PRIXVIEW – Italian Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

The fourteenth race of the season and final European race of the season brings Formula One to Monza in Northern Italy for the Italian Grand Prix. Monza has hosted more Grand Prix’s than any other circuit on the calendar holding the race all but once since the formation of the world championship in 1950.

The Grand Prix is one of the oldest races on the calendar and remains the high speed and downforce circuit around the woodland park in the city of Monza. Italy provides the drivers with the fastest speeds on the calendar and holds the record for the fastest lap in F1 history set by Kimi Raikkonen with an average speed of 163.785mph at just over seventy-nine and a half seconds.

Monza took just three months to build in 1922, it was 3.4 square kilometres (1.31 sq mi) site with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of macadamised road – comprising a 4.5 kilometres (2.80 mi) loop track, and a 5.5 kilometres (3.42 mi) road track. A week later it hosted its first Grand Prix.

Monza has seen many different circuit layouts over the years, used by F1, including the oval and the road course, now the Grand Prix circuit, used together. Although no longer used it was the longest layout of the circuit seeing Stirling Moss and Phil Hill both won twice in this period, with Hill’s win at Monza making him the first American to win a Formula One race.

The death German Wolfgang von Trips in 1961, saw the oval become redundant over safety fears and remains largely intact today. The current basis of the circuit was introduced in 1966, with the chicanes appearing on and off. Monza has often been the holy grail for speed, and that remains to this day.

But there is one team the Tifosi want to win Ferrari, and to a degree Alfa Romeo, the team comes to Monza with the hopes of the nation on their solders. They have had a poor season, and look still for there first win of the season and first since 2010  at Monza.

But, with the layout of Monza it looks unlikely, Mercedes have performed well at this type of circuit over the course of the season and have taken every win in the hybrid era. Lewis Hamilton has another potential milestone this weekend a win would see him surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of five wins at Monza and edge closer to his ninety one wins.

Facts and figures

Round 14 of 21
Race Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2019
Venue Modern Grand Prix Circuit, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
Circuit Length 5.793km (3.600 mi)
Laps 53
Race Distance 306.720km (190.596 mi)
Lap Record 01:21.046 (official, Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)

01:19.119 (qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 2018)

Most wins drivers Michael Schumacher (5)

Lewis Hamilton

Most wins manufacture Ferrari (19)

Fast facts

  • The winner of the Italian Grand Prix has gone on to win the World Championship in the last six years.
  • The closest ever F1 finish was recorded at Monza in 1971 when Peter Gethin won by one hundredth from Ronnie Peterson. The top five finishers were covered by just six tenths.
  • More than eighty Italians have started their home Grand Prix, but the last local winner was Ludovico Scarfiotti in 1966. Mario Andretti, who won in 1977, was born in Italy but competed for the USA.
  • A win by Sebastian Vettel would make him only the second driver, and first since Stirling Moss in the 1950s, to win at Monza with three different teams. Moss won with Maserati, Vanwall and Cooper.

Event timetable

Session

Local

BST

Friday

P1 11:00-12:30 10:00-11:30
P2 15:00-16:30 14:00-15:30

Saturday

P3 12:00-13:00 11:00-12:00
Qualifying 15:00-16:00 14:00-15:00

Sunday

Race 15:10 14:10

What happened in 2018?

Ferrari’s hopes of boosting Vettel’s title bid at Monza proved to be wrong, the team were looking to use his teammate Raikkonen to tow him to pole. But the Finn inadvertently was towed by the German, early on making him fastest. Mercedes weren’t far off either, Hamilton was under a tenth behind.

Hamilton got past both Raikkonen and Vettel on the opening lap, following another mistake by the German. Hamilton and Vettel both fought hard turning into the Ascari Chicane at the same time, the German slid into the Mercedes damaging his front wing and dropping to the back.

Hamilton also dropped back but made better progress through the field working his way to second. Mercedes then tricked Ferrari into an early stop, with Hamilton leading ahead of Raikkonen. But after his stop, Hamilton remained in control, with Raikkonen switching to a two stop.

Vettel meanwhile, had made his way through the field before passing Max Verstappen for fourth, while he got the move done he was unable to open a five-second gap to retain the position. That moved Bottas into third and Vettel into fourth.

