A week after the orange insanity of the Dutch Grand Prix, we’re off to Monza for a more traditional Formula 1 race.
Last week’s win in front of a sea of orange-clad Dutch fans has given Max Verstappen his second win in a row.
But now it’s Monza, a circuit where he’s never made the podium and where his Red Bull team hasn’t won since 2013.
On the flip side, Lewis Hamilton has won here five times, although the last time he did was back in 2018.
The last two Italian Grand Prix have been won by Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc, with last year’s race throwing up the unlikely podium of Gasly, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll.
Keep in mind, this is the second race with Sprint Qualifying, so anything can happen in the leadup.
Verstappen has won two races in a row, but it’s hard to back him on a track where he’s had so little success. This is a fast track, more suited to Mercedes, but like most weeks, this bet is a coin flip.
Verstappen finished first in the last sprint qualifying race at Silverstone, only to be controversially run off the track by Hamilton. Verstappen and the Red Bull are in a good rhythm right now, so despite his lack of luck at Monza, this could be the year he breaks through.
Leclerc had a strong showing last week, finishing 5th and he did win the Italian Grand Prix two years ago. Valtteri Bottas is probably more likely to end up on the podium but Leclerc is better value.
Both McLarens had dreadful performances at Zandvoort and while Ricciardo has never been on the podium here, he’s finished in the Top 6 four of the last five years, with the exception a DNF in 2018.