The 2019 Formula One Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza takes place this weekend. Charles Leclerc won his first Grand Prix last week, beating Lewis Hamilton to first position in Belgium in the first race after the summer break. Hamilton still has a healthy lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship table, though, which he will be looking to extend in Monza at the weekend.
The British driver has been in incredible form so far this season, winning eight of the 13 Grands Prix. However, after Leclerc’s maiden win in Belgium last weekend, the Monaco man is the slight favourite with the bookies at 11/8. Nonetheless, Hamilton will be eager to bounce back with a race win in Italy on Sunday.
The Italian Grand Prix is the fifth oldest national GP. Ferrari will be hoping to have a good race on their home track this weekend, and having won the Belgian Grand Prix last time out, can they secure back-to-back victories? Ferrari have had plenty of success in Italy, winning the Grand Prix an unrivalled 19 times, though the last of those triumphs came in 2010.
|14/21||Italy||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||307km / 53 Laps|
|Date||Start Time||Finish Time||Forecast Conditions||TV Coverage|
|Practice 1||Fri 6th September||10:00||11:30||Rain / 21°||–|
|Practice 2||Fri 6th September||14:00||15:30||Rain / 21°||–|
|Practice 3||Sat 7th September||12:00||13:30||Dry / 24°||–|
|Qualifying||Sat 7th September||14:00||15:00||Dry / 24°||Sky F1|
|Race||Sun 8th September||14:10||16:10||Wet / 19°||Sky F1|
Last Season’s Result (2018)
Despite starting in third place on the grid, Hamilton prevailed in the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. The Brit, who went on to win the Drivers’ Championship for a fifth time, beat Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to the line. Hamilton’s winning time was 1:16:54.484. Meanwhile, fellow Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas edged out Sebastian Vettel in the race for the bronze medal. Max Verstappen originally finished third, but the Dutchman was given a five-second penalty for a collision with Bottas.
Ferrari started 1-2 on the grid, and the pair got away cleanly in front. However, Hamilton was in hot pursuit, and the Englishman and Vettel collided on the first lap. Vettel, who started in second, finished his race in fourth place. Raikkonen and Hamilton swapped places in a thrilling lap four, with the Brit finally edging in front to pick up the win with eight laps left. It was an enthralling battle for first place in Monza, with Hamilton coming out on top.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer||5||10|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||8||8|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||14||6|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||7||4|
Analysis: Can Anyone Stop Lewis?
With just eight races left of the 2019 Formula One season, Hamilton leads the way at the top by a staggering 65 points. The British driver has been in inspired form this year, picking up eight Grands Prix victories. The Stevenage-born star won four in a row earlier in the campaign, prevailing in Spain, Monaco, Canada and France.
Leclerc will be buoyed by last weekend’s win at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, but can he make it two in a row in Italy on Sunday? Meanwhile, Vettel would love to win for Ferrari on their home track. This promises to be a thrilling Grand Prix in Monza at the weekend.
Leclerc Going for Back to Back Wins
Leclerc picked up his first ever F1 victory last time out, becoming the first Monegasque driver to win a Grand Prix in the process. It was an emotional weekend for all involved with the sport after F2 driver Anthoine Hubert was involved in a fatal crash in Saturday’s race.
Leclerc dedicated his win to his friend Hubert, and the Ferrari driver more than deserved his stunning victory at Spa. Leclerc is now favourite to reign supreme in Italy, with 11/8 being his price. Can the 21-year-old make it two race wins on the spin in Monza this Sunday?
Hamilton to Secure a Record Sixth Italian GP Win
Hamilton has had plenty of success on this circuit. The reigning world champion has won at Monza on five occasions during his illustrious career, including in 2017 and 2018. At this moment in time, Hamilton and Michael Schumacher hold the record for most race wins in Italy. Victory for Hamilton on Sunday will make him the most successful driver of this GP. At the tempting odds of 7/4, the Mercedes ace is our favourite in this one.
Can Bottas Finish on the Podium?
Bottas is fourth favourite at 10/1 to win the Grand Prix, while you can get the Finn at 4/5 to finish in the top three. Bottas has had a mixed bag of results in the last few rounds, but he has secured 10 podium finishes this season. Bottas is currently second in the standings, 22 points ahead of Verstappen. Can the 30-year-old have a good Grand Prix in Italy this weekend?
