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Old 3rd September 2015, 11:20   #1
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Default 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-title.png

F1 returns this weekend to the “temple of speed”; the home of the Tifosi and the Ferrari.

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-ferrari-blue-sky.jpg

The circuit is nicknamed the “temple of speed” because it is still the fastest Grand Prix circuit in the world, holding the records for the fastest average speed for a lap and for the highest ever top speed recorded.

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Formula One racing visited the circuit as part of the inaugural season in 1950, and it has remained a permanent fixture on the calendar ever since. Monza hosts its 65th Grand Prix this year which is the most of any track (Three ahead of Monaco). That record may be under threat if rumours are to be believed, as talks to sign a new contract to continue the event beyond the 2016 race have currently stalled over a lack of funding.

Over that time, Monza has seen an incredible list of historic moments, famous victories and horrifying crashes. All combine to make it one of the most magical places on the Formula One calendar. For many there is nowhere that encapsulates the sport better than this circuit. The Italians call it 'La Pista Magica', the magic track.

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Memorable Moments

1971 – Including Jacky Ickx’s retirement due to an engine failure and Chris Amon’s helmet issues putting him back to sixth, the lead changed 24 times in 55 laps between eight drivers, while eventual winner Peter Gethin only led for the first time on lap 52. He dropped back before using the slipstream to overtake Francois Cevert and Ronnie Peterson on the line, creating the closest ever finish at the time with 0.01 seconds between first and second.

1987 – Ayrton Senna drove a car that couldn’t really compete with the Williams at the time, so gambled upon making it to the end of the race on one set of tyres, preserving his tyres to perfection at the right time. However, lapping a backmarker sent him into the gravel trap and Piquet slipped through into the lead, creating a Brazilian one-two despite the state of Senna’s car.

1988 – Ferrari achieved a one-two finish and denied McLaren a clean sweep of all the races that season, after Prost and Senna battled each other while their fuel consumption was too high, leading the Frenchman to retire. Senna attempted to lap Jean-Louis Schlesser as quickly as possible, leading to a collision between them and Gerhard Berger inheriting the lead and the race victory.


The Monza circuit was built in 1922 and was only the third permanent racing circuit to ever be built, after Brooklands in the United Kingdom and Indianapolis in the United States of America. The circuit was very fast from it’s inception, initially consisting of a road course similar in layout to the modern track, combined with an oval banked track. Together they made a circuit 10 kilometers long, with the start-finish straight being divided between the two sections of track. The incredible banked section had a maximum inclination of 80% and a small section can still be walked on by dedicated fans at the exit of the Parabolica corner.
The combined circuit was used only four times in the World Championship. The oval was abandoned as a result of a series of fatal accidents, the last of which was death of Wolfgang von Trips and fifteen spectators. European motorsport started to move away from high speed oval racing and the banking was consigned to history.
Chicanes have been present since the very early days of racing in Monza to control the high speeds and have been re-profiled over the years. The first chicane, now a simple tight right left was once a very tricky double chicane that famously caught out Mika Hakkinen and Ayrton Senna, some of the best drivers in history. It may be less of a challenge but it’s new layout undoubtedly promotes overtaking.

Circuit Characteristics:

Circuit length : 5.793km/3.600 miles

Laps : 53

Run to Turn One : 380 metres/0.2 miles

Longest straight : 1.120km/0.7 miles, on the approach to Turn One

Top speed : 360km/h/224mph on the approach to Turn One

Pitlane length : 420 metres. A pitstop takes about 25s

DRS zones: Two with separate detection points – pit straight and between Lesmo Two and Variante Ascari. But overtaking remains difficult because the impact of DRS is less at Monza than at other racetracks, due to the small rear wings being used by the cars.

Chances of a Safety Car : Low.

Weather forecast : Temperatures in the mid-20s are expected, but with big temperature swings during the day

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-track-details.png

The circuit is incredibly fast but also notoriously bumpy. The relentless pursuit of high top speed around this circuit necessitates a low downforce low drag setup and teams will often bring parts specifically designed for this track. The skinny front and rear wings lend the cars a uniquely aggressive appearance. The one exception to this rule was back in 2010 when Jenson Button used a high downforce setup in combination with the drag-reducing F-duct device to stall the wing on the straight. This worked well for Jenson who qualified and finished second, but this unique innovation was banned the following year.


The presence of long straight lines and the lack of aerodynamic load, which reduces the possibility of drag induced decelerations, make the braking sections extremely violent and demanding to manage. There are a total of six braking events around the lap and on two occasions the cars slow from 200mph (322km/h) to 50mph (80km/h) in just two seconds. The g-force and stopping distance from such speed is truly astonishing. Turn one is considered to be the heaviest braking zone on the circuit and provides the best opportunity to overtake.


