How the West was F1
Austin 2014
US Grand Prix
Monza offers exciting possibilities: Italian GP race strategy briefing
News
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Sep 2013   |  1:19 pm GMT  |  116 comments

In the refueling era of F1, Monza was always the track around which the engineers used to design the fuel tanks, as the objective would always be to make it large enough to do a one-stop race at Monza.

Strategy has always been central to this race.

Last year we saw Sergio Perez move up from 12th on the grid thanks to a bold strategy of starting on the hard tyre, running a long first stint and then picking off cars struggling for pace, using the faster medium tyres. It worked perfectly and he finished second, a result that set him up for the McLaren move.

This year, with the new lower pit lane speed limit of 80km/h, the teams will be even more likely to stop only once. But how you attack the race, what tyre you start on and when you make your stop will still be pivotal to the outcome.

With an average lap speed of over 250km/h, Monza is the fastest circuit in Formula 1. Monza is one of the great, classic venues on the F1 calendar. It has hosted a Grand Prix since the very first season of F1 in 1950 and provides variety to the calendar, with its high speed character. The cars run in low downforce mode here with thinner wings than usual. The aerodynamic package for this event is unique in the season. This makes it an outlier in the calendar and teams do not always devote much resource to developing a package for this one-off race.

For this reason, it can be a race where smaller teams can do well, as they sometimes do decide to focus some resource in it, in the hope that it can give them a chance to shine.

From a strategy point of view, Monza is not particularly hard on the tyres as there are few fast corners, which put energy into them. The track is basically a series of long straights, punctuated with chicanes. There are only three corners in a traditional sense; the two Lesmo bends and the Parabolica.

However the wheel rotation speeds are very high so overheating can be an issue and if the track temperature is high, this can create problems. Also the cars hit the kerbs hard and this means that the construction needs to be robust.

Last year the FIA decided that there should be two DRS zones in the race, so the pursuing car could open his rear wing to shed drag and attempt an overtake. One was on the main straight, the other between the Lesmo bends and Ascari corner. One of the key decisions was how to balance the use of the DRS wing (giving a 6-8km/h speed boost) while not hitting the rev limiter, which is set at 18,000 rpm.

Track characteristics

Monza – 5.793 kilometres. Race distance – 53 laps = 306.72 kilometres. 11 corners in total. Average speed 247km/h. Historic race track in a Royal Park.

Aerodynamic setup – Low downforce. Top speed 340km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 334km/h without.

Full throttle – 74% of the lap (high). Total fuel needed for race distance – 135 kilos (ave). Fuel consumption – 2.5kg per lap (ave)

Time spent braking: 11% of lap. Number of brake zones – 6. Brake wear- High)
Total time needed for pit stop (at 80km/h): 23 seconds (ave/high)

Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried): 0.35 seconds (ave/high)


Form Guide

The Italian Grand Prix is the twelfth round of the 2013 FIA F1 World Championship.

So far Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have all won races, while only Hamilton, Vettel and Rosberg have also been on pole position.

Red Bull has never had the best straight line speeds, but managed to win the race in 2011 due to clever gearing which kept Vettel ahead on acceleration out of the chicanes. His wins in Belgium and on the low downforce track in Canada this year indicate that he and Mark Webber should be very competitive.

From a driver perspective, Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are the ony drivers in the field who have won the Italian Grand Prix. Alonso and Vettel have won it twice, Hamilton once.

Weather Forecast

The long term weather forecast predicts a hot and sunny weekend with temperatures of 27-28 degrees.


Likely tyre performance and other considerations

Pirelli tyre choice for Monza: medium (white markings) and hard (orange markings). This combination of revised specification tyres was seen in Belgium.

As it is a low downforce circuit, the tyres will tend to slip under traction out of the low speed chicanes and this increases the degradation.

With the two hardest compounds in the range brought to this race, we should not see high wear rates on the tyres. What the teams have to watch out for is thermal degradation caused by very high wheel rotation speeds. When the car is travelling at in excess of 330km/kh, it’s easy to overheat the inside shoulder of the tyres, causing blisters.

