2016 Track Preview: Italian Grand Prix, Monza

All rights reserved to F1 Mix

All rights reserved to F1 Mix

Nico Rosberg wins the Belgian GP ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton. Force India, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams all managed to score points in the last race.

Heading into the weekend, it was announced that Kevin Magnussen was cleared to race at the Italian GP following his accident at Spa last week. If you want to read more about this, then please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/magnussen-cleared-to-race-in-monza/.

Also it was announced on Thursday morning that Felipe Massa will be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season. If you wish to read more about this, then please read my article here:-https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/massa-to-retire-from-f1-at-the-end-of-the-2016-season/.

The Autodromo di Monza circuit is one of the most historic motor racing circuits in the world. It is located near the town of Monza, not far from the Italian city Milano. With special trains, buses and shuttles allow visitors to reach the area easily and quickly.

The track is full of history and the atmosphere here is very nice and with the grandstands are always packed; the fans create a wonderful atmosphere over the Grand Prix weekend. The Ferrari fans, the Tifosi, call the track La Pista Magica – The magic race track.

Monza is a high-speed circuit with a top speed of 340 km/h and an average speed of around 250 km/h. It consists of very long straights and tight chicanes, therefore it is hard on the engine and brakes. Engines are run flat out for nearly 75 percent of the lap, in usually very hot conditions. The circuit is one of the toughest on the cars, as the drivers run the lowest downforce of the season and reach the highest speeds. A car using Monza wings will generate about 25 percent less downforce than the same car with Monaco wings on.

The circuit was officially opened in September 1922 with a road course and a paved oval, Monza was only the third purpose-built motor racing circuit to be constructed after Brooklands and Indianapolis. It was financed by the Milan Automobile Club and was built in only three months by 3,500 workers.

The length of the original Grand Prix track was 10 kilometers, its current configuration is 5.79 kilometers. The Italian Grand Prix will remain at Monza at least until 2016 after a deal between Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the track’s managers was struck last season.

Here are the facts and figures heading into the race weekend as Monza as follows…

Facts and Figures:-

  • Italy has hosted the Grand Prix since 1950.
  • Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the track with five wins. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are the most successful drivers currently to win the Grand Prix with three wins each.
  • Ferrari is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with nineteen wins.
  • Race distance: 306.72km (190.59 miles)
  • Number of turns:11
  • Top speed: 339kph
  • Lap record: Rubens Barrichello- Ferrari (2004)- 1.21.046

Winners from the last five Italian Grand Prixs:-

  • 2011-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2012-Lewis Hamilton
  • 2013-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton
  • 2015- Lewis Hamilton

My top five finishers of the Italian Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Italian Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieved recently, I believe that Rosberg has to beat Hamilton this weekend again in order to show that he cannot be discounted for challenging Hamilton for the title.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend at a track that has been kind to him over the years and also maintain the small championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently and will want to get a good result at their home race. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45am and 12.45pm [Replays throughout Thursday and Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45am and 12.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30am
  • Channel Four- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.55am and 12.55am, Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.55am and 11.55am, Sunday (Race) 12.00pm
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