Retirement from editions of the Italian Grand Prix are rare so betting on over 15 and a half drivers being classified in this year’s Monza race appeals.
Twenty drivers are set to start the 2017 Italian Grand Prix on Sunday so, for one’s suggested wager to be a loser, at least 25 per cent of them must fail to be classified. Not since 2011 has at least 25% of the Italian Grand Prix grid failed to receive an official race classification so one is confident that Coral will be paying out even if Fernando Alonso spits the dummy and parks his McLaren deliberately.
In 2011, 24 drivers began the Italian Grand Prix but only 15 of them received an official race classification with Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi, Adrian Sutil, Mark Webber, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Vitaly Petrov, Nico Rosberg and Vitantonio Liuzzi either not seeing the chequered flag or failing to complete 90% of the scheduled total distance.
In 2012, 20 of the 22 Italian Grand Prix starters made it to the end, with the exceptions being Jenson Button and Jean-Eric Vergne. In 2013, the Italian Grand Prix numbers story was the same as 12 months earlier, with Vergne and Di Resta not receiving an official race classification. In 2014, there was another 20-2 Italian Grand Prix split as Fernando Alonso and Max Chilton were the drivers not to go the required distance. In 2015, two of the 20 Italian Grand Prix competitors – Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado – collided on the first lap but everyone except the Lotus teammates were classified. Last year, Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein, Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr were deemed to have retired from the Italian Grand Prix but 18 drivers made it.
Monza, the uninterrupted home of the Italian Grand Prix since 1981, is the fastest circuit on the current Formula One calendar because the track consists of four lengthy acceleration zones punctuated by a few corners and chicanes that are either mid or high speed. Monza is relatively kind on tyres, the layout while quick is fairly straightforward and its Italian Grand Prix races are very short in terms of time – the 2016 edition was over in just 77 minutes.
Of this year’s 12 Formula One events, nine of them have had at least 15 drivers receive an official race classification and most circuits are more demanding than Monza. Alonso is a loose cannon given his obvious frustration with McLaren and Force India colleagues Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon keep bumping into each other but there is no logical reason for Coral offering odds of +110 about the highlighted option.
Mercedes has dominated recent renewals of the Italian Grand Prix and, with Valtteri Bottas fading out of championship contention, now is probably the time for the Silver Arrows to openly favour Lewis Hamilton and deploy the likeable Finn as a spoiler in the same manner that Ferrari uses Kimi Raikkonen to boost the title chance of Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton is, unsurprisingly, odds on for the Italian Grand Prix pole position and the Italian Grand Prix race victory but, while triumphs for the Mercedes driver are the most likely outcomes, the power differential between the Silver Arrows and Ferrari is not as big as it was in other years.
If one is looking for another Italian Grand Prix wager then maybe back Alonso to be classified at odds of -161 with Coral. Alonso is a former Ferrari star and he has made it to the end of 12 of the 15 Italian Grand Prix races in which he has competed. Alonso has the potential to implode because he is so fed up with his pedestrian McLaren vehicle but he may not want to embarrass himself at Monza of all places.
Over 15.5 drivers to be classified in the Italian Grand Prix
Sunday 3rd September, 13:00 GMT
Alonso to be classified in the Italian Grand Prix
Sunday 3rd September, 13:00 GMT