In an unexpectedly aggressive move, Pirelli has decided to bring the soft and medium tyres to their home race, rather than the medium and hard combination which had been selected since 2012. Monza, the fastest circuit on the calendar, is historically a one-stop race but Pirelli believe the soft/medium combination will "open up interesting possibilities for race strategy". Expected performance gap between the two compounds: 0.8 – 1.0 seconds per lap.
Hopefully the incidents with the tyres at Spa will not be repeated as the loads are expected to be lower than last race.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:
“Monza is always one of the highlights of our season, with an incredible history and atmosphere. We have the medium and soft compounds, a step softer than our nomination last year, which should be well suited to Monza and the emphasis on speed that this circuit always places. We’re expecting a fair degree of wear and degradation, so as always the work done during free practice will be very important when it comes to calculating the optimal strategy. With the two compounds potentially quite closely matched in terms of pace, this opens up a few options.
The cars run low downforce at Monza and that actually increases the work for the tyres considerably under acceleration and braking, because with less force pushing down on top of the car, it’s the tyres that are providing all the mechanical grip. Allied to the kerbs at Monza, this provides our tyres with a wide-ranging all-round challenge, requiring consistent durability and performance. We have finalised the investigation into Sebastian Vettel’s tyre at Spa. Detailed conclusions from the technical analysis will be presented at Monza”.

Last year’s race:

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-monza-celebrations.jpg

Last year the Italian Grand Prix was sweet revenge for Lewis after the clash with Nico at the previous race in Belgium. Lewis dropped from pole position to fourth by the first corner with Nico leading the pack, but with a very aggressive attacking drive he took the places back from Magnussen and Massa, then proceeded to charge down his team-mate. Under pressure, Nico made a mistake into the braking zone of the first corner and had to take the escape road, which allowed Lewis through. He used a one-stop strategy for the 53-lap race, started on the medium tyre and then switched to the hard on lap 25.
There was also a fantastic drive from Daniel Ricciardo with some superbly fought overtaking moves, particularly in the battle with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Alonso’s desperate retirement in his Ferrari with an engine failure on their home soil added to mounting tensions that soon saw him sign for Mclaren.

What to expect in 2015 GP?
The heavy reliance on top speed will benefit the teams with the Mercedes power unit and hamper those with the Renault and Honda engines. Expect the two works Mercedes to battle it out at the head of the field again, with Williams likely providing a decent challenge to the resurgent Ferrari team.
Lotus and Force India are also likely to be strong here. Red Bull could well be in the mix of things if all goes well with the Renault PU upgrade.
Expect McLaren and Honda to struggle through the weekend, but the situation should be slightly better than Spa owing to the better usage of ERS on the heavy braking zones in Monza. After racking up 105-places of grid penalties at Spa to get two fresh, upgraded engines into their pool, it wouldn't be a surprise if McLaren does it again to increase their pool heading into the final part of the season.
Saturday has an exaggerated importance at Monza, with the polesitter going on to triumph in eight of the last ten races. statistically, pole position is more important at Monza than it is at Monaco.

Romain Grosjean will be flying high after his podium finish last time out and will be very keen to continue this form as Lotus look set to sell out to Renault and become a works team again.
Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by leading Nico Rosberg home to the flag last time out in Beligum and should be full of confidence as expected.
Hopefully Nico will be all charged up as well after the birth of his daughter this week and will give Hamilton a tough time up ahead of the pack, which has been lacking in the recent races. The title race will be all but over if Nico doesn't win at Monza.

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-drivers-championship.png

The constructors championship is looking more interesting lower down the order than at top.
2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-constructors-championship.png

A quick look at the stats for this year paints a bleak picture with regards to competition.
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Vettel could make history this weekend though: having won previously with Toro Rosso (2008) and Red Bull (2011, 2013), he could prevail with a third different team. Only one other man in history has achieved that at Monza - Stirling Moss, who triumphed in 1956 (Maserati), 1957 (Vanwall) and 1959 (Rob Walker Racing).

Mercedes are chasing their 23rd consecutive pole position, which would leave them just one shy of Williams' all-time mark of 24, set over the 1992/93 campaigns.

Hamilton meanwhile could book a 19th straight front row start. Only one driver sits above him - Ayrton Senna, who racked up an amazing 24 front-row starts between 1988 and '89.

Kimi Raikkonen has never won at Monza. He started on pole in 2006 and has led only 26 laps in total. However he has set the fastest lap on a record-equalling three occasions (2005, 2006 and 2008), but victory continues to elude him.

Ferrari have claimed more victories (18) than any other team at their home race. McLaren (10), Williams (6) and Lotus (5) are next up.

Event timings:
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Sources : Formula1 website, FIA website & team reviews.

Last edited by jfxavier : 3rd September 2015 at 11:47.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 11:39   #2
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Default re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Italy team preview quotes - Source : Formula1 website.


Felipe Massa
“Monza is one of the best circuits to drive - the layout is quick with some very fast corners. The local area is fantastic with good weather, great food and fans who are very passionate about Formula One. There is a lot of history at the track and as a team we have had some good results there, including our podium last year. Standing on the Monza podium is very special and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of supporters in Italy. Our car should be suited well to the characteristics of the circuit but we will have to work hard to make sure that we leave Italy with a good result.”
Valtteri Bottas
“I always look forward to racing in Monza. It’s an old school track with a lot of history and is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar which gives you a real buzz when driving. It requires a low downforce set-up from the car which should be good for us. The passionate fans also make the weekend a special one. We are aiming for a strong weekend here. We have learnt from our mistakes and will bounce back even stronger!”
Rob Smedley
“Monza is a specialist circuit and, like the rest of the teams, we will be taking a dedicated aero package. It’s a great circuit and a challenge for both engineers and drivers to get right. There are some very high speed straights with big braking zones with some fast and medium speed corners too. Ascari is a real challenge and Parabolica needs a good front end which fortunately the FW37 has. It’s a test for the drivers as they will have the lowest drag set up of the year which takes time to get used to during the first Friday session. Last year we were on the podium so we look to replicate that performance and carry on outscoring our closest competitors. Italy is fantastic and the fans give the team a great reception, despite being a completely British team and of course the Tifosi are some of the most passionate fans in sport.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz
"Monza is such a classic, old-school track, every driver loves to race there! I enjoyed it so much there last year [in Formula Renault 3.5] - but to drive an F1 there and reach one of the highest top-speeds of the year... that must be such an adrenaline rush! I'm positive even if I'll have to take a 10-place grid penalty. I really want to at least gain all those positions back in the race, as [Max] did in Spa... If [he can] do it, I can do it!"
Max Verstappen
"Yes, I just can't wait - it's the type of track I enjoy: high speeds, great braking zones and a unique atmosphere. The only time I drove there was last year during an F3 test, but to actually race there must be such a great feeling. Even though Monza isn't the best track for us in terms of engine speed, I will push to the max, obviously! It's the team's home race, so it's definitely going to be a special one for us and everyone will be extra motivated. Hopefully we can deliver another good result and score some more points!"


