Hamilton delighted but Button downcast at Monza
9 September 2012 – Sunday brought a bittersweet Italian Grand Prix for McLaren. Although the team won at Monza for the first time since 2007, it was unable to replicate that year’s one-two finish as Jenson Button pulled off the circuit with a fuel pick-up problem.
Victory for Lewis Hamilton was the 2008 Champion’s third of the season, meaning he is the only driver other than Fernando Alonso to achieve that statistic.
“Winning at Monza is one of the greatest experiences of my Formula 1 career,” he says. “I absolutely love this place - I’ve been coming to Italy to race since I was 13 years old and I just love the culture, the food and the people. Our car has been fantastic all weekend and it was nice to have a relaxed Grand Prix with no troubles. I was cruising at the end but, once I heard that Sergio (Pérez) had got past Fernando (Alonso), I had to push a little.”
Button was less pleased, having stopped on the entry of the Parabolica.
“I had too much wheel spin at the start and that dropped me to third and caused me to lose a lot of time behind Felipe (Massa),” he explained. “But it was nice to get past him, put some clear air between us and then start chasing down Lewis. I was never going to challenge him for the win, but it would have been great for the team if we could have finished first and second.
“I don’t entirely know what caused my car to stop – I’m told it was a fuel system problem that we’re still investigating. The engine cut out and I had to coast to a stop. These things happen.”
Hamilton now becomes Fernando Alonso’s closest challenger in the Drivers’ Championship. McLaren is just 29 points behind Red Bull for Constructors’ honours.