When drivers enter their vehicles for the F1 Italian Grand Prix, all eyes will be on two drivers, Red Bull ace Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ top man Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen beat Hamilton in the Dutch Grand Prix to leapfrog his rival and into first place. It goes without saying that the race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is massive.
Keep reading for a recap of the Dutch GP, last year’s Italian Grand Prix, and insight into which drivers may have what it takes to step onto the podium in this Sunday’s event. Be sure to check out all of the latest F1 betting odds at our online Bitcoin sportsbook, where you can find sports betting odds and lines for all of your favorite sports and events.
2021 Italian Grand Prix Race Info
- When: Sunday, Sep. 12 at 6:00 am ET
- Where: Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: Formula1.com
- Circuit Length: 5793 km
- Laps: 53
- Race Distance: 306.720km
- Number of Corners: 11
2021 Dutch GP Recap
It’s not that Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton in the first Formula One race in the Netherlands since 1985. It’s that Verstappen beat Hamilton so easily. He did the same at the Belgium Grand Prix.
Max qualified with the fastest time. Then, on Sunday, he turned the pole position into a Dutch GP winner. Verstappen dominated Hamilton by 20 seconds, which in racing is an eternity.
Valtteri Botas, Hamilton’s teammate, finished another 36 second back in third. Fourth place went to Pierre Gasly while Ferrari’s top driver, Charles Leclerc, crossed the finish line in fifth.
The race was Verstappen’s second straight victory and fifth in the last seven races. The Red Bull driver gained first place over Hamilton by 3 points, 224.5 to 221.5.
2020 F1 Italian Grand Prix Recap
Lewis Hamilton dominated F1 last year. But in the Italian Grand Prix, Hamilton didn’t race well. Neither did Verstappen nor did Bottas. Pierre Gasly won, Carlos Sainz Jr. finished second, and Lance Stroll finished third. Lando Norris took fourth before one of the big three crossed the finish line. Valtteri Botas finished fifth. Lewis Hamilton finished seventh while Verstappen had to retire due to a power unit issue.
What Are Max Verstappen’s Chances of Winning Three Straight?
Hamilton took the Rolex British GP in July. Alpine driver Esteban Ochon won the Hungarian Grand Prix. But other than those two races, Verstappen has dominated. Unless Verstappen or his vehicle isn’t ready, he should finish no worse than second. Once again, his top rival figures to be Lewis Hamilton. But Hamilton didn’t race well in Italy last year. Not only that, Hamilton may not be at the top of his game.
He may be suffering from long COVID. Also, earlier this week, teammate Valtteri Bottas announced he was going to drive for Alfa Romeo in 2022. If Hamilton isn’t one-hundred percent mentally and physically, Verstappen should win another.
Which Driver, Gasly, Leclerc, or Sainz, Has the Best Shot of Upsetting Bottas, Hamilton, and Verstappen?
In 2020, Pierre Gasly showed he’s good enough to beat the big three. Gasly also finished fourth behind Verstappen, Hamilton, and Bottas at the Dutch GP last week. The Alpha Romero driver has a big shot to make it back-to-back Italian Grand Prix victories. But Grasly isn’t the only underdog driver to consider. Both Sainz and Leclerc are worth a look. Sainz finished seventh in the Netherlands.
Leclerc finished fifth. Of the two, Leclerc looks like the better play. The Ferrari driver and his team may be rounding back into form. Ferrari hasn’t won a race this season. Eventually, Ferrari should grab a checkered flag, which is one of the reasons Leclerc is an underdog with a shot.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.