Track temperatures tend to fluctuate a lot at Monza, as it is the early Autumn so with cloud cover the temperature drops, while it quickly heats up in direct sun. This can have a marked effect on performance.

Number and likely timing of pit stops

Last year’s pre-race simulations showed that one stop was faster than two stops by 10 seconds. However one notable factor was the wear on the inside shoulder of the right front tyre. This was showing signs on some cars of wearing down to the nylon, so managing that was crucial.

If it turns out that drivers have to stop twice, the ones who plan it from the outset and space out the stops ideally will have an advantage over those pushed into it by fading tyre performance.

For top ten cars that start on the medium tyres, the target will be to reach lap 20-24 and then use a set of hard tyres to the finish. There will be opportunities to “do a Perez” for any quick car that finds itself outside the top ten after qualifying. Having new tyres at your disposal makes the challenge easier, thanks to the extra laps of life.

The time needed for a pit stop at Monza is on the high side at over 23 seconds thanks to the new regulation that pit lane speed limits are set at 80km/h. It’s a long pit lane and the cars on track exit the final corner at over 200km/h and go down the pit straight at over 300km/h.

Chance of a safety car

The chance of a safety car at Monza is statistically very low at 43% and 0.4 Safety Cars per race. There was however a Safety car three years in a row recently from 2007- 9.


Recent start performance

Starts are a critical part of the race and strategy can be badly compromised by a poor start, while good starts can make strategists change their plans in the hope of a good result. Much can change, especially at Monza, where the cars arrive at speed and are sorted out in a tight first chicane. Incidents are common.

As far as 2013 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season on aggregate as follows:

Gained:

+17 Van der Garde*****


+15 Maldonado


+14 Massa



+15 Perez


+13 Gutierrez


+12 Di Resta


+10 Button


+8 Sutil***


+6 Alonso


+4 Vettel


+1 Pic

+1 Hulkenberg**


Lost

:
-2 Bottas


-2 Chilton


-4 Raikkonen


-8 Hamilton


-8 Ricciardo



-9 Bianchi******

-10 Grosjean
-10 Rosberg

-15 Webber*


-15 Vergne ****



*Webber dropped from second to seventh after a clutch problem in Australia
** Hulkenberg did not start in Australia *** Sutil suffered puncture from contact with Massa in Bahrain ****Vergne retired following collision. *****Van der Garde and Maldonado made contact in Monaco. ******Bianchi started from pit lane in Monaco after stalling


Pit Stop League Table
Of course good strategy planning also requires good pit stop execution by the mechanics and we have seen tyre stops carried out in less than two and a half seconds by F1 teams. The record is a 2.31s stop in the German GP by McLaren.

However with recent safety measures introduced by the FIA, following a loose wheel incident in a pit stop at the German Grand Prix, teams seem to have slowed the process by a second or so and closed up considerably in performance.

The league table below shows the order of the pit crews based on their fastest time in the Belgian Grand Prix, from the car entering the pit lane to leaving it.

1. Ferrari 22.444s
2. McLaren 22.465s
3. Mercedes 22.682s
4. Red Bull 22.685s
5. Sauber 22.712s
6. Toro Rosso 22.871s
7. Williams 23.411s
8. Lotus 23.445s
9. Force India 23.475s
10. Marussia 23.916s
11. Caterham 23.998s


The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan and from Pirelli.

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
Tags:
116 Comments
  1. Jimmy says:

    James, do you think that midfield teams getting into Q3 might not set a time to start with a fresh hard tyre? It seems there’s a big strategic advantage there.

  2. goferet says:

    If only the FIA would give this race some additional laps perhaps it would force most teams into 2 pitstops and thus a variety of strategies as some gamble on a one stop.

    If I were FIA president, I would decree, no race should last more than 2 hours and on the other side of the coin, no F1 race should last shorter than 1 hour 30 minutes especially at a place like Monza that doesn’t need high concentration thanks to the many straights.

    2012 finishing time:

    1 hour 19 minutes

    2011

    1 hour 20 minutes (with safety car)

    2010

    1 hour 16 minutes

    2009

    1 hour 16 minutes (with safety car)

    So as shown above, the action is over way too soon and if the race was longer, perhaps Perez would have caught up with Lewis in 2012 or Lewis would have overtaken Alonso for 4th in 2011 etc.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing a lot of the colour Red this weekend as the tifosi take over plus the first two laps of the race that always seem to be the most intense laps of any circuit.

