Formula 1 culminates this weekend its second hat-trick of the season with the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, the temple of speed, is already waiting with all its tifosi for a World Cup that is more exciting than ever. In the delirium of Zandvoort there was a change of leader: now Max Verstappen is back at the helm.
However, Monza could be a difficult track for Red Bull. At least that’s how it has been in previous seasons, in which they haven’t been anywhere near victory. Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are huge favorites to regain the world leadership at the Italian Grand Prix.
Mercedes is a very favorite; Verstappen will want to minimize damage
Everything is in favor of Mercedes. Not only is your car having a more powerful and efficient engine, but Lewis Hamilton is a true Monza specialist. He is the driver who has won the most times, although tied with Michael Schumacher, and he has been warned after the silly mistakes he made in 2020.
In the hybrid era traditionally the Monza circuit has been where Red Bull has undertaken an engine changeEither in the Renault stage or the Honda stage, which made them start from the back of the grid. They sacrificed this race for the benefit of the rest of the year, but now they are playing the World Cup.
Surely for Verstappen it would be enough to save second position against Valtteri Bottas. Let’s not forget that last season Red Bull was not even the second best car in performance, although it is also true that the cars have changed slightly and Verstappen is in a state of grace.
The one who is going to have a great opportunity is the McLaren team, who last season were the only ones who could stand up to Mercedes. Carlos Sainz finished second and almost won the race, and in the state of Lando Norris’ form, it should not be ruled out that, at the very least, they are rivals of Verstappen for the podium.
Alpine should also do well in Monza. Although Renault’s engine is not the most powerful, in the past we have seen very low load aerodynamic configuration circuits benefit them. Fernando Alonso’s experience at Monza, where he has won twice, should put the rest for a great result.
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More dramatic may be the performance of Ferrari, the team whose eyes are always focused on Monza. If the Maranello car suffers from something, it is pure engine power, so Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will have to perform miracles not just to save the team’s image at Monza, but to fight with McLaren in the world championship.
Schumacher and Hamilton tied for wins at Monza
The one in 2021 will be the 72nd Italian Grand Prix to be held at the Monza circuit, a track that has always been in Formula 1 except in the 1980 season. We are therefore facing the circuit where the most Formula 1 World Championship races have been held, and therefore the one with the most history.
In the list of drivers with the most wins at Monza there is a draw that could be resolved this season. Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, the two most successful Formula 1 racers, they are also in Monza with five victories each. The following already appear with three, quite far.
By brands there is no one who can cough Ferrari. The tifosi have pushed their pilots to 19 victories at Monza, more than any other team. His closest pursuers are those of McLaren, who have ten victories, while Mercedes already appears very threatening with seven wins.
As for the Spanish drivers, Fernando Alonso has won two races at Monza, the first in 2007 with McLaren and the second in 2010 with Ferrari. In addition, it has podiums in the tests of 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2013. But Carlos Sainz also knows what it is to get on the podium at Monza: He did it last year with the McLaren, when he was close to victory.
Monza schedules change due to sprint qualification
Let us remember that there has been a change this year in television rights in Spain. Now It is DAZN who owns them exclusively, although Movistar + will continue to click on their signal on the DAZN F1 channel. In Italy, the usual race schedule will be maintained, but those on Friday and Saturday change due to the new format
The weather forecast predicts a fairly mild weekend in Monza, without risk of rain and not too high temperatures. We will see what the second appearance of the sprint classification in the Formula 1 World Championship can bring us after the success that was its premiere at Silverstone.
Schedules GP Italia 2021
- (FP1) Free practice: 14:30
- (Q) Qualifying: 18:00
- (FP2) Free practice: 12:00
- (QR) Qualifying race: 16:30