2021 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Preview

This weekend will see Formula 1 complete its triple header of races, since returning from its summer break, at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. The race weekend will also see the return of the Sprint Qualifying format as well as Formula 2, the series having last been in action back in July for the British Grand Prix.

In Formula 2 Oscar Piastri heads into the race weekend at the top of the championship, five points ahead of second placed Guanyu Zhou. The Australian having finished inside the points in all three races at Silverstone while Zhou failed to score points in the first and second race, before then going on to claim victory in the feature race.

Completing the top three in the standings is Robert Shwartzman who is 12 points behind Zhou and two points ahead of fourth placed Dan Ticktum. Shwartzman won the first sprint race at Silverstone, his second race victory of the season, while Ticktum finished inside the points in all three races which included two podium finishes.

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The other race victor at Silverstone was Richard Verschoor who claimed victory in the second sprint race, having finished outside the points in tenth in the first sprint race before then completing his Silverstone race weekend by finishing fourth in the feature race. The Dutchman heads to Monza tenth in the driver standings, six points behind Jehan Daruvala and 14 points ahead of eleventh placed Ralph Boschung.

A quick note to mention that Enzo Fittipaldi will be making his debut in Formula 2 this weekend, replacing David Beckmann at Charouz Racing System. Beckmann is placed thirteenth in the championship having claimed a best finish of second, which the German achieved in the second sprint race at Baku. Fittipaldi had been competing in Formula 3 this season, the Brazilian’s best finish being second place which he achieved in the second race during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Elsewhere Briton’s Jake Hughes will make a return to Formula 2 as he replaces Jack Aitken at HWA Racelab for this weekend. This is due to Aitken still recovering from his Spa 24 Hours accident. While at Campos Racing Matteo Nannini will be replaced by David Beckmann.

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In Formula 1 Max Verstappen heads to Monza in the lead of the drivers’ championship. The Dutchman has a three point advantage over Lewis Hamilton. This is after Verstappen won his home race at Zandvoort last weekend while Hamilton had to settle for second, but claimed the point for the fastest lap.

Completing the top three in the standings is Valtteri Bottas, the Finn having finished third last time out. He is 98.5 points behind second placed Hamilton and has a nine point gap to fourth placed Lando Norris.

Sergio Perez is fifth in the driver standings and was impressive as he worked his way from a pit lane start to finish eighth at Zandvoort. The Mexican is six points behind Norris, who finished tenth last weekend, and is 15 points behind Bottas heading to Monza.

Behind Perez is Charles Leclerc, 16 points separating the two. It was a strong race for Leclerc at Zandvoort with the Monegasque driver finishing fifth. It means he has a two and a half point advantage over teammate Carlos Sainz, who is seventh in the standings. The Spaniard has a 23.5 point gap to Pierre Gasly who won last season’s Italian Grand Prix, and goes to Monza off the back of a fourth place finish at Zandvoort.

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In the constructors’ championship Mercedes continues to lead Red Bull with the gap between the two at 12 points heading into the Italian Grand Prix weekend. This is after the latter claimed a 2-3 finish in Zandvoort while Red Bull finished the Dutch Grand Prix weekend with a 1-8 finish.

There is then a 151 point gap between Red Bull and third placed Scuderia Ferrari. The Italian team’s nearest challenger is Mclaren who are fourth, 11.5 points separating the two. This is after Ferrari managed to get both cars well into the points with a 5-7 finish, compared to McLaren who only managed to get Norris inside the top ten, in tenth.

McLaren have an 80 point advantage over fifth placed Alpine who head to Monza six points in front of AlphaTauri. There is then a 31 point gap between the Faenza based team and seventh placed Aston Martin.

The Silverstone based team are closer to AlphaTauri than they are to eighth placed Williams, with 33 points separating Aston Martin and the Grove based team.

Despite a strong qualifying from Antonio Giovinazzi at the Dutch Grand Prix, the gap between Alfa Romeo and Williams remains at 17 points with the former retaining a three point gap over last placed Haas.

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