Fernando Alonso
"Monza is completely unique - a fantastic circuit, so much history, great fans, and huge fun to drive. It's always special to go there year after year to experience the atmosphere, and the way the car feels when you drive on that track is completely different to any other.
"I have won at Monza twice in my career - once with McLaren in 2007 - and both times were incredibly special. For this race we have to manage our own expectations, as we know it won't suit our car.
"It will be tough, but we'll still push hard as usual, learn as much as we can about our package, and work on our low-downforce configuration to try and get as much as we can out of the weekend."
Jenson Button
"Monza is such a great place, definitely one of the most incredible races on the calendar for a driver, and always such a thrill to race on. It's completely unique in terms of the setup it demands, and I love the feeling you get when you hit the sweet spot in the corners - keeping the car controlled under heavy braking on the way in is tricky, and then on the way out it becomes very unsettled as you're trying to get the power down, so it's a great test of nerve.
"Spa was a very tough race for the team, and especially so on my side of the garage due to the deployment issues I had on the straights. We're working hard on this and we're optimistic that there won't be a repeat in Monza, as it really hindered any chance I had of keeping up with the rest of the pack. That said, Monza's high speeds will prove very challenging for us, but we'll give it our all and stay focussed as ever.
"The key for us will be getting the maximum from the car on Saturday, to give ourselves a fighting chance of a good battle on Sunday afternoon. Despite the issues, the car was well balanced in Spa and felt good to drive, particularly in qualifying, so we'll aim to make the most of that in Monza, too, before we head to the fly-aways where there'll be circuits that'll suit our car's strengths much better."
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda racing director
"Firstly, on behalf of everyone at McLaren-Honda, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Justin Wilson at this incredibly difficult time. He was not only a much-loved member of the Formula 1 and motorsport community, but also well-known to many members of our team, and the tragic news of his passing puts all of our racing activities into sharp perspective. Rest in peace, Justin.
"As we move our thoughts to Monza, the race which marks the end of the European leg of the season, it's often a good opportunity to look further ahead to the end of the season and the final fly-away races of the year. It's certainly been a tough year for McLaren-Honda so far, but we're continuing to fight with our heads held high.
"Spa was a particularly unflattering race for our package, which disappointingly masked many signs of progress we were hoping to see after the summer break. However, we always knew Spa would be one of, if not the, most challenging grand prix of the season, and we were certainly proved right. On the other hand, we also took some positives from the weekend and we're working hard to ensure we achieve the same consistent tyre performance and improved car balance that we saw in Spa-Francorchamps.
"In terms of Monza's characteristics, it's another high-speed, low downforce track, and a unique challenge, with long straights and heavy braking. For this reason, we expect this race will be difficult for us in similar ways to Spa, but our aim is to finish the race with both cars and learn as much as we can from the weekend in anticipation of Singapore and beyond, where we're hopeful of demonstrating improved pace. In Monza, the passionate fans and incredible atmosphere that are always guaranteed there will surely provide us with a fantastic weekend of racing on this legendary circuit."
Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport
"Monza is another high-speed track which unfortunately does not suit our package. The drivers are on full throttle for most of the lap due to the long straights and fast corners, and since maximum power and minimal drag are key we know we have a big challenge ahead of us this weekend.
"We know we still have a lot of work to do, but we also know we're heading in the right direction to start achieving our goals. As always, the team will continue to work tirelessly, and we will remain determined and focused on the job at hand."


