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Aug 31

Formula One teams Italian Grand Prix preview

Italian Grand Prix Formula One preview report

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Monza.

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01 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

2017 Italian Grand Prix – Preview

Battle continues with Round 13 of the 2017 season from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza

  • Toto Talks Italy
  • Featured this Week: Power Sensitivity
  • Stat Attack: Italy and Beyond

Toto Talks Italy

We said before Spa that it’s dangerous to make assumptions this year and the race weekend demonstrated why that’s the case. It was a dog fight with Ferrari and, although we came out on top, we did so by a small margin only. We can expect the same kind of close battle at every race this year. There will be no races where it is a walk in the park and we are ready for an epic battle all the way to the finish line in Abu Dhabi.

Monza is a circuit that has been good to us in recent years. It rewards low drag and peak power, both of which are among the strengths of our package; but braking stability and low-speed grip are also crucial through the chicanes, and these are areas where Ferrari has held an advantage. The team that finds the best overall compromise will come out on top.

This is often the time of year when thoughts turn to the following season. But our mission is clear: to win before and after a major regulation change. Nobody said it would be easy and it is stretching our limits in every direction. We are still pushing hard with our development to squeeze every last bit of performance from the W08.

In the coming weeks, we must grasp every opportunity, accept good fortune with humility, misfortune with resolution and show our resilience on the days when our rivals are stronger. The pendulum will swing again a number of times before Abu Dhabi, the season so far has shown us this much. Our focus is simply on extracting every possible point from each race in succession, beginning this weekend in Monza.

Featured this Week: Power Sensitivity

Monza is famously ‘the’ power circuit in Formula One, with its historic straights broken up by tight chicanes. It’s reasonable, therefore, to expect the blast around Milan’s royal park to be the most power sensitive track on the current calendar. In fact, Baku, Sochi and Montreal are all more power sensitive, with Monaco at the opposite end of the spectrum.

First of all, it’s important to understand what is meant by power sensitivity. In simple terms, it’s an indication of how much lap time improvement can be obtained through an increase in power. At Monza, power sensitivity works out at around 0.2s improvement for each additional 10 HP. For context, at a circuit like Monaco, the effect is smaller, roughly 0.12s per 10 HP. At Montreal and Baku – the most power sensitive tracks in F1 – power is worth 0.25s for each additional 10 HP.

Drivers spend 70% of lap time (79% of lap distance) at full throttle here, interrupted only by the two chicanes, the Lesmos, Variante Ascari and Parabolica. Monza’s power sensitivity is tempered due to a short lap distance (5.793 km) and high average speed, which makes it the shortest race of the season. The 2016 Italian Grand Prix, for example, took just 1 hr 17 mins at an average speed of 237.56 km/h.

Monza is one of the circuits where the impact of engine power can be most firmly felt, and any deficit in this area has direct repercussions on performance. Those with less grunt will often need to run their car lower on drag, producing less downforce through the corners but making them super slippery down the straights where positions are won and lost.

With DRS open and a strong tow, Lewis clocked 359.0 km/h through the speed trap at Monza during last year’s race – the highest top speed recorded in the 2016 season. The 2017 generation of F1 cars are both wider and draggier than their predecessors, so it will be interesting to see how close they come to those top speeds. It’s tricky to pinpoint a theoretical top speed. With stable engine regulations, slipstreaming – coupled with the effect of that extra drag – will ultimately be the deciding factor, rather than the Power Unit.

Outright top speed is the lifeblood of success at Monza. Without it, drivers become sitting ducks on the straights. But importance of a Power Unit’s driveability can’t be understated here. Turns 9 and 10 are expected to be flat in 2017, putting more emphasis on the low speed chicanes of Turns 1 / 2 and 4 / 5. Traction out of the Rettifilo chicane is key, as it’s followed immediately by a long run around Curva Grande and into the next braking zone for Turn 4 – a key passing opportunity.

While it may no longer be the most power sensitive circuit on the calendar, Monza remains the ultimate test for an engine supplier. That high full throttle percentage – the highest of the year – puts the Power Unit under more stress than any other race on the calendar. It’s a harsh testing ground, where outright speed is truly challenged. And in 2017, with cornering speeds higher than ever, the Tifosi are in for a real treat.

Session Local Time (CEST) Brackley (BST) Stuttgart (CEST)
Practice 1 (Friday) 10:00 – 11:30 09:00 – 10:30 10:00 – 11:30
Practice 2 (Friday) 14:00 – 15:30 13:00 – 14:30 14:00 – 15:30
Practice 3 (Saturday) 11:00 – 12:00 10:00 – 11:00 11:00 – 12:00
Qualifying (Saturday) 14:00 – 15:00 13:00 – 14:00 14:00 – 15:00
Race (Sunday) 14:00 – 16:00 13:00 – 15:00 14:00 – 16:00

Circuit Records – Silver Arrows at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps DNF
Silver Arrows 9 5 8 5 9 5 4
L. Hamilton 10 3 5 5 7 4 1
V. Bottas 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
MB Power 25 10 24 11 21 13 24

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

  Laps Completed Distance Covered (km) Corners Taken Gear Changes PETRONAS Fuel Injections
Silver Arrows 5,333 26,247 84,766 256,053 213,320,000
L. Hamilton 2,580 12,692 40,905 123,711 103,200,000
V. Bottas 2,753 13,565 43,861 132,342 110,120,000
MB Power 14,932 73,688 237,590 719,307 597,280,000

All-Time Records – Silver Arrows in Formula One

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps 1-2 Wins Front Row Lockouts
Silver Arrows 160 71 143 82 149 53 38 49
Lewis Hamilton 200 58 111 68 113 37 N/A N/A
Valtteri Bottas 105 2 17 2 6 1 N/A N/A
MB Power 430 157 410 165 328 148 63 84

source: mercedesamgf1.com2017 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing

coming soon

source: redbullracing.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Italian Grand Prix – Monza and Ferrari, the whole story is here

Tradition and legends on one track that’s not as “simple” as it seems

The story of the Italian Grand Prix is also the story of Monza, even if statistics show that the first race was held at Montichiari, with the Brianza track ready a year later in 1922 and that the 1980 race was run at Imola. The history of Scuderia Ferrari is inextricably intertwined with that of the “Autodromo.” It’s impossible to tell the tale in just a few lines: the triumphs and the tragedy of Ascari, the world championships with Hill, Lauda, Scheckter, the epic achievements of Schumacher… Then there’s the 5.8 kilometres of track within the Park, the amphitheatre grandstand at the Parabolica, they have all witnessed and created the legend.
There was a time when there were ten kilometres of track, when the layout included the high speed banked oval, which was a spectacle all to itself. The current track has few corners but a fair few hidden dangers. On paper it looks easy, but as it is the track where cars run with the least aerodynamic downforce of the entire season, it requires a particular set-up and a sensitivity from the driver, especially under braking when he has no drag to rely on. Monza is often compared to Spa in terms of the effort it puts on the engines, but compared to the Belgian circuit, much more braking effort is required and the lateral loads, especially on the tyres, are far less. The long straights and little drag lead to high speeds, even if the 2017 cars will be hampered in this regard by the wide front tyres, when it comes to beating lap records from the past. The rest is all down to the spectators who, year after year build on the tradition of a compulsive race.

source: formula1.ferrari.com2017 photo album1

Sahara Force India pink logo.jpg

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2017 Italian Grand Prix: Preview

Vijay Mallya: “It’s hard to look back on the race at Spa, knowing we had the pace to score a lot of points, and came away with only two. At least we are back on track this weekend and we get an immediate chance to put the disappointment behind us. Monza is another quick track on which we expect to do well: like in Baku and Montreal, the layout of the track should play to our strengths. At this stage of the season, it’s crucial we make the most of every opportunity to score points. We have made both drivers aware of the new team policy designed to prevent incidents like the ones in Spa from reoccurring. As a team, we have a responsibility to defend our position and I am sure we will finish the season without any further issues. We have been competitive on every track so far and we intend to continue our strong season with another good performance in Monza.”

