Five talking points for the Italian Grand Prix

Credit: Formula One

Formula One is set to shine on the Italian stage this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, where Mercedes look to push out their lead in both world championships standings.

The ‘party’ is over

The party mode, which is an tool for drivers to gain every inch of performance out of their cars during the qualifying sessions. This mode allows the cars to deploy more engine revs without it harvesting battery power – to get the maximum deployment in engine power. However, this ban will come into affect this weekend.

This means that all 10 teams will have to run a single mode for both the Grand Prix’s qualifying and race sessions – essentially placing the engine mode being placed under Parc Ferme regulations (where no changes can be made to the set-up of the car in the run up to the race).

However, you have to wonder how this will affect the ever-dominating Mercedes, will it benefit or hinder them? The silver arrows aren’t usually strong on power-suited tracks, so will this result in closer racing between the teams?

Ferrari Woes

In theory, power tracks like Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps and Italy’s Monza circuit should be sure winners for the Italian outfit, who once had the best powerunit on the grid. This prediction would’ve normally had the Mercedes team worried for Spa and Monza. However, this year, Ferrari haven’t been on top form at all this season and look to finish this year as a solid mid-table constructor.

They have only been able to secure two podiums this season with their young Monegasque, Charles Leclerc, in Austria and Great Britain earlier this year – both podiums were third place finishes.

Due to their less than optimal performance in Belgium, where both Ferrari’s just scraped into Q2 and finished outside the points, it looks likely that the Prancing Horse outfit will likely struggle in Italy too (their home venue).

Williams farewell

Sir Frank Williams who founded the famous Formula One outfit back in 1977 and, his daughter who took over as Deputy Team Principle, Claire Williams, announced they will be stepping down from the team after this weekend. This news came a week after Williams Racing was sold last week to the US investment group, Dorilton Capital.

The famous outfit, who was a side that dominated the sport during the 1980s and 1990s, with seven world championships, haven’t had a great run in recent times. In the previous two seasons, they finished last in the constructors standings – with only a single point from Robert Kubica last year.

However, as a way to allow the team to have a fresh start with the new owners, Claire and her Father will have their last race at the helm of the Oxfordshire outfit at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo’s redemption

The much loved Australian, Daniel Ricciardo, who moved from Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season to Renault, is dying for his first F1 podium with the French manufacturer before he moves to McLaren for the 2021 season.

Ricciardo put in an impressive performance last week to finish fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix, as well as taking home the fastest lap of the race and one additional drivers championship point. However, Renault look as if they have the potential to secure a podium this season.

Since he left Red Bull, the Australian hasn’t secured a position in the top three since he won at Monaco in 2018 – when he raced for the Milton Keynes outfit. Now, the lead Renault driver has a deal with Renault’s team principle, Cyril Abeatboul. If the Australian driver gets a podium, the team principle will get a tattoo of Ricciardo’s choosing, as an incentive to achieve a top three finish before his move to McLaren next season.

Mercedes dominance

When it comes to tracks like Spa and Monza, Mercedes are usually on the back foot due to their lack of straight line speed. However, with the performance woes at Ferrari, it seems like the Silver Arrows are in a league of their own this season.

Despite their continuous dominance in the sport, the only real title contenders this season would have to be Red Bull. On the other hand, Max Verstappen is the only driver truly pushing to challenge Mercedes. While, his less experienced teammate Alexander Albon hasn’t had the best starts in 2020, especially when he was spun out of a podium position in the first race of the season.

But, in the end, will Red Bull, McLaren or Racing Point be able to bring the fight to Mercedes in this afternoons Grand Prix or will they be able to run out another, easy, one-two victory?

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