Thursday, 8 September 2011

Italian Grand Prix Preview

Monza is all about straight line speed - and McLaren and Ferrari will fancy their chances this weekend.

We reconvene after Spa with another classic track, Monza. The home of Toro Rosso, Jarno Trulli, Tonio Liuzzi, but most of all, Ferrari. The fans of the red team, known as the tifosi, will be out in force for a race which is sure to be a good track for the home team.

No-one expects Red Bull to be quick. The RB7 car flies around tracks with lots of corners, like Monaco and Malaysia. However, as Monza is essentially 3 straights, it would take a brave man to bet on Red Bull, who don't have strong straight line speed. Hence therefore, McLaren and Ferrari are expecting a strong weekend, where they surely can dethrone Red Bull in qualifying for the first time this season.

Alonso leads Button last year: it was Ferrari v McLaren
 Last year, it was Fernando Alonso who got pole, and the race win, with a brilliant performance to send his home crowd crazy. McLaren were also quick, with Jenson Button passing Alonso at the start, but Alonso's quick pit stop and clever strategy beat Button to the win. Red Bull weren't even on the podium, as Felipe Massa completed the top 3.

Lewis Hamilton retired on the first lap, after silly contact with Felipe Massa. He will be hoping that he has an error free race after mistakes in the last two races, involving Paul di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi.
Red Bull know that this is their weakest track, and for sure Ferrari and McLaren will be wanting to step up to win the Italian Grand Prix. Alonso, Hamilton and Button know that they need to get a result this weekend, particularly as Red Bull took a one-two at their second weakest track last weekend.

Mercedes deserve a mention as well though, because their straight line speed is immense, as Rosberg's start and Schumacher's overtaking showed in Spa last month. They should do very well here, and will be looking to pick up their first podium of the season.

Only Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher and Barrichello have won here before. Will that change? Red Bull haven't got a podium here before. Will that change?

If Red Bull get a result, it will be a bitter body blow to their two rivals, who should be very strong here. For me, because Monza is such a strategy battle, I'm going for Alonso, Button and Hamilton to be the main players.

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