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  • Madien Victory For Vettel & Toro Rosso

    What can be said abut the young German driver that has not already been said? Yesterday Sebastian Vettel’s wildest dreams came true as he tossed both the form book and record books out of the window, by winning the Italian Grand Prix. In a rain soaked and very unpredictable Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel lead imperiously from start to finish, taking the victory in style, well over 20 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Hekki Kovalainen, who finished second. “A fantastic race, a fantastic weekend with pole as well and a fantastic strategy this afternoon. As for the podium ceremony it was unbelievable and this is the best day of my life. I will never forget these feelings. It is so unbelievable.” Vettel said in the post race press conference.

    Vettel’s performance has already had former F1 drivers and experts labelling his impressive drive as echoing that of a young Michael Schumacher. In any case Vettel drove a mature and faultless race that made it seem as if he had been racing for years, rather than it only being his first full season in F1.

    As for the race, we were very fast in a straight line because we didn't go for high downforce as we thought it might be dry, so we stayed on the dry level. Being out in front with no visibility problems was the key and I could build up a solid gap to Heikki (Kovalainen) straightaway.” Vettel added. The fact that Seb was driving a car that had been set up for a dry race makes his performance even more impressive “I was pushing very hard, maybe going over the limit sometimes and I nearly lost the car. In the last stint I was in a very good position on the intermediate tyre”.

    Without a doubt it was certainly a weekend for the smaller teams to take advantage of the terrible weather, and this is exactly what Toro Rosso did. After a difficult start to the season, the team that was formally Minardi only 3 years ago have steadily been improving in recent races. Culminating in a double points finish at the previous race in Belgium, but the team could never have predicted this result. After a fantastic qualifying session at Monza, Toro Rosso had secured Pole position with Vettel and 3rd with Bourdais. This put the team in a fantastic position come race day and although there was a problem with Bourdais’ car that stalled on the grid, Vettel lead from the get go and that’s where he stayed.

    Although pressure came at one stage from a charging Lewis Hamilton, that challenge quickly faded and Vettel carried on. “I couldn't believe it when it kept saying "P1" on my board. But I kept my focus and kept pushing so as not to lose concentration”. His victory made F1 history as he smashed the record set by Fernando Alonso back in 2003 for the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix. This put along side his youngest pole position record made it as Vettel sees it, “A perfect weekend”. He may not care about the records and focus more on the race victory; but it is still an impressive feather in the young German’s hat.

    With Toro Rosso clearly out performing its big brother team at the moment, one might question Vettel’s decision to move up to Red Bull Racing for next season. Only time will tell if this new F1 super star will have the car next year to continue in the same success as this year.

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Sebastian Vettel celebrating his first win, at the Italian Grand Prix 2008 - © Red Bull/GEPA

Vettel celebrates his win © Red Bull/GEPA

Position Driver Team Time
1 S Vettel Toro Rosso 1:30.510
2 H Kovalainen McLaren +12.5 secs
3 R Kubica BMW Sauber +20.4 secs
4 F Alonso Renault +23.9 secs
5 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber +27.7 secs
6 F Massa Ferrari +28.8 secs
7 L Hamilton McLaren +29.9 secs
8 M Webber Red Bull +32.0 secs
9 K Raikkonen Ferrari +39.4 secs
10 N Piquet Jnr Renault +54.4 secs
11 T Glock Toyota +58.8 secs
12 K Nakajima Williams +62.0 secs
13 J Trulli Toyota +65.9 secs
14 N Rosberg Williams +68.6 secs
15 J Button Honda +73.3 secs
16 D Coulthard Red Bull +1 Lap
17 R Barrichello Honda +1 Lap
18 S Bourdais Toro Rosso +1 Lap
19 A Sutil Force India +2 Laps
DNF G Fisichella Force India +41 Laps