Lewis Hamilton’s position at the top of the Drivers’ Championship became a little less comfortable in Belgium last week as Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel finally made good on having the quickest car on the grid.
Now, the Mercedes driver must try to fend off the German in front of a highly-partisan Monza crowd, who are desperate to see the Scuderia reign supreme on Italian soil once more after an eight-year wait.
Vettel to win the Italian Grand Prix @ 5/6
The German heads to Ferrari’s home race hoping the momentum in the title fight has finally swung back in his favour after finishing 11 seconds clear of Hamilton last week. The former Red Bull man is now 1/1 to overtake his rival and clinch a fifth championship, while Hamilton is 5/7 to hang on to top spot.
Vettel will expect to consolidate his win at Spa with his fourth career victory at Monza given the similarities the two tracks share.
Drivers are at full throttle for 76 per cent of a lap as they go round ‘La Pista Magica’ and the superior power of Ferrari should give them a comfortable buffer to Mercedes, who have been the dominant force at this circuit since the start of the V6 hybrid era.
The Silver Arrows have won the last four races, Hamilton coming out on top in three of those. Given his excellent record at Monza, it is therefore a surprise to see the Brit at 37/20 to finish atop the podium this weekend.
Hamilton could be worth looking at incase anything goes wrong with Vettel, who has had his fair share of technical issues and team strategy errors this season.
However, should all go to plan then it should be a memorable day for the ‘tifoso’ after such a long wait for a home winner.
Hamilton fastest qualifier @ 43/20
While it looks unlikely Hamilton will be stood above the fans celebrating a win on Sunday, the reigning world champion could enjoy some success in qualifying on Saturday as he seeks a fifth successive pole position in Italy.
Despite Ferrari having the faster car, Mercedes have proven that over one lap they can be a match for Vettel and co.
Hamilton has started on pole in four of the last six races, while he was on the front row in Austria having been bumped into second by team mate Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn is 8/1 to secure pole position and is certainly worth keeping an eye on this weekend having never qualified or finished lower than sixth at Monza during his Formula 1 career.
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