    1. Dave C says:

      But the races are about distant so they can’t increase the amount of laps.

      1. Nika Wattinen says:

        ‘Dave C’ – You are, for the most part, correct. They are based on distance, except for Monaco, which is shorter, due to the slower average speed. So by the same token, an argument could be made for increasing the distance for Monza, due to the higher average speed. I agree with ‘goferet’. 70-80 mins is too short, not just in relation to driver effort, but also for my viewing enjoyment.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        Agreed. 10-15 more laps would be great!

      3. Jake says:

        Do they have the fuel capacity?

    2. Craig Baker says:

      Mr or Mrs FIA President goferet,
      Where do we put the extra fuel required to finish the longer race that you propose?
      Signed all the teams.

      1. Matt says:

        Nice +1

      2. Miguel Bento says:

        That is not a problem, they can tune down the engines.

      3. Bryce says:

        No problem getting at least 5 more laps on this circuit with a full tank.

    3. AndyRat says:

      Nice idea, except that well before the 90 minute mark everyone would have run out of fuel…

      1. Christos Pallis says:

        Look at the info on fuel and track. Monza fuel load for race distance is roughly 135 kg the tanks can fit in excess of 155kg of fuel. They could all cover at least an extra 10 laps without concern!

    4. Aaron says:

      I’m not sure the cars could do another 15-20 laps without running out of fuel. With the drivers spending 74% of the time with the throttle wide open, Monza is such a fast track that fuel consumption is incredibly high.

      1. Tim says:

        I have copied and pasted this from the article above. You might find some of the information useful before commenting ;-)

        Full throttle – 74% of the lap (high). Total fuel needed for race distance – 135 kilos (ave). Fuel consumption – 2.5kg per lap (ave)

    5. Wayne says:

      I was going to post the same thing unitl I read this and I completely agree. An hour and 20 minutes is woefully short, it should not be diffiuclt to make an exception on the distance measurement ‘rule’ for this race, we already do it for Monaco (which is one of the dullest races on the calendar and far from the ‘jewel’ it is claimed to be in my opinion).

    6. Simmo says:

      Great idea – the only problem is if a race does end before 1h 30m, do you simply say (just as Vettel approaches the finish line) “meh, add another 10 laps”?

  3. Steven L says:

    The Ferrari will be fast as they specifically design their car to run well here, Low Downforce config, in front of the Tifosi, it should also be their last race near the front for this reason.

    Hopefully we will see a LH Mercedes win as they are the only team and driver capable of giving RBR a run for the WDC.

    1. Dave C says:

      “only team and driver capable of giving RBR a run for the WDC”???

      I take it you meant give VETTEL a run for the WDC? I mean what can Webber do? He was beaten by Alonso and both the Mercedes quite comfortably at Spa and many times this year, yet Vettel was virtually untouchable, if you meant the WCC then you should have meant MERCEDES and not Hamilton alone because without team orders, driver preference and 3 mechanical failures Nico has been the closest number 2 driver to the team leader than RBR or Ferrari.

      1. Andrew C says:

        Wow! We could play your game all day long!
        If Massa hadn’t been hit on the head by a suspension part he could’ve….
        If Schueys engine hadn’t failed at Suzuka in 06 he might’ve….
        If Lewis hadn’t had a puncture in Silverstone then…..
        If F1 were spelled backwards….
        If Dave C weren’t living in a parallel universe of alternative endings….!!!

      2. Dave C says:

        Lol there are no alternate endings, the fact are all that matters, and the facts say Rosberg 2 wins Hamilton 1 wins, please explain that wirhout ifs and buts apart from Rosberg won double the amount of races Hamilton has won and hence Rosberg is the best number 2, FACT.
        Also Vettel 4 times world champion get use to it.

      3. Mike Martin says:

        +1 lmaorotf

      4. JohnBt says:

        LOL! the iffys begin when our favourite driver starts losing out. I guess it’s human nature.

