We’ve only just gotten through Belgium and we’re already preparing for the next race – at another historic venue, Monza, in Italy.
Like Spa, Monza has a long and tragic history, one woven into the fabric of Formula 1 and motorsport. The has hosted the Formula 1 grand prix since 1950, having only not hosted it once. Also like Spa, it’s a fast track, in fact the fastest track on the calendar. Fast sweeping corners (Curva Biassono and Curve di Lesmo are very quick) and long straights are punctuated by the occasional chicane, but by and large you can spend much of the race at full throttle. This should favour the Mercedes and their customer teams, whilst Ferrari will hope to recover some ground on Red Bull, what with their more powerful engine.
This is where the title race heats up. Nine points split the Mercedes duo, with Hamilton enjoying the slender advantage. Rosberg has described every race as a ‘cup final’, whilst for Hamilton it’s ‘game on’. Off track, there are uncertainties which have only increased following Felipe Massa’s announcement that he’s retiring at the end of the season. Jensen Button’s future at McLaren is far from certain, so a seat with Williams might appeal, and Sergio Perez is said to be in the mix (though with Force India threatening Williams for fourth place in the constructor’s championship, might his current team be a better option?).
The run-in is here, starting with Italy and the final leg of the European circuit.