Formula One goes flat out into the European finale of the 2006 World Championship. Nowhere else do you get a higher full-throttle ratio than on the circuit in Monza's Royal Park, where the 15th of 18 World Championship races takes place on 10th ...
Formula One goes flat out into the European finale of the 2006 World Championship. Nowhere else do you get a higher full-throttle ratio than on the circuit in Monza's Royal Park, where the 15th of 18 World Championship races takes place on 10th September. The BMW Sauber F1 Team is heading for the Italian Grand Prix with some special aerodynamic innovations in its baggage.
The team has completed a three-day test programme on the high-speed track near Milan with team drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, as well as the young Sebastian Vettel, who will be again driving the third BMW Sauber F1.06 on Friday in Monza.
"For me the Italian Grand Prix in Monza is an unusual one for a number of reasons. For a start, the circuit in the Royal Park is one of the last real high-speed tracks Formula One still races on. To give you an idea of the speed: at 360 km/h you cover 100 metres in one second. That means if you're half a second too late, you've missed the braking point for a corner."
"Secondly, Italy is Ferrari country, and the tifosi always guarantee a very special atmosphere. Thirdly, nowhere else do you hit the kerbs as hard as in Monza, and fourthly, there are passing opportunities, which is great for the drivers and spectators alike."
"My third Formula One race will be on a track I know very well and like a lot. I shall work hard with the engineers as usual, but this time we will have some valuable information from this week's three-day test at Monza to add to that from the June test there. I lived in Italy for many years, so I suppose I could claim this as a home race. The Italians love their motor racing, and this is where I learnt my racecraft from the age of 13."
"I'm really looking forward to my second GP weekend. During testing I didn't like the Monza circuit at all at first. I found it quite difficult to find the braking points. But once I had that sorted out, I got to like it more and more. Some of the turns are fantastic, even though it isn't easy to get them right with the low-downforce configuration. What was also unfamiliar to me was the wild way you have to ride over the kerbs."
"Testing so soon before a GP weekend will make my work as the Friday driver a bit easier as we will have fresh data. But for the finer details and setting the car up for the prevailing conditions and weather, my job will still be very important."
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
"In the last European race of our debut season we are hoping to collect some more points. Our qualifying performance in Istanbul showed that we have made progress and that this is a realistic goal."
"Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on our potential in the race, but we will be aiming to do so in Monza, where we'll be lining up with the same driver team as in Turkey. Nick put in a particularly strong performance during qualifying in Istanbul, Robert delivered superior races in his first two F1 events, and Sebastian made a very good debut in Turkey."
"The circuit in the Royal Park is the high-speed track par excellence and demands a great deal of respect from drivers and machinery alike. With the V10 engines the full-throttle percentage was 67, with the less powerful V8 we recorded 77 percent during testing."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
"As Monza is a genuine high-speed circuit, cars are set up with commensurately low downforce. It means you have to develop a specific aero package for the track that isn't used anywhere else. This comprises a different front and rear wing as well as several modifications to the body. With the V8 engines, top speeds will of course be a little lower than in the past, but we can still expect to hit around 340 km/h."
"Monza is one of the circuits where the brakes endure the highest loads. Braking into the first chicane demands the most extreme deceleration, with forces exceeding 5g. As this section of the track also has a few bumps, the set-up has to focus on braking stability."
"Another key factor in achieving fast lap times is for the drivers to be able to ride the kerbs aggressively. That is only possible if the car can absorb these forces well and doesn't become unbalanced."
-credit: bmw sauber