Team Mate Battles – Italian GP

Nico Hulkenberg wiped the floor with his team-mate in Monza, but who gets the nod at Ferrari? Let’s see how the Team Mate Battles proceeded in Monza.

These are the rules to which the drivers are being judged.

Points system:

1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster lap.

3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.

5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best on raceday.


Max Chilton may have qualified plum last, but this was his most competitive outing against Bianchi all year. The pair ran nose to tail for the first half of the race until their pitstops, and then promptly resumed running line astern until the end of the race. 

Chilton finished behind Jules by 13 seconds, but this appears to be because Max backed off on the final lap, having only been 4 seconds behind on the penultimate lap. He said after the race that it had been a very difficult race due to the amount of blue flags, and even spoke about the possibility of overtaking Bianchi in the first phase of the race.

As close as Max got this weekend though, Jules remained consistently ahead during qualifying and the race, although Chilton got the faster race lap, underlining that he had the legs of Bianchi for once.

Fastest lap: 1-0 to Max Chilton (8-4 to Jules Bianchi)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Jules Bianchi (33-3 to Jules Bianchi)
Race: 5-0 to Jules Bianchi (60-0 to Jules Bianchi)

Marussia: 101-7 to Jules Bianchi



A very closely matched pairing at this race, with Van Der Garde outqualifying Pic on this occasion. There was only a tenth of a second between them on Saturday, and on Sunday, the two ran only a handful of seconds apart for the majority of the race.

Pic managed to make the better start to jump ahead of Van Der Garde, and was up to 17th after Di Resta & Raikkonen had their misfortunes. Van Der Garde remained in close attendance through the first stops, and then through the second stint as well, but it all went wrong for the Dutchman at his final stop. Coming in on Lap 39, there was a ‘communcation error’ which meant the Caterham crew weren’t ready to Giedo, and he suffered a delay of around 8 seconds.

Despite having to overtake Bianchi during his final stint, the Dutch driver didn’t lose much more time to his team-mate, and without his pit calamity, the two would have finished extremely close together on track. Pic gets the nod.

Fastest lap: 1-0 to Charles Pic (8-4 to Charles Pic)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Giedo Van Der Garde (21-15 to Charles Pic)
Race: 5-0 to Charles Pic (45-15 to Charles Pic)

Caterham: 74-34 to Charles Pic


Toro Rosso:

Jean Eric Vergne is having no luck recently, and with some extra spotlight on his team-mate this weekend, he would have been trying extra hard to compare favourably with the new Red Bull employee. 

Both drivers had a good Saturday, both making it into Q3, which would be particularly welcome after a disastrous qualifying at Spa. Ricciardo got the upper hand in qualifying, lining up 7th, while Vergne’s lap was a little wayward, with Jean Eric creating a dust storm on the exit of the Parabolica and damaging his car in the final moments, to start 10th.

The race was pretty much a non event for Vergne, retiring on Lap 14 with transmission problems, but on a similar strategy to Ricciardo, the Australian was consistently pulling away through the first stint. Daniel’s race will have helped ease any doubts at Red Bull about his new appointment, showing plenty of pace and defensive nous en route to 7th place. Grosjean must have hated the sight of the Toro Rosso rear wing, having spent half the race staring at it. 

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Daniel Ricciardo (6.5 – 5.5 to Jean Eric Vergne)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Daniel Ricciardo (24-12 to Daniel Ricciardo)
Race: 5-0 to Daniel Ricciardo (30 – 30 each)

Toro Rosso: 59.5-48.5 to Daniel Ricciardo



One of the biggest gulfs of the weekend was the one between the performance of Nico Hulkenberg, and that of Esteban Gutierrez. The Hulk qualified an unbelievable 3rd, separating the Red Bulls and Ferraris on the grid, but the German driver was canny enough to know it was ‘not realistic’ to try keeping the Ferraris behind.

