Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton are all set to do battle as they share a”box-office” front at Sunday’s Italian GP, together with dwelling favourites Ferrari looking to finally end Mercedes’ Monza dominance.
Leclerc, Ferrari’s new superstar who just hauled off Hamilton one week back in Spa, begins on pole and are going to have the weight of a country on his shoulders since the in-form youthful Monegasque bids for the Scuderia’s first win before the enthusiastic’Tifosi’ fans since 2010.
The race starts at 2.10pm on Sky Sports F1, with build-up at 12.30pm.
“Seeing all of the fans as crazy as [Saturday] was unbelievable,” Leclerc told Sky F1 after rolling out a bizarre qualifying session. “I actually expect to see that way [on Sunday] under the podium.”
However, with Sebastian Vettel fourth in the Ferrari that is sister, Leclerc is vulnerable.
Hamilton starts behind the 21-year-old and will lead Mercedes’ charge ahead of Valtteri Bottas, along with the Silver Arrows are confident considering than they anticipated the fastest monitor of F1 they’ve been nearer.
“I really like that it’s that close and it’s not multiple tenths,” explained Hamilton, just 0.039s away Leclerc on Saturday.
Mercedes have won the past five races at Monza, together with Hamilton that the victor. He passed Vettel to the first lap before hunting after the qualifying one-two of Ferrari.
He is in an even better place in 2019.
“I definitely believe we can keep up with them,” added that the championship leader, who will look to extend his 65-point advantage. “Whether we can close the gap and overtake themtime will tell.
“I have to be thankful that I am on the front row. We expect to have a fight with all the Ferraris, that is fine. We have split themas a team it is a excellent place for us to maintain.”
Leclerc said:”It is going to become very, very hard because, to start with, they are quick, secondly, slipstream and DRS are extremely important . For sure it’s going to be quite tough to keep them , although I believe that the race pace is quite good at Spa.
“I feel an excellent beginning from myself and from Seb will probably be quite vital for the good outcome.” .
The possibility of Leclerc vs Hamilton enthuses the Paul Di Resta of sky F1 again.
“It has box office,” said Di Resta. “Ferrari on pole gets the crowd going. They have adopted Charles.
“Lewis must do a little overtaking to win this race, as he did last year. Tricky states, it ought to be good.”
Vettel, without a victory in over a year, will start after their superb together with Daniel Ricciardo before Nico Hulkenberg. Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Alex Albon discuss the fourth row.
And keep an eye out together with the Dutchman behind Pierre Gasly who have motor penalties and Lando Norris.
Italian GP Provisional Grid
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
4) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
5) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
6) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
7) Carlos Sainz,” McLaren
8) Alex Albon, Red Bull
9) Lance Stroll, swaying Point
10) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
11) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
12) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
13) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
14) Romain Grosjean, Haas
15) Sergio Perez, swaying Point
16) George Russell, Williams
17) Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
18) Lando Norris, McLaren
19) Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
20) Max Verstappen, Red Bull