Italian GP: Sauber preview

After scoring nine Championship points at the last race in Spa and thus achieving the team's best result this season Sauber Petronas is now moving to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix on 12 September where it will have a new low downforce...

After scoring nine Championship points at the last race in Spa and thus achieving the team's best result this season Sauber Petronas is now moving to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix on 12 September where it will have a new low downforce aerodynamic package that reflects the nature of this very fast track.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"At Monza we run the lowest downforce package of the season, because the long straights require maximum top speed. Due to the long straight after the parabolica corner the drivers spend a long time at full throttle which gives a very high load on the engine and equally the brakes take a lot of punishment."

"The drivers brake from 360 kph to 80 in about three seconds going into the first of the two chicanes, so brake efficiency and stability are paramount. Ideally, to accelerate efficiently away from such slow chicanes, we would run higher downforce, but this is a penalty we have to accept, together with decreased grip and therefore, potentially, stability, under braking."

"Tyre wear is not too bad here, however, and before the latest regulations were introduced last year it was often a single-stop race. We tested there for three days last week honing our low downforce package and assessing tyres for the Italian Grand Prix. Overall, I expect that we will be competitive because the nature of the Monza circuit should suit the Sauber Petronas C23 well."

Giancarlo Fisichella (137 GPs, 18 points 2004):

"The last race in Spa was tough for us but also very satisfying, and we surely deserved this great result. We made a really good step forward at Spa. There is a little bit more pressure on me at Monza because it is one of my home tracks, but when I have that extra weight of expectation on my shoulders I am very concentrated."

"I won a few times at Monza in F3, but my best ever result in F1 there came in 1997 when I was fourth for Jordan. It is quite a difficult track with the low downforce because you have very poor grip in the braking area for the chicanes. You have to use the kerbs a lot and that can upset the car and is a little bit rough in the cockpit, but the kerbs aren't as bad as they used to be. Both chicanes are difficult, while the parabolica is a crucial corner because a really good line there and a clean exit can help you build very good speed for the main straight."

Felipe Massa (30 GPs, 10 points 2004):

"In Spa I had my best ever finish of my Formula One career and this showed that we are perfectly capable of scoring such a result with determination and teamwork. I also think that tracks like Spa suit my style and Monza is a nice place, too. It's a low downforce circuit, so it's not so easy when you are braking because there is less stability and you are braking from 360 kph."

"It's an interesting track, one of the oldest in F1, so Monza is part of the sport's history. It's a great race, with a lot of possibilities for overtaking. It's a simple circuit, but still a challenge. I like driving there. The track is tough on engines and brakes, because you are at full throttle for so much of the lap."

"I have some nice memories of Monza. I won an Italian Formula Renault race there in 2000, and the same weekend I also won a European Championship race there in the same category. I also won there in European F3000 in 2001."

-sauber-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber , Jordan