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Scuderia Ferrari: Italian Grand Prix – The podium was not enough

Kimi second and Seb fights back to fourth in a race that was ruined at the start

Kimi Raikkonen’s second place was not enough to make up for the disappointment in a race that could have delivered so much more for Scuderia Ferrari. The team was put on the back foot after a first lap collision left Vettel with a damaged car. That left Raikkonen  to fight on alone, but excessive blistering on the Monza pole man’s rear tyres meant in the end he had to give best to the winner, while his team-mate fought back well from the back of the pack. The wonderful Monza crowd deserved more.

FILM OF THE RACE.

The two SF71Hs maintained position off the line, but at the Roggia, Hamilton tried to go round the outside of Seb, whose car was spun round with damage to the front wing. The Safety Car was called out and the Number 5 Ferrari pitted to switch onto the Soft tyres and fit a new nose. The stewards decided that neither driver was significantly to blame for the incident.

The race resumed on lap 4. Hamilton got a tow off Kimi and got past at the first braking zone, but the Ferrari man fought back immediately, retaking the lead at the second Variante. He then began to pull away and he and Seb, at the other end of the field, were lapping in the same times. Use of DRS was now authorised and Sebastian was up to 15th despite his set-up no longer being quite right and, having passed Hulkenberg, he had Ricciardo in his sights. He got alongside the Australian at the Parabolica and passed him down the straight.

At one third distance, the gap between the two two was stable around one second, while Seb slipstreamed past Stroll, at 360 km/h! He then fought his way past Perez to go eighth.

Kimi pitted at the end of lap 20, while Seb passed Sainz. The Finn was now running fourth on the Softs. Sebastian had a bit of blistering but still managed to overtake Ocon, while a few drops of rain fell on the track.

Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 28, with Kimi leading. The other Ferrari man was pushing to the  max, getting ready for a second tyre change. Another set of Supersofts went on and he set off in pursuit of tenth place. Out in front, was slowing things down to allow his team-mate to close on Kimi. But he too had to pit again with 16 laps remaining. Seb passed Perez and was now fifth. With 10 laps to go, Bottas went wide at the first chicane when he was nudged by Verstappen.

Kimi was struggling with his tyres and on lap 45, he had to give best at the first turn and concentrated on getting to the finish. Seb tried to close the gap to Verstappen, who would be given a 5 second penalty for his clash with Bottas. He managed it despite having a damaged car, while Kimi finally crossed the line in second place.

Kimi Raikkonen:

Our car was really good today. The first set of tires was ok, while the second one didn’t last as long as we had expected. There wasn’t much we could do, we had to push all the time and there was no single moment in which we could take it easy and look after the tires. For sure we wanted a better result, but this is what we’ve got; we did our best but it was not enough. It’s easy to say what we should have done in an ideal world, but we did what we thought was right and I think there was nothing wrong. Second position is not ideal, but we take it; I think that we were lucky to finish the race, on the rear left tyre there was no rubber left. In the next races it’s going to be close pretty much everywhere. We keep doing our best and hopefully it will be enough for when we come to the last race.”

Sebastian Vettel:

”At the beginning I tried to overtake Kimi in Turn 1 and 4, but I couldn’t. He opened the brakes, which he had the right to do, so I moved aside and opened a gap to Lewis. Then I had room left and no chance anymore. So, when I touched Lewis, I span around and that was unfortunate, as my car got quite some damages. It could have gone differently, but obviously it wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, our race was compromised and it was a shame, but then I tried to do my best and had a decent recovery from the back. All in all, it could have been even worse. It’s disappointing of course, because we had the pace and we definitely could have won. There are many points to win back now in the championship, but we still have time to improve and we have the margin to recover. I am sorry for our tifosi because they just deserved a different result today.”

Maurizio Arrivabene:

”Definitely not the result we were looking for to give to our fans, who supported us in fine style all weekend, for which I thank them on behalf of the entire team. After the collision at the second chicane, Kimi had to fight two opponents on his own, while Seb, in a badly damaged car, fought his way up the order. We know we have a very strong car, which was clearly demonstrated by the fact we monopolised the front row of the grid. Now, the important thing is to react as a team, in an orderly and determined fashion, without ever giving up. There is still a long way to go in the championship and we are already preparing for the next challenge in Singapore.”

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