2010 Italy Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Once again, it seems like a championship nobody wants.
EVENT: Besides the fact we don't believe a street race in Rome will ever come off, why oh why would you want to stage a race that could jeopardize the financial fragility of Monza? Yeah, yeah, we know -- money. But, we're trying not to think that.
QUALIFYING: Ferrari always seems blessed from above when at Monza.
RACE: It's Monza. It's always fun to watch the cars through the tree-lined course. Plus, intrigue made up for the lack of passing.
TRACK: Every time we see the old banked turn on those aerial shots, we are amazed how steep and long that curve was ... and without any walls on either side. It took really big ones to drive that configuration back in the day.
START: Once again, the effort to try to shove a guy off the track ends up costing the pole sitter the lead ... and almost second place. Don't race car drivers understand simple physics -- the shortest distance between two points is a straight line?
ALONSO: This win belongs to the pit crew.
FERRARI: Maranello, you will have to hold off that work planned on the 2011 car. You're back in the championship hunt.
HAMILTON: Dumb mistake ... very, very dumb ... for a guy who leads the championship. If he wasn't already a World Champion, we would think he was another Vettel.
BUTTON: Got the start he wanted, but not the finish.
MASSA: Felipe was probably within an inch or two of getting his teammate at the start. Had he, we would have seen an entirely different race ... and the prospect of another embarrassing decision by Ferrari.
RED BULL: Were those team orders we witnessed? And if so, Vettel actually played along?
VETTEL: Apparently not, as Sebastian got right back up to speed, and eventually finished fourth, beating his teammate who desperately needed as much points as possible. And Vettel didn't make any (mental) mistakes...
WEBBER: However, Mark is back on top of the standings, doing enough to regain the championship lead.
SCHUMACHER: The gap between Michael and his teammate grows even more, much to the chagrin of a supposed (but potentially busted) superman...
ROSBERG: ...But not to Nico who is showing the world not just how good he is, but what might have happened in racing history if Ferrari lined up proper teammates like McLaren and many other teams always did.
HULKENBERG: Seems to be really coming into his own.
PETROV: For the other rookie, however, Vitaly seems to be going backwards lately. A shame if it costs him his seat.
BARRICHELLO: Much better than Spa.
GP2: Congrats to Pastor Maldonado. Now comes the really hard part -- trying to turn a GP2 championship into a Formula 1 ride.
GP3: A North American won the championship (Esteban Gutierrez from Mexico). A North American took the runner up spot (Robert Wickens from Canada). A North American took the fourth spot (Alexander Rossi from U.S.A.). So much for European superiority. Now, onto the next step!
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Tifosi.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: .801 -- The amount of time in fractions of a second that Alonso's pit stop was faster than Button's and ultimately provided the win for Alonso.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Appropriately, Ferrari has won more Italian Grands Prix than any other make -- 19. Before McLaren's wins in 2005 and 2007 which gave them nine wins, another Italian manufacturer was second -- Alfa Romeo with eight. The only other team to win at home is Maserati with two wins (1953 and 1956).
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: He could have been taking advice from Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton on his first lap elimination, "Mistakes like that can cost championships."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Mark Webber on having to watch Nico Hulkenberg defend his positions by cutting the chicane time and time again, "He seemed to spend every second lap going through the chicane but the stewards left him alone, which was frustrating."
SCHEDULE: So long Europe; hello deep Pacific pockets.
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