The 2008 F1 season could see a fourth race hit by rain this weekend.
A wet Italian Grand Prix is very rare but there are strong predictions for wet weather during qualifying this weekend as well as the Grand Prix itself.
Although weather predictions for severals days ahead can be tricky to rely on the expectation of rain has been growing stronger. Some sites are predicting as much as a 90% chance of rain, but most agree showers are likely during the race weekend.
This radar prediction (found via autosport.com) shows the low pressure area associated with the rainfall. To view the future forecasts select one of the time intervals on the left of the main image, and to view the rainfall projection click Pr?â?®cipitations at the top of the page.
For reference you can see the geographical location of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza here.
The Italian Grand Prix is usually reliably dry. In fact, apart from a damp start to the 2004 race, it?óÔéĽÔäós hardly seen a drop of rain during the Grand Prix for decades.
Wet weather is guaranteed to make life more difficult for the drivers but along the high-speed Monza straights it could be even tougher. At a track where downforce levels are usually their lowest and the cars are trimmed for speeds in excess of 220mph, the dangers of wet weather racing are amplified.
It?óÔéĽÔäós been an unusually wet F1 season. Already we?óÔéĽÔäóve had rain at Monaco (wet-dry), Silverstone (wet-wetter) and Belgium (damp-dry-damp). There was a very brief rain showed during the French round as well. Last year also saw three races affected by rain: Europe (Nurburgring), Japan and China.
In all three of the significantly wet races this year Lewis Hamilton finished first on the track (although at Belgium, of course, had the win taken off him). More wet weather this weekend could play to his strengths and dampen the Tifosi?óÔéĽÔäós spirits.
But several other drivers will fancy their chances of a good finish in wet weather including Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Sutil.
Even if the rain doesn?óÔéĽÔäót materialise the weekend is still expected to be cool, which will be bad for Ferrari.
Keep an eye on the 2008 Italian Grand Prix weather watch thread started by Becken in the forum for more on developments with the weather this weekend.