It’s time to visit the ‘Temple of Speed’ once more this weekend, as Round 14 of the Formula 1 season moves to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.
Completing three successive race weekends across Europe, Max Verstappen again leads the World Drivers’ Championship albeit by just three points following wins on home turf at both Spa and Zandvoort, looking to make it a triple of wins in Italy.
For the first race weekend in some time however, the Dutchman is not favourite to take the chequered flag in Lombardy, with Lewis Hamilton marginally the bookies’ choice for his first win in three, at 11/10 with Betfred or boosted to the same price with SkyBet. Verstappen is yet to win at Monza in comparison with Hamilton’s five victories, and perhaps, his 6/5 odds with Betfair, PaddyPower and William Hill reflect this.
Before the race proper however, F1 Sprint qualifying returns to the weekend’s agenda, with Friday classification followed by sprint the day after to determine the grid. Having made its debut at Silverstone earlier this summer, it was Verstappen who took P1 in Britain, but again here, Hamilton is still considered the slight favourite to secure only his fourth pole of the season over his rival. Whilst Hamilton remains 6/5, Verstappen is holding firm at 6/4, both with Betfair and PaddyPower.
With three separate segments to the weekend, eyes could also turn to the hat-trick market – that being the winning triple of wins in quali, sprint and the race itself. For Verstappen to be your pick here, SkyBet have another boost on offer at 7/1 that is well worth a ponder.
Away from the track, the big news in the paddock has been the continuation of the F1 merry-go-round ahead of next season, with George Russell now confirmed to join Mercedes for next year. With Williams having named Alex Albon to fill the Briton’s seat, will Russell now be looking to offer hints to his new boss Toto Wolff of what to expect next term? Sprint could increase the King’s Lynn driver’s chances of making an impression this weekend and to finish in the points, Russell is 2/1 with BetVictor and Betfred.
Pierre Gasly’s sensational maiden win in F1 for Ferrari’s sister team AlphaTauri last season remains the talk of this particular region in northern Italy, but could the Frenchman get anywhere near the podium alone this weekend? Gasly came home fourth last weekend, holding steady from Q3, and to make the top-six once more in Italy is 13/8, again with BetVictor.
For Scuderia themselves meanwhile, it would not be an Italian GP without the tifosi and a large helping of rosso, and The Prancing Horse may yet move into a gallop. Charles Leclerc looks probably the best bet to do so having won here with Ferrari two years ago, however, Carlos Sainz Jr. finished runner-up with McLaren last term. How about a Ferrari top-six double then? SkyBet will accommodate at 11/8.