Alonso lights the Ferrari fires in Monza

Posted on September 13, 2010

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Fernando Alonso stole victory from Jenson Button at Monza as Ferrari attempted to move past the team orders scandal.

Fernando Alonso celebrates after winning in Monza. Credit: BBC

The Spaniard pursued the Briton for the first half of the race, close but never close enough.

But after a McLaren radio transmission revealed Button’s pit strategy Ferrari were able to react to stop later and, crucially, complete their stop 0.8s faster.

It left Alonso in the lead with Button powerless to stop him after taking the bold choice on a high downforce set up which left him with a very driveable car but one lacking straight line speed. It was tough on Button and the loss of these seven points could easily be the difference at the end of the season.

But the Tifosi at Monza were ecstatic, despite the race not being one of the highlights of the season.

The result leaves the championship delicately poised. With Lewis Hamilton not scoring and Mark Webber finishing down the field, the shift at Spa towards this pair has been at least partly reversed. All five are still very much in this.

Ferrari will remember this victory for a long time. But it remains a shame their actions in 2010 will be remembered for the cynical manipulation of the German Grand Prix. If Alonso takes the title it will be tainted and, even considering the weaknesses of the rule, the FiA should have acted on the clear team order.

Down the field in Monza, there were a few interesting battles. Nico Hulkenberg gave as good as he got in a fight with Webber, albeit going close to the line with cuts across chicanes. He’s proving to be a decent pick for Williams. Nico Rosberg gave a reasonable account of himself. Renault were surprisingly anonymous.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race