And welcome to our coverage for practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. With Mercedes expected to romp away with it every time we turn up to any race, their situation is unlikely to be the most interesting of any of the teams. The “party mode” engine modes that teams use in qualifying have been outlawed starting for this Grand Prix, but I cannot see that affecting Mercedes too much at all. Perhaps they might get pole by 0.7s instead of 0.9 at the very most. And in any case the team themselves said that it may just mean that — with engine power saved on Saturday — they can just turn up the wick in the races.
In any case, the enduring Ferrari saga is one worth watching this weekend. Last week at Spa they had their worst performance in probably a decade, qualifying and finishing 13th and 14th, even behind the Ferrari customer Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen. Their main problem is power, in that they do not have a lot of it. And if Spa was a power circuit, then Monza is the power circuit. This could be a very difficult weekend for them indeed. I guess the saving grace is that there will be no fans present to express their dismay at the team’s travails.
In other, gigantic F1 news, following the sale of the Williams team to Dorilton Capital, both Frank Williams and Claire Williams — team principal and deputy, respectively, will be stepping down after this grand prix. It marks the end of an era for both the team and the sport.