One of the legendary F1 circuits, Monza is among the most important races of the year -- and demands special preparation, both for the chassis and the engine. Here's a guide to the unique features of the Italian circuit that the Renault F1 Team...
One of the legendary F1 circuits, Monza is among the most important races of the year -- and demands special preparation, both for the chassis and the engine. Here's a guide to the unique features of the Italian circuit that the Renault F1 Team will be coping with this weekend.
Aerodynamics: Monza is easily the fastest circuit on the calendar. In order to obtain competitive top speeds, the team develops a special low downforce aero package. While low downforce is often the term used, the critical thing at this circuit is achieving low levels of drag, which is achieved with particularly efficient wing designs.
Suspension: Monza is an old circuit with bumpy braking area into turns 4 (Roggia) and 11 (Parabolica), although recent resurfacing work may have improved this a little. Given the low levels of downforce and the aggressive kerbs in the first two chicanes, mechanical grip and stability are major set-up areas. In general, the front of the car will be set up stiffer than the rear, to get a reactive change of direction at the front while ensuring good traction at the rear. Ride heights are generally quite low, but to avoid touching at the fastest points of the circuit, we use bump rubbers on which the car 'sits' at high loads.
Braking: Monza is not just a power circuit, because the cars spend nearly 15% of the lap on the brakes. The braking system is worked very hard on this circuit, particularly on the entry to turn 1 where the cars shed about 300 kph. We pay close attention to brake cooling to ensure optimum performance.
Performance: Monza is the engine circuit par excellence. With 79% of the lap spent at full throttle, the Italian circuit is without any doubt the most demanding challenge the RS26 engine will meet all season. There are slow corners and an average lap speed of 260 kph -- meaning that at Monza even more than other circuits, teams need a versatile, powerful engine. This is the goal for the D spec engine that Fernando Alonso will use this weekend.
Reliability: The cars require good braking stability, but also a good balance in the fast and slow chicanes portions where the driver often use a lot of kerb. That means there is a real risk of hitting the rev limiter or damaging the transmission when the rear wheels 'land'. The team also pays special attention to potential damage to ancillary components such as water or oil pumps, which can be affected by the severe demands of the Monza layout.