Monza, home of the 'tifosi', plays host to the last Grand Prix in Europe for the 2001 season. The circuit has a rich history and has staged a race every year (bar one) since the World Championship began in 1950. Since that time, little of ...
Monza, home of the 'tifosi', plays host to the last Grand Prix in Europe for the 2001 season. The circuit has a rich history and has staged a race every year (bar one) since the World Championship began in 1950. Since that time, little of the track's layout has changed apart from the addition of chicanes to slow the cars down. Nevertheless it remains one of the fastest circuits on the calendar.
An unrelenting test of speed and skill, the track is demanding on both the cars and drivers. Its fast sweeping curves and long straights, combined with quick chicanes, require a very low downforce set up, as maximum speed is required for the straights.
Last year's race brought both drama and celebration for the OrangeArrows team. Pedro de la Rosa and Jos Verstappen's qualifying positions of 10th and 11th respectively did not do justice to the car's performance. The top 12 cars were separated by just 1.2 seconds producing a very close grid. De la Rosa was involved in a big accident on the first lap when he was unable to avoid two slow-moving cars ahead and barrel rolled into the gravel trap landing upside down. Reassured that Pedro was unharmed, the team focused its attention on Jos. In a strong race and determined drive, Jos fought his way up to third, which he held for 15 laps before finally finishing in fourth place - the team's best finish of the season!
Despite last year's result, the OrangeArrows team are under no illusions, remaining focused and prepared for the weekend ahead.
"I really enjoy racing at Monza as I like the circuit and the atmosphere is always fantastic. I expect the 'tifosi' will be a little louder this year now that Michael (Schumacher) has won another World Championship. The circuit is a mixture of fast curves, long straights and quick chicanes and it will be hard work for the OrangeArrows team. Nevertheless I had a great race there last year and finished fourth so we will be pushing hard to give this year's race our best shot."
"I like Monza, it's a good track. Its really fast which means you can run with very low downforce setting on the car. This should suit our car better than some tracks, so hopefully we can get a good result. I've raced there many times before, a while ago though, so I am really looking forward to going back. Italy is a beautiful country and I love the food and people."
"Monza is a high speed, low downforce track which is very hard on brakes. In that sense, it is most similar to tracks such as Canada where we encountered a few problems. We have made improvements in those areas, so it hopefully will be better. I feel it will suit our car quite well and last year we had our best finish of the season here, although under very sad circumstances with the tragic death of the marshal. It's the last race for development work before the fly aways, but we've also been doing some straight line running which should be of benefit."