The places Nico lost at the start of the race were all that he lost, with an impressive display of defensive driving, particularly in the second half of the race. Under pressure from the other Nico in the faster Mercedes, Hulkenberg positioned his Sauber just right to hold off the Merc, even resulting in Rosberg being the one to make a mistake under braking.

Gutierrez was nowhere by comparison, faling to make it out of Q1, and only making it up to 13th in the race. Disappointing from the Mexican driver, on a day where his team-mate mixed it with the big boys.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Nico Hulkenberg (7-5 to Nico Hulkenberg)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Nico Hulkenberg (36-0 to Nico Hulkenberg)
Race: 5-0 to Nico Hulkenberg (45-15 to Nico Hulkenberg)

Sauber: 88-20 to Nico Hulkenberg



Pastor had the better qualifying session, cutting into the lead that Bottas had built up in that area. Bottas was out in Q1, 0.3 seconds down on Maldonado, but Pastor himself couldn’t improve in Q2, and only managed 15th place, with Valtteri 18th.

At the start, Pastor lost a position to run 15th, while his Finnish team-mate moved up to 16th after Di Resta and Raikkonen got out of the way. There they remained. The whole way through the entire race, apart from the pitstop phase, both ran in these lonely, lowly positions with a gap between them varying from 2-5 seconds.

Then Sutil retired on the penultimate lap, and they each moved up a place. Exciting race for Grove.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Pastor Maldonado (7-5 to Valtteri Bottas)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Pastor Maldonado (21-15 to Valtteri Bottas)
Race: 5-0 to Pastor Maldonado (32.5 – 27.5 to Pastor Maldonado)

Williams: 55.5 – 52.5 to Valtteri Bottas


Force India:

If Paul Di Resta was hoping to catch the eye of Ferrari or McLaren during a tumultuous phase in the driver market, he picked the wrong weekend to put in a fairly disastrous showing.

While neither driver was particularly quick in qualifying, and were mired in the midfield solidly throughout the weekend, it was Sutil who put in the better lap in Q2 on Saturday to start ahead of Paul. In the race, the Scotsman only made it a couple of hundred metres into his day’s work before locking up and steaming into the back right wheel of Romain Grosjean. 

An over-optimistic braking point to expect from cold tyres and brakes in a heavy fuel-laden car, but he only eliminated himself from the race, and possibly the chance of a seat elsewhere for 2014. Adrian didn’t hit anyone, but had to retire with brake issues towards the end, but he wasn’t on for a points finish anyway.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Adrian Sutil (9-3 to Adrian Sutil)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Adrian Sutil (21-15 to Paul Di Resta)
Race: 5-0 to Adrian Sutil (30-30 to Paul Di Resta)

Force India: 54 points each



Until the second half of the race, this weekend was almost a clean sweep for Sergio Perez. Faster in qualifying by a gnat’s whisker (if that’s an expression suitable for ‘tiny amount’…just 0.013 seconds), Sergio held his place through the opening lap, despite having to miss the first chicane. Whether Sergio should have been moving across the track while braking into the first chicane was a little bit questionable, but there wasn’t any malice on his part, even if Kimi probably didn’t see it that way at the time.

Surviving that impact, Perez set about pulling away from Button who had lost places at the start thanks to a slipping clutch, although he had recovered to be behind Perez by about 5 seconds when the pitstop phase began. Button pitted first on Lap 21, followed a lap later by Sergio. Between Jenson’s outlap and a marginally slower stop for Perez, the Englishman was able to jump ahead of Perez and stay there until the end. This meant Perez was first to come under attack from Hamilton & Raikkonen in the latter .Sp5rl!47rs, and while both did, only Hamilton cleared Jenson, meaning a hard earned point for McLaren from Button, while Perez came home with nothing, despite being so close on the track all race.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Sergio Perez (6-6 to Jenson Button)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Sergio Perez (21-15 to Jenson Button)
Race: 5-0 to Jenson Button (40-20 to Jenson Button)

McLaren: 67-41 to Jenson Button

Jenson Button has scored 48 out of 66 points for McLaren, 73% of their points.
Sergio Perez has scored 18 out of 66 points for McLaren, 27% of their points.
Sergio Perez has scored 37.5% of Jenson Button’s points total.



