Home : Blogs : F1 Ready To Take On Monza And The Italian Tifosi
The Italian fans, or Tifosi, only have eyes for Ferrari

F1 Ready To Take On Monza And The Italian Tifosi

Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

Monza Preview

By Steve Aibel

@steveaibel

 

The Italian motor racing fans, or Tifosi, will take center stage this week as Formula 1 wraps up the European summer segment of the schedule in Italy. Monza is another classic track that has hosted racing since 1922 and has had a Formula 1 race longer than any other track currently on the schedule. Between the atmosphere created by the often-manic, Ferrari backing Tifosi, and a lightning quick circuit, Monza will be a race to watch as the Formula 1 championship title focuses on a battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

 

The Italian fans, or Tifosi, only have eyes for Ferrari

The Italian fans, or Tifosi, only have eyes for Ferrari

The Monza circuit is essentially a series of long straights broken up by three chicanes and two well known sets of turns; the pair of Lesmos and the treacherous and non forgiving Parabolica.

Monza is one of the fastest tracks that F1 will visit

Monza is one of the fastest tracks that F1 will visit

Parabolica is a long, unforgiving corner, where momentum is rewarded with increased speed entering the start/finish straight. Parabolica is considered one of the classic turns in auto racing. A long, high speed curve, it was not altered in form until last year when asphalt was added to the run off area creating an additional margin for error of which the drivers can now take advantage. This run off area is certainly safer for the drivers. In the past, any slight mistake at this turn resulted in a large decrease in speed or a trip to the gravel trap. Now drivers can push the limits of this challenging aspect of Monza without the fear of a small error resulting in a huge shunt.

Monza is another power critical track and should benefit the teams using dominant Mercedes power. Romain Grosjean, who scored his first podium in 2 years for Lotus at Spa, said that Monza is even a better fit for the team, so expect to see Grosjean again in the mix. Force India should also do well here, as the new Spec B chassis seems to be bringing life to the effort of the underdog team. Both teams are Mercedes powered!

Romain Grosjean was impressive at Spa and should also do well at Monza

Romain Grosjean was impressive at Spa and should also do well at Monza

Finally, there will be a close eye on the Pirelli tires this week at the high-speed track. With both Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel experiencing right rear tire failures, the construction of the Pirelli tire is once again under the microscope. Vettel was extremely critical stating that Pirelli construction was “unacceptable.” Pirelli will announce the results of their investigation into the tire failures at Spa when the paddock congregates at Monza. This will be another one of the hot topics as Pirelli rallies to maintain the tire contract with Formula 1 for 3 years starting in 2017.

Sebastian Vettel has three wins at the Italian circuit, the most of any current driver. His first F1 victory happened here when he was driving for Toro Rosso. Vettel won the Grand Prix in a rain-impacted event catapulting him to the senior Red Bull team and 4 F1 Driver Championships. A home victory here for Vettel, and Ferrari, would not only be a surprise victory, but it would be a huge boost for Ferrari and the sport. Expect the Scuderia to pull out all the stops in Monza! And don’t count our Raikkonen either!

Unfortunately for Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg remain the heavy favorites and the track characteristics at Monza suit the Mercedes F1-WO6. With Hamilton slowly increasing his championship lead to 28 points, the pressure is slowly being increased on teammate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg will need to be perfectly focused each round of the championship if he is to match the ferocious attack that Hamilton is mounting while chasing his third F1 Championship.

Driver seats for 2016 are taking rapidly shape. With Ferrari confirming that Kimi Raikkonen will remain with the team in 2016, the F1 driver picture has become a bit clearer. With Raikkonen remaining with the Scuderia, drivers such as Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, mentioned as Ferrari possibilities, lose incentive to move from their current rides this year. Ferrari have positioned themselves to get one more year with Raikkonen at the wheel and then will have many more options for 2017 as current contracts expire and more drivers will be free agents. Look for 2017 to be a year of driver moves with the Ferrari seat being the lynchpin of driver shuffles.

Haas F1 Team will be major players in the 2016 drivers shuffle

Haas F1 Team will be major players in the 2016 drivers shuffle

With that in mind, the two new seats at Haas F1 Team will be heavily coveted. Gene Haas and Gunther Steiner have mentioned many times that they are looking for experienced drivers. Nico Hulkenberg has been mentioned, as has Esteban Gutierrez. Both have Ferrari connections. Hulkenberg, however is being courted hard to stay at Force India which makes me think that the rumors surrounding the Haas ride should be taken seriously. If Hulkenberg ever wants to audition for a Ferrari ride, taking a chance with Haas in 2016 might be a way to secure a seat with the big team in 2017. Risky!

Alexander Rossi has been successful in GP2 this year and his experience in F1 make him a strong candidate for the Haas F1 ride

Alexander Rossi has been successful in GP2 this year and his experience in F1 make him a strong candidate for the Haas F1 ride

Alexander Rossi remains the prime American hopeful and with his win at Spa, he certainly helped keep his name in the loop.

Finally, Renault are expected to announce that they will return to Formula 1 taking over Lotus and running it as a works team. Romain Grosjean would be expected to remain at the French based team but this might mean the end of Pastor Maldonado. Lotus could be a great place for Jenson Button if Lotus/Renault are able to move forward without the major sponsorship dollars associated with Maldonado and PDVSA.

Red Bull may wind up with exactly what they wanted, an early dismissal from their association with the weak Renault power unit.   When Renault announces their intentions, it will be interesting to see how the role of Red Bull changes.

Some of these questions will be answered at Monza, and as usual in Formula 1, more will pitch forward.

Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 227
  2. Nico Rosberg 199
  3. Sebastian Vettel 160
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 82
  5. Felipe Massa 82
  6. Valtteri Bottas 79
  7. Daniil Kvyat 57

 

  1. Daniel Ricciardo 51
  2. Romain Grosjean 38
  3. Max Verstappen 26
  4. Sergio Perez 25
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 24
  6. Felipe Nasr 16
  7. Pastor Maldonado 12
  8. Fernando Alonso 11
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr. 9
  10. Marcus Ericsson 7
  11. Jenson Button 6

 

Constructors’ Championship

  1. Mercedes 426
  2. Ferrari 242
  3. Williams 161
  4. Red Bull 108
  5. Lotus 50
  6. Force India 49
  7. Toro Rosso 35
  8. Sauber 23
  9. McLaren 17
  10. Manor/Marussia 0

Leave a Reply

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

*

seventy four − = seventy two

x

Check Also

IndyCars Invade the South This Weekend

by Frank Santoroski                  @seveng1967 This coming weekend the Verizon IndyCar Series will invade the deep South ...