McClaren’s Lewis Hamilton is the 5/2 favourite with Paddy Power to take the chequered flag at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend as the team look to continue their recent run of good form.
Moderations to the MP4-27 have seen Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button triumph in back-to-back Grands Prix in Holland and again last week in Belgium and Button is 4/1 to repeat the feat in Italy.
But sparks flew between the pair when Hamilton posted sensitive pictures of secret car set-up information that rival team sources described as ‘gold dust’. Hamilton let his driving make the headlines in practice by edging out Button for a McLaren one-two but rumours about a move to Mercedes still hover like a dark cloud.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has vowed to race at Monza despite his horror smash in Belgium last week. He had more problems in practice for Monza though with a gearbox failure ruining his afternoon. Luckily for the team and the Championship leader this was an old unit so there will be no penalty for a gearbox change but it was a lucky escape.
Talking of lucky escapes it was Romain Grosjean’s Lotus car that narrowly missed the Spaniard’s head when it flew past his nose last weekend and the Swiss ace will be replaced by Lotus reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio on Sunday. Grosjean must serve a one-race ban and pay a healthy €40,000 fine for his part in the pile-up in Belgium.
The Spaniard is chasing his fourth win on the circuit this season but Red Bull’s reigning champion Sebastian Vettel who hasn’t won since Bahrain in April is 7/1 to get his challenge back on track on Sunday.
Vettel won the Italian Grand Prix last year after taking pole ahead of Button and Alonso.
F1 has been alive with more rumours that Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen may defect to Ferrari at the end of the season but Lotus have been quick to play down speculation that he’s looking for an exit strategy.
The Finn who’s been knocking on the door in the last two races finishing third in Belgium and second in Hungary on his return to F1 after a two-year absence.
Raikkonen is 6/1 with Paddy Power to top the winner’s podium on Sunday afternoon in Italy.