Vettel laughs off Italian boos to take his sixth F1 win this season
Monza victory puts Vettel 53 points clear while Hamilton comes ninth and hands in the towel
RED BULL'S Sebastian Vettel took the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday with a comfortable win over Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso at Monza. It was Vettel's sixth victory of the season, a result that extended his lead over his rivals to 53 points and consolidated his hold on the championship.
With seven Grand Prix races remaining there are still 175 points up for grabs and Vettel's win at Monza effectively ended the challenge of Britain's Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver had his hopes of victory dashed by a puncture and though he battled back to finish ninth he admitted later that the 81-point gap between him and Vettel is now too great.
"Obviously that's that for the championship," Hamilton said, who also suffered radio problems which meant he was late on both his pit stops for new tyres. "The radio failed in the race and I didn't know what the hell was going on… It almost blinds you," added the 2008 world champion. "I missed my pit stop by quite a few laps. It was a disaster of a weekend."
Red Bull's fine weekend was capped by a third place finish from Mark Webber, which puts the team 104 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.
That fact wasn't lost on the Italian fans, many of whom booed Vettel as he and Webber stood on the podium. "It was a fantastic race but you can hear the difference when you don't win here in a red suit," said Vettel later, laughing off the jeers. "But it means you have done well and beaten the red men. But it was a great team effort today."
It was a race largely devoid of drama as the 26-year-old German cruised to victory once he'd won the sprint to the first corner despite flat-spotting his right-front tyre. There was also a gearbox problems late on but they were minor concerns on a day when, in the words of Sky Sports, "Vettel was rarely seen on the world TV feed such was his advantage at the front".
The three-times world champion had one only pit stop, on lap 24, for a new set of Pirellis, in another masterful display of F1 driving. ·