Its time for the fastest race of the year. Monza with its 4 very long straights where F1 cars reach in excess of 330kph make it a low down force challenge where the teams take off as much wing as they dare. They can do this as the circuit consists of slow speed corners where a lot of downforce is not necessary.
What this means is in normal dry conditions, Monza usually provides the most overtaking of the season as the long straights give the drivers the opportunity to slipstream each other before trying a pass while breaking into one of the chicanes.
Its one of my favourite races of the year, not only because the racing is usually good, but because my debut in Formula 1 was at this circuit. The atmosphere is fantastic and is one of the few races of the year, you can hear the crowd through your helmet as you drive around. Germany and Britain being the other places, where the crowd is so noisy.
With wings trimmed out for minimum drag, the teams will be softening up the cars so that they can attack the curbs at the three chicanes in Monza. While low wing is a must, maximum mechanical grip is also a must for this iconic circuit.
The only other calendar which is similar to Monza is Montreal, and we saw there that it was very close between the Mclarens, Ferrari’s and Red Bulls. Hopefully we can expect more of the same this weekend, although something tells me that Ferrari will shade it this time. Alonso will want to bounce back from the disappointment of Spa and the increasingly more competitive Ferrari at home will be a touch prospect.
The other big news of the weekend is that Ferrari will not get anymore penalties from the team orders fiasco from Germany. While its a little disappointing that the FIA did not take a firmer stance, i believe it will pave the way for a retraction of the banning of team orders rule. Which is a good thing because it is not really enforceable and the rule being there that cannot be enforced is futile.