Can Ferrari give the Tifosi something to celebrate?
Ferrari head into their home event at Monza on the backfoot following a disappointing Dutch Grand Prix.
While Carlos Sainz came away from Zandvoort with a respectable fifth-place, it didn’t tell the whole story as a number of teams (McLaren and Mercedes) failed to capitalise on their pace advantage.
Sainz made a startling admission after the Dutch GP that Ferrari had the sixth-fastest car, even slipping behind Alpine as Pierre Gasly finished on the podium.
It’s highly unlikely that Ferrari will be as slow at Monza, given that Charles Leclerc was able to finish third at Spa before the summer break – another low downforce track.
Red Bull are going to be in a league of their own as the RB19 – like its predecessor – excels in being efficient on the straights.
However, on paper, there’s no reason why Ferrari shouldn’t be the second-fastest team behind Red Bull.
Max Verstappen has the opportunity to make F1 history by winning 10 races in a row.
He equalled Sebastian Vettel’s record on home soil last time out with his ninth consecutive victory.
Unfortunately for Vettel, his nine-in-a-row run came at the end of 2013, while Verstappen still has nine more races to add to it.
If reliability is on his side then Monza should be a walk in the park.
Out of all of the remaining races, Singapore may pose the biggest challenge to Red Bull, but even then with the circuit changes, the RB19 will still be the class of the field.
Monza was the only race McLaren failed to win in 1988 when they won 15 of the 16 races – so maybe history could repeat itself?
Another chance for Lawson
Liam Lawson will get a second opportunity to prove his worth with Daniel Ricciardo continuing to recover from hand surgery.
Ricciardo crashed in FP2 at the Dutch GP, trying to avoid Oscar Piastri’s McLaren at Turn 3.
As a result, he fractured his hand and was forced out of the rest of the weekend.
Lawson stepped in and performed well, ultimately finishing 13th on race day.
He remained in the pack, even overtaking Leclerc at one point.
The good news for Lawson is that he will have three practice sessions to get up to speed at Monza, with the forecast set to be dry.
Looming engine penalties?
This weekend could be the perfect opportunity for teams to take new engine components ahead of the final run of races.
Last year, nine drivers took penalties – for engine and gearbox components.
Monza is typically the perfect venue to do it at as overtaking is easier than at Singapore or Japan – the next two events – plus if more teams follow suit, the impact of a grid drop is less severe.