Italian Grand Prix: five things we learned from Monza

Lewis Hamilton In The Spotlight

Red Bull have finally had enough of Renault.

1) Red Bull and Renault to divorce?

The partners have been spitting at each other all season, like a Hollywood couple heading for the divorce courts. Now it looks most unlikely they will be together next season, even though a contract remains in place for 2016.

Red Bull are short of options. Mercedes don’t want to give them one of their power units and that leaves Ferrari as the only alternative.

It was good while it lasted between Red Bull and Renault, with four double world championships between 2010-2014, but getting your head around these new hybrid engines is no easy matter, as Honda would ruefully confirm.

2) McLaren-Honda marriage hits the rocks

McLaren have finally had enough of Honda. We learned on Saturday night they had asked Honda’s engine chief, Yasuhisa Arai, to be replaced. Arai’s position at Honda is very strong so that will not be all that easy, despite his inept performances this year.

Another predictably poor result at Monza – they were always going to struggle at this power circuit – underlined just how far away McLaren are from where they should be.

This is all very damaging for McLaren. It’s damaging for Honda too. Would a Formula One fan seriously contemplate buying a Honda road car from a company that has succeeded in making two world champions, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, look so slow?.

3) Keep an eye on Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is still a world champion in waiting. Like everyone at Red Bull, Ricciardo has suffered because of the weakness of Renault.

At Monza he started the race 19th after being given a 50-place grid penalty after two engine changes. It was rough all weekend for the Australian, with a hydraulics issue on Friday and then engine failure on qualifying day.

Given all of that, his drive through the field to finish eighth was superb, with a number of overtaking moves that reminded everyone of how terrific he was when he first stepped into the big time with Red Bull.

4) Pirelli poised to sign new deal

Pirelli will continue to be Formula One’s rubber men after their contract expires at the end of the 2016 season. Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s chief executive, as good as rubber-stamped the deal in Monza, even though talks are still going on with Pirelli and their rivals Michelin. It’s been a tough few weeks for the Italian tyre makers but they are poised to sign a contract that would take them up to the end of the 2019 season.

5) Romain Grosjean catches the eye

Romain Grosjean has caught the attention of Haas, who are entering F1 next year. Grosjean’s Italian Grand Prix lasted only a few minutes, as he attempted to follow up on his surprise podium place in the previous race in Belgium. He retired after damaging his suspension in a clash with Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

The speed of Grosjean interests Haas, who have already been linked with, among others, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen.

The money problems at Lotus are frustrating Grosjean, and reports that Renault are about to buy them out have still come to nothing.

Powered by article was written by Paul Weaver, for on Monday 7th September 2015 14.52 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010