Lewis Hamilton

“Spa was a really positive weekend for me. I felt comfortable right the way through and it was great to finally get another win at one of the real classic F1 circuits. Now, we head to another of those in Monza. It’s an awesome track - so fast and with some of the most passionate fans you’ll see anywhere in the world. I was actually at this circuit with Sir Stirling Moss earlier this year, driving the banking in his old Mercedes W 196, which was just awesome. Having that taste of what it was like for those guys back in the day really gives you a feel for the history of this place and why it became so legendary. It’s still a big challenge today, too. Fast, but really technical at the same time with some heavy braking and big kerbs to ride for the best line. Racing in Italy brings back a lot of good memories for me and I’d love to add to those this weekend, so that’s the aim.”
Nico Rosberg
“The race in Spa was definitely disappointing. My start was not good so I need to work on that and also on finding those extra tenths in qualifying to get back on top there. I know I have the car underneath me to get pole and the win every time with this incredible machine the team have built, so nothing less will do. Monza is next and I can’t wait to try out this season’s Silver Arrow there. I’m sure it will suit our car and it’s a circuit I really enjoy, so all the ingredients are there for a strong weekend. I’m sure the Tifosi will want a red car to be on the top step but, whatever the result, you know they will create an unbelievable atmosphere. Standing on the podium last year was a great experience and the target is to be one step higher this time around.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“It was a fantastic performance from the entire team in Spa. We brought a competitive package to the car, the crew were flawless and both Lewis and Nico produced strong drives. The result was particularly satisfying after an eventful day on Friday, where the team did well to react to a challenging situation. A positive weekend meant that we left Belgium with our Championship position significantly strengthened - but the fortunes of our rivals also played a part in that and the outcome of the race overall was a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted. Top results in this sport are far more easily lost than gained - and one bad weekend can produce a big swing in points. We can be proud of what we have achieved so far this season but the battle is by no means won.”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
“Monza is one of the true classics of the sport - a fantastic race track with a lot of heritage. With the old banking still in place, there is nowhere better to get a real impression of how Formula One used to be in the early days. The circuit itself is quite unique - very high speed, with a special minimum drag aerodynamic package required and significant demand placed on the engine. The brakes, too, are worked hard here, with three big stops around the lap. Kerbs are also a factor, with a good suspension setup crucial to allow the drivers to ride the kerbs and find time in the first sector particularly. The crowds are spectacular - certainly one of the most enthusiastic of the year - although, they are mostly cheering for another team! We hope for a strong performance in Monza. However, you can never be certain at a track with such unique characteristics, so we will need to ensure we are well prepared as ever for the weekend.”

Force India

Sergio Perez

“The race in Belgium was good fun: it's always nice to battle at the front and, even though we didn't manage to get onto the podium, it was good to come away with our best result of the season so far. Our performance is improving and we are taking the opportunities when they arise. We have seen that we can now fight with nearly everyone and it's important we keep aiming for the podium.
“Monza is a place with lots of memories for me. I had one of my best races in Formula One there in 2012, finishing second after a clever race managing tyres. The circuit is probably one of the most beautiful in the calendar: there's history wherever you look and you can feel it's a unique place from the very moment you arrive at the track. The Italian fans are amazing - they remind me of Mexicans, in a way, and it's a good warm-up ahead of the race in Mexico City!
“Monza is a true power track and so we go there confident of being competitive. It’s never easy to overtake and the strategy options are quite limited, and so getting the job done in qualifying is especially important. In the race it’s a case of being flat out all the way and being accurate with your braking points.
“My feeling with the updated car is very good now. Spa was the most comfortable I’ve been this season and it showed in the results. We need to go to Monza and deliver a similar performance.”
Nico Hulkenberg
“When you have a frustrating weekend like the one in Spa, the best cure is to get back behind the wheel and go racing again. I know we could have been very competitive in Belgium without the technical issues on race day and we missed an opportunity to score good points.
“Monza is special. It's a high-speed track that pushes the car to the limit: it may look easy but the margin for error when braking for the chicanes is very small and you end up paying heavily for every mistake. It's a fun and challenging circuit to drive and the atmosphere makes it even better. The fans are very passionate and knowledgeable: the town lives for the race and you have a feeling that you're in one of the temples of Formula One.
“The layout of the track should allow us to be competitive and it’s an opportunity for us to score important points. I had a very exciting race there in 2013 and I wouldn't mind a repeat performance. We have seen what the VJM08 is capable of in the last few events and I think we will have the chance to compete in the top ten.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, team principal
“The high-speed challenge of historic Monza is always one of the highlights of the year. It’s the final race of the European season and it’s important that we score strongly to regain the initiative in our fight for fifth place in the standings.
“The last race in Belgium showed that the updates we’ve brought to the VJM08 are working as intended. We’ve taken some big steps forward over the last couple of months and with more developments in the pipeline I think we can keep up this momentum.
“Of course, the result in Spa was bittersweet as we could only compete with one car, but we’ve shown that the VJM08 is capable of qualifying and racing well inside the top ten. At the same time, Spa reminded us that we cannot take our progress for granted and we must continue to work hard to remain at the front of the midfield battle.
“Monza is a track where we expect to be competitive. We go there aiming to get both our cars in Q3 on Saturday and in the points on Sunday - that must be our target for all the races to come.”


Marcus Ericsson

“The race weekend in Monza is always a very special event due to the popularity of Formula One and the tifosi. There is always a thrilling atmosphere, and the Italians are really passionate about motorsport. The circuit is the fastest on the calendar, and I am curious about the top speed on the straights with the modified engine. It is important to have a high straight-line speed, and to be fast through the chicanes. We need to find a compromise with the downforce level giving us a high straight-line speed, but also finding the right set-up for a stable car.”
Felipe Nasr
“Monza is an historic track. I know the circuit well from every series I have come through. It reminds me a lot of the time when I moved to Italy in 2009. Back then I lived just 40 minutes away from Monza. It is a unique circuit for me. The flow is really nice, with Parabolica being my favourite corner. I am looking forward to driving the circuit again, and it will be my first time there in a Formula One car. The high-speed track should suit our car well. We need to find an efficient balance for being fast on the straights and not losing too much time in the corners. A good braking stability, as well as traction for coming out of the chicanes, is important.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering
“The Monza circuit is known worldwide for the impressive speeds the cars reach on the straights, which are the highest of the season. At the same time, this historic facility features challenging corners of every kind, from low-speed chicanes to flowing bends, such as Lesmo and Parabolica. The set-up has to take into account downforce levels more than anywhere else, so the engineers will target maximum mechanical grip with an accent on braking, traction and kerb riding. As for the tyre allocation, the medium and the soft are a way more sensible choice than the medium and hard we have had for years. They will open up new scenarios and the show will benefit from such a choice.”


