Friday, September 2, 2016


Formula 1 heads to the 'Temple of Speed' at Monza this weekend for an Italian Grand Prix where fast laps and low downforce will be key talking points.

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is one of the most iconic racetracks on the Formula 1 calendar. It was built in 1922 and has staged more world championship grands prix than any other circuit in the world. Only once, in 1980, has the circuit not been on the F1 calendar.

Up until the early ’60s, racing took place on a fearsome six-mile oval. But the death of Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix resulted in future races taking place on a shorter road course, with the last true ‘slipstreaming’ battle taking place in 1971, after which chicanes were installed to slow the cars.

The track is still the fastest in Formula 1, with today’s cars exceeding 200mph (322km/h) on four occasions around the lap. The average speed is in excess of 150mph (241km/h), so the teams use one-off low-downforce aerodynamic packages to maximise straight-line speed. However, braking stability is important: 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. Further it needs a good mechanical configuration of suspension to work well over the kerbs, while also needing strong power and a reliable hybrid system because it is full throttle for 69 percent of the lap.


Track Length : 5.793 kilometres.
Race distance : 53 laps (306.72 kilometres).
Corners : 11 corners in total.
Average Speed : 247km/h.
Aerodynamic Setup : Low downforce.
Top speed : 360km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing).
Full Throttle : 74% of the lap (high).
Time Spent Braking : 11% of lap.
Number Of Brake Zones : 6.
Brake Wear : High.
Total Time Needed For Pit Stop (at 80km/h) : 25 seconds (ave/high).
Lap record : 1:21.046 Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004.

Last five winners in Italy:
2015: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2014: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2013: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2012: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2011: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)


Following the unusually high temperatures seen at Spa another weekend of warm temperatures are forecast at Monza. However the prospects of any rain on Sunday are receding.

The first practice session on Friday will be run under sunny skies in temperatures of around 25C. This will rise towards 30C in time for the second session later that day and there is a risk of thunderstorms developing later on.

Saturday’s weather will be more settled and cloudier, but with temperatures still reaching as high as 28C. The Italian Grand Prix is set to be run in similar warm and dry conditions. At present there is a chance of a small amount of rain later in the day, but at present it is not expected to affect the race.


Pirelli has chosen the medium, soft and (for the first time) supersoft tyres at Monza: the fourth consecutive race where this selection is being used.

While average speeds are high, cornering speeds are reasonably low, minimising tyre wear. This means that some teams could aim for a one-stop strategy. Heavy longitudinal forces act on tyres, especially under braking and traction in the two chicanes. The drivers tend to hit the famous kerbs at Monza hard, which further tests the tyre structure. Parabolica and Curva Grande are particularly challenging, as they are long corners putting plenty of energy through the tyres. Low downforce means braking and acceleration is tricky: drivers must try to avoid wheelspin.

White medium: a mandatory set that will be important for the race if using a one-stop strategy.
Yellow soft: again a mandatory set, could come into play for a two-stop strategy in particular.
Red supersoft: mandatory in qualifying; most of the top 10 are very likely to start on this tyre.


There are two DRS zones; the first is on the start-finish straight and the second on the approach to Turn Eight, the Ascari chicane. 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. In fact, statistically, pole position is more important at Monza than it is at Monaco.


The chance of a safety car at Monza is statistically very low at 43% and 0.4 Safety Cars per race. There was however a Safety car three years in a row recently from 2007- 9.


With Lewis Hamilton’s power unit stock replenished and both Mercedes drivers having taken six wins each, the run in for the 2016 drivers title effectively begins here, with a nine point advantage for Hamilton.

Hamilton has has taken both victories for Mercedes at this venue in the V6 era, with Nico Rosberg so far unable to challenge the Briton. This race was a turning point in the championship in 2015 as Hamilton took a lights to flag victory while Rosberg retired from third with engine failure, his title hopes going up in smoke along with his engine.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Formula 1 inspired designs at my online shops:

1. Hamilton Tees (fixed designs) is my online shop where you can get my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs printed on many different types of t-shirts and hoodies.
Link -

2. Lewis Hamilton T-Shirt (design your own) is a designer shop where you can get the same designs on many more products - not just t-shirts but trousers, baby bibs, mugs, phone cases, whatever is available. You can adjust the size and location of the designs, add text and customize it exactly as you see fit.
Link -

3. Lewis Hamilton Collection (fixed designs) is my fixed design shop on Redbubble where most of the phone cases are and many other products.
Link -

Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Thank you for your support. May Lewis win his fourth world title in 2016. We win and lose together. Go Lewis!

Here is a sample.

No comments: