2020 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Preview

Straight off the back of the Belgian Grand Prix Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 all return to action this weekend at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.

Formula 3

Logan Sargeant heads into the weekend leading the championship and is seven points clear of title rival Oscar Piastri. The two did swap places in the championship briefly over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend where Piastri finished fifth in Race 1 while Sargeant finished eighth. However Sargeant recovered to claim victory in Race 2, as well as secure points for fastest lap, while Piastri finished down in sixth.

It is also incredibly close for third with half a point separating current occupant David Beckmann and Red Bull backed Liam Lawson who is fourth. You can also include Theo Pourchaire in the battle for third with the Frenchman five points behind Lawson. All three drivers secured podium finishes during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend and scored points in both races.

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A mention to Lirim Zendeli who agonisingly lost out on a maiden Formula 3 win to Bent Viscaal in a last lap thriller in the second race of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend. This was laid to rest in Belgium where Zendeli won Race 1 from pole position before going on to finish eighth in Race 2. It leaves the German seventh in the championship 18.5 points behind sixth placed Frederik Vesti and 8.5 points ahead of eighth placed Jake Hughes.

As of writing the Formula 3 Championship has four races remaining in its 2020 season, which includes this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, making it important for the likes of Sargeant, Piastri and Beckmann to get the most out of every session.

Formula 2

Robert Shwartzman heads into the Grand Prix weekend at the head of the Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship, replacing previous occupant Callum Ilott. Only ten points separate the two after Shwartzman finished fifth in the feature race and then won the sprint race in Belgium, as well as securing fastest lap points in both races. Ilott finished the Belgian feature race tenth but retired from the sprint race after being taken out by Yuki Tsunoda.

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Tsunoda is third in the championship having claimed pole position and then going on to win the feature race in Belgium. He is 11 points behind Ilott, 21 behind Shwartzman and five points ahead of fourth placed Mick Schumacher.

Schumacher heads to Monza off the back of securing a double podium finish in Belgium. It is the second time he has achieved this in 2020 with the other being during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. As mentioned it leaves him five points behind Tsuonda and five ahead of fifth placed Nikita Mazepin.

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A note on the 2020 Formula 2 schedule which has been extended slightly after the addition of two races in Bahrain. It means there are still ten races to be contested this season, including this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton goes into the eighth round of the 2020 season with a 47 point advantage over nearest rival Max Verstappen.

It is closer in the battle over second between Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas with three points separating the two ahead of this weekend. The momentum may have swung in Bottas’ favour as the Belgian Grand Prix was the first time the Finn had finished ahead of Verstappen since the Styrian Grand Prix, the second round of the season.

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It is also incredibly close in the battle for fourth in the championship. The position is currently taken by Alexander Albon who is three points ahead of nearest challenger Charles Leclerc. They aren’t the only two in contention as level on points with Leclerc is Lando Norris while three points behind Norris and Leclerc, and six behind Albon, is Lance Stroll.

Albon, Norris and Stroll all finished inside the points in Belgium while Leclerc struggled to fourteenth. It could be another difficult weekend for Leclerc giving Albon an opportunity to increase his points advantage over the Monegasque driver, while also allowing Norris and Stroll the chance to jump ahead of Leclerc in the championship.

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A team to watch out for in Italy is Renault who impressed in Belgium with a 4-5 finish with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Esteban Ocon. The French team achieved exactly the same result in last season’s Italian Grand Prix. Renault will want another big points haul this weekend as they are locked in a very close battle with McLaren, Racing Point and Ferrari for third in the Constructors’ Championship as 9 points cover the four teams.

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