Skip to main content

Sebastian Vettel breaks Ferrari hearts at Monza to win sixth race of the season

updated 12:04 PM EDT, Sun September 8, 2013
Sebastian Vettel celebrates his sixth victory of the 2013 season to extend his lead in the title race to 53 points over Fernando Alonso.
Sebastian Vettel celebrates his sixth victory of the 2013 season to extend his lead in the title race to 53 points over Fernando Alonso.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel wins Italian Grand Prix at Monza
  • Sixth win of season for three-time defending champion
  • Fernando Alonso finishes second for Ferrari
  • Mark Webber joins Red Bull teammate Vettel on the podium

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel dashed Fernando Alonso's hopes of delivering a home victory for Ferrari at Monza with another commanding drive to win the Italian Grand Prix Sunday.

The three-time defending champion secured his sixth win of the season after starting on pole position, relegating Spain's Alonso to second place.

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber finished third ahead of the second Ferrari of Brazilian Felipe Massa.

The victory extended Vettel's advantage in the world title race over Alonso to 53 points with seven rounds remaining.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to start from 12th after a poor qualifying session Saturday, could only manage ninth spot, but remained in third place in the standings, 81 points adrift.

Read: Vettel's caution despite practice dominance

It was a fantastic race, but you can hear the difference when you don't win here in a red suit
Sebastian Vettel

Vettel's only significant problem was self imposed as he flat spotted his front right tire after breaking too sharply into the first corner of the race.

Under pressure from Massa, the 26-year-old German was desperate to hold on to his lead after the traditional flat out start at Monza.

Two time champion Alonso, back in fifth on the grid after his difficulties in qualifying, quickly worked his way up to third before Massa gave way to him under team orders.

Vettel was able to nurse his tires until the first and only round of pit stops for the leading contenders without coming under serious challenge.

Alonso was briefly challenged by Webber until the Australian was ordered to back off because of gear selection problems, which were also problematic for the leader Vettel.

Read: Alonso shows Ferrari frustrations

But he took the checkered flag 5.4 seconds clear of Alonso to take an even firmer grip on the championship he has dominated for the past four seasons.

Vettel was only too aware that his victory was unlikely to be welcomed by the tifosi diehards who had flocked to the circuit in northern Italy to support their beloved Ferrari.

Paul di Resta's Italian ancestry
Lotus hopeful on Raikkonen
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

"It was a fantastic race, but you can hear the difference when you don't win here in a red suit," Vettel said.

"But this means you have done well and beaten the red men!

"The race was terrific for both of us as we had problems with the gearboxes at the end, but I was ok because I had a good cushion. It is a fantastic win."

Alonso acknowledged there was little he could do to prevent the 32nd victory of Vettel's career.

"Second place is good and to have this podium ceremony which is the most spectacular podium of the year," he said.

"Hopefully we'll come back next year and have first place. Every time I am here this podium and this experience is more and more special."

Read: Di Resta reveals Ferrari dream

Outside the front runners, Germany's Nico Hulkenberg underlined his reputation as one of the most promising young drivers on the grid with an excellent fifth place in the uncompetitive Sauber.

His compatriot Nico Rosberg finished sixth for Mercedes ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, who will replace Webber at Red Bull next season.

Romain Grosjean of Lotus held off the fast-charging Hamilton for eighth, while Britain's Jenson Button earned a single point for McLaren, who were celebrating their 50th anniversary as an F1 team.

Hamilton, who had to contend with a slow puncture which meant an extra pit stop, conceded his title hopes were over.

"It's awful when you are just empty of energy and have given everything for just two points -- and that's it for the championship now," he told BBC Sport.

The F1 circuit will now depart Europe for the next round under the lights on the spectacular street circuit in Singapore with Vettel in prime position for a fourth straight title.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT