F1: Vettel Wins Italian Grand Prix, Closes in on Championship

Sebastian Vettel is one victory away from retaining the Formula One drivers’ title.

Vettel, who started from pole position, allowed Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to get the upper hand in the first four laps before finally zooming ahead for good in the fifth lap. The Red Bull driver was never threatened from that lap on, while Alonso struggled to keep up, before eventually giving way to McLaren’s Jenson Button. When the dust cleared, Vettel finished a comfortable 9.5 seconds ahead of Button, while Alonso settled for third place 16.9 behind. McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher rounded out the top five.

With his eighth victory, Vettel now has 284 points, 112 clear of Alonso, who improved to second place with 172 points. Button and Vettel’s Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber, are tied for third with 167, nine points clear of Hamilton. A victory by Vettel at the Singapore GP on September 25 will make him virtually unbeatable in the race for the drivers’ championship.