Formula 1 specialist Ben Issatt(@BenIssatt) previews the upcoming Italian Grand Prix and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s race.
- 2019 Profit/Loss: +2.25pts
2019 Italian Grand Prix Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 01/09
- Time: 14:10pm BST
- Venue: Monza, Italy
- Channel: Sky Sports F1
Following an epic duel in Belgium, battle lines are drawn again between Ferrari and Mercedes ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
A week ago, Charles Leclerc held off Lewis Hamilton to take his maiden Formula 1 win, and already the Monegasque could be on the brink of scoring number two.
On Saturday, he delighted Ferrari fans at Monza by taking pole in qualifying but now faces a big task to keep Hamilton and Mercedes at bay in the race.
Why is the Italian team so fast once again? Well, much like Spa, Monza is all about power with four long straights where the cars reach over 200mph.
And with only 10 genuine corners, seven of which form chicanes, that means the focus is purely on top speed with low downforce and a strong engine the main requirements.
As a result, it plays perfectly to the strengths of Ferrari with Leclerc the man to capitalise.
Mercedes though have dominated at the ‘Temple of Speed’ since 2014, winning every year with Hamilton himself only beaten once.
His victory last year saw a similar scenario too, with Kimi Raikkonen taking pole only for the Briton to overhaul him in the race.
Meanwhile, the home team has to go back to 2010 for their last success at Monza with Spanish driver Fernando Alonso.
Adding more spice to an already tantalising race, Sunday could see just the fifth wet race Italian GP, which has featured in F1 every year since 1950.
As a result, there’s plenty of tempting bets for you to consider.
Key Stats & Facts
- Kimi Raikkonen averaged 163.7mph en route to pole in 2018, F1’s fastest ever lap
- Sebastian Vettel won the last wet Italian GP in 2008 for Toro Rosso.
- Ferrari (19) and Mercedes (11) are the two most successful teams in Italian GP history.
- Charles Leclerc – 13/10 (UniBet)
- Lewis Hamilton – 13/8 (Betway)
- Sebastian Vettel – 7/1 (Ladbrokes)
- Valtteri Bottas – 14/1 (Bet365)
- Max Verstappen 40/1 (Coral)
Sunday is all about the weather and if the rain – currently forecast until lunchtime – does stay for the race.
In practice on Friday, Leclerc was solid in wet conditions but it's doubtful if Ferrari’s power advantage would keep him ahead of Mercedes.
Particularly given Hamilton's immense skill in the rain, which would make him the strong favourite but it all depends on how conditions develop during the race.
Sebastian Vettel can’t be ruled out either as he has been more competitive compared to Spa, but I don’t think he has the pace to challenge Leclerc and Hamilton, though a solid podium (11/17 Boylesports) is a very strong possibility.
A key driver to follow is Max Verstappen as he makes his way through from the back of the grid due to engine-related penalties.
His Red Bull has been flying at Monza meaning a top-six finish (5/18 SportingBet) is the minimum goal but a podium (7/1 Unibet), even in the wet, is perhaps a little too ambitious.
One team enjoying the focus on top speed is Renault as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg start fifth and sixth.
Their performance in the race though may well be weather-dependent but it if is drier, then one car in the top-six (Ricciardo 3/1 Boylesports) is certainly pretty likely
Lance Stroll enjoyed his best qualifying of the season in ninth for Racing Point, and he is a dark horse to watch on Sunday to lead the midfield (Top 6 – 7/1 BetFair) if the rain does stay.
His teammate Sergio Perez faces a tougher challenge coming through from P15 but is certainly very capable of making progress through the field.
Finally, a team that hasn’t featured so highly at Monza is McLaren, with Lando Norris among those taking engine penalties though Carlos Sainz does start from seventh.
Having been the top midfield team for much of the year, they remain a team to watch and, if it’s wet, that could open the door for Briton to target joining his teammate with another points finish (13/10 SportingBet).