2008 Italian Grand Prix

2008 Italian Grand Prix

Infobox Grand Prix race report
Type = F1
Country = Italy
Grand Prix = Italian
Date = 14 September
Year = 2008

Caption = Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Race_No = 14
Season_No = 18
Official name = LXXIX Gran Premio Santander d'Italia
Location = Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
Course = Permanent racing facility
Course_mi = 3.6
Course_km = 5.793
Distance_laps = 53
Distance_mi = 190.58
Distance_km = 306.720
Weather = Rain
Pole_Driver = Sebastian Vettel
Pole_Team = Toro Rosso-Ferrari
Pole_Time = 1:37.555
Pole_Country = Germany
Fast_Driver = Kimi Räikkönen
Fast_Team = Ferrari
Fast_Time = 1:28.047

Fast_Country = Finland
First_Driver = Sebastian Vettel
First_Team = Toro Rosso-Ferrari
First_Country = Germany
Second_Driver = Heikki Kovalainen
Second_Team = McLaren-Mercedes
Second_Country= Finland
Third_Driver = Robert Kubica
Third_Team = BMW Sauber
Third_Country = Poland
The 2008 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race which was held from 12 to September 14 2008 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy. It was the fourteenth round, and last European race of the 2008 Formula One season.

Sebastian Vettel became the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix, after dominating the race from start to finish, in wet conditions. [cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8385.html|title=Vettel takes historic Italian Grand Prix win|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-14|accessdate=2008-09-15]



Adrian Sutil set the fastest time in the first practice session ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Giancarlo Fisichella with torrential rain. [cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8360.html|title=Practice One - Sutil top as heavy storms hit Monza|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-12|accessdate=2008-09-15] The rain was so heavy that several cars failed to set a time. By the afternoon the track had dried out and Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time ahead of the BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica. [cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8367.html|title=Practice Two - Raikkonen edges out BMW Sauber duo|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-12|accessdate=2008-09-15] It rained again during the practice session on Saturday, and Timo Glock set the fastest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. [cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8373.html|title=Final practice - Glock makes best of difficult conditions|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-15]


It rained so heavily in qualifying that predicting the pole-sitter would prove to be extremely difficult. Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest time in Q1 with Lewis Hamilton just behind.cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8377.html|title=Record-breaking Vettel puts Toro Rosso on pole at Monza|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-15] Adrian Sutil, Jenson Button, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Kazuki Nakajima and Rubens Barrichello failed to make it into Q2, and for the first time a Force India made it into the second Qualifying Session.

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Q2 ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica all struggled to find grip and speed. Felipe Massa narrowly made it through to Q3, Hamilton was extremely slow, after being out on the intermediate wet tires, rather than the full extreme-wets at the wrong time [cite news|url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8378.html|title=Title contenders fail to weather Monza storms|publisher=formula1.com|date=2008-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-15] , and qualified in 15th one-and-a-half seconds slower than 14th placed Raikkonen. Kubica nearly made it into Q3 and David Coulthard and Giancarlo Fisichella were eliminated as well.

Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest time early on in Q3, but was beaten by Sebastian Vettel, whose time remained unchallenged for the rest of the session. Felipe Massa struggled and qualified sixth. Mark Webber qualified third place, ahead of Vettel's teammate Sébastien Bourdais.


The rain continued to fall on Sunday before the race, and with treacherous conditions and standing water in places on the track, the race was started behind the Safety Car. Jenson Button and Kazuki Nakajima elected to start from the pit lane. Sébastien Bourdais stalled on the grid, and by the time his pit crew had managed to restart his car, he was already a lap down. On Lap 3 the Safety Car pulled off and the race began proper, with Sebastian Vettel opening up a two-second advantage over Heikki Kovalainen after one green-flag lap. After ten laps, the gap had increased to seven seconds.

On Lap 13, Giancarlo Fisichella rear-ended David Coulthard when attempting to pass at the first chicane, damaging his front wing. The front wing broke off just before the Parabolica, getting stuck underneath the car, and sending Fisichella across the gravel into the tyre barriers. Vettel was the first to pit, on Lap 23. By this time Lewis Hamilton had passed Räikkönen, Fisichella, Coulthard, Kubica, and Glock; and benefitting from his one-stop strategy, he moved to third place after the first round of pit stops from the two-stoppers. After he made his first stop he dropped back to seventh.