Sergio: “I love Italy and I love Monza! It’s one of my favourite weekends of the season and the tifosi are amazing – they make such a special atmosphere. All the passion you feel throughout the weekend is very special. Also the track is great – you get to experience truly high speeds; you arrive very fast into the corners, with very low downforce, and it’s going to be very interesting in these 2017 cars.

“In many ways Italy is quite similar to the Mexico race in terms of the atmosphere and passion of the fans at the circuit. I’ve had some special days in Monza too, when I finished on the podium in 2012 and beat both the Ferraris. I guess that wasn’t great for the tifosi but I still received a lot of support when I was standing on the podium.”

Esteban: “I always have special emotions when I visit Monza. I used to live in Italy and raced with an Italian team in my junior career so I know the country really well. I also speak Italian and I enjoy Italian food too!

“It’s one of the classic Formula One tracks. My favourite parts of the lap are the two Lesmo curves and the Ascari chicane. These are the corners that can make or break your lap. The combination of corners through Ascari feels very nice in a Formula One car.

“The atmosphere in Monza is always special. The Italian fans give so much support to all the drivers and you feel their energy. There is so much history and tradition in the country linked to Motorsport and you get to appreciate this in Monza.”

Sahara Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, previews the final European race of the season.

“Monza is another one of the historic tracks in the Formula One calendar: the Italian fans, the tifosi, help create an incredible atmosphere and it’s generally one of the favourite races of the year for everyone involved. From a technical point of view, the Temple of Speed is a unique challenge: nowhere else we experience such low drag and low downforce, and this means the set-up of the car has to reflect these special demands. The long straights are the hallmark of this circuit, with high straight-line speeds and six big braking zones providing a true test for the brakes. The low number of corners means fewer occasions to differentiate between cars – in qualifying, very small margins can make a big difference.”

source: forceindiaf1.com2017 photo album

Williams Martini Racing logo.jpg

Williams Martini Racing

Italian Grand Prix Preview

  • 1-3 SEPTEMBER 2017
  • AUTODROMO NAZIONALE MONZA
  • ROUND 13 OF 20

Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosts Round 13 of this year’s Formula One World Championship and serves as the final stop on the European leg of the 2017 calendar. Home to the legendary Italian fans, the ‘Tifosi’, Monza is one of the oldest circuits in the world, constructed back in 1922. After qualifying fifth in 2016 and recording a double top-ten finish, the team hopes for a strong weekend with its 2017 challenger, the FW40.

For Italy, Pirelli has made available the medium, soft and supersoft tyres.

Paddy Lowe: Straight out of Spa we come to Monza which is another of the great circuits in Formula One. It is also one of my favourite tracks due to the passion you feel from the crowd (the “Tifosi”), and the history of the iconic track, which still has preserved sections of the old high banking. It is incredible that a circuit like this should exist inside a park in a city centre, but that is a demonstration of the enthusiasm of our Italian hosts for this great sport of Formula One. The circuit is extremely fast, the fastest of the year, requiring a special aerodynamic configuration with lower drag and lower downforce. Despite that, there remain a lot of challenging corners and big braking events to negotiate.

Felipe Massa: Monza is a track I love and a country I love to race in. I managed to have two podiums for Williams in Monza and it would be really nice to have another one. It’s a nice track with amazing Formula One fans so it’s always an amazing pleasure to race in Monza.

Lance Stroll: You just can’t get away from the history of the track and the passion of the tifosi who love the Scuderia. The atmosphere hits you as soon as you arrive and it is a great feeling for all of us drivers. I have been there in Formula 3, so this is another circuit that I have raced on, in fact the fifth and the last of the year that I know from a racing point of view. I think our car should be good there from what I have seen, and hope we can get a good result.

source: williamsf1.com2017 photo album

05 - McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team

2017 Italian Grand Prix – preview

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO ITALY

Our official race previews are your guide for every lap of every race in 2017.
Hear from the team, drivers and management as we prepare for round 13 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
Follow McLaren TEAMStream for all the build-up to the Italian Grand Prix.

LOWDOWN

Race title Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2017

Circuit name Autodromo Nazionale Monza

First race 1950

Previous winners

2016 Nico Rosberg, 53 laps, 1:17:28.089s

2015 Lewis Hamilton

2014 Lewis Hamilton

History lesson Built in 1922, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza epitomises the history and drama of the Formula 1 World Championship. Only once, in 1980, has the circuit not been included on the F1 calendar and the 5.793km/3.600-mile lap remains the fastest of them all, with an average speed approaching 259km/h/160mph. The old banking – last used in 1961 – is still clearly visible, as are many of the old grandstands. Aptly, the track is called ‘La Pista Magica’ by the fanatical Italian racing fans

TRAVEL  

City Milan

Time zone BST+1 / CET

Population 1.6 million

How far? Monza is 601 miles (967km) from the McLaren Technology Centre

Getting there Being the final European race of the season, this is the last time in 2017 that the team will take its transporters and the Brand Centre to a grand prix. They will travel straight from Spa-Francorchamps, scene of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. For people travelling from the UK, there are plenty of flight options into Milan Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo

Surprising fact Monza is twinned with another motorsporting Mecca, Indianapolis in the USA. It is also the home town of former F1 driver Vittorio Brambilla

Local speciality Cassoeula, a pork dish that’s been linked to the Lombardy region of Italy for centuries. Virtually every part of the pig is used in the dish – ribs, trotters, head and skin – and it’s cooked in a casserole and mixed with savoy cabbage. It’s a pleasure that furnishes the soul as well as the palate, according to a local writer

Weather The humidity of mid-summer has usually started to subside by September, leaving fresh and warm autumnal days. Recent temperatures have been higher than the seasonal average, with the weather forecast for the race weekend predicting temperatures in the high 20s

TRACK

Track length 5.793km/3.600 miles (6th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)

2016 pole position Lewis Hamilton, 1m21.135s

2016 fastest lap Fernando Alonso, 1m25.340s (lap 51)

Lap record 1:21.046s (Rubens Barrichello, 2004)

Tyre choice Red Supersoft, yellow Soft and white Medium compounds – the sixth time this combination has been used in 2017

Distance to Turn One 380m/0.236 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454km)

