Enzo Potolicchio and Emilio Di Guida check into SPEED.com following Sunday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Christian Horner says that his Red Bull team did an “incredible job” to deal with tire and gearbox issues during what looked from the outside like a straightforward win for Sebastian Vettel in Monza.
Vettel made his life harder in the first stint by flat spotting a front tire at Turn One, and later there were concerns about the gearbox. It says a lot that the German only set the 12th fastest lap as he nursed the car home – and for once he didn’t try to add to his tally in the record books.
Vettel beats gearbox worries to win at Monza
Sebastian Vettel may have made victory in the Italian GP look easy, but in fact the German had to overcome serious concerns about the Red Bull gearbox.
Both drivers were allowed by the FIA to change their fifth, sixth and seventh gears before the race after a reliability problem was flagged up, and in the race both were told to shift early in order to save their equipment. Despite that Vettel stayed safely ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Mark Webber overcame front wing damage and gearbox concerns to take third place in Monza, having pushed Fernando Alonso all the way to the flag.
Webber damaged his wing when passed by Alonso early in the race, but he gained a place back when he passed Felipe Massa at the pit stops.
A gearbox oil pressure issue caused the team to tell him to shift early to protect his equipment, but there were no further problems.
“It was good to have a clean weekend from start to finish and then fight for top positions, which was certainly the case today,” said Webber. “The start was pretty good but both Sebastian and I, I think, compared to the Ferraris, were not as strong off the line.
Fernando Alonso kept himself in the frame for the World Championship by finishing second in Monza, and while he lost another seven points to winner Sebastian Vettel, he has now pulled clear of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.
“I think the weekend we took the maximum from the car,” said Alonso. “Practice was OK, and we learnt some good information Friday. Saturday it was very good, both cars in the top five. I think the last time was Malaysia this year, so a very, very long time, so we were very, very happy.