Romain Grosjean

“I like Monza a lot because it is so distinctive. It’s a great track that has a lot of racing history. This makes it nice for us to compete at a place where all our heroes raced too. There is a lot of atmosphere around the track and to race in the setting of the royal park makes for a really special ambience. Of course the Ferrari fans are a big part of it and it is really nice competing at such a legendary venue.
“One of my first ever races in cars was at Monza back in 2003 when I was driving in a category called Formula Lista where I won and then went on to win every race of my rookie season in that formula. I have had some other big results at Monza too throughout my career, so it holds lots of good memories.
“On paper, Monza should suit our car better than Spa so in theory a podium could be possible again! Of course, we don’t know how our performance relative to our rivals will stack up until we get there, but I’m certainly going out for the strongest result possible, as I always do.
“You need your car to be as slippery as possible and quick in a straight line, and in that regard we’ve looked pretty strong so far in 2015. Then we have to manage the tyre degradation. Also for us it will be tricky in the big corners like the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane because the less downforce you have then the more difficult it is to get good grip in the turns. It is a tough compromise but one I am sure that the team will get the best solution possible.
“Pizza or pasta? I know a great Pizzeria close to the track, so it is pizza all the way for me. But I am always careful because it can catch up very easily on the weight side of things! Italy is a magic place and the cultural aspects are a big part of that. Like a lot of drivers I did a lot of racing there, even since karting days so I feel like I know the country very well. I don’t know anyone who does not enjoy being in Italy.”
Pastor Maldonado
“I like Monza and I love Italy. I actually used to live very close to the circuit when I was starting my career here in Europe. I have won races here so it holds some good memories and special feelings for sure. I have a lot of friends here and a lot of supporters who come and see me at the track, so it is very nice to catch up with them all. The track is totally unique and of course it is great to be racing where all the old heroes did too. Monza has changed only very slightly over the years and it still has the character of the old banking and the parkland trees as you drive through it and of course the fans create a great atmosphere which is a great soundtrack to the Grand Prix.
“I am really looking forward to Monza this year. We’ve shown our car to be pretty good through the speed traps this season and Monza is where you want to be as fast as possible in a straight line. Coming off the back of our performance in Spa it’s going to be really interesting to see how we go; I have a good feeling.
“The one word that comes to mind when I hear the word Monza is speed. It has to be speed because the track is all about how fast you can go on the start/finish straight and then also on the back straight too. We are reaching the highest speeds of the season on these stretches. One of the critical points is the Parabolica corner. You have to get this right at the end of your lap to ensure a good time, and if you get it wrong it also compromises you for the next lap. It’s difficult to do this as the car is set up for low downforce on the straights, so it’s more difficult to drive on the corners – especially a long corner like Parabolica, which is tough and fast, the most crucial at Monza.”
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy team principal
“Monza is a fantastic race track. As in Spa, we have good chances to perform well in Italy with the E23 and bring back home a haul of points.
“It’s very important for me personally as my ancestors were from Italy! More seriously, Monza, Spa, Silverstone, have all been part of the original history of motor racing. Monza is and will always remain a classic in the Formula 1 calendar. The fans - or tifosi in Italy - are simply amazing and there are so many of them at all these historic venues no matter if it pours with rain or even if it snowed!
“What do I like the most about Italy? The people; Italy is very colourful. The Italian food of course is also wonderful. It makes me feel at home when I’m there, I love the country.”
Nick Chester, Technical director
“I think that the potential [for Monza] is quite good. The cars have performed well at medium downforce tracks like Montréal and Spa. Monza is a step lower downforce that we never run anywhere else. The car seems to be efficient heading down to these kinds of levels. The E23 also has good braking and is reasonably well set-up for low drag. It should go quite well in Italy.
“Monza is one of the fastest circuits that requires the lowest downforce setting. The cars will be doing around 350kph so very fast. It is also important for the car to be good over the kerbs at the chicanes and so far we have seen the E23 is pretty good over kerbs.
“We will be doing more work on our new front wing which we first ran on the Friday in Spa and will run a number of tests in Monza.”

