Here are five things we’re excited to see in Monza…
The annual pilgrimage to Monza signals the end of the European season – next stop on the calendar will be Singapore. Around this time of year, rumours are starting to take shape about who’s going where for next year, and we may even get the first announcements this weekend.
The obvious ones we’re all waiting on surround Jenson Button’s future, and also potential vacancies at both Williams and Renault. My bet is we’ll get at least one announcement this weekend, with more to follow in Singapore in a couple of weeks time. Watch this space!
Lewis and Nico reunited
Whilst seeing Lewis work his way through from the back at Spa was great to watch, I’m personally excited to see them back together at the front this weekend. Qualifying should be epic and I can’t wait to see the two title contenders go head-to-head for pole position.
Assuming they qualify at the front, there’s still the question mark over who’ll gain the advantage at turn one. Monza has a very long run down to its famous first corner, and there’s not an inch to spare when the drivers arrive there. I’m sure Toto Wolff will be watching from behind the Mercedes sofa.
Record top speeds
Last year we saw speeds approaching 360kph recorded on the Monza pit straight, and even higher than that this year at Baku. There’s no denying that F1 cars are faster this year; around 2-3s per lap on average if you’re counting and with Pirelli’s super soft tyre making an appearance here for the first time, we could yet see a new top speed record this weekend.
We’re unlikely to see a repeat of Juan Pablo Montoya’s record lap from 2004. His qualifying lap was set at an average speed of 163mph – the fastest in F1 history.
The Manor intra-team battle
It’s great to see so many talented youngsters being giving their chance in F1, and it’s hard to recall a stronger grid in recent years. The battle at the back is an intriguing one as both Manor drivers are highly rated and with strong links to Mercedes.
Esteban Ocon impressed many during his debut weekend at Spa, and he’ll be looking to go one step further and out-qualify his more experienced teammate this weekend. Pascal Wehrlein now has a little more pressure on him to deliver, and both drivers will be keen to impress the onlooking Toto Wolff who’ll no doubt have a say in where they end up driving next year.
The famous Tifosi
You’d be hard pushed to find a more passionate bunch of fans than Ferrari’s ‘Tifosi’. The perfect example of this was Fernando Alonso’s now famous selfie from atop the Monza podium in 2013.
Whilst I’m not expecting too much from them this weekend, Ferrari’s return to form would be well timed if it were to happen here.