Longest straight 1.12km/0.696 miles, on the approach to Turn One (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)

Top speed 370km/h/224mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season)

Full throttle 75 per cent (highest of the season)

Brakewear High. There are only six braking events around the lap, but all are from high speed and generate high brake temperatures

Fuel consumption 1.89kg per lap, which is average

ERS demands Medium. There are four long straights, along which the cars exceed 330km/h/205mph, and only a couple of heavy braking zones in which to harvest braking energy

Gear changes 46 per lap/2438 per race

RACE

Laps 53 laps

Start time 14:00hrs local / 13:00hrs BST

Grid advantage Monza is used for racing throughout the year, so the track is clean and there’s less of a grid advantage than at some tracks. But the racing line – and pole position – is on the outside of the track, so it’s likely to be slightly cleaner

DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and Eight

Don’t put the kettle on…Mercedes were the only points-scoring team to complete last year’s race with one pitstop. Their drivers made their only visits to the pits at half distance. The stop-stop runners changed tyres, typically, on laps 16 and 33, but with this year’s harder tyre compounds, a one-stop strategy is expected to be within reach of most cars

Pitlane length/Pitstops 420m/0.261 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). A pitstop takes 21s, but the time loss to those on-track is the biggest of the season because they are travelling at 370km/h/205mph, while those in the pitlane are either limited to 80km/h/50mph or are stationary

Safety Car likelihood 45 per cent, which is low

Watch out for…Turn 11, the Parabolica. It’s a 180-degree right-hander that eases towards the exit and it’s crucial for the drivers to get back on the power early because the longest straight on the lap follows
The drivers  

Fernando Alonso

#FA14  MCL32-05

“Like Spa, Monza is one of those legendary tracks where everybody loves watching cars going racing. With the new wider, faster cars this year, it will definitely be another circuit where we’ll see a new fastest lap and some incredibly high speeds on the straights.

“It’s the fastest circuit on the calendar in terms of outright speed, and for a driver it’s an incredible feeling racing down those iconic straights punctuated by the tight chicanes and big, fast corners that require a huge amount of commitment. We’ve always said this circuit wouldn’t suit our package, and we expect a tough challenge. Although it’s power-hungry like Spa, it’s also different in many ways. Spa is a long race; the Monza circuit is short and sharp and the race always feels like it’s over very quickly.

“The thing I love most about Monza is the fans. Even when you’re not dressed in tifosi red, the fans come out in force and they’re all super passionate about racing and motorsport. The Italian Grand Prix is a favourite for many people and it really deserves its legendary reputation as a magic circuit for race fans.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

#SV2  MCL32-04

“Monza is a really cool place. I’ve driven there in Formula Renault 3.5 and also in GP2, and I won there in both series, so I know the circuit well and have always really enjoyed racing there. The fans are great, they show a lot of passion, and you feel like you’re swept up by their enthusiasm the whole weekend.

“Spa was definitely a tough race for us, and we’ve always identified Belgium and Italy as two difficult weekends for us. It was hard to manage our pace with the rest of the pack on the straights, and we’re preparing ourselves for the same thing at Monza, but of course we’ll push hard every day throughout the weekend to try and give ourselves the best chance of a good result.

“As usual, the important thing is qualifying, but it’s in the race where we need to work on our pace and make sure we can maintain our position throughout Sunday afternoon. We worked really well as a team in Spa to try to we maximise our progression through qualifying and hopefully influence our prospects for the race, and I hope we’ll be able to do more of that this coming weekend.”

the management

Eric Boullier

McLAREN-HONDA RACING DIRECTOR

“The Italian Grand Prix is always a ‘must-see’ for any racing fan, and Fernando, Stoffel and McLaren all have very happy memories of great victories there. There’s a huge amount of history at Monza and the venue holds an important place in the calendar: scene of legendary drivers, hugely passionate fans and incredible racing.

“This weekend will also be the last time we’ll see the McLaren Brand Centre this year, as we conclude the final race of the European season and head east to Asia. The double-header of Spa and Monza are an incredible combination, but one which we knew we would find challenging. Spa was undoubtedly exactly that for us, and although we are certainly managing our own expectations for Monza, we also go to Italy with our usual fighting spirit, and will work together as a team to get as much as we can from the weekend.

“It’s clear to see there’s still a lot of work to be done before we can feel confident on these kind of power-hungry circuits. However, but we look forward to hearing and witnessing the support from the passionate Italian fans, and as usual will give it our all, not only to get the best possible result, but also enjoy our final racing sojourn in Europe of 2017.”

Yusuke Hasegawa

Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“After a challenging weekend in Belgium, we’re now heading to Italy for our final race in Europe for this season.

“The layout is mostly long straights except for couple of chicanes and corners. It is a notoriously power-hungry circuit, with some of the highest average speeds on the calendar. With the nature of the track, we will doubtless face another tough weekend.

“Furthermore, this race will be the 50-year anniversary of Honda’s victory in the Italian Grand Prix in 1967. It was our second victory in F1, with the RA300 winning its debut race with John Surtees behind the wheel. We’re planning a demonstration run in Monza on Sunday before the race, and I hope everybody will enjoy the Formula 1 sound of old.”

source: mclaren.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso

2017 Italian Grand Prixview

Daniil Kvyat

COOKING

Pasta, pizza, pomodori, mozzarella… I really love Italian food, it’s just amazing and every time I travel there I make sure I enjoy some of their fantastic dishes! I’m good at COOKING a few easy recipes too!

ROME

I grew up in Italy and it’s a country I know well; it’s like a second home for me. I lived in ROME for some time when I was younger and I’m fluent in Italian, so I always enjoy going back!

GRAVEL TRAP

This race has been on the F1 calendar for many years and it’s a legendary circuit: it has very long straights, which means we drive at very high speeds, and it’s always an interesting race. The only thing I don’t like is the fact that the Parabolica doesn’t have a GRAVEL TRAP any more… It’s now all asphalt, so it’s not such of a challenge and a compromise if you go off track; in the past it could end up meaning that your race was over!

MEMORIES

I have very good MEMORIES from Monza, as I won a few times while racing in junior categories, so it’s always special to go back there every year. Having said that, I also have a negative memory from 2014, when my brake disk broke at Turn 1 compromising my race to finish in P11: Starting from the last position on the grid I was able to make my way up, but not enough to score points… A big shame, as we were doing a very good race! I hope to create more good MEMORIES this year!

SIMULATOR

After the race weekend I fly straight to the UK for a SIMULATOR session. We do plenty of these during the year – this will be my 14th of the year – and it’s always a very useful way of preparing for races.

Carlos Sainz

SUPPORT

The Italian GP weekend is a bit of a frustrating one, because you want to spend the whole weekend eating pizza and pasta but you can’t as we’re there to race! A part from this, I have to say it’s an amazing weekend and one of the things I enjoy the most is the Italian fans and their passion. I seem to have many supporters there – I even have an Italian fan club to whom I send my regards to from here! – and it’s great to feel so much SUPPORT!

TEMPLE

Monza is a circuit that I really like – I wouldn’t say it’s my absolute favourite, but it’s up there in my top 5… It’s the TEMPLE of speed after all! I haven’t been able to score a good result there yet during my F1 career, but I’m confident it will happen one day…sooner or later!

