Columns Motorsport Trentham Sleaves

2014 Italian Grand Prix preview

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trenthamsleaves1F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race

If Formula 1 has a home it’s surely here in la bellisima ambiente of Monza. Standing in the paddock, as I was earlier today, one can almost literally smell the history in the air and taste the sweet dolcelatte of heritage.

I remarked as much to my old mate and multiple Monza winner Damon Hill just yesterday as we walked together down the pit lane. ‘I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ he quipped and then he pretended he needed to speak to someone in the Caterham pit and walked off! Damo has always had, as the locals might say, un senso dell’umorismo fantastico!

Of course, all eyes are on the ongoing battle between my mate Lewis Hamilton and his great rival, and my great friend, Nico Rosberg. It’s pretty clear to me that Lew and Nic won’t be giving each other una centimetre when the lights go out on Sunday. That makes life tricky for my old chum Niki Lauda who I caught up with inside the Mercedes motorhome yesterday morning. ‘How have you got in here again?’ he jested. ‘This is bullshit. Get out!’ he added. As they say around here, molto comico!

Last night as I dined alone in Huang’s, something of a legend in F1 circles and simply the finest ristorante Chineseo in the whole of La Lombardia, I had time to reflect on the legacy of my dear old friend Ayrton Senna who lost his life 20 years ago just a few hundred kilometres from here at a different track.  There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think of dear old Ayrt and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

As for this Sunday’s race, it would be foolish to speculate on who might take the infamous flagio chequred but you wouldn’t bet against Mercedes or Red Bull although Ferrari could surprise on terreno di casa as could Toro Rosso and you wouldn’t discount Williams or Force India. Whatever happens, I’ll have una posto primo for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.