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Italian Grand Prix 2023: Race Preview

Italian Grand Prix 2023: Race Preview

August 31, 2023

After an eventful Dutch Grand Prix, we are headed to the iconic Monza circuit for the 2023 Italian Grand Prix.

On one of the most iconic circuits in the history of the sport, this year’s Italian Grand Prix could witness a world record, as reigning World Champion Max Verstappen looks set to take a record tenth win in a row.

While Verstappen looks for glory, Ferrari come home struggling, though former Ferrari hero Fernando Alonso has plenty of reason to be upbeat.

In this article, we take a look at some storylines ahead of the Italy race this weekend. 

On the cusp of history

No matter what scenario the racing gods throw at him, Max Verstappen always manages to come out on top. The Dutchman has been in a league of his own for sometime now, and there is no one currently on the grid who even comes close to him. 

After taking a ninth consecutive win at his home race last weekend, Verstappen equalled the record for most consecutive wins, which was previously also held by another Red Bull World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, who won nine in a row in 2013 — a record few thought would ever be matched, let alone beaten. Verstappen now stands inches away from his own world record. 

A Verstappen win in Monza doesn’t look too unlikely given his form. Expect the Dutchman on the top step of the podium on Sunday. 

A win in Monza would also be Verstappen’s 12th win of the season, which would make it more wins than seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has ever had in any season. 

Pole Prediction: Max Verstappen / Charles Leclerc

Winner Prediction: Red Bull

Mercedes need to look out

With Aston Martin struggling in the last couple of races leading into the summer break and Mercedes stealing a couple of podiums, it was looking like Mercedes might be able to consolidate that second position in the Constructors’ Standings. That, though, no longer seems to be an easy task, as Aston Martin have come out guns blazing after the summer break. With an upgraded car, Fernando Alonso gave Aston Martin their first podium since the Canadian Grand Prix in June earlier this year. 

Bringing strong upgrades to Zandvoort, Aston Martin have re-joined the race for the second place in the Constructors’ and are now just 40 points behind the Silver Arrows. Whenever given a capable car, Alonso has been at his threatening best, so if Aston Martin manage to keep a clean weekend in Monza, expect them and Alonso to take the fight to Mercedes and be in the mix for a podium spot again.

Podium dark horses: Aston Martin

Same old Ferrari

There isn’t much one can say about Ferrari these days. While Red Bull have been out of their league for a while now, Ferrari did have the car to secure second place in the Constructors’, but they have failed time and again and currently lie fourth in the Standings behind Mercedes and Aston Martin. 

While they took a much-needed podium in Belgium heading into the summer break, Ferrari’s performances prior to that saw them finish P9 & P10 and P7 & P8, while only one of their cars has seen the chequered flag in the last two races.

Things have not been going the way new team boss Frédéric Vasseur would have hoped for, and Charles Leclerc has already started setting his sights on the 2024 car, having seemingly given up on the current season.

Both driver and strategical errors have led to the Italian team botching up yet another season, and it doesn’t look like it will get better in front of their home crowd either. A podium will be a pleasant surprise for the Scuderia, even though they know they should be aiming for higher skies. 

Race details

Circuit: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Venue: Monza, Lombardy, Italy
Practice Session 1 time: 17:00, September 1
Practice Session 2 time: 20:30, September 1
Practice Session 3 time: 16:00, September 2
Qualifying time: 19:30, September 2
Main race time: 18:30, September 3
Where to watch: F1 TV Pro

(All timings IST)

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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