Italian Grand Prix

2019 Italian Grand Prix Preview

charles leclerc

Charles Leclerc

Just one week after Charles Leclerc notched his first Grand Prix success in Belgium, Formula One fans will be focusing on the world-renowned Italian event at Monza. Leclerc’s success hasn’t really hindered Lewis Hamilton’s standing at the top of the world title race but Ferrari will be full of confidence ahead of their home Grand Prix race.

That triumph at Spa marked Ferrari’s first victory of 2018 and fans of the Italian team will be dreaming of a memorable Monza success this weekend. Hamilton is well on his way to title number six, with the British driver 65 points clearest of closest rival and teammate Valtteri Bottas in the World Championship standings. It would be fair to say that Hamilton has one hand on the title…

With eight Grand Prix races remaining, Hamilton has a strong grip on the Formula One world title. However, he cannot afford to take his foot off the gas – a win for Bottas this weekend will see the Finnish driver reduce the deficit. Some believe that Hamilton will go down as the greatest name in motorsport but he is still some way off that status yet.

Hamilton has won four of the last five Italian Grand Prix events and the Mercedes man will be quietly confident of emerging victorious on Sunday afternoon. Ahead of the 2019 event, he is level with Michael Schumacher on five race wins apiece. Victory this weekend will see Hamilton become the outright most successful driver in Italian Grand Prix history.

In theory, the Monza circuit suits the Mercedes car down to the ground. The German giants have won the last six editions of the Italian Grand Prix and Hamilton is priced up at a very appealing price this weekend. The 2/1 with Betway offers incredible value considering his dominance in the first half of the 2019 Formula One campaign.

A win for Hamilton will cement his status as the top of the world title race. Falling short is not an option for the British driver as he tries to move one step closer to Schumacher’s tally of seven world titles. Grand Prix win number 82 will certainly do his world title chances no harm whatsoever – expect the Mercedes man to go close in his pursuit of glory.

Bottas will be waiting in the wings to pip Hamilton to top spot if Mercedes are firing on all cylinders this weekend. Their record in this race in recent years has been faultless and it could be Bottas’ turn to celebrate at the top of the podium. 2019 hasn’t exactly gone to plan for the Finnish star this year but he could be primed for a big second half of the season.

Punters can back Bottas at 10/1 with Betfred and that looks a huge price on paper. Given Mercedes’ record at the Italian Grand Prix in recent years, Bottas could find himself right in contention during Sunday’s race and he is a dark horse to pip Hamilton and the two Ferrari drivers to victory. Write Bottas off at your peril, he won’t mind being the underdog.

Following his win at Belgium, Leclerc has been priced up as the early market leader to win the Italian Grand Prix. Betfred punters can back the Ferrari man at 6/4 to finish top of the podium for the second race in a row and that could turn out to be a huge price. At just 21 years old, Leclerc looks destined to enjoy a long and successful career in the sport…

Leclerc has finished in front of teammate Sebastian Vettel in five of the 13 races so far this year and Ferrari could begin to prioritise Leclerc for the rest of the season. Destined to win the World Championship at some stage in his career, Leclerc is on the rise and Ferrari will be hoping that he can continue to make a major impression on the Formula One universe.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel has had a few things go wrong for him in 2019 but he could be about to turn a corner at the opportune moment. The German, a four-time Formula One world champion in his own right, has had to share the spotlight with Leclerc this campaign and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Vettel send out a statement of intent at Monza.

Putting on a scintillating display at Ferrari’s home event would only endear himself further to their passionate fans. Vettel has won the Italian Grand Prix on three separate occasions but he is yet to taste Monza victory as a member of Ferrari. The 3/1 available with 888sport offers excellent value considering the team’s solid performance last time out.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Italian Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the Formula One season. Monza has been Mercedes’ playground in recent years but Ferrari are the most successful team in the history of the race and we could see a 20th victory for the Italian team this weekend. Watch this space, Leclerc and Vettel will be in it to win it.

Bottas is well priced at 5/6 for a podium finish this weekend and that could well be the safest bet of the race He is ranked a clear fourth with most bookmakers but the Mercedes man is one of the most consistent drivers in the sport and he rarely finishes outside the podium places. With so much hype surrounding Ferrari as per usual at Monza, Bottas could be the surprise package this weekend.