      5. Kingszito says:

        +1 People will always find word(s) / way(s) to make themselves feel better. That’s human nature.

        Ifs are for the dreamers! @Dave C face reality!

        If Lewis Hamilton has had the car failures Nico Rosberg has had this season, I bet some will blame it on Lewis that he doesn’t know how to manage his car.

        Hamilton has done a great job with MERCEDES in his first year. Don’t forget that Hamilton has never driven for another team before this season. This is his first experience with a different team in F1. Unless you blindly hate Lewis, you must give him credit.

        Nico beat the Great Schumy for 3 consecutive years. So for Hamilton to have the upper hand against Nico in his first year at Mercedes is a great job, unless you think Lewis is better than Schumy!

      6. KRB says:

        Andrew C, now look what you’ve done! Dave C’s frothing at the mouth!! Rabid and vapid, scared and suspicious of anything approaching rational discourse.

        His initial reply to Steven L was needless, and added nothing to this site. We are all dumber for having read it.

      7. furstyferret says:

        Dave I no you have a unhealthy bias against hamilton, but apart from 3 races rosberg hasnt been on hamiltons pace since brit gp, you allso forget hams broken gear box, tyre letting go in brit gp, rosbergs tyre about to let go, but he happens to be a pit entrance when the safety car comes out, that was the biggest stroke of luck for any driver so far this season, rosbergs a fine driver, but come on .

      8. anon says:

        Webber had an awful start though and when he doesn’t his KERS fails or his wheel falls off

      9. Bartholomew says:

        Webber had no such issues in Belgium. He was just beaten by Rosberg (and Hamilton, and Alonso, and Vettel) on merit.

      10. Colombia Concalvez says:

        Classic anti Hamilton statement, measuring with two sizes. All Rosberg’s DNF happened behind hamilton and don’t start about preference treatment, seriously don’t, don’t let me start with Alonso and his ”preference treatment”.

  4. goferet says:

    Some Monza stats:

    a) Schumi 5 wins, Piquet 4 wins, Fangio + Moss + Peterson + Prost + Rubens = 3 wins

    b) Ferrari 18 wins, Mclaren 10 wins, Williams 6 wins, Lotus 5 wins

    c) The back to back winners are Fangio (3 wins), Ascari, Moss, Phil Hill, Peterson (2 wins) >>> But since 1975, only Piquet and Damon have won back to back (both driving for Williams)

    d) Finnish drivers have never won Monza likewise, Webber has never been on the podium, 6th being his best result

    e) The only Mclaren drivers with more than one win are Prost and Senna.

    f) Alonso is the only driver to have won for both Mclaren and Ferrari

    g) 1966 saw Ludovico Scarfiotti win. No Italian driver has won since

    h) Twice in the last 10 years has a none pole sitter won i.e. 2009 and 2006.

    i) In the last 20 years, only Schumi senior and Baby Schumi have won Monza and later the title.

    P.s.

    Talking into account the fact that Mclaren used to be partly owned by Mercedes, therefore, Lewis (2008) is the only driver on the grid to have won his individual home race and the team’s home race.

    So with Alonso having won the Spanish Grand Prix ~ well…

    1. goferet says:

      Correction:

      Actually Piquet has 3 wins at Monza.

      His fourth win in Italy was at Imola.

  5. goferet says:

    Fun historical fact:

    1957 saw the Monza organizers choose to use the road circuit only, as the rough oval banking had caused problems for the Ferrari cars the year before.

    1960, however was not so
    straightforward – Ferrari, with their front-engined cars, had lost out to the
    advanced mid-engined British cars.

    Seeing an opportunity, the Italian
    organizers decided to re-include the
    oval banking with the road circuit, making Monza even faster and more in favor to the powerful Ferraris.

    The British teams were unhappy as they cited the fragility of the banking, which was extremely rough and was supported by stilts rather than earth surface and that it was too dangerous for Formula One cars.

    The British teams boycotted the race and did not start, so Ferrari had no competition, and American Phil Hill took victory.

    1. ROROTT says:

      INTERESTING…I WASN’T ALIVE BACK THEN, BUT GOOD TO KNOW THERE WERE SITUATIONS LIKE THESE IN THE PAST..

