Formula 1

F1 roadshow arrives in Italy

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After the historic turns of Spa-Francorchamps, the F1 community is descending on Milan and the formidable Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.

The oldest race on the F1 calendar, the Italian GP is the most passionate race of the season as the Ferrari fans make their annual pilgrimage to the fastest circuit on the schedule.

Monza is all about speed, the cars reach speeds of over 200mph (320kph) four times in a single lap with only a series of chicanes a right handers dissecting the long straights, the average speed for an F1 car around this track is nearly 160mph (260kph).

Looking ahead to this weekend's edition it looks set to be another battle between Red Bull and Mercedes.

Usually with top speed more important that aerodynamics, Monza is one of Red Bull's weaker tracks with the Renault engine one of the least powerful on the grid and the Adrian Newey designed cars often create the most downforce.

In comparison, Mercedes are known for having the most powerful engines on the grid and therefore the highest top speeds.

The Tifosi will be cheering on Ferrari as usual though their chances of a home win do seem quite small. They have been the third fastest team on the grid at the moment, though quite a few tenths off the leading pace in qualifying.

The Maranello-based team normally relies on strategy and tyre conservation to close that gap in the race, but because of the low downforce set-ups the cars have degradation at Monza is often the lowest it will be all season.

That will also affect Lotus who have the same Renault engines as the Red Bull's and with the low degradation expected it negates the advantage they gain from being easier on the tyres.

I spoke with Pirelli's head of motorsport Paul Hembery last week and he expects a conventional two-stop race with the Italian supplier bringing the medium and hard compound to Monza to deal with the high speeds.

In the midfield Toro Rosso famously won this race back in 2008 with Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel and they always go well at their home race so expect a strong showing from Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne this weekend.

McLaren and Force India will be relying on their Mercedes power to boost their chances with Force India in-particular always strong on low downforce tracks.

Sauber and Williams will have their own private battle just behind the front three midfield teams with Caterham and Marussia also continuing their private battle for the final four positions.

As for my prediction as to who will win, I think Mercedes will shake-off the disappointment from Belgium and claim another win in Italy. I believe Lewis Hamilton will be that man to take the chequered flag with Vettel second, with Fernando Alonso taking third.

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Formula 1

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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