The 2022 F1 Italian GP is upon us in what is the third race of the triple header. Here, the passionate Tifosi go out of their way to support Ferrari, making this race one to watch.
As we head into the race this time around, Ferrari are in a much better place this season. In the last two seasons, Ferrari had not won a race and had no chance at Monza. This time the Italian outfit are one of the favourites, and although things have been a bit disappointing lately, there is still a chance for glory this weekend.
Max Verstappen is taking championship dominance to new heights. The driver hasn’t had a car that’s more than a tenth or two faster than his opponent, and yet he’s on the verge of matching Lewis Hamilton’s most wins in a season (11). In the championship, there is more interest in P2 than P1, thanks to the Red Bull driver being a clear favorite for the title.
Verstappen comes into the Italian F1 GP with a past track record on the track that is unflattering at best. The driver has had two DNFs in the last two races and is without a podium finish in seven attempts. So how will this weekend go for you then? Let’s go over that and more in our preview and predictions for the 2022 F1 Italian GP.
Italian GP F1 2022: Preview
#1 Red Bull vs Mercedes vs Ferrari at Monza
Zandvoort’s race was a spectacle that not many expected. Many F1 insiders had ruled out any challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen from any team ahead of the race as they were the clear favourites.
That didn’t happen because we had an epic race that could have been even better had there been no stops at VSC or SC. Coming into the 2022 F1 Italian GP on a low-downforce track, there are once again suggestions that Red Bull could replicate the form it had at Spa just two races ago. Can we see that happen? It would be interesting to see how it all pans out.
#2 McLaren vs Alpine in a battle for P4
Alpine escapes in the battle for P4 in the championship. The team had blown McLaren out of the water at Spa and even outclassed the Woking-based team at a high-downforce track like Zandvoort.
Heading into the Italian GP, McLaren is on the defensive! The track may have great memories from last season, but the car may not be good enough. It will be interesting to see what the next chapter in this battle is.
#3 The Ridiculous Fixing Accusations Against AlphaTauri
In what turned out to be a rather ridiculous turn of events during the Dutch GP, Yuki Tsunoda’s innocuous problem was made to look like something else. The accusations were clandestinely leveled at AlphaTauri due to his relationship with Red Bull and how the VSC helped Max Verstappen.
These accusations got so out of control that AlphaTauri had to post a statement on social media stating that such accusations are purely absurd.
Having said that, it has cast a shadow over the coverage of the race, as many fans began pointing fingers at SkyF1 presenters David Croft and Ted Kravitz for how these things were hinted at. There is a cloud over the way F1 races are broadcast, and it will be interesting to see what the next step is.
Alpine currently sit P4 in the championship table, 24 points clear of fifth-placed McLaren. After decimating McLaren at Spa, Alpine were on the defensive at Zandvoort as both of their drivers started the race in P12 and P13.
When the checkered flag fell, one of the drivers was ahead of Lando Norris, while the other also finished in points. Alpine had beaten McLaren on a track that suited the Woking team. It will be very interesting to see how the Italian GP turns out for Alpine in form.
Out of shape
Ferrari’s form after the summer break should be a concern for the team. The team has not only suffered in operations, but there has also been a lack of overall car performance. The car was not up to the task in race trim at Spa, and even at Zandvoort. Heading into the Italian GP, Ferrari would be desperate to fight for a win and it will be interesting to see how the low downforce setup works out for the team.
Italian GP F1 2022: Predictions
Who wins the race?
These days, it’s hard to look past Max Verstappen. Red Bull is a rocket on the straights. We’ve seen Ferrari cut that lead at tracks like Red Bull Ring and Paul Ricard, but Spa threw it all out the window.
However, there is a question mark over where the teams end up, because we haven’t seen all the cars run the low-downforce setups. Having said that, Red Bull should still have the advantage. At the F1 Italian GP, unless something special happens, we’re backing Max Verstappen for another win this season.
Weekend Surprise (Team)
If there’s one team that inherently has no downforce on the car and is a rocket on the straights, it’s Williams. Alex Albon was the surprise of the weekend at Spa as he made the most of the low downforce package and scored points. For Monza, keep an eye out for Williams pulling off an upset once again.
Weekend Surprise (Driver)
Fernando Alonso shows up at every race showing why Alpine made such a big mistake letting it slip through their fingers. The tour of Zandvoort was sensational by the Spaniard and he would look forward to the Italian GP.
Alpine is one of the most efficient cars in a straight line and that was also evident at Spa. The team should have the fastest car in the midfield, but keep an eye on Alonso as he tries to kill a giant and maybe scalp a top 6 driver or two.
Weekend Disappointment (Team)
McLaren have had quite a few problems on the low-downforce track. The car is inherently slow in a straight line and has excess drag. Due to these shortcomings, the team struggled at Spa. And coming into the Italian GP, the Woking-based outfit may struggle once again as it gives up more points to Alpine.
Weekend Disappointment (Driver)
Looking at Daniel Ricciardo recently, it seems the Australian’s relationship with McLaren has deteriorated a bit. The driver has been through a lot since the summer break, and the revelations from the CRB test would have left the Australian feeling a bit betrayed by the team.
The race at Zandvoort saw a rather poor performance from the driver on a track where the car was doing very well. Next weekend could see the Australian put on another listless performance for the team.
What is your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below.