F1 Database preview: form guide to the 2018 Italian Grand Prixby Peter Higham on 30th August 2018
The 2018 Italian Grand Prix preview, from the Database
Sebastian Vettel scored his 52nd Grand Prix victory last week in Belgium to pass Alain Prost as the third most successful driver in Formula 1 history. Vettel’s total is now only bettered by Lewis Hamilton’s 67 wins and Michael Schumacher’s 91.
Kimi Räikkönen’s run of five successive podium finishes ended at Spa-Francorchamps with the Finn still looking for his 100th trip to the rostrum.
Hamilton has won four of the last six Italian GPs but it is Schumacher who still holds the record for victories in the race – five. The Englishman has started from pole position for the last four years and has qualified on the front row for eight of his 11 Italian GPs to date. Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas has scored points on his last four visits to Monza. Ferrari is the most successful manufacturer here, having won 19 times since Alberto Ascari lapped the field in 1949.
Vettel has finished on the podium at Monza every year since joining Ferrari in 2015 but the most recent of his three victories came in 2013. It is now 10 years since he scored his breakthrough success for Toro Rosso at Monza. Räikkönen has never won the Italian GP and has just three podium finishes from his 15 starts so far, most recent being third in 2009.
Racing Point was impressive last weekend, but both Force India drivers have had their days at Monza. Sergio Pérez finished second for Sauber in 2012 and has scored points for the last four years while Esteban Ocon qualified third and finished sixth last year. Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg also starred here when driving for Sauber – qualifying third and finishing fifth in 2013. Carlos Sainz has finished all of his three Italian GPs so far but is yet to score a point.
Neither McLaren qualified in the top-10 or scored points for the last three Italian GPs. It is 12 months since Lance Stroll’s Williams-Mercedes started from the front row at Monza but the Canadian has only one other top-10 start since then (Azerbaijan this year). Daniel Ricciardo has scored points for the last five years. Charles Leclerc has not scored a point since the Austrian GP – the longest pointless run in his impressive rookie campaign so far.
Teams will have a choice of medium, soft and supersoft tyres with temperatures expected to be hot. However, rain is predicted for Sunday evening – there will be those in the paddock praying the forecast is slightly off.
As for cautions, there hasn’t been a safety car period in the race since the early laps of the 2011 Italian GP.
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