After events in Monza last weekend, the landscape of this year’s Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship has changed once again. Going into the Italian Grand Prix the Ferrari team would have been confident of victory, especially when you take into account that this was their home race.
That was a point further solidified by Sebastian Vettel’s victory over title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix a week before. That win for the four-time champion meant that the gap at the top of the standings had been cut to just 17 points.
And with their army of fans known as the Tifosi looking to will them on further success in Italy, the hope, if not the expectation, was that Hamilton’s margin as leader of the championship would then be further eroded come the end of the Italian Grand Prix.
However, it is, once again, advantage Hamilton after his win in Monza. The flashpoint of the race came on the opening lap when the two title rivals had a coming together – one that was eventually labelled as nothing more than a racing incident.
It was one, though, that put Vettel right to the back of the pack as he then had to spend the majority of the race working his way through the midfield. It must be said that he was relatively successful in doing so, after an eventual fourth-place finish.
After the opening lap incident, the rest of the race was nothing more than a damage limitation exercise for Vettel, with the hope that his teammate Kimi Raikonnen could at least go on to win the race for himself and give the Ferrari fans something to celebrate.
This was not to be the case as the Mercedes pit crew outwitted their Ferrari counterparts by keeping Hamilton out for longer than the legendary Finnish driver that was in front of him for a large portion of the race. This meant that when the round of pit stops came to an end, it would be advantage to the Silver Arrows.
Due to the fact that Hamilton had fresher tyres, he was eventually able to make the all-important move that gave him the race lead and subsequent win. It’s a victory that now sees him open up a 30 point lead as we head into the Singapore Grand Prix.
Once again the Ferrari’s will be favourites to win on a track that is suited to them and a look at the F1 betting sees Bet365 make Sebastien Vettel the man to come out on top with current odds of 6/5. However, if you fancy Lewis Hamilton to make it back-to-back wins you can get a price of 10/3 in the same market.
This could be a pivotal race in the F1 calendar; a win here for the defending champion, Hamilton, will not go anywhere close to securing the title, but it will lay down a psychological marker for the remaining races of the season.
If he can keep picking up wins where Ferrari are meant to be the favourites, then it will only strengthen his position when he arrives at tracks that are more suitable to the Mercedes. It’s game on in Singapore with the result set to have serious repercussions in the race to be the 2018 F1 Drivers’ Champion.