- Max Verstappen vies for a third straight win as the Formula 1 circuit shifts to Monza for this weekend’s running of the Italian Grand Prix
- Despite his recent success, Verstappen trails Lewis Hamilton, who leads the way as the favorite to claim a sixth career win in Italy
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday morning’s running of the Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
The seesaw battle for the top of the Formula 1 Drivers Standings continues on Sunday with the running of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. Fresh off back-to-back victories in Belgium and the Netherlands, Max Verstappen now sports a slender three-point lead over defending champion Lewis Hamilton. However, it is Hamilton that holds the edge as a slim +100 favorite to claim his sixth career win on the historic race track in Monza. Further down the odds, Pierre Gasly returns to Monza as a lengthy +6500 bet to claim the checkered flag for a second straight year.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead lights out at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM EST.
2021 Italian Grand Prix Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+8000||+1100||-125||-330|
Odds as of September 9th, 2021 at DraftKings
Can Verstappen Maintain Winning Ways at Monza?
There was little suspense last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen delighted his fellow countrymen with a dominating performance. The 23-year-old started on the pole and led the way for 62 of 72 laps on his way to his seventh victory of the 2021 F1 season. With the victory, Verstappen reclaimed the lead atop the F1 Drivers Standings. However, the Red Bull Racing driver has work to do to reverse a track record of mediocrity at Monza.
VERSTAPPEN WINS THE DUTCH GRAND PRIX! Hamilton in 2nd and Bottas in 3rd! Hamilton with an extra point for fastest lap 💨 pic.twitter.com/J6KAgzlZTB
— Formula Latest (@formulalatest) September 5, 2021
At last year’s edition of this race, Verstappen was forced out by engine trouble and has now finished better than eighth just once in six career appearances. Mixed results in qualifying have emerged as an issue for the Fly Dutchman in his previous appearances at Monza, where he has started from the front row just once, and from the back of the pack on two occasions.
Victory Eluding Hamilton
But while Lewis Hamilton returns to Italy as the betting favorite, the reigning F1 champion has seen success elude him in each of the past two editions of the Italian Grand Prix. The 36-year-old Englishman produced his worst finish of 2020 at this event a year ago, stumbling to seventh place despite starting on the pole. That followed a third-place finish two years ago.
— Foͦrͬmͫuͧlaͣ 1 Ciͥrͬcͨuͧs (@Formula1circus) September 6, 2021
Of greater concern for Hamilton is his recent struggle to claim the checkered flag. The Mercedes driver has reached the podium in six of his past seven outings but has earned the win just once during that stretch. Success has also eluded Hamilton in qualifying, starting from the pole just once in his past nine outings while watching Verstappen claim the front of the pack in six of the past seven races. If Hamilton is to return to his familiar perch atop the podium, he must reverse that trend. But while he leads the way as a +115 favorite to turn in the fastest qualifying time, Hamilton must ward off several threats.
A year ago today, Pierre Gasly won the Italian GP and proved his doubters wrong 🙌🇮🇹🍾 pic.twitter.com/6d8LwV0G3m
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) September 6, 2021
Most notable among them may be Pierre Gasly. The winner at Monza last year, the 25-year-old Frenchman has also made steady progress on the F1 circuit this season. Gasly has finished among the top six in each of his past three outings and offers excellent value as a +110 wager to do it again this weekend.
Italian Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2020||Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri||0.415 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2019||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||0.835 sec||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||8.705 sec||Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2017||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||4.471 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull-Renault|
|2016||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes||15.070 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Fernando Alonso – McLaren|
|2015||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||25.042 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2014||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||3.175 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
Russell, Bottas in the Spotlight
Two drivers worth watching this weekend are George Russell and Valtteri Bottas. Russell arrives in Italy on a high after his move to Mercedes for the 2022 season was confirmed earlier this week. The 23-year-old is coming off a disappointing 17th-place performance in the Netherlands but is an attractive +185 wager to return to the points this weekend for the third time in four outings.
BREAKING: Valtteri Bottas will join Alfa Romeo in 2022, paving the way for George Russell to replace him at Mercedes 🔄 pic.twitter.com/zKSHhfbhEe
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) September 6, 2021
It will be an interesting weekend for the man that Russell is set to replace at Mercedes. With his tenure with the German automaker soon coming to an end, Bottas might be eager to make a point to his Mercedes bosses this weekend. The Finnish driver has turned inconsistent results in past appearances at Monza, finishing top six on seven straight occasions, and is worthy of a -165 value bet to reach the podium at the Italian Grand Prix for the fourth time in his career.
The Picks: Max Verstappen to win (+115); Pierre Gasly top six (+110); George Russell top ten (+185)