Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Tech debrief: Why Mercedes was a league apart at Monza
Mercedes was untouchable during the Italian Grand Prix, with the power of its engine and its low-downforce configuration proving the class of the field once more.
Mercedes' dominance around the temple of speed was plain to see, with the W07 set-up to maximise not only the straights that dominate the circuit but also take into account the chicanes and long sweeping Parabolica.
Mercedes was on 'plan B' from the get-go with its special rear wing for Monza discarded, without the hint of any track action. Instead, it ran the same option as Baku, utilising the 'Spoon' rear wing without the monkey seat.
Albeit not the low-downforce appendage it has initially planned, the 'Spoon' wing does significantly reduce downforce and drag when compared with its usual configuration.
However, it was clearly a conscious decision taken by the team to run more downforce, improving its cornering speed whilst not seriously damaging straight line speed.
The rear wing designed for Monza was very similar to the one utilised by the team in last year's Monza GP (above), still featuring a spoon design but with a much gentler curve.
Red Bull, like previous seasons, ran a with an extremely low-downforce configuration to marginalise its power unit deficit.
The front wings upper flap cut back significantly to balance the loss of downforce that was being generated by the super skinny rear wing.
The rear wing featured a very low angle of attack, paired to the short chord upper flap and practically horizontal mainplane.
The centre support pylon was also redesigned, with a much slimmer section mounted to the underside of the mainplane, rather than extending up in front of it to meet with the DRS actuator pod.
During FP3 the team did assess its options when it comes to the use of a blown axle, trialling a new set-up on Max Verstappen's car.
A conical cap was placed in the end of the axle in order to change how airflow was ejected, as whilst it may appear that the cap completely blanked off the the axle outlet it actually featured numerous holes around its circumference.
It's unclear whether this was intended as a specification to be used in Monza or an early test for upcoming races - either way, it was discarded for qualifying and the car returned to the normal specification (inset).
Both drivers eventually utilised a new brake duct configuration, with Verstappen putting in the ground work during Friday's free practice action. The new set-up consists of a much more open brake drum, with the disc exposed rather than being enclosed by it.
This will have an impact on how heat radiates from the brakes into the wheel rim, changing the bulk temperature of the tyre and more specifically the tyres outer shoulder as the team looks to maximise the performance of the entire tyre.
Ferrari, having spent its last three tokens on a power unit update, focused much of its attention on stabilising set-up. It ran in the same aerodynamic configuration as it had intended to do at Spa before trading out the rear wing for a higher downforce one.
That meant employing the lower downforce two-flap front wing, a closed front axle and the skinnier rear wing we already saw used in Baku.
Like Mercedes, it seemed to have resigned itself to the fact that running in extremely low downforce trim wouldn't have helped its overall performance, with the higher tyre pressures making stability an issue during cornering.
Whilst the front wing seemed outwardly similar to the Spa specification, there were a couple of changes worth highlighting. The front wing was relaxed significantly, reducing the load on the front axle, which was, of course, adjusted to suit each drivers needs (arrowed).
You'll note from this just how much of the flap was cut away, too. Meanwhile, the inset from the inner endplate canard was removed, changing how airflow moved across the tyres face and out around it.
The cars were also equipped with an asymmetric front brake duct layout, with the left hand side of the car closed off completely.
Meanwhile, the right-hand duct featured a window at the top of the drum exposing the metallic heatsink that surrounds the brake disc, whilst teardrop-shaped outlets were placed in the crossover pipework to allow more airflow to permeate the space that exists between the drum and the wheel rim.
This difference in brake duct design on either side of the car is used to maximise the performance and degradation of the tyre depending on the loads placed on the car as it completes a lap and stint.
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