2011 Italian Grand Prix Preview

From: Myron L
Sent on: Thursday, September 8, 2011 5:38 PM

2011 Formula One Season

Race: Italian Grand Prix
Track: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Lap Distance: 5.793 km / 3.601 miles
Number of Laps: 53
Race Distance:[masked] km /[masked] miles
Top Speed: 347 kph / 215 mph
Average Speed: 237 kph / 147 mph
Average Corner Speed: 139 kph / 86 mph
Full Throttle: 76%
Brake Wear: Medium/High
Downforce: Low
Tire Usage: Low
Tire Compound: Medium / Soft
Pit Lane Loss (approx): 23 seconds
Fuel used per lap: 2.8kg / lap
Fuel Laptime Penalty: 0.2 s/ 10kg
Pit length: 417 meters

Key Issues – Low downforce aerodynamic efficiency

Hi F1 fans,

For those who are in NYC area it is a great relief to get your F1 fix this weekend. We are back for round 13 of the 2011 Season. Italy welcomes you to Monza or “Magical Monza” as Renault tends to refer to this track. After this race the 2011 season leaves us with six more races. Can you believe how fast the season has gone by? This circuit is one of the most historic circuits in Formula 1 and marks the final European race before the teams head to Asia and South America for the Singapore, Japan, Korea, India (new for 2011), Brazil and United Arab Emirates races.

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (official name) is directly in the heart of the town of Monza. The original circuit was built in 1922, which included a banked oval course. Those days are now long gone and some of the best turns at this circuit have been flattened. However that does not mean the course isn’t exciting; besides all the Italian fans and being the home race for Ferrari, there still remain the four long straights which enable the drivers to reach speeds of 340kph [masked]mph) and brings the average course speed to roughly 237kph (147mph). The corners of Lesmo, Parabolica, and Curva Grande continue to remain a challenge for even the modern generation of cars and drivers. Monza has always been noted as one of the fastest Formula 1 circuits and statistically those cars with the best engine performance tend to achieve the best results. For 2011 the track will support two DRS zones which will provide plenty of overtaking opportunities and provide the fans with non-stop action.The DRS zone will specifically be located on the start/finish straight and on the straight leading to Ascari (turn 8).

In the past, this circuit typically runs flat out and the effect of fuel weight is minimized by the relative absence of hard braking or acceleration. It will be interesting to see how the field takes shape as teams might go for the strategy of saving tires during qualifying, and expect to see the DRS zones ailing cars that are drafting their way to the top. Expect the higher curbs to see little action at turns 1, 2, 4 and 5 as the teams setup a stiffer suspension setting to help the quick change of direction and higher speeds. Since last year, the areas behind the apex curbs at turns 1 and 4 have been laid with a ramped concrete section to ensure that the chances of a car crossing them becoming airborne are minimized. Key overtaking points are at turn 9 (Variante Ascari) and turn 11 (Curva Parabolica) where the challenge the drivers face is braking as late as possible. Monza sits 160m above sea level and has the average pressure (997 mbar); as a consequence the circuit’s ambient characteristics will result in roughly a 5% reduction in engine power.

Monza interesting fact(s):
Of 98 Italian drivers to have raced in Formula One, only 3 have won the Italian Grand Prix: Nino Farina in 1950; Alberto Ascari in[masked] and Ludovico Scarfiotti in 1966.

No Italian has won the Formula One World Championship since Alberto Ascari in 1953; the last Italian to win a grand prix was Giancarlo Fisichella, for Renault, in Malaysia, 2006.

The main straight at Monza is the third longest in Formula One, at 1120m, just behind the back straight at Shanghai International Circuit (1170m) and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina (1140m). The circuit’s high-speed nature means that 83 percent of the lap is spent at ‘full throttle’ – the most of any 2011 circuit.

FROM RACE DIRECTOR, CHARLIE WHITING
“This is one of those races everyone loves going to, because it’s so traditional. Monaco and Monza are really the two big ones in this respect, with a great sense of history and fantastic fans. I never tire of going to see the old banking and thinking of the dangers drivers faced then and how brave they were to do a lap of the old circuit at tremendous speed, with no chicanes and then face the banking. It was really incredibly dangerous and serves as a very vivid reminder of how far we’ve come in terms of safety. The support from the fans is extremely enthusiastic and from the marshals, too – sometimes too much so and we may have to curb their enthusiasm to keep them away from the edges of the track.”

If you’re in New York City please join us for the race at:

Féile [Fay-la]
131 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

Remember the SpeedTV pre-race show begins at 7:30AM and the race will start 8:00AM. We hope to see everyone there!

Kind regards,

Myron

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