    2. Joanna says:

      You may like this fun trip down memory lane to Monza 2009. (Must add I don’t pretend to hold a candle to your encyclopedic accumulation of facts)

      Cars 22 and 23 started on the third row, disappointing for them.
      Equipped with a double diffusser which many had thought broke the regs but was deemed legal by the FIA, they blew away everyone [a familiar pattern that year] and finished p1 and p2.
      Driver 22 went on to win WDC 2009. I believe the winner, Driver 23 retains the record as the oldest ever to win a race in F1, and the oldest to retire involuntarily.

      Remarkably, Kimi started started p3 in the F60, a slow, cumbersome, almost undriveable Ferrari that was abandoned by the team after Hungary as unworthy of further development. On this fastest of F1 circuits, he finished on the podium ahead of far faster competition.
      Luca Badoer in the sister F60 crossed the finish line later that evening.

      1. Joanna says:

        Sorry, sorry, that should be Fisi, not Badoer

      2. Bartholomew says:

        Barrichello is far from the oldest driver to win a race in F1.

  6. dean cassady says:

    Little to nothing written about the Lotus introduction of a mid-year new chassis, and the, finally, potential arrival of ‘the device’.
    Assume high-level sand-bagging by Mercedes in Spa, and their definitive return to form in Monza.
    Of course Ferrari looked to have become comparatively more competitive in Spa, and will have been going all out to come up with their best package for Monza, or, DEFINITELY, heads will roll at Maranello!
    If I’m right, expect pecking order to be:
    1. Mercedes
    2. Red Bull
    3. Ferrari
    with Lotus as a wild card in that mix, potentially being anywhere, including on the top.
    Heads will roll at Maranello.
    Looking forward to a hot, fast race in front of the admirable Italian fans.

    1. James Allen says:

      The long wheelbase is mainly a suspension movement, albeit with the chassis rehomologation due to change of pick up points

      The device isn’t asmuch use at Monza as at Spa because you start with less drag in the first place

      1. Bob says:

        Hi James,

        By ‘the device’ I assume you mean a passive (possibly double) F-duct? ie stalling the wing(s) when over a certain speed?

        If this is the case, is Monza not the perfect time to roll it out as you can add extra downforce for the corners and shed it, by stalling the wings, when on the straights. Best, and fastest, of both worlds.

        Great article as always, Thanks!

      2. James Allen says:

        Not this year – you can only use it twice per lap in practice and quail.

      3. Bob says:

        Sorry James, I meant a passive aerodynamic stall (like the F-duct but without the driver involvement using a pressure switch instead) as a posed to the mechanical stalling of the DRS.

        It was my understanding that some teams (Lotus and Mercedes?) were developing such devices earlier in the year in addition to the double DRSs that they were trialing in Spa.

      4. Joshua says:

        Not this year – you can only use it twice per lap in practice and quail.

        I can’t reply to James’ s comment so its here.

        James im confused or very miss informed.

        Bob is talking about the ‘device’ which is a fluid switch of sorts that operates when the car reaches a certain speed. Because it’s passive I thought the rules of the
        drs zones did not apply?

        The drs system of course can only be used in the zone’s and teams can no longer use it the whole lap of qualifying for example.

        Bob…I belive James is saying that the device provides a speed boost by shedding drag. Because cars at monza use the lowest drag settings there is not much boost available.

        In contrast in susuka and spa there are lots of bends and straights so cars have a higher downforce setting which creates drag. Here the device would be great as you can have higher downforce than others to help cornering speed with the benefit of the device giving a boost on the straights. …..sort of redbull with faster top speed. …well before spa anyway.

    2. KRB says:

      Huh? Are you saying that Mercedes sand-bagged in Spa throughout the ENTIRE weekend, only to spring some kind of surprise at Monza?!?!!!

      If that’s indeed what you meant, I’ll give you a day to retract it, and we can both forget that you ever said such a nonsensical thing.

      Weren’t you one of those claiming that Hamilton would sweep the title now, after Hungary?

      1. dean cassady says:

        you explain the Mercedes performance, since you seem to know

      2. KRB says:

        Uh, they messed up?? They certainly were not sandbagging. Sandbagging is deliberate. There was nothing deliberate about Mercedes not getting the best out of their package at Spa.

