The Italian Grand Prix plays host to the latest round of the F1 calendar a the legendary Monza circuit.
The third oldest racetrack in the world, Monza is hugely popular with fans and drivers alike and this weekend the home fans – the Tifosi – will be baying for a Ferrari win.
There has not been a Ferrari win on home turf since 2010 when Fernando Alonson led a prancing horse to victory – but hopes are certainly high that Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen can deliver.
Vettel dominated last time out in Spa, and with Monza being a similar power driven circuit – not many believe that he can be beaten this weekend.
“It is good to see we are getting stronger. In some areas, we have caught up. In others maybe we have a little bit of an edge. That is where we want to be, and maybe even beyond that,” said Vettel.
“We want to keep that level through the year, and if there is a gap to increase it. It is going in the right way but there are a lot of things that can be improved and we need to focus on those and go step by step.
“It is a great feeling when you can fight for pole and victory. It is what you want.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 30, 2018
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton, who retains a 17 point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, insists they will keep battling.
“It has been a big battle for a number of races now, and they have had a small advantage since the middle of the summer, but we are pushing as hard as we can to overcome that.”
ITALY GRAND PRIX – ROUND 14
Location: Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy
Track size: 3.6 miles with 11 turns
Number of laps: 53
2017 winner: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
Lap record holder: 1:21.046 – Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari, 2004
Australian Grand Prix – Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Bahrain Grand Prix – Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
China Grand Prix – Winner: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Spain Grand Prix – Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Monaco Grand Prix – Winner: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
Canada Grand Prix – Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
France Grand Prix – Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Austria Grand Prix – Winner: Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
British Grand Prix – Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
German Grand Prix – Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Hungary Grand Prix – Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Belgium Grand Prix – Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
1 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 231
2 Sebastian Vettel GER FERRARI 214
3 Kimi Räikkönen FIN FERRARI 146
4 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 144
5 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 120
6 Daniel Ricciardo AUS RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 118
7 Nico Hulkenberg GER RENAULT 52
8 Kevin Magnussen DEN HAAS FERRARI 49
9 Fernando Alonso ESP MCLAREN RENAULT 44
10 Sergio Perez MEX FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 40
11 Esteban Ocon FRA FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 37
12 Carlos Sainz ESP RENAULT 30
13 Pierre Gasly FRA SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 28
14 Romain Grosjean FRA HAAS FERRARI 27
15 Charles Leclerc MON SAUBER FERRARI 13
16 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL MCLAREN RENAULT 8
17 Marcus Ericsson SWE SAUBER FERRARI 6
18 Lance Stroll CAN WILLIAMS MERCEDES 4
19 Brendon Hartley NZL SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 2
20 Sergey Sirotkin RUS WILLIAMS MERCEDES 0
1 MERCEDES 375
2 FERRARI 360
3 RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 238
4 RENAULT 82
5 HAAS FERRARI 76
6 MCLAREN RENAULT 52
7 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 30
8 SAUBER FERRARI 19
9 FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 18
10 WILLIAMS MERCEDES 4
We also spoke with Alistair Gill of Unibet to get their views on the GP
At Ferrari’s home GP it is Sebastian Vettel’s turn to take favoritism, the German priced at odds on to for both qualifying and the race, 7/10 and 22/35 respectively.
As with last week’s race, Lewis Hamilton follows Vettel in second, priced at 5/2 to take pole position and 2/1 to win the race. Although Ferrari will be expected to have the advantage at Monza, Hamilton’s incredible qualifying record and single lap ability mean that 5/2 may represent some value.
In the Drivers’ Championship, as predicted last week the 7/4 available for Vettel to overtake Hamilton before the end of the season is looking value now, the price coming right in to an odds on 19/20 after Vettel’s win in Belgium, with Hamilton drifting to 3/4 to hold on and win the title.