Motorsport

Can Nico do an Italian job on Lewis in Monza?

2016-09-04 12:30
Nico Rosberg (Gallo Images)

Nico Rosberg’s Belgian victory may have closed the gap in the championship to single figures, but it is Ferrari and Felipe Massa’s imminent retirement that are dominating headlines ahead of today’s Italian Grand Prix.

Although Mercedes, with their ultrapowerful engine, have set the pace throughout the Monza weekend, and are expected to continue to do so today, it is Ferrari that the tifosi will turn out in their droves to watch.

The Scuderia are racing an upgraded engine, having used their final three tokens for this season, with both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen hoping for a top-three result. Although Ferrari have not won the Italian Grand Prix since Fernando Alonso’s 2010 success, they have featured on the podium in four of the past five editions.

The duo will most likely need drama for one or both of the Mercedes drivers to have a celebration on the podium. The last time Ferrari put both cars into the top-three was at that 2010 race, when Massa joined Alonso, to the delight of the tifosi.

This year, the Brazilian, who spent eight years with Ferrari but now races for Williams, will be saying goodbye to Monza – he’s announced that he will retire at the end of this season. It could be a difficult farewell for Massa as Williams have not shown podium pace.

Instead, it is Red Bull Racing and Force India who are likely to take the fight to the Scuderia drivers, which in itself poses an interesting prospect as last time out, in Belgium, both Räikkönen and Vettel were furious with Max Verstappen’s antics.

They accused the 18-year-old of courting a “massive accident” as he once again frustrated them with his on-track defending, and a block or two. Verstappen has vowed to “show my driving style like it was before” and that won’t go down well with the tifosi if he causes any trouble for their heroes.

But when all is said and done, it is Mercedes who are likely to walk away with the 1-2 this weekend. Hamilton is looking for his third straight Italian Grand Prix victory, his fourth in total, while Rosberg is chasing his first.

Even if Rosberg does beat his team-mate, the German will remain second in the Drivers’ Championship as the two are separated by nine points in Hamilton’s favour. Should Hamilton win, that will give him a buffer of 17 points heading into a spate of grands prix that he has dominated over the past two seasons. – TEAMtalk Media

Read more on:    grand prix  |  nico rosberg  |  monza  |  formula 1
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
Vote

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.