Formula 1 Heineken Gran Premio D’italia 2021 Preview

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Formula 1 Heineken Gran Premio D’italia 2021 Preview

This weekend sees Formula One travel to Monza, Italy for round 14 of the Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championships with Max Verstappen currently leading the way, just three points ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on 224.5.

Last year’s race at Monza will go down as an all-time classic, as Pierre Gasly of Alphatauri won the race from 10th on the grid, ahead of Carlos Sainz who was driving for McLaren at the time and Lance Stroll in the Racing Point-BWT Mercedes.

Notably, Gasly took the lead of the race by pitting before the safety car was deployed for Kevin Magnussen’s power unit failure which saw the Dane park his car by the side of the track, this gave the Frenchman a huge advantage which he took, whilst Hamilton was the race leader and pitted under the safety car, but, the pitlane had been closed following the safety car, meaning that both Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi took 10 second stop and go penalties. This was a rare race where neither of the Red Bull’s or Ferrari’s managed to get into the points, as Sebastien Vettel, Charles LeClerc and Verstappen all retired from the race, whilst Alex Albon finished in 15th place.

F1 2021 Italian GP RABs & Tips

skybet betting tip

VERSTAPPEN TO WIN, HAMILTON PODIUM @ 7/4

Qualifying Prediction

Qualifying for this weekend’s race at Italy will have the same format that we saw at Silverstone for the British GP, as it will take place on Friday night at 5 PM rather than its usual conventional day of Saturday. This is due to the second round of Sprint Qualifying this season, meaning that the typical qualifying session will decide the order of the grid for Saturday’s new event.

So far this season Verstappen has been in sensational form, as shown by his pace when winning his home GP at Zandvoort in the Netherlands last time out on hard tyres. This is a track that hasn’t been particularly kind to Red Bull in recent years, with their last win here being in 2013 with Vettel. The German’s two wins here for Red Bull actually means that their sister team Torro Rosso/Alphatauri have as many at this circuit due to Mercedes dominance at this circuit, winning five of the last seven races here, whilst LeClerc won the 2019 GP ahead of Hamilton.

If there is ever a year for Red Bull to break their duck at this circuit, then it is most likely this year with the pace that they have and the form of Verstappen, however, Mercedes have shown many a time that they do have the straight-line speed to match and even beat the Red Bulls, as at the likes of Azerbaijan the pace advantage down the pit straight was noticeable and this is a circuit that is based heavily on straight-line speed, so it will be very interesting to see how the Red Bulls cope with this.

Prediction: Pole Position: Hamilton. 2nd Verstappen. 3rd Bottas.

F1 2021 Italian GP RABs & Tips

skybet betting tip

BOTH MCLAREN & BOTH ALPHATAURI TO MAKE Q3 @ 9/1

Sprint Qualifying Prediction

As we saw in Britain, this format can be very exciting as it is essentially a 100km race to decide the grid order of Sunday’s race. Only the top three drivers will score World Championship points, with first being awarded three points, whilst second and third will be given two and one points.

F1’s format for this race was made to shake things up significantly on race day, as no pit stops are required in Sprint Qualifying, meaning that if there is any contact, crashes or retirements, then the race on Sunday could be severely hampered for any driver involved due to having a poor starting grid position.

In Britain, there were some stand out performers in this, as Verstappen hammered Hamilton to get pole position and an extra points advantage on the Brit the day before their huge crash at Copse. Whilst Fernando Alonso managed to move from 11th to seventh on the grid with a superb drive for Alpine. Notably, Sergio Perez found out the cons of the new format, as the Mexican tumbled down from fifth place to 20th following a spin into the gravel on lap five.

Prediction: Sprint Qualifying Pole Position: Verstappen. 2nd Hamilton. 3rd Bottas.

F1 2021 Italian GP RABs & Tips

skybet betting tip

VERSTAPPEN TO WIN, BOTH MCLAREN TOP 6, SAINZ & PEREZ POINTS @ 11/1

Race Prediction: Red Bull vs Mercedes

As shown by Verstappen’s win at Zandvoort and many other races, the battle for this year’s World Driver’s Championship between the Dutchman and Hamilton is balanced on a knifes edge, and with the Brit knowing that he could become the first driver in the history of the sport to win eight titles, he will be as determined as ever to achieve this feat before next season’s regulation changes as it could spark an era of dominance for a different team.

Red Bull will be hoping for more of the same for Verstappen and will not want a repeat of Perez’s qualifying performance, as he qualified in 16th and ended up starting from the pit lane, having been held up in the pits in the first qualifying session by other vehicles slowing down to create space in what was essentially 20 cars on just over a minute’s worth of road at the Dutch GP. Perez did, however, recover to finish in eighth place.

Hamilton will be looking to go one step further than last week having finished behind Verstappen and is now at a track that he has won at five times in his career. The Stevenage born driver will know that a win will guarantee his place at the top of the standings once again.

This week it was announced that Valtteri Bottas will depart Mercedes and the end of the season with Williams’ driver George Russell replacing him in what was one of the sports worst kept secrets. Bottas finished third last week and has been an incredibly loyal and useful teammate for Hamilton, aiding him to four of his seven world titles by consistently taking points off the likes of Verstappen and Vettel by finishing ahead of them. Mercedes have won all four Constructor’s Championships with Bottas as the second driver and the Finn will be looking to sign off the second half of the season in style by helping them deliver five in five years before he departs to Alfa Romeo as a replacement for 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Prediction: 1st Verstappen. 2nd Hamilton. 3rd Bottas.

F1 2021 Italian GP RABs & Tips

skybet betting tip

VERSTAPPEN, HAMILTON PODIUM, GASLY & LECLERC POINTS @ 2/1

Other Drivers to Lookout for

Last years winner Gasly is an obvious one to look out for in the Alphatauri, he managed a sensational fourth-place finish at Zandvoort and with this being his current team’s home GP, he will be looking to impress, as will Yuki Tsunoda who hasn’t scored points since he finished sixth in Hungary. This track should suit the Japanese driver’s race-style as it is an aggressive circuit that requires flat out racing all around.

The other home team Ferrari will want a significant improvement on last year’s double DNF and have last year’s runner-up in Sainz and the winner of the 2019 GP in LeClerc. The Prancing Horses managed fifth and seventh-placed finishes and will be looking to battle McLaren hard for third place in the Constructors Championship.

As ever, Lando Norris gets a shout out due to his outstanding season, the McLaren driver has slid down to fourth in the standing following his 10th place finish at the Netherlands which was largely down to both Williams cars red-flagging qualifying two, meaning that he was unable to get a good lap in, consequently missing Q3 for the first time this season.

Both of the Alpine’s have made noticeable moves up the grid as following Esteban Ocon’s shock win at Hungary, the Frenchman has finished seventh and ninth at tracks which the Alpine would typically struggle at in Spa and Zandvoort, although the initial race was barely a race. Meanwhile, Alonso managed an impressive sixth-place finish last time out having overtaken Sainz on the last lap of the race.

F1 2021 Italian GP RABs & Tips

skybet betting tip

BOTH MERCEDES, BOTH RED BULL, BOTH FERRARI POINTS @ 9/4

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