2020 F1 preview: Italian Grand Prix

It’s MONZA time! Ferrari returns to their home course of Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. The reason Ferrari gets the introduction is that this has been a season from hell for the legendary team and manufacturer, and it has continued this weekend.

Charles Leclerc sits fifth in points but has failed to score in the last two races. He was ninth in practice two, and 11th in practices one and two. Leclerc was caught in a pack of cars late in qualifying and would only be able to pull out a 13th spot on the starting grid. The only boost of confidence Leclerc will have Sunday is the fact that he is the defending champion at Monza. Due to Ferrari lacking any speed, he will only be searching for points.

Sebastian Vettel’s season has been one to forget. He is 13th in driver points and has had a disastrous weekend at Monza so far. In the three practice sessions, Vettel peaked at 12th in FP2 but was 15th in FP3 and a measly 19th in FP1. Qualifying was no better for the German as he could not get out of the first round and will start Sunday’s race from 17th.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez had great qualifying sessions as they lock out row two. Sainz was able to improve his time in every practice and was able to reach second fastest in FP3. While Perez did nothing noteworthy in practice, his starting spot could propel him to a potential podium. However, the two men will have to hold off Max Verstappen if they want a spot on the podium.

The top two, barring mechanical failure or potential weather, should be chalk as Mercedes as dominated all weekend long. In qualifying, Lewis Hamilton set the track record with a time of 1:18.887 to nab his 94th career pole. Valtteri Bottas just missed the pole with a time of 1:18.956.

It will be 53 laps around the 3.6 mile-long course. Monza has 10 corners with very long straights to make it one of the fastest courses in the world.

For those in the United States, ESPN will carry TV coverage beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Starting lineup:

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