2021 Formula One Italian Grand Prix: Race preview

2021-formula-one-italian-grand-prix:-race-preview

It’s the final stint of a triple header, and with three points between the top two championship contenders, who will leave Monza on top?


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It’s time for the 2021 Formula One Italian Grand Prix at the historic Monza circuit – the final race of a triple header. It’s a great time to be witnessing the sport with three points between the championship leaders, the constructor’s battle wide open and exciting driver movements set in stone for 2022.

Last time out, it was a party at Zandvoort and Max Verstappen’s orange army witnessed the Dutchman claim victory. He also regained the lead of the Formula One championship over Lewis Hamilton. But the question is can he maintain it after the race at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, as this place hasn’t been so kind to Red Bull’s cars in the past.

In 2020 it was neither of the frontrunners that got the job done, with an underdog in Pierre Gasly taking his first F1 win. Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll filled the remainder of the podium. Needless to say, this place serves up some unpredictable racing.



One thing to note that could shake up the grid is the alternate format in sprint qualifying – first introduced at Silverstone, which saw great success.

It’s been a huge week of news in the Formula One world with the grid almost set for 2022. The biggest news was perhaps the long-awaited announcement of that second Mercedes seat, which was filled by George Russell – no big surprise, but well deserved by the 23-year old Brit who exits Williams for the coveted position. Alex Albon will make his return to F1 for the Williams seat, while current Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas moves to Alfa Romeo.

No rain is forecast for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix with Sunday looking sunny with a top of 29 degrees.

Monza opened its gates on 3 September 1922, just a week before it hosted that year’s Italian Grand Prix.

The circuit is 5.793km is length. On Sunday the driver’s will cover 306.720km over 53 laps. It’s Rubens Barrichello who holds the lap record, with a 1:21.046 set in 2004.

Session Date Time (AEST) Channel
Free Practice 1 Friday 10th September 10:30pm Fox Sports 506 / Kayo
Qualifying Saturday 11th September 2:00am Fox Sports 506 / Kayo
Free Practice 2 Saturday 11th September 8:00pm Fox Sports 506 / Kayo
Sprint Qualifying Sunday 12th September 12:30am Fox Sports 506 / Kayo
Race Sunday 12th September 11:00pm Fox Sports 506 / Kayo
Team Drivers
Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen & Antonio Giovinazzi
Alpine (previously Renault) Fernando Alonso & Esteban Ocon
AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly & Yuki Tsunoda
Aston Martin (previously Racing Point) Sebastian Vettel & Lance Stroll
Ferrari Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz
Haas Mick Schumacher & Nikita Mazepin
McLaren Daniel Ricciardo & Lando Norris
Mercedes-AMG Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez
Williams George Russell & Nicholas Latifi

Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton hold the most wins at this circuit with five each.



It’s Ferrari’s stomping ground so it’s no surprise that they hold the record for the most successful constructor at the Monza circuit, having won the race 20 times.

At the Italian Grand Prix in 2020, Lewis Hamilton set the fastest ever lap in a Formula One car on his pole lap, clocking an average speed of 264.363 km/h.

In the past 18 races here, there have been only two occasions that the polesitter has failed to finish in the top two.

Lewis or Max? Max or Lewis? Red Bull played a smart strategy game last time so again – so it’s all Red Bull’s to lose. It has the fastest car out there but hasn’t had the greatest luck around this track – but maybe that’s all about to change.

Lewis was full of frustration last time with the team’s call on pit stops, so he’ll be fighting hard. But you’ve clear that it’s between these two for the win.

But the podium could be a shake-up. Let’s throw Charles Leclerc into the mix. He’s due for some greatness, and he did win here in 2019. The Ferrari army will be out in force at their stomping ground so a home advantage could help.



Sergio Perez had a triumphant race last time out, managing ten overtakes. He’s a great driver in a great car and is overdue for another podium.

Look out for the Alpines this weekend too, with Alonso putting in a stellar performance in Zandvoort. The French team needs to increase its gap in the standings against AlphaTauri so we think it’ll be in some good battles, or even potentially on track for a top five result.

Who will come out of this one leading the championship?

Emma has been on our television screens for over a decade. Most of her time in the industry has been spent at racetracks reporting at major motorsport events in Australia – from TCR and Superbikes to Porsche Sprint Challenge and Supercars. Last year she made the move to motoring journalism.

Read more about Emma Notarfrancesco