Grand Prix 2022 Italian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The French may have invented motor racing, the British held the first World Championship Grand Prix, but the Italians give the sport its heart. This weekend the F1 circus visits Monza, a circuit affectionately referred to as the Temple of Speed, and with good reason. In 2020 Lewis Hamilton took pole at Monza with an average speed of 264.362 kph, or 164.267 mph, and Lewis claimed he could probably have gone quicker. If you would like to enjoy watching this lap again just click on the video below, it doesn't take long, and you will notice that it was only in the middle sector that Lewis set the fastest sector time!


Monza is the home of the fastest F1 race. In 2003 Michael Schumacher averaged 247.585 kph, 153.842 mph, which included a pit stop on lap 15.

In 2005 Juan Pablo Montoya peddled his Williams up to 372.6 kph, 231.523 mph. To put this in to a context which you can visualise, that is 103 metres per second. So if JPM were racing Usain Bolt, Bolt would have covered about 10 metres when the Williams crossed the finish line.

There is only one team to support in Italy, and that is Ferrari. There may be other companies who make racing cars in Italy, but there is only one which reaches in to the very soul of what it is to be an Italian motor racing fan. It doesn't matter who is driving their beloved red cars, the Tifosi (which literally translates as "fans") they will arrive in their red shirts, they will cheer the cars round every lap, and more often than not they will go home disappointed. Ferrari have won 20 times at Monza in the World Championhips era, in the last 20 years they have only won 6 times.

Monza has also given us some odd winners. In 2008 Sebastian Vettel won his first Grand Prix driving for Toro Rosso. Pierre Gasly also took his first race win at Monza in the Alpha Tauri in 2020. For those who know their F1 history, both these teams can trace their lineage back to Minardi who are based in Faenza. For the Italian fans, even though this team is also based in Italy, them winning the race is still a disappointment as they are, very simply, not Ferrari.

To find the last Italian driver to win in Italy, you have to go back to 1966. Ludovico Scarfiotti won the race in a Ferrari. But Ferrari has never been wedded to the idea that it needs to have Italian drivers, rather they want to have the fastest drivers in their car. Ferrari has won the World Drivers Championship 15 times, but the only Italian to win the World Championship in a Ferrari is Alberto Ascari, way back in 1952 and 1953.

Last year we had what will probably be the last ever win for Daniel Ricciardo, driving for McLaren. It will be interesting to see where Ricciardo ends up next season given Oscar Piastri will be taking his seat for 2023. The 2021 race is probably more famous for the incident at the first chicane between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, where the Mercedes ended up underneath the Red Bull with the halo saving Hamilton from what could have been a far more serious injury.

What can we look forward to this year? I'm going to stick my neck out here and suggest that Max Verstappen will take pole, will probably lead every lap and take the fastest race lap as well. Come on Ferrari and Mercedes, prove me wrong!

Here's the schedule for Sky coverage:

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Enjoy.
 
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F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
For much of his career, Lewis Hamilton has benefited from much of this "luck" himself. Events like San Marino 2021 (where he was a lap down and out of it, but the race was stopped after George Russell torpedoed Bottas' car), or Silverstone 2021, where he had a damaged car following the contact with Verstappen, but the stopped race allowed him to continue without any real loss, or the Monaco Grand Prix in 2011, where he lost his rear wing, but because the race was stopped, was repaired, and able to carry on.

Over the course of a season, this sort of "luck" tends to balance itself out.
monaco 2008 was a good one, crashed into tabac fortunately just at the correct time for changeover to dry tyres
 

Wombat

Browser
Over the course of a season, this sort of "luck" tends to balance itself out.
Indeed, there is some tendency for luck to balance out over the course of a season but this most certainly isn’t always the case and there are numerous examples of this. Since you’ve cited Lewis as an example, recall that the luck certainly didn’t balance out for him in the 2016 season when, amongst all of the Merc engine teams, the lion’s share of engine problems struck his car (the most notable being the blown engine that cost him a vital win in Malaysia) and this unreliability cost him the title. Nor did it balance out for Senna in 1989 where he had considerably more bad luck re. reliability problems than Prost and this cost him a title that he otherwise could handily have won (he was easily the quicker driver and even outqualified Prost in all but 2 races that season). There are numerous other examples in which the luck didn’t balance out, including other cases in which one of the team’s drivers suffered the majority of the team’s bad luck.