  7. FrankCanada says:

    I’ve been to Monza, the sopraelevata (banking) is not supported by stilts, but earth. You engish whine to much, Italians seem to be out of favor, but Germans can do no wrong. What a bunch of baloney

    1. Glennb says:

      Pretty sure the stilts were in the 1960′s mate…. but yeah, the English do whine a lot :)

      1. Tim says:

        Don’t they teach you Australians how to spell – there is no ‘h’ or ‘e’ in Win ;-)
        The Ashes?

      2. Glennb says:

        Very good Tim ;)
        And No, they don’t teach us to spell. We just sort of pick it up as we go.

    2. Andrew says:

      Were you there in 1960?

    3. Nigel says:

      “You engish whine to much”

      Given the death of Wolfgang von Trips and fifteen spectators the following year, concerns about the safety of the 1960 race do not seem to have been misplaced.
      http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=612

    4. Ian says:

      I’m “engish” and I’d like to point out that it’s “too much”, not “to much”.

      1. Tim says:

        On that note, shouldn’t it be English, not ‘engish’ (sic) ;-)

  8. Irish con says:

    Ferrari have been faster than red bull here 3 of the past 4 years so I’m going for Fernando for the win this weekend. F1 needs it this weekend too till blow life into the title fight.

    1. KRB says:

      Alonso would be my pick too, at this point, before seeing any of the practices. Without the anti-rollbar failure in quali last year, he would’ve been challenging Hamilton for the win.

  9. Rob Newman says:

    I am sure Mercedes will be on pole but the question is, are they sacrificing race setup for Saturday glory?

    1. Martin says:

      I doubt Mercedes is doing that. The car seems to have a relatively narrow sweet spot of set ups that the drivers like. In Germany is was a guess before qualifying that worked – Spain and Monaco it proved elusive for Hamilton.

      A suggestion has been that the 2012 construction front tyres deform differently and this reduces how the front end transfers energy to the rear of the car, reducing tyre temps. Tuning the front wing so that as the wheel is steered the downforce is consistent is apparently a possible area that Mecedes has also improved.

      The other teams aren’t standing still either. Hopefully it is a good race.

    2. KRB says:

      This is a simplistic notion, that quali pace and race pace share a 1:1 inverse relationship, such that you could dial out some quali pace to gain in race pace.

      If that was the case, Mercedes would dial it all the way to full race pace!! Quali is nice, but it doesn’t net any points (i.e. there is no Saturday “glory”). If one could always qualify on pole with race pace hit-or-miss, or always start at the back of the grid with a car 2s/lap quicker than all others, you would always go with the fastest race pace settings.

      To pretend that Mercedes wouldn’t act in the exact same way is ridiculous.

  10. dazzle says:

    Hamilton for win, Alonso seconnd Rosberg third

  11. jay harte says:

    james , who do you fancy for the win ?

      1. Rob Newman says:

        If they have an agreement with Red Bull that is.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        Fingers crossed it stays dry as I’m hoping the same!

      3. Glennb says:

        No, seriously James, who do you fancy for the win ;)

      4. James Allen says:

        Oh alright then…Vettel! ;)

      5. VSI says:

        Making my first pilgrimage to the Temple of Speed this weekend so am super excited.

        Here’s hoping for a Alonso/Ferrari win!

      6. James Allen says:

        Enjoy! It’s my favourite race of the season

      7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Please, no more tears from Alonso if he wins…

        No more “surprises” from Hamilton if he get pole…

        No more fingers from Vettel…

        No more cheap soap operas!

  12. shri says:

    Let us see what the race shows and hope Ferrari, Merc or Lotus shows strength to win.

    However if RB wins than we might as well start looking at 2014 championships.

    1. KRB says:

      Championships are already over in my mind. Now it’s just treating each GP on its own, and wanting to win as many of them as you can.

  13. Joe_in_Miami says:

    James,

    Do you think or know if Ferrari will make their 2014 driver announcement this next weekend?

    Thanks!

    1. Iain says:

      no chance!

