The Italian Grand Prix is the last F1 race betting event of a triple-header in middle Europe, a stretch that’s allowed Max Verstappen and Red Bull to claw back against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. All eyes on the two drivers again heading into Monza race track in Northern Italy. Here’s a preview of what lays ahead, along with our very own F1 Italian GP betting picks!
Betting odds for the critical race are available at the top online sportsbooks. As of this writing, Verstappen remains the ever-slight favorite to win, but not by much. Here’s how the lines currently stand:
2021 Italian Grand Prix Preview
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is riding high. Coming off the mid-season holiday, Verstappen has won back-to-back races, the latest being his homecoming at the Dutch Grand Prix, a race where he finished twenty seconds ahead of Hamilton. With the pair of victories, Verstappen has regained the lead in the drivers’ standings, 224.5 points to 221.5, over his Mercedes rival.
However, Horner has already remarked the next two races — the Italian and Russian GP — favor Mercedes. Horner was quoted as saying, “(Mercedes) car and engine package has always historically been very strong at those circuits and they have been weaker venues for us. So I expect them to have the advantage at the next two.”
Indeed at the upcoming racecourse in Monza, Mercedes has had a lot of recent success. The team won the race every year from 2014 and 2018, but hasn’t finished first the past two years (2019 was won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc followed by Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri in 2020). Hamilton himself has five all-time wins at the Italian GP, which is tied with Michael Schumacher for most all-time (his first victory came in 2012 as part of McLaren).
2021 Italian Grand Prix Betting Pick
Hamilton didn’t bite his tongue following the most recent Dutch GP. He openly admitted his team’s strategy wasn’t on-point, which it needed to be to outdo Verstappen on his home track. Notably, a slow pit stop and having to chase the fastest lap point from his own teammate, Valtteri Bottas, proved to be Hamilton’s undoing in the event.
ZAANDVOORT. What a circuit, what a race. It wasn’t our home crowd but it still fueled us all the same. Congratulations Max on the hometown win, you put up a great fight. SEE YOU IN MONZA pic.twitter.com/LQtLWoATdE
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 5, 2021
Bottas exiting Mercedes at season’s end (in favor of the young phenom George Russell) is the worst-kept secret in the entire sport, which had some wondering whether there’s internal strife between him and Hamilton, hence the fastest lap fiasco. We’re not quite sold on that theory since Bottas is used to playing second fiddle by now — he’s been with the team for the past five years, after all.
In fact, Bottas will likely play a crucial factor at the Italian GP. Bottas has been held winless all of 2021, but Mercedes will still use him to strategize against Verstappen. If they give up another first-place finish to Verstappen, it would hurt them dearly in the drivers’ standings. You better believe Mercedes is bringing all the stops in Italy, heck, maybe even another “accidental” crash? And we’re only half-joking with that last line — not fanning the controversial flames whatsoever!
Anyway, our bet is on Hamilton to finish first here. He knows what’s at stake and given his esteemed track record in Monza, he’s more than capable of following through on any and every strategy Mercedes has to reclaim the lead.
How To Watch The 2021 Italian GP
For those that want the action live, we have full TV viewing details below. As you’ve come to expect, ESPN is the exclusive broadcast partner of F1 in the United States and given the time-zone differences in the country and Italy, weekend start times are early. Here’s what lays ahead:
- Practice 1 & 2 — Friday, September 10 (8:25 am on ESPNU and 11:55 am on ESPN, respectively)
- Practice 3 & Qualifying — Saturday, September 11 (5:55 am on ESPN2 and 10:25 am on ESPN2, respectively)
- Italian GP Race — Sunday, September 12 (8:55 am on ESPN2)
After three straight weekends of racing, F1 will have the following Sunday off from competition. The follow-up race at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi doesn’t happen until September 26. It’s slated to be the first of eight more races on the calendar.
How To Bet The 2021 Italian GP
Betting the Italian GP isn’t just limited to an outright winner. No, no, a ton of prop bets exist such as the fastest lap or the pole position winner. For a complete list of Italian GP bets, then head to one of the sportsbooks featured in the underneath table. These betting sites have you covered all year long when it comes to F1 betting.
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