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Formula 1 • 2021 Italian Grand Prix Preview • Mostly F1

Formula 1 • 2021 Italian Grand Prix Preview • Mostly F1, F1 Daily

A second attempt at Sprint Qualifying – will it bring more drama?

The Burning Questions

How will the Sprint Qualifying format play out this time around?

Will Mercedes dominate on a power-sensitive track?

Will we get the usual Monza shenanigans in the regular qualifying session on Friday?

The Track

THE STATS

  • Track Length: 5.793 km
  • Laps: 53
  • Race Distance: 306.720 km
  • Maximum Speed: 341 km/h
  • Lap Time at Full Throttle: 78%
  • First Grand Prix: 1950
  • Race Lap Record: Rubens Barrichello | Ferrari | 2004 | 1:21.046
  • Outright Lap Record: n/a
  • Most Driver Wins: Lewis Hamilton/Michael Schumacher | 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018/1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006
  • Most Constructor Wins: Ferrari | 1951, 1952, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1979, 1988, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

The Trivia

  • In the past 18 races here, the 2009 and 2020 Italian Grands Prix are the only times that the polesitter has failed to finish in the top two – both times, it was Lewis Hamilton
  • Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina won the first ever Drivers’ Championship at the track in 1950 and remains the only driver to have won the title on home soil.
  • At the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton set the fastest ever lap in an F1 car, with an average speed on his pole lap of 264.363 km/h
  • The closest finish to a Formula 1 race came at Monza in 1971, with Peter Gethin crossing the line just 0.01 seconds ahead of Ronnie Peterson and the top covered by just six tenths
  • The 1988 Italian Grand Prix was the only race of the season which McLaren failed to win

The Weather

The Quotes

George Russell | “Naturally I believe myself and I have high aspirations, but equally I know how tough it’s going to be. Lewis is a seven-time champion for a reason, and I’m probably in one of the most fortunate positions on the grid to learn from him.”

Lewis Hamilton | “New fresh blood in our team is going to be great because obviously I’m the oldie there. That definitely will energise the whole team knowing that they have a new youngster coming through who is super hungry, driven and he pushing the team forwards. I just know he’s going to continue to get stronger, even in these next nine races, and next year he’ll be bringing the heat for sure.”

Charles Leclerc | “George is very talented and he’ll be next to one of the best in the history of this sport so he doesn’t have much to lose, which is a good position to be in. He can just give it everything and show his talent.”

Valtteri Bottas | “It’s something new, something exciting for me, and it’s a bit of a project. There’s going to be work to do but I will give all my expertise to try and improve them. Realistically, to fight for wins next year, is going to be unlikely, but you never know.”

The Friday Form

Practice 1 Top 5

1 | Lewis Hamilton | 1:20.926 | 28 Laps
2 | Max Verstappen | 1:21.378 | 22 Laps
3 | Valtteri Bottas | 1:21.451 | 29 Laps
4 | Lance Stroll | 1:21.676 | 23 Laps
5 | Pierre Gasly | 1:21.719 | 28 Laps

Lewis Hamilton topped the only practice session before qualifying on Friday morning, as the Mercedes gave the impression that they are the class of the field on this track.

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas’s times were set on the medium tyre, whilst title rival Max Verstappen set his on the theoretically faster soft.

The McLarens also looked fast, with two medium-tyre laps that would have left them second and third if they had not been deleted for track-limits violations.

Of course, as ever, the engines will be turned up to 100% when it counts and everything could change, but we look set for a fascinating weekend.

The Photos

The Predictions

Podium

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Pole Position

Fastest Lap

Driver of the Day

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