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Vettel and Hamilton to battle it out for victory once more in Italy

| 08.09.2013

Ahead of the final European round of the F1 season, Sebastian Vettel leads the world championship by 46 points from Fernando Alonso, but it’s Lewis Hamilton who is set to be the German’s toughest challenger in the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel is favourite nonetheless at 13/8 to pick up a third victory in Monza, following his first ever win in 2008, and an emphatic success in 2011.

That race two years ago followed a dominant win from the German in the preceding Belgian Grand Prix, a performance eerily similar to his lights-to-flag success last time out at Spa.

The Red Bulls’ performance in Belgium showed it was no slouch in a straight line, a prerequisite for success at the famous Monza autodrome.

While Vettel has been a model of consistency this year, his rivals have struggled to provide a challenge on a race-by-race basis.

Lewis Hamilton sits 58 points behind Vettel in the standings, and is 7/2 to claim a second win of the season with Mercedes.

The Brit has grown stronger and stronger in 2013 following his big winter move from McLaren, and a current run of four pole positions in succession highlights his pace.

Mercedes still have some work to do over a race distance, but its engine is arguably the best in the business and Mercedes-powered cars have prevailed three times around the long straights of Monza since 2007.

The home crowd will only have eyes for one man however, and Fernando Alonso is 7/2 to reignite his championship challenge with a famous home victory for the Ferrari-loving tifosi.

A storming drive from ninth to second in Belgium suggested the Ferrari can compete on high-speed circuits following a summer often spent struggling to keep up with Vettel, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn is 11/ 1 for victory, after suffering his first retirement in a record 27 races at Spa.

Raikkonen hasn’t won since the opening round of the year in Australia, but his Lotus team are bringing an updated car with a longer wheelbase to Monza, in a bid to change their fortunes.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.