About the Italian Grand Prix
The Italian Grand Prix, as well as the British Grand Prix, has been held every year since the start of the Formula 1 championship races in 1950. The track is synonymous with motor racing and whilst not the official home of Ferrari, it is widely considered to be the motor racing home for one of the most famous Italian exports.
The host of the grand prix is that of Monza, which in itself has played a huge role in the success of Italian motorsports. It’s seen many layouts and formats over the years and tweaks have been made tonto only make the track safer, but also more exciting for both drivers and fans.
Monza is the fastest and one of the most historic circuits in Formula 1. Situated in the picturesque Royal Park, a short drive north of Milan in Northern Italy, Monza is known as the “Temple of Speed”, with drivers at full throttle for three quarters of the 5.37km lap. As a result, the teams set up their cars with very low downforce, which increases the top speeds as it creates less drag through the air.
The long straights are made up of famous corners, such as Curva Grande, Variante della Roggia, Varianre del Rettifilio and Variante Ascari, to make up what Italian’s call the Magic Track. For many, there is no other track that captures the sport like Monza does. The Ferrari fans turn the racetrack red and a true carnival atmosphere is set up for the entire race weekend.
The track starts on the pit straight, which is also the first DRS Zone on track. The drivers reach speeds in excess of 340kmph and they are constantly looking left for the 100 yard board, which is the start of a brutal breaking zone before heading into a very tight chicane where cars get as slow as just 70kmph. The drivers must kiss the apex on each corner to make sure they get optimum drive through and out of this section.
The next section is through Curva Grande and it’s all about being as flat out as possible without scrubbing too much of the tyre. The cars will be situated just inside the apex for this exact reason and they are pretty much at top speed by the time they see the bridge and start breaking into the next turn.
The second chicane now greets the drivers and again, they must use as much of the kerb as possible here, where are fairly tame compared to most tracks. The drivers then head under the trees and the light change here as a result is often something that has been compared to the tunnel in Monaco and something that often catches drivers out in terms of nailing the most optimal line through here.
The cars are then going through a short run into the second of the two middle section corners. A good line is imperative as they must get a good drive into the back straight and utilise another DRS zone. The cars then head back down the bank before coming back up and hitting the Ascri chicane. They are carrying huge speed into the left hander and then the right handers here, again using as much of the track as possible to get the best possible run out.
Coming out of the final part of the chicane, the drivers then need to be able to run slightly wide before a look along another of the longer straights. Cars will be hitting almost top speed here of 340kmph and trying as hard as they might to not scrub any speed along here.
The final corner sees the cars sweep through at around 240kmph and with it try and find the straightest line possible to start the next lap. Whilst the final corner seems pretty tame, it’s actually been the scene of many races that have seen last minute overtaking with drivers becoming too cautious and not getting on the throttle quick enough before crossing the line.
The track was initially built in 1922 and was financed by the Milan Automobile Club. It’s maiden race was that of the Italian Grand Prix and with it has been the scene of some of the most iconic races in the world as a result.
The current set up sees three tracks in total. The Oval, the Combined course and the Modern Grand Prix Circuit. The Grand Prix circuit has seen many changes over the years, as you would expect, with the original track having just 8 corners in total, to the most recent version including 11, mainly added to slow cars down because of safety concerns, but also to promote overtaking.
2008 – YOUNGEST EVER WINNER
In 2008, Sebastian Vettel made history at the Italian Grand Prix, Monza, where he became the youngest ever winner of a Formal race in the history of the sport. The rain came down, which played into the German’s hands, before then going on to securing pole, before taking off after a safety car start leading the whole race – bar 4 laps when pitting – and securing his first win.
1996 – SCHUMACHER & FERRARI
Schumacher had just taken the hot seat in what was a failing Ferrari team at the time. They had won just two races in 5 seasons and were widely regarded as a “had been” of Formula 1. But, Schumacher had already managed to win in Spain and then again in Belgium, before going on to win at the home of Ferrari, cement his place in the Ferrari and Monza folk law in a very short space of time.