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Formula 1 Preview – Italian GP Predictions, Podium and Prop Bets

Formula 1 Preview – This week Formula 1 heads to the iconic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy to race at the sport’s fastest track.

The Dutch Grand Prix failed to live up to the hype we thought it would. Max Verstappen secured a comfortable home win at the Zandvoort Circuit to regain the drivers’ championship lead from Lewis Hamilton. This week Formula 1 heads to the iconic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy to race at the sport’s fastest track. Perhaps even more exciting is that the sprint race format returns this season after debuting at Silverstone.

First a quick recap of how things will work at Monza: qualifying will take place on Friday to accommodate the 100km-long sprint race on Saturday.  The sprint race result will determine the starting order for Sunday’s main event. Verstappen heads into this weekend with a mere three-point lead over Hamilton whose Mercedes team are the favourites despite Red Bull’s dominance in qualifying at the past two races.

What to Expect in Italy

The W12 has a slight power advantage from its engine over the Honda in the Red Bull and Mercedes will look to assert its dominance at the cathedral of speed this weekend.

Verstappen told Sky Sport this week: |”I expect Monza to suit Mercedes as it hasn’t been our best track for the last few years, but this year we are more competitive so you never know.”

Mercedes has won every race at Monza in the hybrid era except for the past two years and knows that their package will need to be on point to give Hamilton the best chance to win the race.

The 5.793 km-long track first hosted a GP in 1950, F1’s inaugural season, and has hosted every Italian GP bar one, according to F1.com. Monza is a speed circuit, and the cars will be on full throttle for 80% of the lap and hit their Vmax on the circuit’s 1.1km start/finish straight. Reubens Barrichello holds the lap record time of 1:21.046, set for Ferrari back in 2004. The scarlet car’s fans, better known as the Tifosi, will be out in full force this weekend to cheer on Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

In terms of tyre compounds, Pirelli announced the three compounds in the middle of the range have been chosen: The P Zero White hard is the C2, P Zero Yellow medium is C3, and P Zero Red is the C4.

The track is best known for its flat-out straights preceded by heavy braking areas. In order to minimise drag and maximise top speed on the long straights, teams opt for a low downforce package at Monza, in order to minimise drag and so maximise top speed on the straights. We should see quite a bit of overtaking this weekend, but with the margins between Mercedes and Red Bull hard to call, it could come down to the extra power from the Mercedes engine.

Predictions

Podium: Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen

Fastest lap: Hamilton

First to retire: Antonio Giovinazzi

Most Team Points: Mercedes

Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: Alpine

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