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo

“[Monza is] the only circuit where you expect to be driving through flares! We had that on the warm-up last year, massive cloud of red smoke at the second Lesmo. Pretty different – but I like that. The Italian fans are passionate – some might say crazy – and you’ll really get your fill of atmosphere. The drivers’ parade is special: they’ll all be there with their shirts off, yelling ‘Forza Ferrari’. It’s a laugh.
“Is it a less challenging race than Spa? It is, because if you need a breather, there’s plenty of long straights where you can take one. Actually that can be a bit of a problem because it really isn’t a circuit where you want to lose focus. You’re coming into very heavy braking zones at very high speed and you can’t afford to lock-up or lose time by braking too early. You have to be very switched on.
“Since they made the chicane kerbs too high to ride in an F1 car, braking has become the biggest thing at Monza. It’s very tricky to get that right. You’re coming down to the first chicane at your highest speed of the year and braking for what is almost the tightest corner in F1, with the least amount of downforce. The car starts to slide around and becomes quite tricky, so getting the braking right is key. It’s really good too...
“How do I approach the weekend away from the track? Driving. Motorhome. Pizza. Firstly it’s a nice drive from my home – about two and a half hours from Monaco to Monza. Then I’ll stay in my motorhome – but in town rather than at the circuit. Finally, pizza. Actually the best pizza in the world. I’m not telling you the name of the place that serves the best pizza in the world in case they run out of pizza but they’re in Monza and I’ll be there. Happy days!”
Daniil Kvyat
“Monza is my favourite track. Every corner just gives you the feeling that you are doing something special. Lesmo I and II, Ascari... every corner. Well, they unfortunately changed Parabolica a little bit. The changes there do make a difference. It isn’t quite the same experience anymore. You still have to push a lot and it still requires a lot of technique, but the problem is that even if you make a mistake you get forgiven. It’s not the same. But overall the track is still amazing. An important circuit for me in the past and I love it.
“I’ve won there a few times, in Renault 2.0 [Alps in 2012] and in GP3. In Renault I was on pole and won both races and in GP3 I was on pole, won the feature race and finished second in the sprint race. It’s a pretty cool feeling winning there.
“I lived in Italy for about eight years and I still live very close to Monza, in Lugano in Switzerland. It’s about half an hour drive. I will probably go to Monza on Thursday morning because it’s such a short drive away. But once the racing starts I wouldn’t risk it for the traffic. Anyway, I love Italy, I love being there and for me it’s like a second home.”
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:00   #3
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Lets not forget the awesome 1982 Italian GP.

Andretti making a fairy tale comeback.

There have been a plethora of memorable stand-in performances in F1 racing’s rich history, but for many Mario Andretti’s emotional cameo for Ferrari at the 1982 Italian Grand Prix remains the finest of them all…

“Did I accept as a favour to Mr Ferrari? Well, sure, up to a point. But mainly I did it as a favour to me! Jesus, what kind of guy can say no to Ferrari at Monza?"

Mario Andretti had been out of F1 proper for the best part of a year, racing IndyCars in his homeland, when he received the call from the Old Man. Sure, he had commitments stateside, and no, his last Grand Prix outing - a one-off appearance for Williams at Long Beach earlier in the 1982 season - had not gone at all smoothly, but how could he turn down the chance to race for Ferrari at Monza, the very same circuit where, as a 14-year-old, he’d screamed himself hoarse supporting Prancing Horse star Alberto Ascari?

The answer was simple: he couldn’t.

Andretti’s Monza invitation had come amid desperate times for the Scuderia, who’d lost talismanic star Gilles Villeneuve to a fatal crash at Zolder in May and then seen his championship-leading team mate Didier Pironi suffer what looked to be career-ending injuries in another horrific shunt at Hockenheim barely three months later. To make matters worse, Patrick Tambay, the man with the unenviable task of filling Villeneuve’s vaunted number 27 cockpit, had been forced to pull out of the most recent round at Dijon because of severe back pain.

In short, Ferrari’s prospects for their home race - and for their ongoing constructors’ championship challenge - looked bleak. Cue the call to Andretti…

The American fit the bill on many levels: not only was he a world champion with a proven track record (including victory at Monza in 1977), he was also familiar with the team’s unique character having raced for them in the early Seventies. The fact that he was born and raised in Italy was simply a bonus - both to the mechanics he’d work with and to the Scuderia’s adoring Tifosi.

There was just one problem: Andretti had never driven a turbo-powered F1 car before. Worse still, his indifferent showing at Long Beach had led some to question whether, at 42, he still had what it took to compete at the highest level.

"I was never really happy with myself that weekend at Long Beach," he’d explain. "And that was why, if I was going to take up Ferrari's offer I wanted to come over here in good time, do plenty of testing, get to know the car, which wasn't really possible with Frank [Williams] because there was so little time.

“I really need to feel that the car and I are talking to each other before I can really give it a go."

A test was hastily arranged at Fiorano in order to allow Andretti to get to grips with Ferrari’s punchy 126C2, and much to the delight of all involved the chemistry between car and driver was almost instant, resulting in a new lap record at the test track.

Hopes for Monza began to rise – as did ticket sales for the event…

Andretti’s only previous outing for Ferrari on home soil in 1972 had yielded seventh, both on the grid and in the race, but the so-called Americano was destined to do much, much better for the Scuderia this time around.

Friday’s first qualifying session saw Andretti place sixth, the veteran bemoaning the fact that he’d allowed himself to be blocked on several occasions. Saturday, however, was an altogether different story.

In what proved to be an intense final session, Tambay set the pace, sending the assembled masses into raptures. But the excitement levels were soon dimmed when Nelson Piquet then went quicker still in his BMW-powered Brabham. With Tambay having already used his second set of the super sticky qualifying tyres, Ferrari’s hopes now lay with their super sub.

There were just minutes left on the clock when Andretti headed out of the pits for a final time, boost wound to the maximum, anticipation at fever pitch. The two flying laps that followed were nothing short of scorching.

Andretti had snatched pole position back for Ferrari and sent Monza into delirium.