ENTRANCE

The ENTRANCE to the Paddock is special and different to other circuits, as it’s absolutely full of passionate fans who wait for the drivers to arrive each morning. This means that before entering the Paddock we stop to sign autographs for 5 or 10 minutes, which gives me a good boost to start the day!

BIRTHDAY

The Italian GP weekend always coincides with my BIRTHDAY – this time it will be on the Friday… It’s a good way to spend this special day, doing what I love to do and celebrating it with the team, which is like a second family as we spend so much time together!

FLYAWAYS

This race marks the end of the European season – after this the FLYAWAYS start again… I really enjoy racing in Europe, as we go to historic tracks and the fans are always very passionate, but travelling to other countries around the world is something I also like to do very much, as you get to see different cultures. One of my favourite race weekends outside Europe is Japan and I can’t wait to go back there!

source: scuderiatororosso.com2017 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team

F1 Set to Worship at Temple of Speed

Molto Veloce Monza Meets New Formula One Era

The fastest cars in the world are headed to one of the fastest racing circuits in the world. Autodromo Nazionale Monza, also known as the Temple of Speed, plays host to Round 13 of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship this weekend with the Italian Grand Prix.

The 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1950, with this year’s Italian Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 67th grand prix. The average winning speed in the first Italian Grand Prix was 176.55 kph (109.7 mph). Last year’s was 237.558 kph (147.612 mph). As Formula One technology has advanced, its display of speed has been most impressive at Monza.

The circuit’s long straights and flowing corners allow teams to bring a low-downforce package where their drivers are able to approach speeds of nearly 360 kph (224 mph) and average lap times of 259 kph (161 mph). In fact, the fastest lap ever recorded in Formula One took place at Monza.

Juan Pablo Montoya holds the record and the bragging rights at Monza, with his lap of 1:19.525 in his Williams BMW set during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix delivering an average speed of 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). This came during the height of the V10 engine era, where seven suppliers – Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda, Renault, BMW, Toyota and Ford-Cosworth – engaged in an arms race where peak power output was approximately 940 horsepower with RPMs in excess of 19,000.

Engines only had to last a single race in that time, whereas now teams are limited to using four engines a year. But the march of time and technology means that in 2017 the all-time fastest lap in Formula One history might be in jeopardy.

At every venue Formula One has visited in 2017, the track record has been broken. This past Saturday at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps which hosted the Belgian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen broke the all-time fastest lap at Spa by .587 of a second in final practice. The previous mark of 1:44.503 was set by Jarno Trulli in his Toyota during the second round of qualifying for the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. But a few hours after Räikkönen’s fast lap, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set a new benchmark en route to the pole, besting Räikkönen’s time by 1.363 seconds and crushing Trulli’s eight-year mark by 1.95 seconds.

Spa is a power track steeped in history, and as the series heads to the even faster Autodromo Nazionale Monza, another track record beckons.

Despite current-generation Formula One cars being outfitted with turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engines, engineers have wrung considerable power from these tightly packaged powerplants. And thanks to a drastically different aerodynamic and tire package that dramatically increased downforce and corner speeds, lap times have dropped substantially, by as much as five seconds in some instances.

The rub, however, is that these new Formula One cars are not as fast in a straight line, as their increased downforce creates increased drag. It’s in the corners where these cars shine.

Monza has 11 turns, which means that despite its long straights, there is speed to be found. Can Montoya’s 13-year-old mark survive this inevitable evolution of Formula One? Time will literally tell.

As the sport has evolved greatly over its 67-year history, Haas F1 Team has evolved greatly in its barely two-year history.

After scoring 29 points in 2016, the American team has already surpassed that inaugural season tally 12 races into its sophomore campaign. Drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have combined for 35 points with still eight races remaining.

Haas F1 Team’s evolution has been aided by its partnerships with Ferrari and Dallara, where the two companies provide critical motorsports expertise in addition to some Italian lineage.

Maranello-based Ferrari delivers Haas F1 Team its power unit, gearbox and overall technical support, and famed racecar builder Dallara has Haas F1 Team’s design staff embedded in its Parma headquarters.

This unique relationship allowed Haas F1 Team to hit the ground running in 2016. The massive task of creating a Formula One team from scratch was made slightly less daunting by the more than 130 collective years of racing experience brought by Ferrari and Dallara. And when another new car needed to be built under a new set of rules for 2017 – all while Haas F1 Team was still competing in its first season – Ferrari and Dallara proved their worth again.

Currently in a dogfight with its midfield competitors, Haas F1 Team’s Italian alliance is again on display. Haas F1 Team is seventh in the constructors standings, only one point ahead of eighth-place Renault, but just five points back of sixth-place Toro Rosso and 10 points arrears fifth-place Williams.

It’s an electric battle that now moves to the electric atmosphere of Monza, and it gives a charge to Haas F1 Team and its Italian partners.

 

Romain Grosjean, driver #8

How has the technical partnership with Ferrari been and how has it evolved as Haas F1 Team went from designing a car to building it first racecar to building the current-generation car which featured a drastically different rules package?

“The relationship with Ferrari is very good. We owe them quite a lot, to be able to be on the grid and performing with a good engine, gearbox, and suspension – all those parts come from Ferrari. That means a lot to us, and clearly going to the Italian Grand Prix we’re going to feel some of that fan support for ourselves, which is great.”

 

How crucial has Dallara and Ferrari been in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built?

“It’s key to us to have Ferrari and Dallara behind us. Without them it would’ve been very difficult for us to be on the grid the first year and to be competitive, and again this year. We have a lot of Italian in our DNA.”

 

Monza is the fastest track Formula One visits. What are your expectations this year with the current-generation car?

“I think it’ll be pretty good. It may be one of the circuits where we don’t improve the lap time that much compared to the past. It’s going to be fun though, with big straight lines and a lot of low downforce. The Lesmo corner and the Ascari chicane – they’re great fun.”

 

A 1:19.525 lap set by Juan Pablo Montoya during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). Will that time be eclipsed this year at Monza and a new benchmark for speed set?

“It would be nice. We love going fast, so I’m looking forward to see if we can go for it.”

 

Where are the overtaking opportunities at Monza?

“The good thing with Monza is there’s lots of overtaking opportunities. There’s turn one, three, eight and then the Parabolica. It’s more or less every single braking event.”

 

Is overtaking at Monza a bit like a drag race where it’s about who can get on the power the fastest and most effectively?

“I think qualifying’s going to be key to finding the right tow. The race is always fun to play with the tow and having some fun overtaking maneuvers. We’ll see where we are and how well we get the car to work. There aren’t that many corners so it’s very hard to get the tires to work properly, but we’ll be on it.”

 

Monza is a track with a lot of history and home to some of Formula One’s most passionate fans. Can you describe the atmosphere there?

“The atmosphere is crazy in Monza. The Tifosi, the fans – they’re just great. The track is in the middle of a park. It’s like nowhere else. There are so many people coming and watching, cheering for the drivers and, of course, for Ferrari. The atmosphere is electric. I love it.”