      1. Joe_in_Miami says:

        Why are you so sure? That’s exactly what I would want you to believe if I were Ferrari… I have sources (suppliers to most F1 teams) telling me that we are out for a big surprise.

      2. Rob Newman says:

        I also heard the same. Big announcement.

      3. KRB says:

        Certainly won’t be until after the race is done, if it means Massa is out.

  14. Ross McDougall says:

    James do you think Red Bull will use the rear wing they used during the race in spa( so as to have more downforce in the corners) even though they were still pretty quick on the straights or the ultra low downforce wing used by vettel during Friday practice?

    1. Juzh says:

      Definitely the ultra-low version used in fp1 and fp2. Vettel was up to 8/10 faster than webber in the flat-out sections. webber was 8/10 faster in the twisty sector 2. In monza however, there will be less penalty in having less DF because there is less high speed corners, and more stop-and-go chikanes.

    2. **Paul** says:

      I agree with Juzh, they’ll go with the super low downforce option.

      Not that I think that will be enough for them, Monza is all about power and low downforce. If Merc & Ferrari come up with an aero package that is half decent the extra horsepower the Ferrari/Mercedes engines have over the Renault engined cars will see them move further forward.

      1. KRB says:

        The extra power from the Merc/Ferrari engines SHOULD see them ahead, but that should’ve been the case as well in Belgium, and wasn’t.

        Even with low-DF settings at Spa that car looked so planted, it was amazing.

        Monza is even more naked power, so it should be that RBR are pegged back some. But maybe it’s like 2011 again.

  15. AlexD says:

    By the way, just noticed….phenomenal photograph:-) Priceless!

    1. K says:

      You should check the picture after the Brazil 2012 race, with Alonso staring into the distance while Vettel celebrates his 3rd title.

      That one was priceless too ;)

      1. AlexD says:

        can you share the link? Could be a good photograph indeed

      2. K says:

        http://i.imgur.com/sLKi1.jpg

        The video is even more pronounced, he just stands there motionless for a long time staring at Vettel celebrating.

      3. ngwe_f1 says:

        For once i felt sorry for the guy…

    2. Rob Newman says:

      It will be pay back time this week ;)

    3. Simmo says:

      Yup. Absolutely brilliant.

  16. Steven says:

    Love the picture for the article with a Ferrari in the foreground with Vettel’s Red Bull being recovered in the background!

    1. AlexD says:

      exactly….I think there is no better way to make the crowd go completely wild than to have Alonso winning and having Vettel and Webber taking each other out of the race due to the Multi 85 message.

    2. Simmo says:

      The injured bull stops, while the local horse prances on.

      I reckon the bull got scared of the red of the horse (even if it is red itself) :P

  17. Paige says:

    Not too much I can add, except this:

    There is some chance of rain on Friday and Sunday.

    Just saying…

    1. *thumbs up*

      I love the rain.

    2. Simmo says:

      Strange, but Monza is the one race where I don’t want to see rain. I love watching chaotic rainy races, but at Monza it ruins the element of speed that you get.

      Although as a Ferrari fan maybe it’s just bias from me but nonetheless, I hope it stays nice and dry :)

  18. Robert says:

    A note, if I will, on the humble Pit Stop League Tables.

    McLaren still hovering at #2. Damn, what an utter DISASTER Sporting Director Sam Michaels has been since coming to Woking… :-P

    (No, I have no involvement with anything, I just get tired of him taking so much stick for their recent troubles when all he does is the sporting end of it…which apparently he is excelling at – they’ve come a long way since their pits stop woes at the start of last year).

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      What does that even mean, sporting director? He can’t just be responsible for the pit crew, right?

  19. SteveS says:

    Although Vettel has had two wins here, it has not been a happy hunting ground for Red Bull. One of Seb’s wins was in the Torro Rosso in 2008. With Red Bull his Monza record reads eighth, fourth, first, DNF, while Webber is worse: DNF, sixth, DNF, DNF. So this looks like it should be a good opportunity for the chasing pack to make up some ground on the front-runners.

