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Formula 1 News - September, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Sunday, Italy

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At soggy Monza, 21-year-old rookie Sebastian Vettel followed up his pole position by becoming the youngest winner in F1 history, more than 12 seconds ahead of a McLaren. "This is the best day of my life. I will never forget these feelings. It is so unbelievable," said the German, whose achievement was also the first win for chassis supplier Red Bull Technology. It was not a day to remember for Sebastien Bourdais, whose good grid position fizzled with a stall on the grid that cost him a full racing lap.



Lewis Hamilton salvaged two points from his less than stirring Monza weekend, albeit allowing Ferrari's Felipe Massa to almost equalise the drivers' standings with four races to now run. "If it had kept on raining, I feel pretty confident I probably could have even won, but my tyres overcooked," the Briton said. Heikki Kovalainen looked very disappointed after trailing Vettel home for second place. "In today's conditions he was just too fast for me," the Finn admitted.



After failing to make Q3 on Saturday, Robert Kubica rose to a podium finish, meaning he is still within shouting distance of the Hamilton-Massa title contest. Nick Heidfeld started tenth and finished fifth, and Kubica explained that his passing move on the German was executed accidentally. "I overtook Nick before the first chicane without even seeing him. It was really dangerous," the Pole said, recalling the opening laps in the spray.



Fernando Alonso, whose early switch to intermediate tyres was the right move, finished just over 3 seconds away from Kubica's final podium step. "We made up the five points that we needed in our championship fight," said the Spaniard, referring to the team's close battle for fourth in the championship with Toyota. Nelson Piquet finished tenth.



Felipe Massa started sixth and finished in the same position. "In certain conditions, our car is not quick enough," team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted. By holding off Hamilton, though, Massa's points deficit to Hamilton reduces to just one point. The Brazilian said he decided against trying to attack Heidfeld for fifth: "I thought it wasn't worth taking too many risks." Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour to the chequered flag, but the burst of performance came too late for a point.



As a footnote to Vettel's triumph in a near identical car, Mark Webber headed the charge of the senior team, with his third grid slot becoming just eighth at the flag as he struggled with tyre performance. David Coulthard was the first lapped car, after a spin, tyre troubles and finally contact with Kazuki Nakajima's Williams at the Parabolica.



About a minute behind the sensational Vettel, Toyota's Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli finished 11th and 13th respectively. "We were expecting this to be a difficult race but the next few races might be better for us," said Trulli.



Nico Rosberg's strategy, and a backfiring tyre choice at a pitstop, simply did not marry with the track conditions, ruining his promising fifth grid position. Kazuki Nakajima started from the pitlane after some pre-race aerodynamic modifications, and he finished ahead of Rosberg in 12th.



On the bright side, Jenson Button - who like Nakajima started from pitlane in the hope of benefitting from overnight car tweaks - was the last driver in the field who avoided being lapped, but in a lowly 15th place. Rubens Barrichello was 17th, his gamble of trying dry tyres not paying off. "We had nothing to lose. I tried my best but it was definitely too wet," said the veteran.



Giancarlo Fisichella's midfield run after a strong qualifying ended shortly after Coulthard overtook him, when he tagged the back of the Scot's car and soon sped into a gravel trap without a frontn wing. Adrian Sutil finished two laps down and last, when like Barrichello his gamble to switch to dry tyres also did not pay off.

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