Monza is one of the greatest race tracks in the world and today it lived up to its heritage. A Ferrari victory pleased the Tifosi and Virgin Racing finished first out of the new teams.
At the start, Timo got away very well from the back of the grid passing five cars to slot
in behind the Lotus of Jarno Trulli
. Lucas was able to pass Heikki Kovalainen to tuck in behind Timo, although the Finn was able to retake the position a few laps into the race.
The pace was hectic as Monza has the fastest average speed of any Grand Prix, but with passing so difficult, the timing and the execution of the pit stops was likely to be vital. When Heikki stopped, Timo came in on the following lap and the team performed the stop perfectly, getting Timo out in time to retain his position. Lucas also had a great stop and continued to give chase.
At about three-quarter distance, Jarno Trulli
began to slow and was passed by both Timo and Lucas, which left the team looking at first and third positions in the new teams category, but a suspension issue on the last lap cost Lucas a position. The team are delighted to finish best of the new teams, and were the only one to have both cars classified - a feat they have now achieved more than either of the other two newcomers.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"I got a very good start and was going well into turn 1. I nearly got in front of both Lotus cars but Jarno was in a better position in the chicane for turn 2 and was able to stay in front of me. The opening laps were strong and I was able to put a lot of pressure on Jarno but I suffered with the rear brakes. In general I had to over-drive the car and just try to stay on line. The boys did a great job in the pit stop and I was able to stay ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. Together with my engineer I was able to manage the blue flags very well to get through the traffic and generally this has been a very good race for us."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"Today we had a race with a lot of problems. From the start we lost a few places and in the end I was forced to retire with a mechanical problem with just one lap to go. A race to put behind us and move on to something better in Singapore. I'm looking forward to a stronger weekend there where we have an upgrade to the car."
John Booth, Team Principal
"A very strong race for us today in which Virgin Racing once again finished as the best of the new teams. This is the sixth occasion where both cars have been classified and so we are also leading the newcomers in terms of two-car finishes. The whole team has done a great job this weekend and can feel justifiably pleased with our car and operational performance. Particular congratulations to the pit stop crew today, who performed two very slick stops which made all the difference in securing today's result. It is sad that we have to say goodbye to Europe now but we still have plenty to look forward to in the long-haul races."
Mark Herd, Head of Performance and Race Engineering
"A good day today. Timo had a strong drive to finish as the highest placed driver of the new teams, helped by good strategy and a fast pit stop . Lucas struggled with the balance on his first set of tyres
and then suffered an apparent suspension problem right at the end. Our thanks also to Cosworth, whose engines ran strongly all weekend at this particularly demanding circuit."