Yes, I am late to the party. But better late than never right? So the Italian Grand Prix is held at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, or Monza for short. It is the fastest track on the Formula One calendar. Cars here top out at about 212 miles an hour. 212 miles an hour! In one of these:
I know! It’s crazy talk. I love Monza, I really do, but it always makes me nervous. They all make me nervous.
Fernando Alonso was on pole for Ferrari. It was the first time a Ferrari had been on pole in a very long time, and Monza is Ferrari’s home race. The track is not far from Milan, which is not far from Maranello, home of the Ferrari factory.
Tom and I watched qualifying on Saturday night while eating pasta with an excellent Bolognese sauce. We figured that was close enough to Milanese cuisine. After I watched Fernando put the car on pole I did the happy dance all night and waited for the race on Sunday.
Sunday dawned and there was no rain in the forecast. Huzzah. Alonso was first (as I mentioned) then Jenson Button’s McLaren and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari. Mark Webber was fourth for Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton was fifth in his McLaren. Sebastian Vettel, the newly christened Crash Kid was sixth. I thought that if I were Lewis Hamilton I would be worried about starting next to Vettel because you just never know what he might do these days.
When the race started Alonso tried to move over on Button and squeeze him out of the way. This was maybe not the smartest thing he could have done because it gave Button an opening to get by when Alonso had to lift to avoid a collision. And then Massa, forgetting for a moment that he is supposed to be the wingman, tried to get past Alonso too. Silly Massa. Meanwhile Hamilton passed Webber and tried to make a move around Massa. Massa moved over and kersmash. Hamilton ended up with a broken suspension. Game over. It was kind of a shame. I don’t like him much (okay, I don’t like him at all) but he sounded pretty gutted when he talked to the press. If he ends up losing the World Driver’s Championship, that mistake could be the reason why.
Meanwhile Button was ahead of Alonso, but Alonso was sticking right with him, sometimes a second behind him, sometimes half a second. It is very exciting to watch the cars following this closely. I spent a lot of time yelling at Alonso to be careful. I think he could hear me through the TV because nothing bad happened.
Finally Button pitted for fresh tires, and Alonso inherited the lead. He pushed and pushed and pushed that car and then there was a miracle. When Alonso pitted for fresh tires his pit crew managed to do it in less than four seconds. Alonso came out of the pits just ahead of Button on the track. For a minute there it looked like Button would pass him. Alonso had cold tires, but Fernando managed to hold him off and that was all she wrote.
Alonso wins at Monza. That is is third win of the year for those of you keeping score at home. Awesome.
Jenson Button came in second and Massa was third. A great result for Ferrari. I was doing the happy dance all day.