Monza. Or as I like to think of it, ‘MONZAAAA!’. With more GPs hosted than anywhere else; the basic principle of speed defined in its iconic layout; and fans that provide a level of enthusiasm not seen at any other circuit, Monza could be said to transcend the sport itself. Will it live up to its billing this year? Mercedes romped it in 2016, with Lewis missing out on a hat-trick of Monza victories after a poor start handed the lead to Rosberg, which he kept to the line. This must have been particularly galling for Lewis after having lit up the circuit on Saturday with a pole lap half a second quicker than his team-mate. But this year is different – Ferrari are leading the championship with a much stronger car. Then again, if Spa is anything to go by, Lewis has Ferrari in his pocket on a fast circuit. Alonso last won here for Ferrari in 2010, the Tifosi will be clamouring for another home victory and this year represents the best chance since then by a long chalk. Vettel has the machinery and skill to give the fans what they want – maybe – and will be itching for a victory here for a third manufacturer, having got his maiden win here with Toro Rosso in 2008, then again with Red Bull in 2011 and 2013. Kimi has never won here, almost certainly due to gorging on gelato throughout the weekend, and unless there’s a problem for Lewis or Seb I can't see him winning – likewise Bottas. On paper it’ll be Mercedes and Ferrari filling the podium places, surprise surprise, but of course anything can happen. Track changes: reports say that the Rettifilio chicane at the beginning of the lap will disappear, and the Curva Grande will be replaced with a slight right followed by a chicane. This will supposedly make the lap a second quicker, with lap times expected around 1.18. Gravel is returning to the Parabolica apparently, although whether this makes much difference remains to be seen. Jaques Villeneuve's overtake around the outside of Schumacher on the Parabolica may remain a one-off. However, overall these changes sound positive. Edit: Rewind - it appears that these changes have not taken place this year after all tsk tsk slack reporting on my part. I found this inconclusive but fairly clear post on Reddit: Monza's first chicane modification won't be ready for 2017 GP. 2016 configuration will be used. • r/formula1 Anyway, it’s a pleasure to not have the spectre of doom hanging over Monza, given the situation under Bernie. It really seems as if things have changed for the better. The new owners have made positive noises with regards to the ‘older’ circuits, and this is as steeped in history as it gets. Monza is safe for now, and a good thing too. In his autobiography ‘Watching the Wheels', Damon Hill referred to Monza as the 'Circus Maximus’ of F1. We hope this charged atmosphere brings the best out of the drivers, and that translates into a spectacle for us. Expect Alonso to set the fastest lap on a fresh set of ultras with 2 laps to go, Massa to retire at the end of the race, and young Max to pull up with a car failure. Even if it turns out not to be quite the race we want, it’ll still be entertaining to watch them blast through the Ascari chicane on the onboard camera – a personal favourite. Bring it on.