll have to two-stop now and will struggle to earn any points at all.

Lap 15OUT! Vergne limps out of the Grand Prix because of what looks like an engine failure. He was ninth.

Lap 16Webber has caught right up with Massa and could claim third place soon. The Aussie did get a really good start but couldn't quite work out where to try and pass Vettel and that gave the Ferraris the opening to pass, which they duly took.

Lap 18Hamilton and Raikkonen, the only two to pit, are swapping fastest lap times. Raikkonen is the latest to go quickest with a 1:28.669.

Lap 20Alonso is shaving a few tenths of the gap to Vettel. The German is still 6.2s ahead at the front. No sign of any rain at the moment, which is a shame.

Lap 21Grosjean pits from 10th place and it's a sluggish stop from the Lotus boys as they take up two more seconds than usual.

Lap 22Button is initially told to wait to pit but then instructed to come in for new rubber. McLaren were hoping to get him out ahead of Hamilton but it doesn't work out as the Mercedes man sets a new fastest lap to stay ahead of his former teammate.

Lap 23"Box, box box!" Vettel is told. The leader pits and it's a fabulous stop from the Red Bull lads as they get their man out with a sub-three second change of tyres.

Lap 25Massa has also now pitted but Alonso hasn't and it's costing the Spaniard a load of time as Vettel's new tyres see him light up the timing screens.

Lap 27Rosberg pits from second but again Alonso stays out. Vettel is zipping round a second a lap quicker at the moment. If Alonso stays out much longer then he could slip behind Massa and Webber when he eventually pits.

Lap 28Finally the lead Ferrari driver comes in and it's a superb stop from the men in red. Alonso stays ahead of Webber, but not by much as Vettel retakes the lead.

Lap 28TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Alonso 3 Webber 4 Massa 5 Raikkonen 6 Hulkenburg 7 Rosberg 8 Hamilton 9 Ricciardo 10 Button

Lap 29That pit-stop phase really hasn't worked out for Ferrari. When Vettel pitted the gap was under five seconds but now the German is over 10 seconds clear.

Lap 29HAMILTON passes teammate Rosberg for seventh. He'll probably have to stop again though as he's been on those medium tyres for 15 laps already and they surely won't last until the end.

Lap 32Hamilton's found a load of pace and gets past Hulkenburg for fifth place. Raikkonen pitted a couple of laps ago for a set of fresh mediums that should see him to the end of the GP.

Lap 34TWEET TWEET! Here's the Lotus of Raikkonen being released from the pit:


Lap 35Alonso goes quicker than Vettel for the first time in a while. He's still 11 seconds adrift of the leader though with under 20 laps remaining.

Lap 37The Mercedes pit boys look ready for Hamilton's second stop but he doesn't come in so they go back to the garage. The Englishman is within two seconds of fourth-placed man Massa.

Lap 38Grosjean whizzes down the inside of Perez on the opening corner for 10th place as Hamilton stays out after setting a fastest lap. He's told on the radio to come in. Seems like an odd decision from the Mercedes team but maybe they've found a gap for him to exit into.

Lap 39Hamilton finally pits to come out in 14th place, just behind Raikkonen. His Mercedes has looked ever so quick today. Such a shame that his qualifying was so poor yesterday.

Lap 40Webber is closing right up to Alonso and looks like he could soon make it a Red Bull one-two at the front.

Lap 41Things always seem to go wrong with Webber's car and never Vettel's! He's told that he has to 'short shift' between gears two and three and that could hamper his chances of getting past Alonso.

Lap 42Hamilton displays his superior pace with a 1:26.607. Vettel's fastest lap today is 1:27.3, but he doesn't need to go any quicker.

Lap 43Hamilton and Raikkonen are far quicker than those around them but both encountering so much traffic at the moment.

Lap 44I take back what I said about Vettel never having trouble. He's also been told to short shift between gears five and six. That will hurt his lap times but his lead should be plenty with under 10 laps left now.

Lap 45TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Vettel 2 Alonso 3 Webber 4 Massa 5 Hulkenburg 6 Rosberg 7 Ricciardo 8 Grosjean 9 Button 10 Perez

Lap 48Hamilton and Raikkonen are having a right old ding-dong for 11th place. Even though they're fighting it out they're way quicker than the two McLarens just in front. FIVE LEFT.

Lap 49HAMILTON cuts underneath Raikkonen on the opening corner and gets on the gas first to squeeze out the Finn. He'll now try to pass both McLarens and move up to eighth.

Lap 50Lewis eases past Perez for ninth and now will take on former teammate Button.

Lap 51The Mercedes is simply too fast for Button to even put up a fight as Hamilton does his fellow countryman down the home straight.

Lap 52TWO LAPS LEFT! Championship leader Vettel has eased off at the front but it won't allow Alonso any hope as the lead is eight seconds with just two laps left.

Lap 53"Ok Sebastian, last lap. Just bring it home OK. We've got enough issues as it is. Just bring it home."

Lap 53Hamilton is right on the backside of Grosjean into the final lap! Can he gain any more places?!

CHEQUERED FLAGSEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX!

Lap 53Hamilton couldn't get past Grosjean on the final lap and finishes ninth.

2.23pmIt's a third triumph for Vettel at the legendary Monza circuit. He extends his championship lead to 53 points with seven races of the season left.

2.25pmFINAL TOP 10: 1. Vettel, 25pts 2. Alonso, 18pts 3. Webber, 15pts 4. Massa, 12pts, 5. Hulkenburg, 10pts 6. Rosberg, 8pts 7. Ricciardo, 6pts 8. Grosjean, 4pts 9. Hamilton, 2pts 10. Button, 1pt

2.27pmNotable mentions for Hulkenburg and Ricciardo, who equalled their best-ever finishes in F1 in fifth and seventh respectively.

2.29pmIt's not quite the same as other Grands Prix at Monza as where the leaders park their cars is a quiet corner of the paddock. Vettel gets out of his car and celebrates with no-one in particular.

2.32pmThat's all we've got time for on Sports Mole this afternoon. Look out for the drivers' reactions from Monza throughout the afternoon on site. The next race is in Singapore in two weeks' time. See you then!

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso during the final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 7, 2013
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