2016 Formula One Driver Battles: Italian Grand Prix

There is no time to rest for Formula 1 as it immediately heads to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.

Still plenty of battles taking place up and down the driver standings.

Title Fight

Lewis Hamilton
F1 – Mercedes AMG – Lewis Hamilton” by Jen_ross83 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The gap between the two Mercedes drivers of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has been reduced to nine points after Rosberg’s victory on Sunday and Hamilton finishing in third.

Hamilton won last year at Monza whilst Rosberg had to retire near the end of the race due to engine issues. However Rosberg will be hoping to use his race win on Sunday to help build the same momentum which saw him claim four consecutive victories in the opening four rounds of the season.


Red Bulls and Ferraris battle for third

The Red Bull and Ferrari drivers make up the next four positions of third to sixth in the standings with Daniel Ricciardo having extended his points advantage over fourth to twenty three points.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo – Montreal – F1 – 2016” by Rob Alter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There has been a change in who occupies fourth with Sebastian Vettel having replaced his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. The gap between the two Ferrari drivers is four points, where as before it was two in Raikkonen’s favour.

Behind Raikkonen is Max Verstappen who is nine points behind the Ferrari driver. It will be important for Verstappen to get a good result in Monza this weekend to close the gap back up to the Ferrari drivers, as well as his Red Bull teammate who currently occupies third.


Seventh but also a battle for ninth

Behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris are the Williams’ and Force India’s with Valtteri Bottas in seventh only four points ahead of the Force India of Sergio Perez.

Behind Perez is his teammate, Nico Hulkenberg who has forty five points and currently lies in ninth in the standings. Hulkenberg is however only six points ahead of Felipe Massa who completes the top ten.

Force India and Williams
F1 race – Force India Perez and Hulkenberg” by JaffaPix is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Looking ahead but also behind

You could begin to include Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz in the battle for seventh as both are currently on thirty points and are only nine behind Massa. However, their immediate attention will be behind them as they are both only two points ahead of Romain Grosjean.

Although Grosjean will be hoping to get involved in the battle with Alonso and Sainz, he does have to be careful about Daniil Kvyat, who is only five points behind him in the standings.

Daniil Kvyat
F1 – Toro Rosso – Daniil Kvyat” by Jen_ross83 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Having said that, Kvyat isn’t in great form recently and could have his fourteenth place in the standings under threat from Jenson Button who is six points behind Kvyat.

The final three point scorers so far this season are Kevin Magnussen with six and then Pascal Wehrlein and Stoffel Vandoorne both with one.

Having made his debut on Sunday, Esteban Ocon joins the battle of those yet to have recorded a points finish, along with Esteban Gutierrez, Jolyon Palmer, Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

F1 Driver Standings before Italian Grand Prix
F1 Driver standings heading into the Italian Grand Prix

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