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Brawn: Hamilton/Raikkonen battle was F1 at its best

  • Published on 04 Sep 2018 11:14
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Formula 1's managing director Ross Brawn has described the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen at the Italian Grand Prix as a "great advertisement" for the sport. The pair were involved in a race-long battle for the win, with Raikkonen leading Hamilton for much of the race.

However, with just a handful of laps to go, Hamilton passed Raikkonen into Turn 1, with the Finn struggling on his worn tyres. Hamilton extended his gap to rival Sebastian Vettel in the driver's standings after the German spun at Turn 3 when he made contact with Hamilton.

"Events at the Monza circuit this weekend were a great advertisement for Formula 1,” Brawn said. “Sunday’s race was very exciting and closely fought with the winner only emerging once Lewis Hamilton had passed Kimi Raikkonen for a final time.

“The duel between Lewis and Kimi in Monza showed Formula 1 at its best, highlighting the talent of the drivers, the performance of the cars, tyre management and team-work between the drivers.

“During the weekend, the advantage swung back and forth between the two top teams. On Saturday, Ferrari had the upper hand, but Hamilton was there to hunt them down, forcing his way past one of them on the opening lap and the other towards the end.

“It was a great way to bring the curtain down on the European season and hopefully we will enjoy similarly spectacular races in the final third of the championship, as we tackle seven races on three continents in less than three months.”

Brawn commended the efforts of Hamilton, stating that the Briton needed to immediately bounce back after suffering defeat at the Belgian Grand Prix one week prior.

“Lewis Hamilton’s win was really well deserved,” he admitted. “After Vettel’s Spa win, Ferrari seemed to be flying on the wings of enthusiasm in Monza, aided by the support of their home crowd, and Lewis missed out on a front row slot by a whisker.

“But the championship leader refused to lose heart. After the start, he attacked aggressively but correctly, managing to get past Vettel, and thereafter he remained glued to the tail of Räikkönen’s Ferrari, putting the Finn under heavy pressure, while still managing to preserve his tyres.”

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  • wongrayw

    Posts: 17

    Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says fans of the team must remember its own history before criticising Mercedes for using Valtteri Bottas to help Lewis Hamilton win the Italian Grand Prix.

    EDITOR'S PICKS

    Lewis turns in one of his best ever to spoil Ferrari's party
    A look at the main talking points from the Italian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton beat the Ferraris on home turf.

    On Sunday Hamilton denied Ferrari the chance to end a drought at its home race stretching back to 2010. Although Hamilton passed both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on track, he was helped by teammate Bottas holding up the latter at a crucial point in the closing stages of the race.

    That has led to criticism, with Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene -- defending he decision to allow Raikkonen and Vettel to race freely -- suggesting his team would never employ a driver to be subservient to another.

    In quotes printed by La Gazetta dello Sport, which claimed Ferrari had scored an "own goal" with its strategy, he said: "We employ racing drivers, not butlers. A team order from the start would have been dangerous and crazy."

    Di Montezemolo, who was president of Ferrari between 1991 and 2014, has criticised this viewpoint, saying the team's most recent championship victories all came at a time it employed one driver to help the other.


    Valtteri Bottas held up Kimi Raikkonen at the Italian Grand Prix, helping Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to catch and pass him. Dan Istitene/Getty Images
    "I can tell you we won a few championships [this way] when I was the chairman and CEO -- with Kimi and Felipe Massa, with Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher, with Michael and Eddie Irvine," he told BBC Sport. "So this is part of the history. And Bottas did not make anything incorrect or a foul. He made his race.

    "When I have heard somebody make criticism... This is normal. In life it is difficult to win, but it is more difficult to accept when you don't win. So, yesterday I was not happy for what I have seen, from the public.

    "Mercedes made its job. If I was in charge of Ferrari in the same condition as Mercedes, I would make exactly the same choice. So, finito."

    Hamilton credited his performance to the Ferrari fans who had booed him during the weekend, saying he harnessed the "negativity". Di Montezemolo has criticised those who opted to respond to his win in that fashion.

    "Lewis is a fantastic champion, has always been very correct, and he made a fantastic race. Full stop.

    "What happened was very, very bad and I am really upset."

    • + 0
    • Sep 4 2018 - 18:18
    • Great post. I find it somewhat surprising to see certain people complain about the strategy with Bottas. Especially Ferrari fans. I am yet to see something egregious by Mercedes the way Ferrari treated Massa, Barrichello, and Raikkonen to a lesser extent.

      • + 0
      • Sep 4 2018 - 23:46
  • It was great racing. Once again a race that Mercedes won on teamwork and their strategy over Ferrari. Plain and simple. This is what the fifth or six race this year that Kimi has had ruined by his team. He could have had the victory with the right strategy. Ferrari and Vettel just keep shooting themselves in the foot weekend after weekend. That kind of performance doesn't win or even deserve championship titles.

    • + 0
    • Sep 8 2018 - 21:55
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