Italy is likely to give a warm welcome to the Formula One carnival as the focus turns towards the Temple of Speed. The year may not have begun in an ideal manner for the home team, Ferrari, but with a race in the bag finally, Tifosi would be filling up the grandstands, waiting for a repeat performance.
Running on Friday put Charles Leclerc on the top of the table during both free practice, rising hopes of the many Ferrari fans. The two sessions had scattered rain falling throughout which did not allow teams to gather adequate data. Three red flags in the first session did not help matters either, as drivers slipped and slid across the circuit.
Sergio Perez and Kimi Räikkönen lost control of their vehicles and touched barriers, while Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz showcased perfect donuts to save their cars from being bleached in the gravel. The first practice session was treacherous, to say the least, and saw most drivers lose control.
The qualifying session is predicted to be run in dry conditions while there is a high probability of rain paying a visit during the main event on Sunday. Here’s a list of qualifying predictions for the Italian Grand Prix:
#5 Both McLaren in Q3
McLaren has been in top form this year barring a few blips on their record, one of which came last week at Spa. While the drivers themselves have not put a foot wrong, the car seems to let them down at the worst possible moments.
The double DNF in Belgium would act as another reason for the team to push for a good result this time around. They would be itching to get back on the track and give their best in qualifying. Even with Lando Norris taking on grid penalties due to a power unit change, the team would be hoping for the youngster to feature in Q3, if only to aid Carlos Sainz with a tow.
They started their weekend at Monza off with a promising first free practice where Norris and Sainz finished P2 and P3, respectively. FP2, however, was mostly utilised by the team to work on Norris' car while Sainz could only manage a position as high up as P12.
Despite the shortcomings, it would be an oversight to discard the Woking-based team.