Sebastian Vettel Storms To Victory In Monza Masterclass

Dave BatesAnalyst ISeptember 14, 2008

Formula One fans received a rare glimpse into the future of the sport today as 21-year-old Sebastien Vettel dominated proceedings at today’s Italian Grand Prix. The wiry German has promised so much in his first 22 races and has delivered well ahead of time with an astonishing victory leaving fans the world over stunned.

The 21-year-old German described his maiden Grand Prix victory as "unbelievable" having driven with the composure and poise of a champion. As others struggled the inexperienced superstar comfortably lead from start to finish over the likes of Mclaren's Heikki Kovalainen and Ferrari's Felipe Massa having no answer for his inexplicable pace.

Further down the grid others struggled,  Kimi Raikkonen was unable to make an impression on the standings finishing out of the points once again in his Ferrari while at the same time a ruthless drive from Lewis Hamilton saw him maintain his slender championship lead despite not being able to better a seventh place finish.

The weather had a huge impact during what was a historical Italian Grand Prix and certainly made provision for great entertainment. Raikkonen and Hamilton battled for position in the early stages of the race before Hamilton managed to find a way through enabling him to mount a challenge for a victory only to have his chances eradicated by the absence of rain in the later stages.

The young Britain found his race compromised by being on the full wets in a period where the track was better suited for intermediate tyres. Massa at the same time was unable to make a genuine impact on the race standings with an extremely average performance. With Hamilton starting so far back it was a great opportunity for the Brazilian to take control of the championship but was only able to score a poor sixth place finish in a lacklustre Ferrari.

While the big names struggled however other drivers rose to the occasion. BMW's Robert Kubica put in a resilient display to muster a third place finish while a dogged drive by Renault's Fernando Alonso saw him bring his car home in fourth.

At the same Vettel placed his name firmly in the record books by becoming the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, a title that formally belonged to Alonso. Nick Heidfeld was ever consistent by finishing fifth in another strong performance at the wheel of his BMW, the only team to have both drivers in the top eight.

The race was not without drama, most of it coming from Lewis Hamilton as he charged through the field, occasionally pushing his luck with some slightly reckless moves on Trulli, Glock and Webber who may feel aggrieved by the Britain’s actions. He later showed his supreme ability however by passing Webber in a sublime move going into Rettifilo.

Jenson Button and Nelson Piquet Jr. Were also at loggerheads with neither driver willing to back down going into turn one late in the Grand Prix. Both cars touched as they ran out of space but fortunately both cars were able to continue.

Perhaps the biggest incident however came three laps from the end when the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima ploughed into David Coulthard’s Red Bull at Parabolica. Nakajima retired as a result of the impact which left a considerable amount of debris lying just aside of the racing line. With so little time to go to the end of the race however there was no need for a safety car to be deployed.

Sebastien Vettel however will be taking all of the headlines leaving the Grand Prix, and rightly so. So many drivers made their name through their ability to master wet weather driving, perhaps most notably the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Could Sebastien Vettel be destined to join them in Formula One’s hall of fame?