Vettel makes history

Hamilton's Championship lead cut to just one point

Vettel: Youngest winner

Sebastian Vettel has become the youngest ever winner of a grand prix after taking victory in the Italian GP at Monza.
The 21-year-old German driver, who claimed his first pole position in qualifying on Saturday, also took the first win for the Italian Toro Rosso team.
In a race held in wet conditions, Vettel was never challenged at the front of the field and took the chequered flag 12.5 seconds ahead of McLaren Mercedes driver Heikki Kovalainen.
BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica took the final podium position ahead of Renault's Fernando Alonso, with the former's team-mate, Nick Heidfeld, finishing fifth.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished sixth ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull's Mark Webber claiming the final World Championship point.
Sunday's result means that Hamilton's lead in the Driver's Championship over Massa has been cut to just one point with four races - and McLaren's appeal over the result of the Belgian Grand Prix - still to come.
That both Vettel and Toro Rosso - the backmarker Minardi team prior to a Red Bull-backed buyout three years ago - were aided by the wet conditions seen throughout the weekend cannot be in doubt.

But it was a thoroughly deserved win nonetheless, both demonstrating the stronger form the Faenza-based team have shown in recent races and also confirming Vettel's status as a rising star.
The other main feature of the race was the progress of Hamilton who, after starting 15th on the grid, at one stage appeared likely to challenge for at least a podium finish before falling away during the closing laps.

Safety car

With the wet conditions meaning a rolling start behind the safety car, Vettel took advantage of clearer visibility to streak ahead - the rest of the field more circumspect in an effort to avoid any incidents.
Perhaps encumbered by the heavy fuel load he was carrying, Hamilton at first seemed the same driver who appeared to struggle during qualifying on Saturday.

He failed to make any real headway for the first 11 laps before passing Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari - which he had earlier passed Spa-style before ceding ground - into the first Lesmo bend.
Hamilton then suddenly came to life and began to carve his way through the field, overtaking Heidfeld, Timo Glock, Kubica, Alonso and Jarno Trulli by lap 23.

Cars pitting ahead meant that the one-stopping Hamilton suddenly found himself in third place and, with rival Massa falling from third place to 12th following the first of his two scheduled stops, the Englishman appeared primed to extend his Championship lead.
Indeed, Hamilton briefly looked to be Vettel's chief rival after closing to within one second of the Toro Rosso driver ahead of his only scheduled pit stop on lap 27.


With McLaren then gambling on more rainfall, another set of wet tyres were bolted on.
But their forecast proved incorrect and, with his rubber now overheating, an unscheduled stop for intermediates was needed on lap 37, dropping Hamilton down to 10th - two places behind Massa.
That the track was now favouring intermediate tyres dovetailed perfectly with Vettel's own second scheduled stop on the same lap.
With Kovalainen - who should really have presented more of a challenge to Vettel - comfortably running second, Kubica (who started 11th) assumed third place, becoming the first runner to make just one stop.
By now Vettel had the race in the bag and, as the race order settled into the final stint, Hamilton suddenly found himself under pressure from a newly-resurgent Webber.

The pair banged wheels at the Rettifilo chicane with three laps remaining - the Australian cutting the corner before ceding ground once more to Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Hamilton's foe from last weekend treaded water for most of the race.
Raikkonen eventually finished ninth after setting a series of fastest laps late in the race, but it was a case of too little, too late for the defending World Champion.

Vettel's team-mate, Sebastien Bourdais, endured wretched luck after qualifying fourth, an engine problem on the grid leaving him one lap down as the safety car peeled in to start the race - the Frenchman eventually finishing 18th.
With Ferrari now holding a five-point lead over McLaren in the Constructors' Championship, Vettel's win has propelled Toro Rosso to sixth place, one point ahead of 'senior' team Red Bull.

Italian Grand Prix, result:
1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1h 26:47.494
2. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren +00:12.512
3. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 00:20.471
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 00:23.903
5. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 00:27.748
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:28.816
7. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 00:29.912
8. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 00:32.048
9. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 00:39.468
10. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 00:54.445
11. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 00:58.888
12. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 01:02.015
13. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 01:05.954
14. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 01:08.635
15. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 01:13.370
16. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault 1 lap
17. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1 lap
18. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap
19. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Ferrari 2 laps
r. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India - Ferrari 42 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen, 1:28.047, lap 53.

1 Lewis Hamilton 78 2 Felipe Massa 77 3 Robert Kubica 64 4 Kimi Raikkonen 57 5 Nick Heidfeld 53 6 Heikki Kovalainen 51 7 Fernando Alonso 28 8 Jarno Trulli 26 9 Sebastian Vettel 23 10 Mark Webber 20 11 Timo Glock 15 12 Nelson Piquet Jr 13 13 Rubens Barrichello 11 14 Nico Rosberg 9 15 Kazuki Nakajima 8 16 David Coulthard 6 17 Sebastien Bourdais 4 18 Jenson Button 3 19 Adrian Sutil 0 20 Anthony Davidson 0 21 Takuma Sato 0 22 Giancarlo Fisichella 0