Text: Alex Yoong / Photos: | posted September 08, 2011 14:27
2011 Italian Grand Prix
It has long straights with reasonably short slow corners leading on and off them, which translates into a race that is all about top speed and not really about setting the car up to be quick through the corners as you spend a comparatively short time in them.
As a result, cars will all be set-up for minimum wing angle to decrease drag and down-force but maximum speed.
With only the last corner, the Curva Parabolica, being the only reasonably fast corner on the track, tire wear is normally low here. However, due to the high speeds and the fact that tire blistering occurred at the last GP in Spa, Pirelli will be asking teams to run less front camber and higher tire pressures this weekend.
A tire failure at such high straight line speeds would be catastrophic; therefore, by reducing tire stress with these changes, the chances of disaster striking will be decreased significantly.
Monza is always exciting because the long straights normally mean overtaking is possible, especially with the addition of two DRS zones this year for overtaking.
Consequently, we should see EVEN more overtaking this weekend compared to previous years, and I would not be surprised to see this race receive the most action of the year.
I only hope that we do not see tire wear falling off too much. If we see tires lasting, then we should see drivers coming back at each other lap after lap due to committed driving instead of falling away because of finished tires.
Red Bull do not historically do too well here in Monza, and I personally believe that Ferrari will start as firm favorites as they always give their home circuit special care and attention.
McLaren and Mercedes will also be very strong here, but do not discount Red Bull because they have already been strong on two supposedly weaker circuits - Canada and Belgium.
With both championships looking like they are going the way of Red Bull, the other teams will still be desperate to show they have closed the gap and can be competitive against the world champions.
Pride is a main reason to keep pushing, but also it will give the boys back at the factory real motivation that they are going in the right direction with car performance, which should bode well for 2012.