The Italian Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, will be held this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza just outside of Milan and bring Formula One's European season to its conclusion. One of the most ...
The Italian Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, will be held this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza just outside of Milan and bring Formula One's European season to its conclusion.
One of the most historic and atmospheric circuits on the Formula One calendar, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is situated in the royal park at the heart of the town of Monza. The original circuit was built in 1922 and included a banked oval course. Although this has not been used by F1 cars since 1961, it remains as a monument to the iconic races hosted over the years.
The 5.793km Monza circuit is the fastest of the year with four long straights enabling the cars to reach top speeds of 340kph and average lap speeds of 250kph. The emphasis is on engine power and aerodynamic efficiency which require the cars to be set up with a special low downforce aerodynamic package to minimise drag.
ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL
Q. What are the technical considerations for the race at Monza this weekend?
"Visiting Monza during the Italian Grand Prix is a very special experience and one not to be missed for motorsport fans. It's one of those classic venues where the grandstands are always packed and the atmosphere is electric throughout the weekend. From a technical point of view, Monza should be a track where our car will work well although we do expect the KERS cars to have a significant advantage. The BGP 001 is good on both brakes and traction which are important at Monza and we have the benefit of the Mercedes-Benz engine on this power-sensitive circuit. With no in-season testing this year, we have not had the opportunity to test at the circuit prior to the race weekend so it will be interesting to see how quickly everyone can adapt to the unusually low downforce configuration with limited running. The aerodynamic efficiency of the car is crucial so we have a specific package designed to minimise drag levels and achieve the high top speeds required. Good engineering can make a significant difference at Monza so we'll be working hard to get the car set up well to allow our drivers to be aggressive over the kerbs."
Q. What are your thoughts ahead of the Italian Grand Prix?
"Monza is a fantastic track and I love the passion that the Italian fans bring to the race weekend. The circuit is very different to most of the circuits that we race on as the car will be set up with the lowest levels of drag and downforce possible to take advantage of the long straights. It always takes a few laps to get used to and as we haven't tested at Monza this season, the practice sessions will be very important. Ascari is probably my favourite part of the track but also Parabolica where the challenge is to brake as late as possible, particularly in qualifying when you're on a quick lap. It's a circuit that should be reasonably good for our car if we get the handling right over the kerbs so we're feeling positive and excited about the challenge."
Q. What do you enjoy about visiting Monza?
"There's something very special about Monza and I have always loved racing there throughout my career. The setting in the park, the sound of the Tifosi, the speed of the circuit and the memories from my victories with Ferrari in 2002 and 2004 all make Monza one of the most exciting races of the year. It's the quickest circuit on the calendar and our car has the potential to be strong there. The power of our Mercedes-Benz engine will be really important in maximising speed on the long straights and our car is quite good under braking which you need to be aggressive and ride the kerbs effectively. It's been a season full of surprises so it's impossible to predict what the weekend will bring but I hope that we can have a good one."
-credit: brawn gp