I’m not sure what the point was in citing instances in which a lucky break aided Lewis in a win but I can also point out numerous instances in which bad luck cost him a win. And over the course of his career this certainly hasn’t balanced out. I’ll just note 3 such instances that I’ll single out because of their huge magnitude. The first is the Malaysia, 2016, engine failure noted above. This basically cost him the title—it resulted in a whopping 28 pt. turnaround in the standings and he lost the title by just 5. In Brazil, 2007, a curious (suspicious?) gearbox glitch caused his car to slow to a crawl for approx. 30 secs., allowing nearly the entire field to pass him and dropping him back to 18th. Here again, this cost him a title—he recovered to finish 7th but needed to finish only in 5th to clinch the title (he lost it by just 1 pt.), something he could easily have done without that glitch. And then there’s Abu Dhabi, 2021—need I say anymore about that! That’s 3 titles (one of which was flat-out stolen from him), not merely wins, that instances of bad luck have cost Lewis. So, the luck certainly hasn’t balanced out for Lewis over his career nor can it be claimed that, overall, he’s been a lucky driver in his many races. And in regard to balance, nothing can ever come close to balancing out having a record 8th WDC stolen from him.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Indeed, there is some tendency for luck to balance out over the course of a season but this most certainly isn’t always the case and there are numerous examples of this. Since you’ve cited Lewis as an example, recall that the luck certainly didn’t balance out for him in the 2016 season when, amongst all of the Merc engine teams, the lion’s share of engine problems struck his car (the most notable being the blown engine that cost him a vital win in Malaysia) and this unreliability cost him the title. Nor did it balance out for Senna in 1989 where he had considerably more bad luck re. reliability problems than Prost and this cost him a title that he otherwise could handily have won (he was easily the quicker driver and even outqualified Prost in all but 2 races that season). There are numerous other examples in which the luck didn’t balance out, including other cases in which one of the team’s drivers suffered the majority of the team’s bad luck.
Wombat - you are seeing this through Lewis tinted spectacles. You've been trying to pick out cases where George Russell has been fortunate, but forgotten that Lewis Hamilton has also been fortunate (and as others have said you often make your own luck).

You cite 2016 as a year when engine failures cost Hamilton the championship. During that season, Hamilton retired twice from races -
  • Spain, when Rosberg lost his mind and drove both of them off the track/Hamilton's aggression at the start caused a collision (Depending on who you ask... I'd argue for the former)
  • Malaysia, where his engine blew (although Rosberg also suffered bad luck when Vettel drove into him)...
Equally, Rosberg lost points at Monaco with brake problems, or the Canadian Grand Prix where Rosberg lost positions at the start when forced off the track by Hamilton, or ... The luck balanced out over the season...
 

Bleu

Podium Finisher
One underestimated thing from Monaco 2008 is that gaps were pretty extreme from the beginning. Hamilton hit the wall on lap 6 and after his forced pit stop, continued the race in 5th. Usually when doing a stop that early driver would end right at the back.
 

RiderJake

Browser
Indeed, there is some tendency for luck to balance out over the course of a season but this most certainly isn’t always the case and there are numerous examples of this. Since you’ve cited Lewis as an example, recall that the luck certainly didn’t balance out for him in the 2016 season when, amongst all of the Merc engine teams, the lion’s share of engine problems struck his car (the most notable being the blown engine that cost him a vital win in Malaysia) and this unreliability cost him the title. Nor did it balance out for Senna in 1989 where he had considerably more bad luck re. reliability problems than Prost and this cost him a title that he otherwise could handily have won (he was easily the quicker driver and even outqualified Prost in all but 2 races that season). There are numerous other examples in which the luck didn’t balance out, including other cases in which one of the team’s drivers suffered the majority of the team’s bad luck.

I’m not sure what the point was in citing instances in which a lucky break aided Lewis in a win but I can also point out numerous instances in which bad luck cost him a win. And over the course of his career this certainly hasn’t balanced out. I’ll just note 3 such instances that I’ll single out because of their huge magnitude. The first is the Malaysia, 2016, engine failure noted above. This basically cost him the title—it resulted in a whopping 28 pt. turnaround in the standings and he lost the title by just 5. In Brazil, 2007, a curious (suspicious?) gearbox glitch caused his car to slow to a crawl for approx. 30 secs., allowing nearly the entire field to pass him and dropping him back to 18th. Here again, this cost him a title—he recovered to finish 7th but needed to finish only in 5th to clinch the title (he lost it by just 1 pt.), something he could easily have done without that glitch. And then there’s Abu Dhabi, 2021—need I say anymore about that! That’s 3 titles (one of which was flat-out stolen from him), not merely wins, that instances of bad luck have cost Lewis. So, the luck certainly hasn’t balanced out for Lewis over his career nor can it be claimed that, overall, he’s been a lucky driver in his many races. And in regard to balance, nothing can ever come close to balancing out having a record 8th WDC stolen from him.
You're not suggesting that he had any intentional injuries, are you?
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
I wonder if luck is the right description, most examples cite the quicker or if you like consistently faster driver in the case of mechanical failure, could it not be that the faster driver stresses the car more and thus has more failures. I believe the faster driver will always discover the weakness in a car especially if the driver is inclined to wring the car's neck, there are a few examples of quick smooth drivers beating an out and out racer, three examples being Prost, Button and Clark, I'm sure there are a few more that have been considered lucky.
 

Il_leone

World Champion
I wonder if luck is the right description, most examples cite the quicker or if you like consistently faster driver in the case of mechanical failure, could it not be that the faster driver stresses the car more and thus has more failures. I believe the faster driver will always discover the weakness in a car especially if the driver is inclined to wring the car's neck, there are a few examples of quick smooth drivers beating an out and out racer, three examples being Prost, Button and Clark, I'm sure there are a few more that have been considered lucky.
I would say Senna springs to mind because he was always about pushing to the limit but he somehow finishes the races just out of reach. The number of Honda engines he went through
 
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