 

Have you had the opportunity to walk around the old portions of Monza, specifically the oval? If so, what ran through your mind when you saw the banking and realized cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s actually raced wheel-to-wheel there?

“It was crazy! You can barely stand up at the top of the oval. We still go underneath part of it at the Ascari chicane. It was definitely a different time, a different era of safety measures. I’m sure it was good fun, though.”

 

Would you have liked to have competed in that era just to see what it was like, or do you prefer to compete with the latest and greatest technology available?

“I’d compete anytime. I’ve always loved Formula One racing, no matter the era.”

 

Do you have any milestones or moments from your junior career that you enjoyed at Monza?

“My first race in Formula Renault 2.0 in 2004 – the Eurocup Series – was at Monza, and I was on the front row after qualifying. That was quite good. Certainly a happy memory.”

 

What is your favorite part of Monza?

“I like the two Lesmos turns, the ‘Curva di Lesmos’.”

 

Describe a lap around Monza.

“You cross the start-finish line going into the first chicane with big braking, dropping down to second gear. Then you’ve got important acceleration going into the second chicane, which is a bit faster, a bit more curb usage on the exit. You then try and carry as much speed through the two Lesmos turns. Then you go under the old oval and into the Ascari chicane. There’s big braking here, with a bump. It’s always tricky to get the car there. Then you really want to go early on power to get to the Parabolica. There’s another very long straight line, with very late braking to the Parabolica. Again, tricky throttle application heading toward the start-finish line to set your lap.”

Kevin Magnussen, driver #20

After coming from a factory team in Renault, what has the technical partnership with Ferrari been like, especially as Haas F1 Team developed its current-generation car which features a drastically different rules package?

“It’s been a great help for the team having this partnership with Ferrari. It’s obvious that Ferrari is one of the leaders in F1 technology and we’ve benefitted from that relationship.”

 

How crucial has Dallara and Ferrari been in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built?

“I’ve only been a part of it since the second year, but I know the support we get from Dallara and Ferrari is extremely useful.”

 

Monza is the fastest track Formula One visits. What are your expectations this year with the current-generation car?

“It will be fun, as every track has been this year with the new cars. It’s a lot more fun to drive and more challenging. Monza might be one of the tracks that we aren’t going to be that much faster, if at all. These new cars are strong in the corners, but not so much in the straights.”

 

A 1:19.525 lap set by Juan Pablo Montoya during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph). Will that time be eclipsed this year at Monza and a new benchmark for speed set?

“I don’t think we’ll be strong enough on the straights, but we’ll see. Maybe it will.”

 

Where are the overtaking opportunities at Monza?

“Everywhere. Monza is probably the best track for overtaking on the calendar. It’s always exciting racing there.”

 

Is overtaking at Monza a bit like a drag race where it’s about who can get on the power the fastest and most effectively?

“No. Monza is like any track in that it takes a perfect lap in every sense, and a perfect balance in the car as well.”

 

Monza is a track with a lot of history and home to some of Formula One’s most passionate fans. Can you describe the atmosphere there?

“Monza is all about the atmosphere. It’s got so much history and the Italian fans are really into it and they’re extremely passionate. It’s always a fantastic experience racing there.”

 

Have you had the opportunity to walk around the old portions of Monza, specifically the oval? If so, what ran through your mind when you saw the banking and realized cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s actually raced wheel-to-wheel there?

“I have been around the old track several times. It’s crazy to think they used to race around that kind of track.”

 

Would you have liked to have competed in that era just to see what it was like, or do you prefer to compete with the latest and greatest technology available?

“I’d prefer to be racing now, at least I think so. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried an older car from those years, though I’d like to. I think they had a lot of cool things back then that we don’t have today.”

 

Do you have any milestones or moments from your junior career that you enjoyed at Monza?

“I’ve had many good races there. I can’t just pick out one.”

 

What is your favorite part of Monza?

“Probably the Variante Ascari.”

 

Describe a lap around Monza.

“Fast, long-straights and big braking zones.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

 

What’s most important over these next eight races – maximizing Haas F1 Team’s place in the championship or working toward next year?

“We’re working toward next year while still focusing on this year to make as many points as possible. The main focus now back in the factory is next year, but at the racetrack we’re always trying to get the best out of this year’s car and try to get points.”

 

As the factory shifts focus to next year, do you expect performance to drop off this year or do you expect all the teams around you to be doing something similar to where performance mirrors what it’s been so far this year?

“I don’t think our performance will drop off. I think the performance of some of the other teams will go up because there is no reason why we should drop off. If the other teams get better, we stay the same and that’s how we fall behind. I think the bigger teams will perform well and while we’ll still put effort into this year, the amount of development work we’re doing for 2017 is getting smaller and smaller. Everybody is now trying to focus on 2018. I don’t know what other teams have in the pipeline that’s still to come for this year, but I think the focus for most everyone in the midfield is 2018.”

 

What are some of the more difficult aspects of next year’s car design?

“It’s hard every year to make a better car, but this year one of the design challenges will be the weight. Putting the halo on adds around 10 kilos (22 pounds). We are not underweight, and very few teams are underweight by 10 kilos this year, so to not increase the weight of the car will be very difficult. Everyone is in the same boat, so you just have to do the best you can, just like every year. But there is no one specific challenge other than the increased weight because of the halo.”

 

How does Haas F1 Team improve both in the short term and the long term?

“In the short term, we just try to get our processes better and introduce upgrades quicker. Long term, we just try to do more technical work, more simulation work and come better prepared to the racetrack. We’ve got more data now than we had last year, so we are able to make better predictions for the race. We’re using what we learned from last year and the first part of this year and applying it.”

 

The Italian Grand Prix is a quasi home race for Haas F1 Team as its technical partner, Ferrari, and its collaborator on chassis development, Dallara, are both based in Italy. Knowing the Haas VF-17’s Italian ties, how important is it to have a strong showing at Monza?

“With Dallara’s headquarters only an hour drive from Monza, I’m sure that a lot of their people will be there. It’s always good to be there because of the passion people have for the racecars. The history of Monza and the passion of the Tifosi give the Italian Grand Prix a great atmosphere, and with it being close to both of our technical partners, we want to do our best.”

 

How has the technical partnership with Ferrari been and how has it evolved as Haas F1 Team went from designing a car to building it first racecar to building the current-generation car which featured a drastically different rules package?

“Producing this year’s car was very similar to making our first car, because with the new regulations this year we again had that challenge of building a new car from scratch. The relationship with Ferrari is very good. We collaborate very well on all the non-listed parts and we do our own aero development. It’s a very healthy relationship which we are proud to have.”

 

How does Haas F1 Team differentiate itself from Ferrari?

“We buy the non-listed parts from Ferrari, which are allowed by FIA regulations. What we have to do to be a constructor in Formula One is build our own chassis and do our own aero development. You have to manufacture all your own parts which go with the aero, like the front wing, rear wing, all the body work, radiators and chassis – we have to do all that ourselves from design to manufacture. All the parts like suspension, we buy from Ferrari to make it simple, but the rest we have to develop ourselves.”

