| Hamilton takes a giant confidence knock, fears Verstappen will dominate the Italian GP

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 10, 2021 in Monza, Italy. Lewis Hamilton of Nice Britain and Mercedes GP seems on in parc ferme throughout qualifying forward of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 10, 2021 in Monza, Italy.

Picture by Lars Baron

 • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton ended fifth within the Srpint race after a horrible begin.

 • He jumps as much as P4 as a result of teammate Valtteri Bottas engine penalty which takes him to the again of the grid.

 • With Max Verstappen on pole, Hamilton is aware of his rival will dominate the race and additional prolong his championship lead. 

 • For extra motoring tales, go to Wheels24.

Lewis Hamilton fears Max Verstappen will cruise to victory in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix and prolong his championship lead.

After a poor begin, Hamilton completed solely fifth in Saturday’s 18-lap dash race in Monza, with Verstappen taking second behind Valtteri Bottas.

Purple Bull’s Verstappen elevated his title benefit over Hamilton from three to 5 factors, and he will even line up on pole for Sunday’s important occasion, with Bottas demoted to the again of the grid for taking over his fourth engine of the marketing campaign – yet another than is permitted beneath the foundations.

Not solely did Hamilton fail to attain, however he’ll now have his work reduce out on Sunday with a grid place of fourth – promoted one spot following Bottas’ penalty – and each Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris between him and Verstappen.

“You noticed the tempo of the Purple Bull,” mentioned Hamilton.

“I do not know if Max was sooner than Valtteri, however now he’s on pole, it needs to be a straightforward win for him. For me, I’ve simply to attempt to get previous these McLarens.”

Hamilton, 36, has tasted victory simply as soon as in his previous 9 appearances – his controversial win at July’s British Grand Prix – and he heads into the 14th spherical of a scheduled 22 on the backfoot after his sluggish begin.

The world champion staggered away from his marks and was devoured up by Verstappen, Norris, Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly on the 430-metre sprint to Variante del Rettifilo.

Heading into the opening chicane, Hamilton was the undesirable meat in a Gasly-Norris sandwich, and the Mercedes driver cautiously navigated the opening two bends.

He dropped to sixth earlier than Gasly ran over his personal entrance wing – broken after bumping Ricciardo’s McLaren – and slammed into the wall on the Curva Grande.

The French driver was unhurt within the accident, however the security automobile was deployed as his wrecked AlphaTauri was faraway from hazard.

The dash was able to restart by lap 4, and Bottas made no mistake in dropping Verstappen following an excellent exit from the Parabolica.

As Bottas galloped into the gap, Hamilton may make no impression on Norris.

He spent the next 14 laps on the again of Norris’ gearbox, however the Mercedes-powered McLaren proved too fast in a straight line as Hamilton did not trigger his countryman any actual issues.

Bottas, this week dropped by Mercedes for 2022, took the chequered flag 2.3 seconds away from Verstappen, with Hamilton a distant 20 secs adrift of his teammate.

System 1’s second dash race was a placid affair, with motorsport boss Ross Brawn admitting he was stunned by the shortage of overtaking on the Temple of Pace.

A 3rd dash occasion is ready to be trialled at November’s Brazilian Grand Prix earlier than deciding whether or not to tinker with the idea in 2022.

The concept of a reverse-grid race is once more on the desk. Below the newest proposal, Friday’s qualifying would set the order for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with the beginning grid for Saturday’s race reversed.

Extra factors would even be handed out for the dash, with the highest three drivers solely at present rewarded.

READ | Bottas wins Sprint race but loses pole to Verstappen for Italian Grand Prix on Sunday

“We spoke to the drivers at Silverstone, and a few felt there needs to be extra reward and extra jeopardy within the dash,” mentioned Brawn.

“If we’re doing that, then possibly a standalone occasion is a consideration.

“However we have now to be aware that we do not need gimmicks and to cannibalise, or have an effect on the integrity of the game. There’s a tough steadiness, however there’s undoubtedly potential there, too.”

However Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned: “Reverse grids dilute the DNA of the game.

“The dash races are price a attempt, though I’m not positive we’ll maintain them. The reverse-grid races might be achieved within the junior classes, however it’s not one thing we should always come near doing in System 1.”