Italian GP: Sebastian Vettel takes commanding Monza win

Sebastian Vettel reeled off another dominant Formula 1 victory in the Italian Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso won a battle for second place

Italian GP: Sebastian Vettel takes commanding Monza win

With the lead Red Bull out of reach from the start, the greatest Ferrari could hope for was 'best of the rest' honours, which Alonso secured after a long tussle with Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber.

Both Red Bulls were ordered to short-shift to protect potential gearbox issues in the closing stages, but while that stymied Webber's pursuit of Alonso, Vettel had enough in hand to back off and still comfortably triumph.

In further good news for Vettel, erstwhile title threats Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were left squabbling (spectacularly) over minor points after early incidents.

Vettel was threatened by both Webber and the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa into a crowded first corner, but kept himself ahead and swiftly pulled away.

A beautifully judged move around the outside into the Roggia chicane on lap three took Alonso past Webber's Red Bull for third, as they went wheel to wheel right through the complex, making only slight contact on the exit.

Massa then made life very easy for Alonso when he came to overtake for second, and the Spaniard was able to stabilise Vettel's lead at six seconds.

But when Alonso tried a slightly divergent strategy by running four laps longer before his sole pitstop, Vettel's lead increased to over 10s.

Alonso came back out only just ahead of Webber, who had jumped Massa in the stops, and had several close calls in the closing laps as the Red Bull attacked, before claiming second.

Italian GP weekend gallery

Nico Hulkenberg lived up to his qualifying performance by settling his Sauber into fifth place.

He had Nico Rosberg's Mercedes in often very close company all afternoon, but kept his compatriot at bay and finished just a few seconds behind Alonso, Webber and Massa at the end of an outstanding weekend.

Raikkonen had to pit for a new front wing after bumping into Sergio Perez at the start, while an early slow puncture put Hamilton onto a two-stop strategy, hampered further by radio problems.

The recovering Lotus and Mercedes then ended up in the same place on track late on having an epic battle both with each other and the midfield traffic.

Daniel Ricciardo stayed just far enough ahead of late chargers Romain Grosjean and Hamilton to take seventh, while Jenson Button just denied Raikkonen a point. Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez chased them home.

Grosjean reached the end despite Paul di Resta's Force India slamming into his Lotus at the Roggia on lap one, an impact that ended the Scot's race.

Jean-Eric Vergne was another early retirement, having battled in the top 10 before smoke erupted from the right rear of his Toro Rosso in a suspected transmission failure.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Italian Grand Prix Monza, Italy; 53 laps; 306.720km; Weather: Cloudy. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h18m33.352s
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +5.467s
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +6.350s
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari +9.361s
5. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +10.355s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +10.999s
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +32.329s
8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +33.130s
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +33.527s
10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +38.327s
11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +38.695s
12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +39.765s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +40.880s
14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +49.085s
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +56.827s
16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
17. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault +1 lap
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:25.849 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 35 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1 World Championship standings, round 12: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 222 1. Red Bull-Renault 352 2. Alonso 169 2. Ferrari 248 3. Hamilton 141 3. Mercedes 245 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 191 5. Webber 130 5. McLaren-Mercedes 66 6. Rosberg 104 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 79 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 31 8. Grosjean 57 8. Sauber-Ferrari 17 9. Button 48 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Ricciardo 18 14. Hulkenberg 17 15. Vergne 13 16. Maldonado 1 All timing unofficial

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