Now this is a tricky bag of monkeys and no mistake. I saw somewhere that KERS should prove ultra-effective at Monza (and Renault are running it in addition to Ferrari and McLaren). Sure enough, Hamilton is in pole position, with Raikonnen 3rd and perennial under-achiever Kovalainen in 4th.
Sutil put in a great performance for Force India to finish 2nd whereas his erstwhile team-mate Fisichella (now of Ferrari) is a lowly 14th. Brawn’s cars are 5th and 6th, Barrichello leading Button, and title contenders Vettel and Webber languish in 9th and 10th respectively.
So, it should be a straightforward Hamilton victory, right? No. Hamilton should still be favourite, but he’s also the lightest on fuel of anyone in the field, and only Sutil is close to his fuel weight. Raikonnen is about 10kg heavier and the Brawns are absolutely loaded with over 30kg more than Hamilton.
So the Brawns will one-stop, and Hamilton and Raikonnen two-stop. Although it’s nicer to be further up the grid, it’s worth recalling that the last two winners came from 6th (Raikonnen last time at Spa) and 3rd (Barrichello at Valencia) to win.
I’ve put a little (equal stakes) on Button and Barrichello at 8.8 each (to win). Ross Brawn seemed thrilled with the result and Button was much more confident and relaxed when he spoke post-qualifying.
For a more likely chance you could try the 2.3 available for Button to get a podium, and similar odds for Barrichello.
I suspect this race will see Button consolidate his lead, finally, and really get one hand on the Drivers’ Title. Likewise, Brawn should make their grip on the Constructors’ Title even stronger.