Italian GP: Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton set for ‘box-office’ battle

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton are set to do battle back as they discuss with a”box-office” front at Sunday’s Italian GP, with home favourites Ferrari attempting to eventually end Mercedes’ Monza dominance.
Leclerc, Ferrari’s new superstar who only hauled off Hamilton one week ago in Spa, begins on rod and will have the weight of a nation on his shoulders as the in-form youthful Monegasque bids for the Scuderia’s first triumph before their passionate’Tifosi’ lovers since 2010.
The race begins at 2.10pm on Sky Sports F1, with build-up at 12.30pm.
“Seeing all the fans as mad as [Saturday] was incredible,” Leclerc advised Sky F1 after having a bizarre qualifying session. “I actually hope to see that way [on Sunday] below the podium.”
But with Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari that is sister, Leclerc is vulnerable.
Hamilton starts just behind the 21-year-old and will direct Mercedes’ charge before Valtteri Bottas, and the Silver Arrows are confident considering than they ever anticipated at the fastest track of F1, they have been nearer to Ferrari.
“I really like that it is that close and it’s not multiple tenths,” said Hamilton, just 0.039s away Leclerc on Saturday.
Together with Hamilton that the victor, mercedes have won the last five races at Monza. He passed Vettel on the first lap before searching down team-mate Kimi Raikkonen’s after Ferrari’s qualifying one-two.
He is in an even greater position in 2019.
“I certainly think we can keep up with them,” added that the championship leader, that will look to expand his 65-point benefit. “Whether we could close the gap and then overtake themtime will tell.
“I need to be thankful that I am on the front . We get to have a struggle. We have split themas a group it’s a great position for us to be in.”
Leclerc said:”It’s going to be very, very difficult because, first of all, they are quick, second, slipstream and DRS are very important here. I think the race rate is very good in Spa, but for sure it is going to be tricky to keep them behind.
“I feel an excellent start from myself and from Seb will probably be extremely crucial for the great outcome.” .
The Paul Di Resta of sky F1 is enthused by the possibility of Leclerc vs Hamilton .
“It’s box office,” said Di Resta. “Ferrari on pole gets the audience going. They have embraced Charles.
“Lewis must do a little overtaking to win this raceas he did this past year. Tricky states, it should be useful.”
Vettel, before the Renaults, will start with no success in over a year with Daniel Ricciardo before Nico Hulkenberg Saturday, after their superb. Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Alex Albon talk about the fourth row.
And watch out for an exciting Max Verstappen series, with the Dutchman ready to perform a while as he begins at the back of the grid , behind Pierre Gasly who also have engine penalties and Lando Norris.
Italian GP Provisional Grid
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
4) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
5) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
6) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
7) Carlos Sainz, McLaren
8) Alex Albon, Red Bull
9) Lance Stroll, swaying Point
10) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
11) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
12) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
13) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
14) Romain Grosjean, Haas
15) Sergio Perez, swaying Point
16) George Russell, Williams
17) Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
18) Lando Norris, McLaren
19) Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
20) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

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