 

Explain Dallara’s role with Haas F1 Team?

“Dallara is a contracted engineering company to us. They are the leader in racecar design and manufacturing for all the single-make series with F2, F3, GP3, Super Formula, Indy car – they do a lot of stuff and it would take too long to name them all. They’ve got an infrastructure in place with engineers and manufacturing capabilities. We sub-contract a team of engineers from their pool of engineers to work for us. We buy a lot of our composite parts from them. Their designers design things, but it’s under the leadership of Haas F1 Team and our chief designer Rob Taylor and our aero group with Ben Agathangelou.”

 

Haas F1 Team has evolved greatly from its inaugural season last year. How has Dallara helped in that evolution?

“With the infrastructure Dallara has in place, they have a lot of very good quality people who are prepared to design and build racing cars. Everything is evolutionary and with evolution you want to do better than what you did before, and that is what we’re achieving here. We’ve learned a lot and they’ve learned a lot. In Formula One, the learning process needs to be quick because in no time you can be nowhere.”

 

How crucial was Dallara and Ferrari in allowing Haas F1 Team to be competitive in not only its first year, but its second year when another new car needed to be built?

“Without them we wouldn’t be where we are. That’s the easiest way to put it. Ferrari’s been in Formula One for 50 years, so we get their expertise. Dallara’s been building racing cars a long time. They’re good engineers and racecar builders. It all helped us a lot. F1 is so complex, and without them we would’ve struggled quite a bit.”

 

Haas F1 Team’s setup is unique – headquarters in the United States, logistical base in England and car design in Italy. How have you been able to manage it and ensure that three facilities in three different time zones work together?

“Good people! You need to have people that you can trust, and that is the only way to do it. It does include a lot of traveling from my side, but we don’t know any different, which makes it a bit easier for us. We just use technology to talk and it seems to be working. I suppose we could’ve done it differently, but I think that part of our success is that we have the right people in the right places. As of now, it seems to be working, even if it is a lot of work compared to everything being in one place. As long as it continues to work, we will continue to do it this way.”

 

Do you think other entities outside of Formula One are looking at Haas F1 Team’s model as a way to potentially break into the sport?

“I think others could use it if they find a partner which can help them. Maybe there are even better ways to do it. I never said we found the best way. We looked at all the other people that had failed, and to just do it the way they did – when three teams fail doing it the same way, we didn’t want to be the fourth team which doesn’t score points for two or three years. We adapted a different model. As much as we were critiqued for it in the beginning, it seems to be working better than the other ones.”

 

Could the accomplishments of Haas F1 Team be emulated by another new entity wanting to join Formula One, specifically, an F2 team wanting to make the jump to Formula One?

“I think an F2 team could use its people, but they would need to grow because the difference in size is tremendous. I’m not sure how many people now work in an F2 team, but I think it’s between 20 and 30. F1 organizations are huge. In F2 they get their car supplied by Dallara. In F1 you have to do everything yourself. It is a different task. There are a lot of good people in F2 who could be integrated into a team, but with the structure of F2, I don’t think a team would be ready to do an F1 car.”

The circuit

Autodromo Nazionale Monza

  • Total number of race laps: 53
  • Complete race distance: 306.720 kilometers (190.587 miles)
  • Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)
  • This 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1950, with last year’s Italian Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 66th grand prix.
  • Rubens Barrichello holds the race lap record at Monza (1:21.046), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya holds the qualifying lap record at Monza (1:20.264), set in 2004 with Williams during Q1. At 259.827 kph (161.449 mph), it is the fastest qualifying lap in Formula One history. But, a 1:19.525 lap set by Montoya in practice that year at Monza is widely regarded as the fastest Formula One lap of all time, as his average speed was 262.242 kph (162.950 mph).
  • Sixty-six of the 67 Italian Grands Prix have been held at Monza, with the lone outlier being Imola in 1980 when Monza underwent a refurbishment. Most races at Monza have run on a variation of the road course used today, but the 1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961 races were run on the combined circuit that linked the road course with the facility’s 4.250 kilometer (2.641-mile) high-speed oval. With massively high speeds and concern over driver and spectator safety, use of the oval was discontinued for competitive purposes following the 1961 Italian Grand Prix. The oval still exists, however, with rusting Armco barrier barely holding back nature’s grasp on the now dormant portion of the racetrack. The layout currently used by Formula One produces the year’s fastest laps, as the track’s design of long straights and high-speed corners makes Monza the ultimate high-speed circuit.
  • DYK? Peter Gethin’s victory over Ronnie Peterson in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix at Monza was .01 of a second, which contends as the narrowest winning margin in Formula One history with Rubens Barrichello’s .011 of a second margin of victory over Michael Schumacher in the 2002 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The change from two to three decimal places in timing technology makes it impossible to know which win was closer.

During the course of the Italian Grand Prix, lows will range from 17-19 degrees Celsius (63-67 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 28-31 degrees Celsius (82-87 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 49 percent (comfortable) to 94 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 8 degrees Celsius/47 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) to 17 degrees Celsius/62 degrees Fahrenheit (mildly humid). The dew point is rarely below 2 degrees Celsius/36 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) or above 21 degrees Celsius/69 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy). Typical wind speeds vary from 0-11 kph/0-7 mph (calm to light breeze), rarely exceeding 21 kph/13 mph (moderate breeze).

Where the rubber meets the road

  • Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Monza:
    • P Zero White medium – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
      • This is Pirelli’s most balanced tire, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability. It is extremely versatile, but it often comes into its own on circuits that tend toward high speeds, high temperatures and high-energy loadings. It is a low working-range compound.
    • P Zero Yellow soft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
      • This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race when cars are carrying a full fuel load, and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.
    • P Zero Red supersoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
      • This is the second softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits, especially in cold weather when maximum grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation. It is a low working-range compound.
  • The Italian Grand Prix marks the sixth time these three compounds have been packaged together. Teams most recently used this tire compilation in the Hungarian Grand Prix July 28-30 at the Hungaroring in Budapest. This same tire package was used for last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
  • The Yellow soft tire has been used in every grand prix this season. The Red supersoft tire has been used everywhere except the Spanish Grand Prix. The White medium tire has been used in the Australian Grand Prix, the Russian Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Canadian Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix.
  • Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
  • Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of White mediums and one set of Yellow softs) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of Red supersofts). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
    • Grosjean: one set of White mediums, three sets of Yellow softs and nine sets of Red supersofts

Magnussen: one set of White mediums, three sets of Yellow softs and nine sets of Red supersofts

source: haasf1team.com2017 photo album

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Renault Sport Formula One Team

2017 Italian Grand Prix Preview

Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul

The Italian Grand Prix caps the end of the European segment of the Formula 1 calendar as we begin to switch our attention to Asia in the early autumn months.

Monza is a legendary circuit with an electric atmosphere to match and it seems to be a fitting way to end what has been an exciting summer of racing on some of Europe’s finest circuits.

Previous to Monza, we enjoyed a successful weekend in Belgium and made a return to the points courtesy of Nico’s sixth place; his third of the season. Nico had a really strong and sensible race and did a lot right to get the team a number of points.

