By News Team
3rd September 2020
The 2020 Formula One season moves onto Italy this weekend following another comfortable Lewis Hamilton victory in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished eight seconds behind to complete the team’s second one-two finish of the campaign.
Not even Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could get near the Silver Arrows this weekend, in particular Hamilton, as the six-time World Champion shows no sign of loosening his grip on a record-equaling seventh championship.
Whilst the situation at the front is becoming clearer, the action in the middle of the pack intensified. Renault produced their best result since returning to F1 in 2016, meanwhile Ferrari suffered their worst Grand Prix result in a decade.
This weekend the iconic Monza plays host and we preview all the action below.
Long gone are the days of Renault’s World Championship winning ambitions, with life in F1 proving difficult since their return as a constructor four years ago. In fact, their last podium in F1 came back in 2011, when Nick Heidfeld finished third in Malaysia. However, with the likes of Ferrari and Haas struggling for straight-line speed, Daniel Ricciardo took his second fourth-place finish of the season last time out, with teammate Esteban Ocon coming home in fifth.
Ricciardo had also surprised many with his qualifying pace on Saturday, taking fourth on the grid and carried this pace well into Sunday, running out of laps in a chase for a podium with former teammate Verstappen. After the race, ‘Danny Ric’ credited the new-found pace to a discovery in their set-up on low downforce tracks which was picked up by engineers at the British Grand Prix.
Whilst a target for long progression will be making this work on high downforce circuits, Monza is one of the lowest downforce tracks on this year’s calendar, leaving the French constructor confident of further progress in Italy this weekend.
Ferrari’s crisis deepens
The Scuderia’s performance at Spa-Francorchamps epitomised much of their season so far, with their lack of straight-line speed plain for all to see. What had started bad in qualifying, with Charles Leclerc 13th and Sebastian Vettel 14th never improved, as the two swapped places at the finish.
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment will have been seeing Kimi Räikkönen storm past Vettel in his Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo towards the end of the race as he finished 12th. Despite this, there appears to be no immediate rest bite in sight for Ferrari, as chief Mattia Binotto admitted this week that it could take a while before the Scuderia can compete at the front of the grid once again.
Such is the extent of Ferrari’s woe, that Leclerc is currently 50/1 for a podium finish in Italy, while Vettel is 66/1. You can also get Leclerc at 11/2 and Vettel at 10/1 to finish in the top six at Monza.