After the end of the record setting points finishes run at Spa, Raikkonen didn’t even get a chance to reset the clock at Monza. A poor qualifying session from Lotus saw both outside the top ten, with Kimi ahead of Romain. A good start from Kimi saw him up to ninth on the opening lap, but it quickly became apparent he hadn’t escaped unscathed through the opening corner. Committing to the outside into the Rettifilio chicane, Perez was past him, but unsighted when he moved across and hit the brakes. With nowhere to go, Raikkonen hit the back of the McLaren, and unlike in China, had a broken nose that needed fixing. 

Romain stayed out of trouble throughout the race, and spent the second half of the race loitering around behind the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo. He attributed being behind the Toro Rosso as the result of a problem at his pit stop where the release light didnt change to green quickly enough, and this was borne out by a pitstop time three seconds slower than Ricciardo’s. The gap prior to the pitstop was three seconds, so it was very marginal as to whether Romain could have been ahead of the Australian driver or not.

As a result of his Lap 1 woes, Kimi was able to run the optimum medium tyre throughout the entire race, and put it to good use, closing a thirty second gap to Romain down to less than 5 seconds at the end. The last few laps could have been demonstrative of both Hamilton & Raikkonen’s overtaking prowess, but on 20+ lap old tyres at the end, there was little Kimi could do about preventing Lewis coming through. Despite an exciting drive from Kimi, as well as demonstrating some excellent pace, the race points go to Romain.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Kimi Raikkonen (9-3 to Kimi Raikkonen)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Kimi Raikkonen (27-9 to Kimi Raikkonen)
Race: 5-0 to Romain Grosjean (45-15 to Kimi Raikkonen)

Lotus: 81-27 to Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has scored 134 out of 191 points for Lotus, 70% of their points.
Romain Grosjean has scored 57 out of 191 points for Lotus, 30% of their points.
Romain Grosjean has scored 42.5% of Kimi Raikkonen’s points total.



Lewis was surprisingly hard on himself publically on Saturday, referring to his own driving as that of an ‘idiot’ and generally seeming very gloomy about his own performance. While it’s obvious that all drivers will be their own biggest critics, to do so in the public light is unusual, especially when said driver rarely drives in a way that could be described as below par. There was nothing separating the two Mercedes drivers in Q1, and Lewis’s mistake in Q2, combined with being baulked on two flying laps by a wayward Sutil, meant that Rosberg went through to Q3, while Lewis failed to make it for the first time since Malaysia 2010.

Nico’s race was solidly unspectacular, being restrained remarkably easily by Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber for almost three quarters of the race, before Rosberg himself made a mistake applying pressure to his fellow German at the Rettifilio and needed to use the escape road. Lewis had a quiet start to the race, being held back by Vergne and passed by Button before his slow puncture sent him to the back of the pack. From there, he came alive, setting blistering times in the second half of the race and passing 9 cars on the track to finish in the points, including a great move where he wrong footed fellow misfortunate Raikkonen through the Curva Grande. 

Similar circumstances to Kimi for Lewis,so  despite Hamilton’s exciting drive, Rosberg gets the points on this occasion

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Lewis Hamilton (7-5 to Lewis Hamilton)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Nico Rosberg (24-12 to Lewis Hamilton)
Race: 5-0 to Nico Rosberg (37.5 – 22.5 to Lewis Hamilton)

Mercedes: 69.5 – 38.5 to Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has scored 141 out of 245 points for Mercedes, 57.5% of their points.
Nico Rosberg has scored 104 out of 245 points for Mercedes, 42.5% of their points.
Nico Rosberg has scored 74% of the points total of Lewis Hamilton.



