The Italian Grand Prix was conquered for the third-time by Sebastian Vettel on Sunday as he dominated in his Red Bull Racing machine. He ended up with a 5.4 second margin of victory over Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso but led by as much as almost 11 seconds.
The win for Vettel was the sixth of the 2013 season and moved him into a tie with Alonso for fourth on the all-time Formula 1 wins list with 32 Grand Prix victories.
For the 64th time F1 ran a GP at Monza which is the most of any track all-time. Vettel had his Red Bull on the pole position for the 40th time in his career and was able to hold the top spot on a lap 1 that saw others incur contact.
Felipe Massa made a nice move up to second in his Ferrari in Turn 1. Also in Turn 1 Kimi Raikkonen ran into the back of Sergio Perez which damaged the wing of Raikkonen and pushed Perez off track. Raikkonen was forced to pit at the end of lap 1 to fix the damage.
On lap 3 Fernando Alonso, who started from fifth, moved up to third past Mark Webber. It didn't take long and on lap 7 Alonso passed his Ferrari teammate Massa for second.
On lap 13 Lewis Hamilton pitted due to a slow puncture in one of his tires. That took the Mercedes driver off a one-stop strategy like everyone else bedsides Raikkonen was running.
By lap 15 Vettel had stretched his lead to six seconds over Alonso. Shortly after Jean-Eric Vergne was running in ninth when he retired due to a mechanical failure in the right-rear of his Toro Rosso.
Fernando Alonso had cut into the lead of Vettel and had it down to 4.8 seconds when Vettel decided to pit on lap 23. Webber also pitted from fourth on the same lap as his teammate. Felipe Massa then pitted on lap 24 but came out on track behind Webber. Alonso stayed out on track until lap 27 when he pitted and when he returned to the track he was 10 seconds behind Vettel.
Raikkonen had to make his second stop on lap 30. Hamilton meanwhile was moving up and was to fifth but had to pit for his second time on lap 38.
Vettel looked in control but on lap 44 he was told by his team to short shift from gear two to gear three due to an issue with their transmission. The three-time defending World Champion began to slow some but still maintained a comfortable lead over Alonso.
On lap 50 Lewis Hamilton passed Sergio Perez to move into tenth and then he passed Jenson Button for ninth on lap 51. He tried to make a last lap pass on Romain Grosjean but ran wide and had to give the eighth place back.
Vettel took the victory and was joined on the podium by Alonso and Webber. Finishing in fourth was Massa.
Nico Hulkenberg had his best finish of 2013 by finishing in fifth for Sauber as he is auditioning for a bigger ride in 2014. Nico Rosberg took sixth for Mercedes, seventh went to Daniel Ricciardo for Toro Rosso, Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, Lewis Hamilton ninth for Mercedes, and Jenson Button tenth for McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen could only manage 11th for Lotus.
After 12 of 19 races Sebastian Vettel has a large championship lead. He is 53 points ahead of Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton is third and 81 points back. Kimi Raikkonen is fourth 88 points back and Mark Webber is fifth 92 points back. In the constructors standings Red Bull is dominating by 104 points over Ferrari. They moved into second ahead of Mercedes by three points. Lotus is in fourth.
The next race on the calendar is the Singapore Grand Prix on September 22nd.
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