Michael finished the Italian Grand Prix in fifth place today after an exciting and battling drive saw him make up three places from his grid position. Nico’s race came to an early conclusion as he was hit by another car on lap one.
Michael ran a two-stop soft/soft/medium strategy, stopping on laps 16 and 37, to finish in fifth place. Nico's race ended at the first chicane when he was taken out through no fault of his own in an accident caused by Liuzzi. Michael gained four positions on the first lap, taking his season total of places gained on the first lap to 35.
After the race, Ross could only describe Michael’s drive as “fantastic”: “I’m sure he really enjoyed his racing out there. The boys have done a great job with our starts this year, and Michael was able to get away well and show his race craft in the first part of the race. Then he settled into a really tough battle with the McLarens, particularly Lewis, which was great racing and vintage Michael. We haven’t quite got a car that’s quick enough yet but we are all pleased with Michael’s fifth place today. For Nico, it was a short and not at all sweet afternoon.
We had an exciting strategy starting him on the prime tyres, and looking at how those tyres performed on other cars at the beginning of the race, it would have been very interesting to see how it developed. It’s doubly frustrating that he was taken out by a car starting in 24th position. If you get tangled up at the first corner because you are vying for position, that’s racing, but to be swiped out by someone that far back is hard to take. However, we have shown as a team that when we do have the right car, we will be able to compete at the front, and that’s our inspiration for next year.”
Norbert described the first half of the race as probably one of the best television shows of the year: “I am sure lots of people at home were standing rather than sitting in front of their televisions, which was the case for us on several occasions today. Michael repeated his Spa result today and everybody realised during his drive how committed and hard-fighting he is - it was a joy to watch, and certainly not just for us. It was a shame for Nico to be in the middle of a first-lap shunt at Turn One. With two fresh sets of option tyres available - which none of the top drivers had today - I am sure he would have been in a good position to fight for a strong result. We all are now looking forward to the Singapore night race where we want to consolidate our recent performances from Spa and Monza.”