F1 2018: Italian Grand Prix Preview

F1 2018: Belgian Grand Prix Preview

Ferrari will be looking to deliver the goods in front of their home crowd when the field lines up for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix on Sunday the 2nd of September.

Sebastian Vettel will be looking to further close the gap between Lewis Hamilton and himself on the Drivers' Championship standings when the F1 field takes to Monza this weekend. The German ace will have the full backing of what will be a rapturous Italian crowd.

Previous Race
The Belgian GP once again provided an incident-packed race with a crash occurring on the opening lap that ultimately led to the retirement of heavy-hitters Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.

While Raikkonen was forced to retire early in the sequence, it still proved to be a rather happy weekend for Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel claiming race honours. The German ace was followed across the line by pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, who was left to marvel at Ferrari's race speed.

The podium was rounded out by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who enjoyed his best drive at Spa thus far.

The remainder of the Top 6 featured some familiar names with Valtteri Bottas claiming fourth and Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon ensuring it was a good day for Force India as the duo claimed fifth and sixth.

Haas also enjoyed a decent time of it out in Belgium with Romain Grosjean claiming seventh and Kevin Magnussen bringing his car across the line in eighth.

The top ten was rounded out by impressive youngster Pierre Gasly who claimed ninth position and veteran Marcus Eriksson who took tenth. 

Italian Grand Prix
Sunday 2 September
Monza
20:05

To Win Outright
Sebastian Vettel 9/10
Lewis Hamilton 19/10

Kimi Raikkonen 6/1 
Valtteri Bottas 10/1 
Max Verstappen 20/1
Daniel Ricciardo 66/1

Track
Located some ten odd miles outside of Milan, the famous Autodromo Nazionale Monza awaits this field.

The circuit has gone through several redevelopments since it was opened in 1922, mainly in a bid to improve safety.

The 5.793km long track is situated in the Royal Villa of Monza park - this park has provided a fantastic backdrop for many a classic Formula one action shot.

Drivers will go head-to-head over 53 laps, which sees them cover a total of 306.729km.

 Although the track has been turned into a much more sedate beast over the years, it still has some treacherous aspects to it.

Whilst Monza holds significantly fewer corners to challenge the drivers compared to Spa, it still poses a few of the most infamous turns in F1. Parabolica, in particular, possess a threat; this 180-degree bend is famous for inducing the odd high-speed crash.

Another challenge for drivers is the Variante Ascari sequence which is a culmination of turns eight, nine and ten.

The two DRS activation zones are located on the start/finish straight and the straight between turn seven and eight.

While the weather's not looking great for Friday’s practice session, nor qualifying on Saturday, it seems conditions will be decent for Sunday’s race with mostly clear skies being predicted.

Last year’s race saw Lewis Hamilton claim both pole and win the main race. He was joined on the podium by teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull man Daniel Ricciardo, who finished in second and third respectively.

Value Bet

Fastest Lap - Kimi Raikkonen @ 4/1
I think this is great value. Ferrari have been setting some blistering lap times of late, and while Sebastian Vettel will be looking to manage his drive, his teammate is likely to be opening up the taps in a bid to claim second spot this weekend.

We all know that Kimi likes to go fast with the veteran 'Finn still holding numerous track records. I can see him claiming yet another fastest lap accolade here.

Fastest Qualifier & Race Winner - Sebastian Vettel 72/100 & 9/10
The German ace takes his car to Ferraris stomping ground this week, and, boy, will he want to deliver in front of a partisan crowd that have been forced to watch Mercedes tear this sacred circuit up over the past few years.

I could harp on about Ferrari's number one driver being in red-hot form and that's why I'm backing him, but all you need to do to realise this is a solid bet is to go and watch Lewis Hamilton's post-race interview from last week where the 'Brits suggest that Mercedes simply cannot keep up with Ferrari's straight-line speed.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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