Mercedes keen to extend Bottas deal

Mercedes keen to extend Bottas deal

But, while he has finished second and third in his two outings at Monza in scarlet, he hasn't yet achieved the feat for Ferrari.

Singapore on September 17 should suit him and Red Bull a lot more so if he can escape from Monza with a few points, that could set him up for a possible push for a first win of 2017 at the Marina Bay Circuit given the strong aerodynamics of the Austrian vehicle.

Sebastian Vettel feels Ferrari has not reached its full potential at Monza as it looks to take the challenge to the dominant Mercedes squad at the Italian manufacturer's home race. Bottas has one win this year with three runner-up finishes.

Ferrari are celebrating their 70th anniversary, with various activities to mark the occasion.

Hamilton dominated team-mate Valtteri Bottas last weekend, with the Finn only fifth at Spa, but the Mercedes drivers were more closely-matched on day one in Italy, with Bottas leading a one-two in second practice ahead of the Ferraris.

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton will hope to maintain his recent momentum when practice for the Italian F1 Grand Prix gets underway later.

"I know Toto has said that we will wait to the end of the season", he continued, "and that's generally because that's what I like to do but there's is no rush because we still have another year".

Spa showed us its greatness from all aspects as a hugely challenging track. So that's very positive.

The smart money is on Mercedes this weekend, but Spa-Francorchamps is rarely predictable. That display prompted Vettel to declare Ferrari should fear none of the remaining races on the calendar, despite several which would (on paper) appear to suit Mercedes. Hamilton, who had gone into that weekend looking for blood, will be similarly fired up to score a repeat of that result. I've been fortunate to win some races and get the closest thing to it but the point now is to win enough in a season where it leads to a world title.

Sebastian Vettel drove a fantastic race for second place, but despite getting level with Hamilton at one stage, just could not pass him.

With only seven points distancing Hamilton from standings leader Vettel following Sunday's win at the Belgian Grand Prix, the Briton comes to Italy knowing a sixth win of 2017 will at least pull him level at the top of the points table. The race on Sunday is all but certain to be a Ferrari vs. Mercedes tussle.

Red Bull have seen Max Verstappen suffer a number of engine problems in recent races and they are not happy with supplier Renault, and are demanding an improvement.

The Australian, who is of Italian descent and holds an Italian passport, will be hit with a grid penalty for exceeding his allocation of power unit components. He also won in 2012 with McLaren. The affectionately nicknamed "Temple of Speed" is F1's fastest circuit where drivers blast round at average speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. They were quick whenever they went out, which is what we expected.



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