"Some of it, I guess, is down to me, getting to know the car and all that,” said a typically modest Andretti amid a mob of journalists and photographers in the pit lane, “but most of it is down to the engine. Man, it was just fantastic today…”

Sadly that very same engine, or at least the turbo part of it, put paid to Andretti’s chances of victory on race day, the American eventually coming home a still-admirable third behind Tambay and Renault’s Rene Arnoux. But it mattered not - Andretti had silenced his doubters, helped keep Ferrari’s championship challenge on course and written his name into Monza folklore once more. More importantly, in the midst of a traumatic year he’d given Ferrari and their devoted following something to smile about.

Comebacks don’t get much better.

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Old 3rd September 2015, 13:34   #4
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

The 'max throttle' race of the Tifosis is finally here! They say Ferrari mysteriously gets 50 more horsepower on this track .

My money is on Hamilton. He is in superb shape at the moment and is getting the best performance out of that car. On a track where horsepower is everything, Mercedes have an advantage.

Some reports state that rain is likely on Saturday (but not Sunday). If so, will be a fun qualifying.

Here's to a fun race weekend!
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Old 3rd September 2015, 15:08   #5
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

I think grid positions will be similar to the one in Belgium post saturday qualifying. Mercedes are just too quick here and I expect Williams, Lotus and Force India to shine. These cars are great on straight line speed. Vettel will definitely give the tifosi something to smile about.
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Old 4th September 2015, 00:38   #6
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Pirelli concluded the investigation into the Spa tyre failures & found that the cuts caused by debris on track was the root cause of the failures.

Pirelli has carried out an extensive investigation following the tyre incidents during the Belgian GP.

Its main conclusions, as presented to the FIA, were :

- Tyres used by different teams during the race were examined by cutting sections through the tyre, none showed any signs of internal delamination (hence fatigue).

- Tyres used by different teams during the race were run on a test rig and were subjected to a representative race duty cycle, again none showed any signs of internal delamination (hence fatigue).

- A highly unusual number of cuts were reported by Pirelli engineers during the Spa weekend, one of which reached the belt and caused tyre failure on Nico Rosberg’s car.

- Microscopic examination was conducted on sections taken through some of the cuts found in tyres used by different teams in the race, the results showed one other case where the cut had reached the belt but without causing failure.

- The remaining tread thickness on Sebastian Vettel’s rear tyres was approximately 30% at the time of the failure making the tyre more susceptible to damage from even small pieces of debris.

The FIA is satisfied with the thoroughness of the investigation and Pirelli’s conclusions as to the reasons for the tyre failures in Belgium.

Based on this, the FIA is willing to consider any safety recommendations made by the tyre supplier for the Italian GP and for the remainder of the season.
Source : http://www.fia.com/news/2015-italian...ss-information

FOM was quick to issue a statement in support of Pirelli.

Pirelli has been a first class partner of Formula One during the five seasons in which it has been the Official Supplier of Tyres to the FIA Formula One World Championship and we continue to have full confidence in the safety, quality and suitability of its tyres.

Within the constraints of safety considerations, which are always paramount, Formula One encourages Pirelli to provide tyre compounds with performance limitations because tyre degradation contributes to the challenge and entertainment of a Formula One race. When doing so, Pirelli provides strong guidance to competitors about any performance limitations of the tyres supplied. Competitors should heed Pirelli’s expert advice when setting their race strategy and tactics, and if they do not, it is at their own risk.

We are entirely satisfied that Pirelli was not at fault for any tyre-related incidents during the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tyres to last for an entire Event. While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting.

Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!
Source : http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-...n-pirelli.html

However Vettel was not very impressed when he was asked about it during the PC.

Now, you made you feelings very clear to the media in Spa about Pirelli and the tyre failure. Having now seen the results of the investigation, what are your considered thoughts on the matter?

SV: Well, first of all I think there was a lot of stuff explained or written that I think was not correct, the way it was expressed. I think it was very clear what I said. I think the most important point is that obviously we have been looking into the issue we had very clearly and Pirelli has been supportive and very open in the discussions, so I think that’s the most important thing and we need to make sure that we learn from that. Other than that we are in Monza now and, as I said, there is plenty of other stuff to look forward to.
2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-pc-thursday.jpg

Source : http://www.fia.com/news/2015-italian...ess-conference

Last edited by jfxavier : 4th September 2015 at 00:41.
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Old 4th September 2015, 07:48   #7
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Ferrari and Mercedes are both using Engine tokens at Monza.
Ferrari used 3 tokens, while Mercedes has used all tokens at their disposal.

Ferrari has played down the engine improvements.
"We have used three tokens to upgrade the engine for this race," Maurizio Arrivabene confirmed. "I don't want to say what we have done or which part of the engine we have changed, but obviously it's important for us here to do as much as we can to be competitive, and thus to increase the power and torque of the engine."
However Mercedes is playing the development game well by planning for the next season already. They decided to use all its remaining engine development tokens for the Italian Grand Prix. However, more than performance, they are introducing parts that are to be used in the development direction that the team wants to adopt for next season, so fast-tracking them into this season's engine will give it further scope to improve for next year.
(Source : http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/me...or-italian-gp/ )

While all this is happening up front, there is so much action at the back end of the grid that JB is confused
"I've got a penalty, Fernando's got a penalty; mine's five, his is 10 places at the moment; there are two Red Bulls with penalties, there's a Toro Rosso with penalties; in the race, I don't know what's going to happen," Button said.
(Source : http://www.eurosport.com/formula-1/m...30/story.shtml )
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Old 4th September 2015, 17:10   #8
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Here's the FP1 timings. Source : FIA website.

