September 11th, 2011, 18:17 PM
Sebastian Vettel cruises to dominant Italian GP victory
Sebastian Vettel fought back to win Red Bull's first Italian Grand Prix and move closer to a second world title.
Fernando Alonso took the lead with a brilliant start but Vettel re-passed him to take his eighth win of the year.
Jenson Button's fast-finishing McLaren passed Alonso later and team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fourth after losing time in a fight with Michael Schumacher.
Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber crashed out, and was one of eight cars to retire from an exhilarating race.
Vettel now leads the championship from Alonso by 112 points which means his first chance to seal a consecutive world title will come in Singapore in a fortnight's time.
"It's no big surprise that this man is the winner again," said BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard.
"Are we witnessing one of the true legends of the sport? He's proven today he's fighting for victories even when he does not have to take a risk."
Vettel's victory completed a happy return to Monza, where the German first started making history when he became the youngest ever grand prix winner when he won his maiden race at the historic circuit for Toro Rosso three years ago.
Vettel had lost the lead off the line as Alonso bravely squeezed his Ferrari down the inside from fourth on the grid.
But the world champion displayed his own dash of daring to re-pass Alonso with a high-speed move around the outside of Curva Grande and into the second chicane on lap five.
From there, Vettel steadily built his lead and when he pitted for soft tyres 15 laps later he comfortably returned way out in front and was never challenged on his way to the flag.
Vettel said: "This was a circuit that has been tough for us to be competitive in the last couple of years and we have come back this year.
"The start wasn't good, I don't know where Fernando came from and it took me a while to realise we were three across the track."
His team-mate Webber lost second place in the standings and conceded his championship was over as he retired following a crash with Felipe Massa.
Alonso moved up to second on 172 points, with Button and Webber level in third on 167.
Hamilton is nine points further back in fifth.
Italian Grand Prix result:
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault
2. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
3. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari
4. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
5. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP
6. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari
7. Jaime Alguersuari (Spa) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
8. Paul Di Resta (GB) Force India-Mercedes
9. Bruno Senna (Brz) Renault
10. Sebastien Buemi (Swi) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 284 pts
2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 172
3=. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 167
3=. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 167
5. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 158
6. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 82
7. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 56
8. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 52
9. Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 34
10. Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber 27
1. Red Bull-Renault 451 pts
2. McLaren-Mercedes 325
3. Ferrari 254
4. Mercedes GP 108
5. Renault 70