We are, however, left with a taste of frustration as we couldn’t put Jolyon into the top ten. He had the pace in qualifying to be on course for a career best grid position but a gearbox issue forced him to start from fourteenth which meant Sunday would be difficult. We once again saw the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo on the podium for the sixth time this season which has included a win. The retirement of Max Verstappen and the enormous disappointment that followed lead us to react as early as Monza and the introduction of new components to improve reliability.

But remaining on the positives and we have scored more points at the last three Grands Prix than the four teams above us in the Constructors’ Championship. We have managed 16 points since Great Britain in July with Force India on (14), Haas (6), Toro Rosso (7) and Williams (5). The latest updates have all worked as they should to help us increase performance and put us in the top ten on a regular basis.

Monza is one of the most demanding races on the engine due to its frequent and prolonged high speed straights and curves; it really is the Temple of Speed! We have to approach the weekend with a sense of caution as we know the remaining races after this weekend should be more favourable for us. It will be about seeing how we go about this to get the most out of the car. Our aim remains to get both cars in the points to keep gaining ground on the teams above us.

It will be an exciting weekend for everyone involved in Italy; the fans, the drivers and all the racing staff. We head there with momentum on our side and we look forward to getting out to Monza.

Speed arena

Technical Officer Bob Bell explains the balance between 2018 and 2017 car development as the R.S.17 heads for its thirteenth outing of the season in Italy.

What’s the outlook for Monza?

Monza is a high-speed, low downforce track, the lowest we run on throughout the season. We can go there with a reasonable amount of confidence having shown in Spa, a high power track, that we can compete. We have a couple of new aero refinements with the aerodynamics packages and wing settings tailored for the low downforce demands with a low-downforce and minimal drag optimised package.

How do you sum up the performances in recent weeks?

We can take heart with the step forward we have made across Britain, Hungary and Spa and I think it bodes well for the rest of the season. There aren’t too many surprises left with the circuits we’re going to and we have the capacity to keep development going for the rest of the year. We just have to get both drivers home scoring points.

Have we discovered the problem with Jolyon’s gearbox?

Everything points to it being a one-off as opposed to anything endemic. We will address it for Monza and ensure it doesn’t occur again. Reliability is still a priority and we must ensure that Monza is a trouble free weekend. Pace is where we hoped it would be at this point in the season but reliability still needs to improve.

It was disappointing for Jolyon. His pace at the start of the weekend was a great confidence boost for him and I’m sure had he not had that problem he would have qualified seventh or eighth on the grid.

We’re closing in on the final stretch of the calendar, is there much to report with development?

We are already working on the 2018 car but some elements developed in the wind tunnel can be used on the R.S.17. We are continuing the development of this year’s car. We have the capability to do a good job in balancing the development of the 2018 car and transferring the concepts onto this year’s, so it’s a busy time in Enstone!

 

Keeping momentum

Nico Hülkenberg fired his way to a third sixth position of the season in Spa as he lines up more points on the high-speed and historic Monza circuit.

What do you make of Monza?

It’s a very unique place; incredibly special and holds a lot of history. In terms of the actual track, it’s a high-speed layout which means a low downforce configuration for the car, to favour top speed. Having such low downforce becomes uncomfortable sometimes as the car feels light and quite floaty, which can be a bit of a struggle. Monza features a lot of hard braking zones and boasts some legendary corner combinations such as the Lesmos and the Parabolica. You can really feel the history, which is something I enjoy.

And what about the Italian atmosphere?

Italy has a really good buzz, and that gets even better during the Grand Prix weekend in Monza. It’s a really special atmosphere. I love the whole park and area surrounding the track too. I like my food and, of course, eating a good pizza is mandatory during the weekend! The Italian lifestyle is really cool there and you can feel their passion around town.

What’s the summary from Spa?

It was a good and successful end to quite a tricky weekend. We struggled a little bit on Friday and Saturday as we made changes to find the right setup and balance for my car. On race day I was much happier as once again we’ve shown we are the fourth quickest team, it’s looking very positive. Once we get the balance and harmony where we want it to be the results seem to follow. The team have been doing a great job, it’s more points in the pocket for us which is satisfying. It’s important now to keep the momentum going, rack up the points and close the gap to our competitors.

 

On the pace

Jolyon Palmer is ready to tackle the famous Monza circuit after a disappointing weekend in Belgium which promised so much.

What do you particularly like about Monza?

It’s a very special track, and one I absolutely love. It’s one of those races which carries so much history, especially when you think of all the great races and all the great drivers who have won there. The crowd carry so much passion – you can hear the fans when you drive round. The track itself is very old school and enjoyable to drive. We take off a lot of downforce so parts are flat out and there can be a lot of overtaking.

What are your results around Monza throughout your career?

I won and took pole in GP2 plus I’ve won twice in F2, so it’s been a good one for me. I think it’s actually one of my best tracks. Things didn’t quite go to plan there last year but hopefully I can do better this year.

What do you think it takes to do well at Monza?

Monza has some long, fast straights so naturally you need good straight-line speed and then stability under braking. Combined with the speedy straights there are some very slow corners so you need to balance out the low downforce with the need to be late and hard on the brakes. It’s all about finding a good top speed, with the optimum downforce level for the chicanes.

How do you reflect on Spa?

It was a positive weekend with the car again looking competitive. If I had started seventh then I would have been in a position to score points, but down in fourteenth on the grid was hard. It’s positive, though, and I’m happy with the first race back, it would have been nice to get points but it has been a better weekend than in previous weeks. We need the same again in the next few races; it will happen, I just need to shake off the bad luck. Things are looking much better.

 

RSA Round-Up

Highs and lows for Aitken in Spa

Renault Sport Academy Driver Jack Aitken took a fifth GP3 podium of the season as he finished in second place in race one in Spa-Francorchamps, but ultimately it was a weekend of highs and lows for Jack in the Ardennes.

Jack remains second in the Drivers’ Championship, however his non-score in the second race means he’s now 36 points behind championship leader and team-mate, George Russell.

Jack qualified fourth on the grid in Spa and made an impressive charge into second in the opening laps. The 21-year-old had to battle hard to keep that place as he just did enough to hold off team-mate Nirei Fukuzumi at the end.

In race two, a collision forced Jack to retire as he heads to Monza for round six of the championship with the need for a large points haul to catch Russell in the standings.

Jack Aitken: “Overall it was a fairly mixed weekend with another podium. Practice went well being quickest of the ART drivers, but in Qualifying we had a bit of an unexpected balance, only on my car, which cost us. It’s a shame because usually I love the wet! But fourth was not a disaster, and in Race 1 we did really well to get up to second, and then fight Fukuzumi off at the end, it was a great battle. Race 2 started really well, I got up to fifth on the first lap, but when I tried to pass for fourth I thought I was already past Boccolacci and made contact into Les Combes, getting a puncture. It was my mistake. It’s a shame because we had the pace to win, but we’re still very much in the title fight!”

Double points finish for Fewtrell and Opmeer in France

Renault Sport Academy Driver Max Fewtrell moved to top spot in the rookie standings of the Formula Renault Eurocup as he finished the Paul Ricard weekend with 18 points.

