Following an explosive race at Spa-Francorchamps, Formula 1 heads to another classic circuit this weekend for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg appear to have laid now their weapons, but only time will tell whether this peace at Mercedes will last. Both will be gunning to bounce back with a victory at Monza this weekend, and we will get our first inklings of who may be leading the way with practice on Friday morning.
In a packed press conference on Thursday, both drivers faced the media for the first time since their fall-out at Spa, but many were left disappointed. The situation appears to have been defused by Mercedes – at least on the surface – and both Lewis and Nico said that they were looking ahead and focusing on their title tilt.
FP1 will give us an idea of who should be filling the places behind the Silver Arrows on the podium on Sunday. Williams, McLaren and Force India should run well at Monza by virtue of their Mercedes engines, but also keep an eye out for Red Bull – who has won the last two races – and Ferrari, who will have the impassioned home crowd cheering it on this weekend.
The session sees a number of changes to give the team’s junior drivers a run-out:
Force India Dani Juncadella replaces Sergio Perez (first 30 mins only) Sauber Giedo van der Garde replaces Adrian Sutil Caterham Roberto Merhi replaces Kamui Kobayashi Lotus Charles Pic replaces Romain Grosjean
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.