Did Felipe Massa know in Monza that his services were not being kept on for 2014? The answer to that question changes the dynamic of his actions on Sunday when he let Alonso through to chase Vettel. If he did know, then Felipe is a loyal servant of Ferrari, despite his imminent dismissal, willing to sacrifice himself and his race for the good of his team. If he didn’t know, then much of that still applies, but there is also the possibility of his actions being a form of on-track desperate pleading with his masters. 

Felipe’s Saturday session was a showcase of how much he is willing to do for the team, drafting Alonso around the track…not just once, but twice during Q3, with no return favour coming from the Spaniard. Despite this, Felipe seemed to be far enough ahead on track to not be of any help to Fernando, and had better pace to qualify ahead of Fernando.

Fernando, yet again, had to call in a favour to be allowed through, but failed to get any closer to Vettel than Massa did. He did manage to hold off a somewhat stricken Mark Webber, who arguably could have been faster if he had been ahead of Fernando, but couldn’t get there thanks to his gearbox issues and damaged front wing. Alonso may have had the opportunity to pounce on Vettel if he had pitted at the same moment as Vettel, thus closing the gap a little bit, but without the benefit of foresight, Ferrari couldn’t possibly tell Vettel may have problems late in the race. Massa couldn’t get past Mark Webber after being jumped in the pits, and sacrificed a final podium in Italy as a Ferrari driver.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Fernando Alonso (8-4 to Fernando Alonso)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Felipe Massa (21-15 to Fernando Alonso)
Race: 5-0 to Fernando Alonso (55-5 to Fernando Alonso)

Ferrari: 81-27 to Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has scored 169 points out of 248 for Ferrari, 68% of their points.
Felipe Massa has scored 79 points out of 248 for Ferrari, 32% of their points.
Felipe Massa has scored 46% of the points total of Fernando Alonso.


Red Bull:

Mark put the pressure on Sebastian for once, qualifying directly alongside on the front row, and then getting a good getaway to line Sebastian up into the chicane. So under pressure was he to hold onto the lead, that Sebastian even made a rare error, badly flatspotting his right front tyre while desparately trying to be the latest braker into the first corner. Mark then promptly lost a place to Felipe and never came near Sebastian again.

Vettel controlled the race up front, pulling away in the early .Sp5rl!47rs, consolidating his lead when Alonso stayed out unusually long before making his one and only stop, and then managed the gap and his gearbox to the end of the race, becoming the only driver to win two consecutive races this year. Not even the flatspotted tyre could hold Sebastian back, with Vettel still still consistently pulling away through the early .Sp5rl!47rs.

Mark couldn’t hold back Fernando, and is arguably giving the Spaniard too much respect on the race track. A great move from Fernando, but a more robust defence from Mark, a little bit of rudeness on display, and it could have been a 1-2 for the Bulls. When Mark entered the ‘hat room’ before the press conference, himself and Sebastian shook hands politely and firmly, congratulating each other before taking to the podium. Afterwards, Mark posed with the rest of the Red Bull team for team photos, even sitting near to Seb, before announcing on Monday that he was unhappy with the catcalls and booing that Sebastian received on the podium. Have Mark & Sebastian made peace in the twilight of his career?

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Mark Webber (8-4 to Sebastian Vettel)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Sebastian Vettel (36-0 to Sebastian Vettel)
Race: 5-0 to Sebastian Vettel (55-5 to Sebastian Vettel)

Red Bull: 99-9 to Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has scored 222 points out of 352 for Red Bull, 63% of their points total.
Mark Webber has scored 130 points out of 352 for Red Bull, 37% of their points total.
Mark Webber has scored 58.5% of the points total of Sebastian Vettel


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Team Mate Battles – Malaysian GP
Team Mate Battles – Australian GP

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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