The rain stopped about halfway through the race, and soon afterwards it became necessary to change from extreme-wets to intermediate tyres. All the two-stoppers changed to intermediates at their second stops, and nearly all the one-stoppers had to pit for a second time to change to intermediates, which ended not only Hamilton's chance at victory, but also the chances of some drivers to score points, such as Rosberg and Jarno Trulli.cite news|url=http://www.grandprix.com/race/r799sunquotes.html|title=Italian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes|publisher=grandprix.com|date=2008-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-14] . However, those who had left their stops a little later such as Kubica & Alonso timed the switch to intermediates perfectly with their scheduled stops and rocketed up the order as a result.

Hamilton began to lose pace towards the end of the race, having excess tyre wear, and had to defend against Webber for 7th place. Two laps before the end of the race, Nakajima and Coulthard clashed at the Parabolica leaving debris from Coulthard's front wing across the track, which Massa ran over on the next lap. Vettel had a twelve-second advantage over Kovalainen when he crossed the finish line to earn his, and Toro Rosso's, first ever Formula One victory.



All times from the [http://www.formula1.com/results/season/2008/800/6561/ official Formula 1 website]


* Kazuki Nakajima and Jenson Button started the race from the pit lane.


*Lap Leaders: Sebastian Vettel 49 (1-18, 23-53), Heikki Kovalainen 4 (19-22)
* All three podium finishers are drivers who won their first Grands Prix and took their first pole position during 2008.
* The weekend saw Toro Rosso and Vettel both claim their first pole position and win.
* Vettel displaced Alonso as the youngest polesitter, youngest Grand Prix winner and youngest Podium finish ever. He achieved both feats at the age of 21 years, 72 and 73 days respectively.
* The podium was the youngest ever seen with an average age of 23 years and 350 days.
* Toro Rosso is the first Italian team, apart from Ferrari, to have won a Formula One Grand Prix since 1997. The last non-Ferrari team with an Italian licence to win was Benetton in 1997. [cite news|title=New Benetton launched today|url=http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00464.html|date=1996-05-02|publisher=GrandPrix.com| accessdate=2006-09-13] [cite news|title=Will Benetton's nationalism cause problems?|url=http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00419.html|date=1996-01-01|publisher=GrandPrix.com| accessdate=2006-09-13] The last non-Ferrari team based in Italy to win was Maserati in 1957. [" [http://f1.fr.reuters.com/teams/t9/news/BAN529784.php Vettel Is Formula One's Youngest Winner] " Reuters (15 September 2008) Retrieved on 16 September 2008.]
* Toro Rosso also became the first non manufacturer-backed constructor to win a Formula One Grand Prix since Giancarlo Fisichella won the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix in a Jordan.
* This is the first win for a customer Ferrari engine, i.e. one which is not mounted on a Ferrari.
* Force India made it to Q2 for the first time with Fisichella qualifying 12th in the treacharous conditions.
* In his two-year career, this is the first time Lewis Hamilton failed to reach the Third Qualifying Session and therefore only the second time he started outside the top 10. (The other was due to a grid position penalty at the 2008 French Grand Prix).
* It is also the first time Kimi Räikkönen has qualified outside the top 10 after setting a time in Qualifying 2 since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix whilst he was with McLaren.
* Sébastien Bourdais becomes the first Frenchman to qualify in the top 5 of a Grand Prix since Olivier Panis qualified 4th for the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix.
* Sebastian Vettel becomes the first German to win a Grand Prix since Michael Schumacher won the wet 2006 Chinese Grand Prix.
* This is the second race of the season where there has been only one retiree, Giancarlo Fisichella. Jenson Button was the only retiree in the French GP.
* The shape of the trophies given to three podium finishers was an imitation of the logo mark of Banco Santander, the title sponsor of the event. It was criticized to seem to have contravened the Formula One sporting regulations that requires Grand Prix promoters to present trophies "in the form of traditional cups." [cite news|title=Monza trophies broke FIA rules |url=http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/080917152230.shtml |date=2008-09-17 |publisher=F1-Live.com | accessdate=2008-09-18]
* After the completion of this race, all teams which had scored the points also scored at least one podium for a season.


External links

* [http://www.manipef1.com/results/2008/italy.php Detailed Italian Grand Prix results]
* [http://www.fia.com/en-GB/sport/championships/f1/italy/Pages/race_classification.aspx Official FIA results]

Name_of_race = Italian Grand Prix
Year_of_race = 2008
Previous_race_in_season = 2008 Belgian Grand Prix
Next_race_in_season = 2008 Singapore Grand Prix
Previous_year's_race = 2007 Italian Grand Prix
Next_year's_race = 2009 Italian Grand Prix

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