Sebastian Vettel made it look easy at the front of the field, taking a clear Italian Grand Prix victory. However the German driver had to battle a flat-spotted tyre and a gearbox problem on route to his sixth win of the 2013 season.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the triple world champion but he still managed to come out on top and extend his championship lead to 53 points. Speaking about the race, he said: “It’s fantastic to win this event again. I just managed to make turn one! I locked the front right and it just didn’t seem to come back. I had a big flat spot, which I felt straight away and I wasn’t sure if the tyre would survive, but fortunately I managed to make it round and have a strong first stint.”
Discussing the gearbox problem he said: “We had a gearbox issue and I had to short shift, which meant we dropped some time in the straights – but I tried to make it up in the corners.” Vettel admitted that the team is pushing hard and taking each race as it comes: “The season is going well and we’re pushing hard, but we take each race as it comes. We’re looking forward to Singapore next, which I want to finish; I think it’s the toughest race we have all year.”
Mark Webber finished the race in third place, making it two Red Bull cars on the podium. He had a good start but lost out to Massa on the run to the first corner, before losing out to Alonso and subsequently re-passing Massa in the pit stop sequence. Speaking about his result, he said: “It’s a great place here and it’s very special to finish on the podium. It’s not the circuit where I’ve had the best results in the past, so it’s a bit of a personal best for me in qualifying and the race.
“I felt better on the soft tyres today; I had a good battle with Fernando, fair play to him on that and then afterwards I settled in to getting my head down and getting on with the race. We got Felipe on the stop, which was great. I was happy with my in-lap, the pit stop was great and then my out-lap was strong, so we cleared him reasonably comfortably. We had to nurse the gearbox a bit at the end, but overall it was a good result. Seb is very strong around here and it was great to get such a good result today.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic