Monza: Bridgestone preview

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the destination of Monza for the finale of the thrilling fourth season of the championship which provides the Formula One drivers of tomorrow. Monza is a motor racing destination steeped in history...

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the destination of Monza for the finale of the thrilling fourth season of the championship which provides the Formula One drivers of tomorrow.

Monza is a motor racing destination steeped in history and the 5.79km Autodromo Nazionale Monza is located in picturesque parkland in Monza town, 20km from Milan in north Italy. The track features long straights and fast corners, punctuated by chicanes to slow the high speeds attained.

It is a circuit which will put Bridgestone's medium compound GP2 Series tyres through their paces. High speeds with high loadings through the corners, allied to the high temperatures often experienced, mean that drivers will have to work hard to look after their tyres and extract the best performance. Last season in Monza, Giorgio Pantano (Campos) and Timo Glock (iSport) took a win apiece. Pantano, who is something of a Monza specialist, will be in action once more, driving for Racing Engineering whilst reigning champion Glock will be in action in the main game, Formula One, for Panasonic Toyota Racing.

Heading to Monza, Giorgio Pantano (Racing Engineering) leads the championship with 71 points from Bruno Senna (iSport) on 60. Lucas di Grassi (Campos) is in third place on 53 points, whilst Romain Grosjean has the same number of points in fourth position. It is mathematically possible for any of these four drivers to take the drivers' title in Monza with 20 points available from the race weekend. The teams' championship is now led by Campos with 93 points, from iSport, who move into second place with 91 points. Piquet Sports are in third position with 80 points. With a maximum of 33 points available for a team over a race weekend, any of the top five teams could win the title in Monza.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

"Monza is one of the fastest circuits on the GP2 calendar. Typically at this track high wear occurs on the left hand side tyres due to lateral forces, particularly in the last corner and turn three, which are fast, long turns. Overheating of the tyres can be an issue for the drivers and once this happens they lose grip and as a result can not reach good top speeds through these two difficult corners, so drivers need to preserve their tyres. The circuit also requires hard braking, mainly at turn one which is the chicane waiting for the drivers at the end of the long straight, and turns four and eight. Monza is a great city to host the GP2 finale and the circuit will provide competitive racing as the 2008 championship comes to a close on the Bridgestone tyres, produced in Rome."

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres for Monza: 760 (medium dry & wets)
Pole position time 2007: 1min 30.546secs - G Pantano (Campos)
Fastest race lap 2007: 1min 31.442secs - G Pantano (Campos)
Top three 2007 race 1: G Pantano (Campos), L Filippi (Super Nova), T Glock (iSport)
Top three 2007 race 2: T Glock (iSport), L Filippi (Super Nova), B Senna (Arden)

Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Giorgio Pantano

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the Italian circuit of Monza for the tenth and final round of the 2008 GP2 Series. This circuit is one of the world's oldest motor racing venues and the track is a high speed test for the drivers and tyres alike. Italian driver Giorgio Pantano is regarded as something of a specialist at this circuit and here he answers the following questions.

Q. It's been a great season for you, what has been your secret for success?

A. The secret was the work we did with the team, the way we all work together. I think we have worked hard and prepared for the season well and then the results came.

Q. How have you found working with the Racing Engineering team?

A. It has gone very well. It was a great decision for me to work with them. There is a wonderful understanding between me and the team and that made the difference.

Q. How do you get the most from the new GP2/08 car?

A. The way we are going through the high speed corners is a bit different than with the previous car. Also, the way the car is built means you can use the tyres better, and it's easier to drive the car like this.

Q. What are the differences in terms of tyre management when using the current car compared to the previous one?

A. With this car you can manage the tyres better and the car is easier to drive. It is easier to use the rear tyres and you have more of a margin during the race.

Q. What has been your highlight of the season?

A. Probably the Istanbul event where I was first in free practice, qualifying and won the first race. But also the Silverstone race was magnificent because it was a tough race and we definitely had the best tyre management. Hopefully Monza will be another one.

Q. What did you think of Bridgestone's decision to run with softer compounds this year at Silverstone and Monza?

A. It is, for sure, tougher for the drivers as it's harder work for them. But it makes the races more interesting. Experience obviously helps as it's a different way to drive the car. It's important to be careful during the race and try to save them for the end of the race. The decision to use the softer compound in Silverstone and Monza definitely puts more weight on the drivers and their driving style.

Q. You always do well at Monza - why do you think this is?

A. Because it's my home circuit and when I drive here I really enjoy it. But there are also other tracks I really like and feel very confident when driving there.

-credit: bridgestone

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi , Bruno Senna , Romain Grosjean
Teams Toyota Racing , Racing Engineering