Ferrari favored to win at home track Monza

Ferrari favored to win at home track Monza image

Text: Alex Yoong / Photos: | posted September 07, 2012 01:32

Italian GP

Last weekend's race saw Jenson Button drive brilliantly around Spa as he dominated to take pole position and the win.

But people will remember it most for the huge first corner accident which saw Grosean cause a chain reaction that took out Hamilton and Alonso. In Fernando's case, it was a very close call as the Renault came very close to hitting his helmet as it flew over the Ferrari.

There will be more calls for head protection in Formula One racing as it is the last exposed area on a race car that needs careful attention in regards to driver safety.

As for Grosean, he will not be taking part in this weekend's Italian GP as he is banned due to his part in the accident. I for one support the punishment, as Grosean was completely at fault.

We have seen him race hard since he has come back to F1, but it's too far when you get a driver pushing another off in the braking area. Hopefully he will learn from this and be able to still be exciting and quick without causing danger to his fellow competitors.

The Italian GP held in Monza is the quickest track on the calendar with four long straights where drivers get in excess of 330kph.

It calls for low down-force and you will see cars trying out skinny rear wings as they push for good top speed by shedding down force.

Teams will also run the cars relatively soft as they try to extract as much mechanical grip as possible and also because a soft car will allow them to ride the curbs more aggressively.

It is getting hard to call who will be quick at any given track, but McLaren must head into Monza as a clear favorite. Their pace at Spa, which is also a low down-force track, will make their competitors nervous. Pirelli will also be bringing the same compound as at Spa, which are the medium and hard tires.

After McLaren, my pick for the weekend would have to be Ferrari. It is their home race and they always seem to raise their game here. Fernando will also be keen to make up for not finishing at Spa and seeing his championship lead erode.

Mostly though, I think the paddock will be taking a close look at driving standards, as Grosean's ban was the first time we have seen this happen to a driver since Mika Hakkinen in 1994.

While Groseans crash was not pretty to look at, you have to wonder about Pastor Maldonaldo's incident. He received a 10-grid penalty for this weekend's race for two separate incidents and it's actually the 11th time he has been up to see the Stewards.

If precedents are being set with driving standards, then Maldonaldo really does need to watch what he does, because he is definitely under the microscope now.