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PREVIEW: Ferrari’s 2022 F1 dominance to continue on home turf?

Ferrari will be looking to build on their stellar start to the season when the F1 field hits the country of the Prancing Stag’s birth this coming weekend.

F1 Field
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Ferrari will be looking to build on their stellar start to the season when the F1 field hits the country of the Prancing Stag's birth this coming weekend.

F1 preview

Will the sounds of ‘Forza Ferrari’ ring through the Italian afternoon air or will Red Bull or Mercedes – both of whom are already playing catch up – spoil the homecoming?

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Sunday 24 April
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

To Win Race Outright

Charles LeClerc 21/20
Max Verstappen 19/10|
Carlos Sainz 7/1
Lewis Hamilton 12/1
Sergio Perez 14/1
George Russell 33/1

Previous Race

Charles LeClerc put in a solid shift in a race that saw the safety car feature heavily to claim top spot in Australia. The Ferrari ace was under pressure from Max Verstappen during the early salvos of the race but would have a far easier time of it near the tail end as Verstappen was forced to retire with yet another engine issue.

With Verstappen out of the running, Sergio Perez was left to pick up the pieces for Red Bull as he claimed second spot. It was then a dice between the twin Mercedes for third spot but a smart pit for George Russel ultimately gave him the podium place as he crossed the line just in front of his teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

After the Mercedes came the McLarens who finished well off the pace of the Top 4 but still took valuable Constructors’ points with Lando Norris taking fifth and the hometown hero Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line in sixth to rapturous cheers from a well-lubricated Melbourne crowd. The duo were followed by Carlos Sainz who finished seventh.

Former Mercedes man Valterri Bottas took full advantage of a late lock-up from Pierre Gasly who he overtook to claim eighth with Gasly forced to settle for ninth.
The final points-scoring position went to Alexander Albon, who claimed Williams’ first point for the season.

Track

Situated in Imola, Italy the Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari is a venue steeped in history. The track hosted its first race back in 1980 and ran all the way to 2006 before being dumped from the calendar.

The track was one of the most dangerous on the F1 circuit for many years and sadly claimed the life of Aryton Senna back in 1994. A lot of work has gone into taming this snarling beast over the years, however, but it’s still a real challenge and can wreak a bit of havoc as was evident in 2020 with Max Verstappen forced to retire after spinning off the track and new Mercedes boy George Russel involved in a crash.

Last year provided more thrills and spills as Fernando Alonso crashed into a wall during the formation lap while there were several further incidents causing three drivers to retire due to collisions. Away from the madness, Max Verstappen took race honours while Lewis Hamilton claimed second spot and Lando Norris took third.

In terms of the weather for the weekend, there’s loads of rain floating around at the moment so we may be in for another eventful race.

Value Bet – Norris to finish on the podium @ 9/1

The value bet came sailing in down under with George Russel claiming a podium spot netting healthy returns.

I’m going to look for another healthy price here and back Lando Norris to come good. The McLarens have been making steady progress during the early salvos of the season and Norris managed a fifth-place finish out in Australia. He also has a solid record at the Emila Romagna claiming third last year.

To Win Race Outright – Max Verstappen @ 19/10

Max Verstappen is my pick again here. Yes, he has retired from two of the three races staged this year but they have both been due to mechanical issues that Red Bull have had time to address. The Dutchman had a great drive at this venue last year and I can see him making it back to back wins here. 

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