The Italian Grand Prix means more to Ferrari than it does to other teams and punters will be expecting Leclerc and Vettel to go close in their pursuit of glory. Buoyed by last week’s win in Belgium, Leclerc can double his Grand Prix career victories this weekend. Expect a pretty big party at Monza if one of the Ferrari stars comes out on top.

RACE WINNER: Charles Leclerc (6/4 with Betfred)

PODIUM FINISH: Valtteri Bottas (5/6 with Ladbrokes)

About Italian GP

History

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

The fifth oldest Grand Prix in Formula One, the inaugural Italian event took place in 1921. In 2013, it became the most held Grand Prix event in the sport – the 2019 edition will be the 89th edition of the Italian race. To this day, it is one of just two Grand Prix races to feature on every World Championship calendar since its introduction in 1950.

Since 1950, the Italian Grand Prix has been held at Monza with the exception of the 1980 race. Instead, that Formula One event took place at Imola – Monza was undergoing major refurbishment at the time. It would be fair to suggest that the Italian Grand Prix has hosted some of Formula One’s most famous races and it is worthy of its world-renowned status.

According to the official F1 website, over 185,000 fans attended the 2017 Italian Grand Prix and that figure stands as a record attendance in the sport. Will that tally be topped in 2019? With so much history and heritage surrounding Monza and the Italian Grand Prix, viewing numbers could come close to that staggering total.

Winners

Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are level on five Italian Grand Prix victories apiece and the Mercedes driver could add to his tally this weekend. Hamilton is clear at the top of the Formula One World Championship and a third successive win at Monza will enhance his status as the best driver in the business.

Monza has been a kind track to Hamilton throughout his Formula One career, with four wins in the last five years. Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg won the race in 2016, which means the German giants are chasing a sixth Italian Grand Prix triumph in a row. You won’t find too many punters backing against Mercedes here…

However, the romantics will be hoping for a Ferrari win. With 19 Grand Prix successes at the track, Ferrari have dominated at their home event but their last success came back in 2010. Expect a raucous atmosphere at Monza on Sunday afternoon if Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc can spring a shock by securing top spot on the podium.

Fastest Lap

2018 was an incredibly fast year at Monza. In qualifying ahead of last year’s Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen blew his rivals out of the water with a rapid 1:19:119 lap to clinch pole position. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if a similar time is fast enough to secure first place on the grid this weekend as well.

As previously mentioned, Hamilton has an excellent record at Monza and he set the fastest lap en route to victory at the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. The British driver flashed round the circuit in 1:22:497 to record the quickest ever lap in the race. Hamilton went on to finish over eight seconds clear of his closest rival and that lap certainly helped boost his chances of victory on that day.

Interesting Facts

italian grand prix

Italian Grand Prix Circuit

Starting the race on pole is pretty important at Monza. The polesitter has failed to finish in the top two just once in the last 16 Italian Grand Prix races – Hamilton crashed out of the race on the final lap back in 2009.

At just 21 years old, Sebastian Vettel is the youngest ever winner of the Italian Grand Prix. At the time, the four-time world champion was driving for Toro Rosso and his triumph at Monza in 2008 sent shockwaves across the motorsport world. It was a special performance from a special driver.

Due to the high-speed nature of the circuit, the Italian Grand Prix is usually the shortest race on the calendar. The 2003 race was completed in just over 74 minutes, which remains the fastest time to complete a full Formula One event. Expect blistering speeds and high-octane action again in 2019.

Last but not least – does winning the Italian Grand Prix give you a better chance of winning the World Championship? In theory, no. But the last six winners at Monza have gone on to lift the drivers’ title at the end of the season. Watch this space, victory for Hamilton could mean that world title number six is on the cards.

The Future

Organisers of the Italian Grand Prix confirmed earlier this year that the event will continue to take place at Monza until 2024. The agreement in principle went down well with Formula One fans around the world and it looks like Monza has a bright and successful future ahead in the sport.

The 70th edition of the Italian Grand Prix could be one of the best yet. With so much hype surrounding the Monza weekend, Formula One supporters will be keeping a close eye on all of the drama from first practice on Friday to the raising of the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon.