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After a dark weekend for Formula One in Belgium, with the tragic loss of rising F2 star Anthoine Hubert in a racing crash, the sport moves quickly onto its cathedral at the Monza circuit in Italy. Join The Roar for a live blog of the Italian Grand Prix, starting from 11:10pm AEST.
One of the fastest races on the calendar, the Italian Grand Prix is one that breaths history through Formula One and racing in general. The 5.7km circuit may be a shadow of its banked former self, though still is one of the fastest.
The 53 laps often go by in a flash, provided conditions being good. The emphasis on straight-line speeds over a car’s chassis and downforce, makes this race all about the horsepower and that is where Ferrari have the advantage in 2019.
Having not won their home grand prix since 2010, the Scuderia arrive in front of their Tifosi with their best chance to win and given the form shown by an emotional Charles Leclerc at Spa last weekend – the 21-year-old must be the favourite.
Sebastian Vettel is now twelve months without a win in Formula One, though having been consigned to play second fiddle to Leclerc in Belgium, does the German have a chance to win a fourth Italian Grand Prix?
Mercedes arrived as the underdogs to Monza in 2018 also, though their execution proved better than Ferrari’s to achieve a dominant one-two finish, allowing Lewis Hamilton his fifth Monza win to tie Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.
Hamilton could achieve a unique feat this weekend if he wins, becoming only the second driver after Juan Manuel Fangio to complete a hat-trick of wins at Monza – which the famous Argentine did between 1953 and 1955.
Leclerc took his second consecutive pole during farcical scenes where seven of the ten cars during Q3 were unable to set another lap time, including both Mercedes cars which still qualified second and third – as well as Vettel who was fourth.
Both Renaults in the top six, the midfield battle will be an interesting one especially with the Red Bulls out of position and the benchmark McLarens behind too/
With overtaking opportunities aplenty at Monza, expect a charge from the back of the grid from Max Verstappen, who has taken penalties for switching to an upgraded spec of Honda power-unit aboard his Red Bull.
Can the Scuderia go back-to-back this weekend and the same for Leclerc? Tune in on The Roar from 11:10pm AEST for live blog coverage of the Italian Grand Prix.