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It looks business as usual. Mercs wiping the floor with the competitors.
Force India's look good so far.
McLaren is swapping the engines to Hungary PU for back to back comparo.

On the tyre action front, Pirelli has revised the min. tyre pressure increase to 1 psi after the teams protested.
The new limits are 19.5 PSI at the front and 21 PSI at the rear.

The degree of negative camber the teams can run has also been reduced to three degrees at the front and two at the rear to protect the tyres.

Pirelli have also mandated that tyre blankets can only be used to a maximum of 110c.
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Old 4th September 2015, 19:18   #9
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Friday Practise 2 results:
1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 01:24.279 27
2. N. Rosberg Mercedes 01:24.300 35
3. S. Vettel Ferrari 01:25.038 36
4. S. Perez Force India 01:25.278 34
5. N. Hulkenberg Force India 01:25.325 43
6. K. Raikkonen Ferrari 01:25.380 39
7. R. Grosjean Lotus 01:25.497 41
8. P. Maldonado Lotus 01:25.513 41
9. V. Bottas Williams 01:25.647 34
10. F. Massa Williams 01:25.891 31
11. F. Nasr Sauber 01:26.114 30
12. M. Ericsson Sauber 01:26.133 32
13. D. Ricciardo Red Bull 01:26.222 27
14. M. Verstappen Toro Rosso 01:26.454 38
15. C. Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 01:26.641 50
16. F. Alonso McLaren 01:26.966 31
17. W. Stevens Manor 01:28.201 29
18. R. Merhi Manor 01:28.439 27
19. J. Button McLaren 01:28.471 3
20. D. Kvyat Red Bull 01:28.723 28

Source: F1racing.net

Mercedes are going to wipe out the opposition. They seem to be in another league itself. Ferrari seem to be running on low tanks to please the crowds.
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Old 5th September 2015, 13:02   #10
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Monza is probably the fastest track of them all. The Mercedes power advantage is clear. Unless some misfortune befalls the team, I do not see any other team challenging them. Over time, Lewis Hamilton has emerged as the stronger of the team's two drivers. Nico Rosberg needs some luck and has to try something out of the ordinary if he has to beat Hamilton.

McLaren has gone from being a top team to becoming the joke of the season. The way things are going, I don't see them returning to the top for a long time. Alonso might never win another title (or even a race) in his Formula 1 career if he continues at McLaren.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th September 2015 at 07:06.
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Old 5th September 2015, 16:04   #11
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

The press conferences at Tifosi land always has something special about the Ferrari drivers. Looks like Kimi is the star there this year.

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-pc-friday.jpg

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Maurizio, I heard that last night Kimi set a record for signing autographs with the tifosi for half an hour. Did you push him or where did that eagerness come from?

MA: No. I was simply talking with him in my way – no, I’m joking now. We had several conversations and I said I know that you are a very cool guy and most probably because you are cool, they like you but at least if we meet the guys – the tifosi – you have to sign and at least move your hand and say hallo and possibly to smile. And he stuck to these instructions and I was thinking, is there something wrong here? I was happy, of course, but then I was thinking that maybe he’s becoming superstitious and he’s doing this and tomorrow it’s raining and also on Sunday. And I was hoping about that. He’s becoming a good guy and I was pleased about that, even if I’m still thinking and when I’m thinking, I said it can’t be Kimi, it was a sosia (doppelganger) or somebody else.
Source : http://www.fia.com/news/2015-italian...ess-conference

FP3 Update :
After overnight rain the FP3 started on a damp circuit, however there’s a slim possibility that there might be wet weather for qualifying.
Initially drivers were not pushing hard, track got quicker every lap and some quick runs done at the end. So the timings may not be representative of the real pace. Keeps the weekend interesting.

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Meanwhile The drivers and teams met with Pirelli and Ecclestone in Monza on Friday at which time they were told to keep their comments in-house.

"If any one of them has got problems, they should talk to the people making the problems," said Ecclestone.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery confirmed the gagging order.

He said: "They've been asked to do it in the right environment, which is in the teams and with us.

"They should express their opinions in the right manner."

Source : http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3213/...elli-criticism

Last edited by jfxavier : 5th September 2015 at 16:18.
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Old 5th September 2015, 20:37   #12
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Hamilton on pole with Raikkonen and Vettel 2nd and 3rd.
Rosberg in fourth with Williams 5th and 6th.

Should be an interesting start.
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Old 5th September 2015, 22:36   #13
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So some clarification on the Rosberg issue. He was not down on power..but he will be during the race. Or atleast some parts of the race.

Good to see Ferrari get so close, bit surprised myself, what with the new Merc spec engine. Though others are not running it yet.
Will be an interesting race for sure.

Last edited by Hatari : 5th September 2015 at 22:37.
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Old 5th September 2015, 22:56   #14
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Guys, what channel is broadcasting F1? I cannot seem to locate it, am on TataSky
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Old 5th September 2015, 23:53   #15
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Default Re: 2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza

Originally Posted by khoj View Post
Guys, what channel is broadcasting F1? I cannot seem to locate it, am on TataSky
Star Sports 4 & Star Sports 4 HD.
17:30 Hrs onwards.

The Quali. timings:
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After the various penalties are adjusted against the quali positions, the provisional starting grid looks like below.

2015 Formula 1 Italian GP : Gran Premio d'Italia, Monza-grid.png

Last edited by jfxavier : 6th September 2015 at 00:09.
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