Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Italian GP Betting Preview - Just like old times?

F1 has in a sense gone full circle. Time was we could expect a Ferrari upturn for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. As its home round, with everything that entails, the red team would turn up with a 'special'. For various reasons those days are in the past. But for the first Italian visit in a good while we nevertheless turn up this time with Ferrari emphatically the team to beat.

The view the rest will be getting of Ferrari?
Photo: Octane Photography
The Scuderia generally has been on top pace-wise in recent rounds, and in the Belgian stop-off last weekend - at a track just like Monza with plenty of full throttle sections - both Ferrari and Mercedes turned up with new power units and Ferrari remained at least as far ahead on that front as it had been before. Perhaps more so. Sebastian Vettel sailed past Lewis Hamilton on lap one as if he was parked on the way to a comfortable victory. Much to Hamilton's audible chagrin.

And as intimated this advantage will count for a lot at Monza, and the bookies have noticed judging by that they've made Vettel favourite for the pole and win. The odds still look pretty tempting as you'll near enough double your money if Vettel prevails, with 8/11 for him to get pole and 19/20 to win the race.

With this too you may be similarly tempted by the 8/13 available for Vettel's fellow Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen to finish on the podium. The grapevine has him being retained at the Scuderia for next year, and another Ferrari tradition is announcing drivers for the following year at Monza - so with this the Finn should be in a good mood. You can also get 3/5 on a Ferrari to win.

In another recent factor though the one thing that could rain on the Ferrari parade is the rain - which time after time has brought Hamilton to the forefront in recent rounds. Forecasts have some rain around again this weekend particularly on Friday and Saturday, albeit possibly missing the running in the latter. You may nevertheless on this premise like a more fanciful punt on a Hamilton pole at 9/4.

The Ferrari engine customers should go well too
Photo: Octane Photography
Overtaking at Monza is surprisingly tough even with the extended straights and there tends to be low strategic variation here too with one-stop strategies nailed on. Reflecting it all the polestitter has won seven out of the last eight Italian Grands Prix - given this the 8/13 you can get on the winner having started from pole this weekend looks more than decent.

And again you can take all this somewhat to its logical conclusion by backing the same driver getting the treble of pole, win and fastest lap at 7/2.

In another point taken to its logical conclusion the other Ferrari powered cars, Haas and Sauber, should also go well this weekend. The Haas pair can be backed for a top six finish at 15/8 for Romain Grosjean and 5/2 for Kevin Magnussen. The Saubers can be backed for a points finish at 3/4 for Charles Leclerc and 6/5 for Marcus Ericsson.

It could also be worth backing Daniel Ricciardo for a top six finish at 11/10. Granted he's facing power unit related grid penalties this weekend but we've seen repeatedly that 'class A' cars clear 'class B' with reasonable comfort in races even if they have dropped to the back (see most recently Valtteri Bottas at Spa). We've also seen repeatedly at Monza that drivers starting outside the top 10 can make a lot of places via a contra strategy of starting on a harder tyre and attacking on a softer tyre at the end - Ricciardo indeed rose from 16th to fourth last year doing just that.

All odds quoted in this article were accurate on the Oddschecker website at 2015 GMT on Wednesday 29 August 2018.

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