- Max Verstappen favored to claim a fifth straight win at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix
- Charles Leclerc is once again pegged as second favorite despite recent shaky results
- See the Italian Grand Prix odds and trends ahead of Sunday morning’s race at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Max Verstappen will be aiming to extend his current win streak to a career-high five races when he returns to Monza for this weekend’s running of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. The reigning F1 champion turned in another outstanding performance last weekend, fending off a serious threat from Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to claim the checkered flag in his homecoming at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Verstappen now enjoys a massive 109-point lead atop the F1 Drivers Standings with just seven races left on the 2022 schedule.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday morning’s running of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix at 9:00am ET at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
2022 Italian Grand Prix Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top Ten|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+1600||+225||-450||-500|
Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook as of September 8, 2022.
Not surprisingly, Verstappen is a heavy -265 favorite to claim his first-ever victory in Monza at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix odds. In the wake of just his second podium finish in 10 races, Charles Leclerc is pegged as a distant +650 second favorite, followed by Hamilton at +800.
Grid Penalty Awaiting Verstappen?
Max Verstappen has enjoyed the benefit of a maturing skill set and the fastest car during this season’s defense of his F1 crown. However, the 24-year-old has simply been in a league of his own since Red Bull provided him with power unit upgrades two weeks ago in Belgium. Forced to start from the No. 14 spot on the grid, Verstappen needed just eight laps to erase that deficit, and cruise to an easy victory.
Max Verstappen having 57 podiums in his last 70 races is simply incredible!
But if we take away unfortunate accidents, collisions, engine failures and aerodynamic damage/unbalance.
He has 57 podiums in his last 57 races, that is absolutely insane for a 24 year old driver! pic.twitter.com/leug5kuX7A
— 𝐉𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐅𝟏 🏁 (@julianpluym1) September 6, 2022
Those improvements were also evident last week at Zandvoort. Verstappen seized the pole, and subsequently flexed his muscle late in the race to ward off a threat from Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on his way to victory by a margin of over four seconds. Now comfortably in control of the top of the standings, there are whispers that Verstappen’s car will receive further upgrades this weekend, once again forcing him to start from the back of the pack.
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen collide during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix in Monza, Italy. One of Verstappen’s wheels could be seen hitting Hamilton’s crash helmet. https://t.co/7PeXG4OPSX pic.twitter.com/eIrNgdnmGg
— ABC News (@ABC) September 13, 2021
But will it really matter? Considering the Red Bull’s current dominant pace, which gives him a clear edge on the long straightaways at Monza, probably not. That is if the champ can avoid making an early exit from this race for a third straight year.
Italian Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2021||Daniel Ricciardo – McLaren||1.747 sec||Max Verstappen – Red Bull Racing||Daniel Ricciardo – McLaren|
|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</td|
Rubber Hits the Road for Mercedes
While an ill-timed safety car and public squabbling between Hamilton and Mercedes control spoiled what was the best chance for the Silver Arrows to claim just their second win of the season last weekend, there are lots of reasons to like the German automaker’s chances this time around.
The one-stop strategy was working well for @MercedesAMGF1 and @LewisHamilton was out in front when a safety car threw the race off. The cars behind Lewis switched to fresh tires and overtook him in the closing stages, but still finished with a solid P4. pic.twitter.com/zUMLXUqEEX
— UBS Formula 1 (@UBSf1) September 4, 2022
Clearly, Mercedes has been unable to keep pace with Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez so far this season. However, the Silver Arrows have managed to gain an important edge in tire management, which should serve them well this weekend in Monza, where Hamilton has notched five career victories.
— PETRONAS Motorsports (@PET_Motorsports) September 1, 2022
Effective tire management enable Mercedes to adopt a one-pit stop strategy last week that may have paid off had there been no need for a safety car late in the race. Once challenge that Mercedes face in duplicating that strategy in Italy are expected higher temperatures. However, in the event that Verstappen takes a penalty, Mercedes offers impressive value as a +250 bet to claim their third double podium finish in five races.
The Picks: Max Verstappen fastest qualifier (-200); Mercedes double podium finish (+250)