Max Verstappen stormed to the top of Formula One’s championship on home turf but Lewis Hamilton is tipped to bounce back in our Italian Grand Prix predictions.
The Red Bull driver ultimately raced to a comprehensive triumph in the Dutch Grand Prix but Mercedes did not do their main man any favours.
They were slow putting on Hamilton’s right-front tyre in his opening stop and he was called in for a second change too early in the Briton’s opinion – emerging in traffic and scuppering any hope of undercutting his rival.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said: “P2 and P3 is a solid result and good points for us, so now we look to Monza.
“I’m sure it’s going to be another close weekend and an exciting fight. It’s a very different track and so we could see a bit of a different story. Let’s see how it goes.”
Seven-time world champion Hamilton will be keen to make a statement after it was confirmed that George Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas as his teammate next season.
A 100th race win and a record sixth success at this event would certainly do just that.
The crucial advantage for Hamilton could come in qualifying and the returning F1 Sprint format, at a track where he has seven poles to his name.
Verstappen has generally failed to sparkle in this sphere at the ‘Temple of Speed’, so Evens for Hamilton to win the sprint qualifying section is added to our Italian Grand Prix betting tips.
How the Dutch Grand Prix finished
1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Hamilton (Mercedes), 3 Bottas (Mercedes), 4 Gasly (Alphatauri), 5 Leclerc (Ferrari), 6 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 7 Sainz (Ferrari), 8 Perez (Red Bull), 9 Ocon (Alpine Renault), 10 Norris (McLaren), 11 Ricciardo (McLaren), 12 Stroll (Aston Martin), 13 Vettel (Aston Martin), 14 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 15 Kubica (Alfa Romeo), 16 Latifi (Williams), 17 Russell (Williams), 18 Schumacher (Haas), DNF Tsunoda (Alphatauri), Mazepin (Haas)
Those who prefer to seek value amongst the lively longshots will have noted that the last two race winners at Monza were Pierre Gasly for Alphatauri and Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.
The last-named team have actually had four podiums here in the past five years but the vibes are that they will not be suited by conditions this term.
McLaren were below par at Zandvoort but Lando Norris is hoping to get back to the form which saw him post positions of 4-3-5-8-3-5-5-5-3-4 in the first 10 races.
He said: “Just altogether we’ve struggled as a team this weekend, and how we’ve had to drive the car is a bit abnormal and not as liked by me.
“But everyone has that kind of weekend, so I’m hoping it’s our only one and we can bounce back stronger in Monza.”
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo has performed consistently well at this circuit in the past and 11/10 for McLaren to have the winning car without Mercedes or Red Bull completes our Italian Grand Prix predictions.
Past Italian Grand Prix winners
2020 Gasly (Alphatauri), Sainz (McLaren), Stroll (Racing Point)
2019 Leclerc (Ferrari), Bottas (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes)
2018 Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari), Bottas (Mercedes)
2017 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2016 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2015 Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari), Massa (Williams)
2014 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg (Mercedes), Massa (Williams)
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