Grosjean drove a brilliant race to take sixth for Haas but was later disqualified from the race for a technical infringement. Lance Stroll scored Williams’s first points since Baku in April with tenth place, behind the Renault of Carlos Sainz. While Haas’s disqualification moves Sergey Sirotkin into the points, the first of his F1 career.

Vettel’s mistake cost Ferrari arguably their first home win since 2010 in a race they could have easily won, if he hadn’t made that mistake. Again, signs of Ferrari’s mistakes and errors which cost them the championship and momentum.

Race Result – 1) L. Hamilton, Mercedes, 01:16:54.484, 2) K. Raikkonen, Ferrari, +8.705, 3) V. Bottas, Mercedes, +14.066

What to watch for?

Ferrari head into this weekend having won a race, I think that speed and performance should carry to Monza. They are looking very strong from last weekend in a straight line the proved very fast, but can Mercedes come back at Ferrari. Charles Leclerc, I believe has to be the teams lead driver following his win at Spa.

This is not going to be a normal weekend, everyone will still be coming to terms with the death of Anthoine Hubert. Hopefully, we have another action packed but accident free weekend. The sport is hurting at needs time to heal.

We know Mercedes have dominated this season, how much can they come back and we need to hope that they find that straight line speed. Monza is about downforce and straight line speed, this means that the we could have a fight between the top two teams. However, the start is key as they fight into Variante chicane we have seen accidents there before as its narrow there.

This race will be one which is fast, its common for those in the lower half of the field to be lapped by the lead cars. Qualifying isn’t that important for the bigger teams as they know they are able to overtake her, we want another close race. Monza is hard on tyres and brakes because of its high speeds and big stops.

2017 vs 2018 Race Data

P1 Fastest

P2 Fastest

P3 Fastest

Q1 Fastest

Q2 Fastest

Q3 Fastest

Race Time

Fastest Lap

2018

01:34.000 01:21.105 01:20.509 01:20.722 01:19.846 01:19.119 01:16:54.484 01:22.497

Diff

+13.463 -0.301 -20.151 -15.287 -14.814 -16.435 +01:21.172 -0.864

2017

01:21.537  01:21.406  01:40.660 01:36.009  01:34.660  01:35.554 01:15:32.312 01:23.361

A lap of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Kimi Raikkonen starts the lap, by lining himself up down the centre of the straight, he continues to drifts his Ferrari to the outside on the long run to the first corner. He breaks around the 130m before the corner slowing right down hitting the apex on entry and as he exit gets the power down. Stays on the inside then eases his way across the track, then head to the apex of Curva Grande. He eases back towards the centre of the track, on exit going to the outside.  Breaking late into  Variante della Roggia, he was up .04 on his best.

He breaks late into Variante Della Roggia chicane hitting both the apexes. On exit, he goes to the outside. Carrying speed into the first Lesmo, he eases off mid-corner before reapplying the power, going to the outside running to the second Lesmo. Breaks slightly and hits the apex, carry’s all the speed down the straight and thro Serranglio,

Breaks for the Vialone/Ascari chicane hits the apex on entry speed carried nicely up .08 on his best. Going to the inside on the back straight, before easing himself toward the centre of the track. Back to the outside as he approaches the Parabolicia breaking and across to the apex. He then goes to the outside, before crossing on exit to the inside and across the line with a 1:19.119, finding all the time in the last sector.

Tyres

Driver

Team

White Hard (C4)

Yellow Medium (C3)

Red Soft (C4)

L. Hamilton

Mercedes 2 3 8
V. Bottas 1 4

8

S. Vettel

Ferrari 1 4 8
C. Leclerc 2 3

8

M. Verstappen

Red Bull – Honda 1 2 10
A. Albon 1 3

9

D. Riccardo

Renault 1 2 9
N. Hulkenberg 1 3

9

K. Magnussen

Haas – Ferrari 1 3 9
R. Grosjean 2 2

9

C. Sainz Jr

McLaren –Renault 2 2 9
L. Norris 2 2

9

S. Perez

Racing Point –Mercedes 1 2 10
L. Stroll 1 2

10

K. Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo – Ferrari 2 2 9
A. Giovinazzi 1 3

9

D. Kvyat

Toro Rosso –Honda 2 2 9
P. Gasly 1 3

9

G. Russell

Williams –Mercedes 1 3 9
R. Kubica 2 2

9

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

1 thought on “PRIXVIEW – Italian Grand Prix

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.