Hinwil/Spa - Take a deep breath and carry on - the Formula One paddock is already on its way to Monza, which is 800 kms away, and where next weekend, 7th to 9th September, the Italian Grand Prix is taking place.
It is hard to believe the event in Monza’s Royal Park is already the final European race of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship despite there still being another seven Grands Prix after it.
Monza is a high speed circuit that is loved and dreaded in equal measure, and nowhere else do the cars run with that little downforce. The Sauber F1 Team wants to continue its positive trend in qualifying and hopes for better luck in the race.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 14): “In Monza we shall have very low downforce and high speed, so it will be very important to have mechanical grip as well. There will be a lot of kerb riding, and this means good mechanical grip compensating the downforce level will be key. My early racing career started in Italy.
Monza is one of my favourite circuits. I have a really good feeling for it so want a good result there. I speak a little bit of Italian and I really like the Italian people as they are a lot of fun.”
Sergio Pérez (car number 15): “The track in Monza is another favourite of mine, and I have had some very good races there. In Formula 3 I qualified 14th and then went on to win both races. I always enjoy the atmosphere in Italy, and the Tifosi are just great.
The circuit is obviously a true high-speed track and I have a lot of faith in our low downforce package which we have in place. Also when I look at our performance in Spa, which is also a fast track, the C31 should be strong at the Italian Grand Prix.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Monza is definitely a stand-alone track in the season due to its very long straights and a limited amount of corners. They are interesting corners as two of them are low speed chicanes requiring very good braking stability and then traction out of them.
The rest, basically Lesmo and Parabolica, are very interesting high speed bends that become even more challenging with the low downforce levels we run there, which is also stand-alone in the season. Then we have the Variante Ascari, a medium speed chicane which is a double corner that also gives us an engineering challenge to balance out the drag requirements, which are very low with a reasonable amount of downforce and definitely a very good mechanical grip.
The track is an old fashioned one with bumps, a regular surface and high kerbs, especially in the chicanes. The tyres will be challenging and Pirelli will supply the same as in Spa - medium and hard - but Monza is not hard on the tyres so they will be consistent and getting them to perform in qualifying will possibly be challenging.
The car will be updated with a low downforce package which, like in Spa, is not a real development step. We will have different wings on the front and rear plus some normal tuning. The expectation is to have a good weekend.”
Source: Sauber F1 Team