  20. Sarvar says:

    Even if ALO wins (should have perfect quali result) and VET comes 2d or 3rd (he definitely will if no DNF) ALO will cut off only 7-10 points (still 39-36 pts deficit)and from Singapore onward everything ll be the same as last year – VET ahead of ALO in most races.
    Hopefully VET (I am a fan of VET & RAI) has bad luck or DNF this week to keep championship alive as I want a thriller in Interlagos.

  21. Marcelo Leal says:

    The picture for this post seems like a sad dragon, much like Ferrari at the moment.
    Go H.A.M!

  22. Alexander Supertramp says:

    1. Nando 2. Lewis 3.Nico 4. Seb

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      I hope both Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris are wiped out by Grosjean and Maldonado during the race so Kimi wins.

      1. James Clayton says:

        Yes I’d imagine it feels really good to win after all your main rivals have been taken out…

  23. Truth or Lies says:

    Massa for pole Alonso to win – just saying.

  24. Mike Martin says:

    ” The Resurrection of Felipe Msssa ”

    My money is on Massa (1/100) for this weekend. I think he will be driving like mad to keep his job. I truly hope he is allowed to win and there will be no team orders. If he wins I am hopeful he will keep his drive. If he lets Alonso pass for the win he keeps his drive. All other scenario’s are end of the story.

    Come On Felipe……I need new shooooooesss!!!!

    Realistically I think Hamilton will walk away with it. Vettel taken out by Webber.(nothing fancy..just a small love kiss and nobody gets hurt)

    Remember were you heard it first:)

    1. AlexD says:

      I like Massa too, a lot. But why do you want him in the team? If he was consistent, think where would Ferrari be if he would score good points consistently. Last year, this year….
      I really think Ferrari needs a stronger and a more consistent driver, but it doesn’t mean I do not like Massa. I do….he is not the right guy for the job

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      Even I think that is an unrealistic prediction.

  25. Glennb says:

    I’m thinking a 2 stop race will beon if teams run agressive camber angles. NH / UM maybe?
    How effective is DRSwhen you have FA rear wing in the first place? Just wondering is all.

  26. Stephen Taylor says:

    Quality top 3
    1. Hamilton
    2 Alonso
    3. Massa
    Race top 3
    1 Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Oops I meant qualy. That said Alonso and Hamilton are quality drivers . Not sure that Massa is that good though.

      1. Rudy says:

        If you think Massa is not top quality, then why you listed him?? Mercedes engines are by a small margin better than the Ferrari ones. Even McLaren has chances here and with the new wing even RB are pole contenders. Man, you`ve got to read the JA on F1 news more often!!

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        It was a typo . I meant Qualy instead of quality . I was trying to predict Qualy top 3.

  27. Feral says:

    Ham…POL (Tyers heat management in the race)
    RedBull…1-2 (they found the straight speed :)
    Alonso…3 (cuz it’s Monza)

    NOW! Kimi could toss a spanner in the works :)

    Dan to make Q3 finish in top 10…(has to prove to RB that he’s the right choice)

  28. Warren G says:

    Looking forward to this race. The top speed of RBR in Spa is a worry (unless you’re a Vettel fan) but Ferrari always go well here & an Alonso win with Vettel preferably down in third will keep the hopes alive of a decent title fight.

    Merc & Lotus should provide a good fight at the front too and it’ll be nice to get an exciting and close race.

  29. All revved-up says:

    Let’s look at the mid field for a change.

    1. McLaren
    2. Force India
    3. Sauber

    Torro Rosso?

    I guess Williams are out gunned in the engine department?

  30. FrankCanada says:

    I don’t see any stilts!

    1. IJW says:

      I think the mention of the stilts is with regards to the holding up of the actual concrete banking. It looks like a bit of a drop from the top of the concrete banking to the actual ground level behind the banking. Therefore something has to be holding the top of the banking up.
      Well, that’s how I view the picture, and the comments about stilts.

  31. Phil Glass says:

    Here’s hoping that James’s [coded] photographic prediction for the race comes true. Seb can afford to suffer a dnf or two before he bags this title.
    Great picture.

  32. Rudy says:

    If VET wins the season is OVER, FINITA, TERMINADA. In the best interest of the sport VET must DNF, DSQ, DRS-less. Most teams would shift R&D to 2014 cars.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer