There is great competition for top spot in Formula One this season, especially between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, who are first and second in the drivers standings at present. The Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, September 3, could prove to be another interesting race, with Hamilton in pole, but Vettel had a poor run in the qualifying round and will start the race in sixth position.
Seven points stand between Vettel and Hamilton, and if the Brit crosses the chequered flag first and the German climbs up and ends in second place, both of them will be tied at 238 points after the Italian Grand Prix. It will just prove their neck-to-neck battle.
For that to happen, Vettel has to start well in the first corner and drive well throughout the race to even finish in second place. It would not be wrong to state Hamilton is the overall favourite for this race.
Hamilton will be even more confident after his splendid show in the qualifying session under wet conditions. He managed to break the all-time record for pole position as it was 69th in his career. The driver was quite pleased with the support his team received in 'Ferrari's homeland'.
"Yeah, firstly, Italy I love you. I'm so happy to be here. Even though we're in Ferrari's homeland, we have such great support here, even for Mercedes, so I really appreciate all the love. To do this here at such a historic circuit, such a beautiful country... I'm going to have some pasta tonight to celebrate," F1 official website quoted Hamilton as saying.
The British driver has been quite successful in the Italian Grand Prix in the past, winning the title three times, and will be eying to equal Nelson Piquet, who has won the Italian Grand Prix four times.
However, it is not going to be any easy for Hamilton, who will be chased by Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon in second and third grid positions. Though Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished the qualifying in second and third place, they cannot start the race from that position as they have been handed grid penalties.
All these drivers will also be aware about the desperate situation where Vettel lies and the German will be close on their heels and be keen to latch onto any opportunity despite starting on sixth place. An interesting race looms large, where it will take something special from other drivers to beat Hamilton in Italy.
The Italian Grand Prix 2017 is scheduled for 2pm local time, 5:30pm IST and 1pm BST. Live streaming and TV listings are given below.
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD2. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports F1. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
South East Asia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Play.
Australia: TV: Ten HD. Live Streaming: Ten Play.