Max remained composed to take a fifth in race one from thirteenth on the grid and a sixth in the second race to go up a position to sixth in the overall standings, with a lead of five points over his nearest rookie rival.

Fellow Academy driver Jarno Opmeer scored his first points since the beginning of July after finishing eleventh in both races. The Dutchman inherited one-point in each race due to a wildcard entry finishing in the top ten being ineligible to score points. Sun Yue Yang finished 21st and 24th in the races.

Max Fewtrell: “We really struggled with the car all weekend as we just couldn’t find the right balance and being far off the pace every time we went on track. But we managed to get a fifth and a sixth from thirteenth and eighth on the grid, so I think I did the best job with what I had and that’s pleasing. We’re now leading the rookie standings so there are positives, but the team and I have a bit of work to do to get the car ready for Spa. I want to be back on the podium there.”

Jarno Opmeer: “It’s been a good weekend and great for me to return to the points. I gained a few places across both races with some strong overtakes which is positive. The pace in the races looked good so it’s important we build on that now. I made two decent starts off the grid which put me in a place to battle. I’m very happy to take some points home and I’m looking forward to Spa already.”

Sun Yue Yang: “The weekend wasn’t as good as Austria last time out. It has been quite difficult and challenging. I’m doing my best to improve, this week my lap times have been getting better. Paul Ricard is a big track and quite difficult to defend on. I made a couple of errors, but my team have been helping me and I’m looking forward to the next one and I will keep working hard in preparation for Spa.”

Frustrating weekend for Rowland and Latifi

Renault Sport Formula One Team Development Driver Oliver Rowland and Test Driver Nicholas Latifi endured a difficult weekend in round eight of the Formula 2 Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.

Oliver finished a thrilling third in the opening Feature race before being disqualified along with winner Charles Leclerc following a post-race scrutineering check which deemed both cars to have excessive wear to the underfloor plank.

Nicholas, who qualified on the front row of the grid, had a technical problem on his way from the pits to the pit-lane and was unable to start the opening race.

In the Sprint, Oliver salvaged an eighth place point-scoring finish with Nicholas, from eighteenth on the grid, finishing ninth and narrowly outside of the points.

Oliver Rowland: “The weekend in Spa was a little disappointing as we saw our first race podium taken away from us by a technical issue in post-race scrutineering. So having to race from P20 to 8th in the Sprint was great fun. Moving onto Monza and I’m very positive and hoping that we can deliver some good results to gain back some points to Charles Leclerc in the Championship. Monza is extremely high speed and the quick corners are very challenging because we have to run very low downforce. It’s usually a track where you can overtake so I’m excited for the weekend ahead.”

Nicholas Latifi: “It was a big shame that the engine blew because it was a big opportunity to score some important points. I had out-qualified two of the competitors I’m trying to beat in the championship, so the failure was frustrating. In terms of positives from this weekend, qualifying on the front row and achieving my best-ever qualifying position in Formula 2 was pleasing, because that’s been an area of the race weekend I’ve been trying to improve on. We head to Monza straight away and that’s a good thing, because it doesn’t give me much time to dwell on Spa. I need to bounce back strongly at Monza.”

Track Notes:

Monza is another one of Formula 1’s most prestigious races with its historic and antique feel. In terms of the actual circuit, Monza is fast and flowing with long straights and tricky chicanes. The most famous of turns comes last and reveals the long, 1.4 km start/finish straight. Known as the Parabolica, the sweeping right-hander has seen overtakes and drama across its 62 years of being on the calendar.

T1/2 Wide start and finish straight narrows down to the legendary Rettifilio chicane. The kerbs are used extensively here as drivers aim to find the shortest and most direct line through this complex.

T3 – Maintain momentum through the flat-out Curva Grande where a good tow can be exploited in readiness for heavier braking and an overtaking opportunity into the Variante Roggia left/right flick.

T4/5 Again the kerbs are used to maximum effect, but it is much quicker than the first chicane, so too much kerb can unsettle the cars and create a loss of momentum up to the Lesmo sequence.

T6/7 – The Lesmo curves are approached at over 260kph, with a minimum corner speed of around 180kph in the tighter second Lesmo. The cars are often a handful here due to the relative lack of downforce on the car.

T8/9/10 – Taken initially in third gear but quickly changing up to fourth, precision of line is important at the Variante Ascari. There is a minimum speed of 170kph in the first left and then right hand flicks before the power can be increased for the final right where the cars can drift out on to the exit kerb before heading down the long back straight.

T11 – Peaking at approximately 335kph the drivers brake and change down to fourth gear for the constant radius Parabolica right hander. The run-off was changed in 2014 from gravel to tarmac, which is likely to see some deeper braking in to the first section of the turn.

Power Unit Notes:

Monza is the most power sensitive track of the season. More than 75% of the lap is spent at full throttle, more than any circuit of the season. There are four long periods of open throttle, each holding an average of 13secs bursts. The first is the pit straight, followed by the run through the Curva Grande, then from the Lesmos to the Variante Ascari and finally from Ascari to the Parabolica. The longest time the power unit will be at full throttle is the pit straight, which lasts 16 secs.

Despite the ICE being flat out for most of the lap, fuel consumption per kilometre is relatively low compared to slower tracks. This is due in part to the short length of the track and to maintaining a constant speed throughout, but also due to the high average speed with low downforce package that reduces the time spent to complete the distance.

The long periods of wide open throttle generate a steady stream of exhaust gas. The energy available in the exhaust due to the high percentage of full throttle time means that the turbo will be at maximum speed for over 80% of the lap.

Despite the heavy braking for the three chicanes, the MGU-K is not significantly stressed in Monza. Each braking event is very short and there are only three slow corners. In comparison to a corner-rich circuit such as Hungary, the MGU-K barely recovers the maximum energy allowed. To compensate, the MGU-K recovers energy at partial throttle through overloading the ICE, although it will be difficult to harvest the max energy allowed by the regulations. The MGU-H will also feed the MGU-K down the straights.

The chicanes will see the cars brake from well over 300kph to 80kph but accelerate back up to 300kph in less than eight seconds. This creates a braking event of around one to two seconds, or quicker than a blink of an eye. It’s important for the car to be stable under braking and acceleration so engineers will pay particular attention to the engine maps and how they interact with the low downforce aero configuration.

 

Tyres:

Medium (white) – Margherita – the most popular pizza going, quick and easy to make and can rarely go wrong.

Soft (yellow) – Capricciosa – boasts a bit more than the Medium, offers the best of both worlds with sturdiness and taste.

Supersoft (red) – Salamino Piccante – all out flare; an Italian favourite that requires the love for spice.

In Numbers:

3.3 – (lbs), in 2007 a truffle weighing 3.3 pounds sold at an auction for $333,000 (USD), a world record for a truffle. It was discovered by a dog named Rocco.

75 – 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly.

25 – The average Italian eats around 25kg of pasta every year.

500- There are over 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy.

source: renaultsport.com2017 photo album

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Sauber F1 Team

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Pirelli

Italian Grand Prix Preview

2017-08-28 - Italian Grand Prix Preview

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Renault Sport

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