Round 13 of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship moves the action to its traditional early September date at Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix.Monza is F1’s premier speed circuit, the last of its kind, a flat-out blast through parkland that sees cars, configured for low downforce, reach their highest velocities of the year. Its reputation as Formula One’s fastest track is likely to be enhanced this year. While 2014’s technical regulations have produced cars with less downforce than those of recent years, the corresponding decrease in drag may see cars hitting 360kph on the long straights.But Monza isn’t simply about top speeds. Recent races have seen winners emerge from among the slowest through the speed traps, preferring a set-up that possesses sufficient downforce to carry speed through the circuit’s few corners and onto the long straights. Other requirements include a car that is stable under braking, rides kerbs well and has good traction out of the chicanes. Racing on home ground, Pirelli brings its two hardest compounds to Monza. The fast Parabolica corner places high lateral energy demands on the tyre, while the stop-go nature of the chicanes means Monza also makes high longitudinal demands on the rubber. Even so, the presence of the Hard and Medium tyres combined with the long pitlane time makes this a good place to try a one-stop strategy.Mercedes come into the race with a strong lead in the Constructors’ Championship, while Nico Rosberg has extended his margin over team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship thanks to second place in Belgium. The German driver now has a 29-point lead over his English team-mate but Hamilton has two pole positions and a victory at Monza to his name and will be optimistic of closing the gap this weekend. It promises to be a spectacular event. prvw-flag-italy.jpgCIRCUIT DATAAUTODROMO NAZIONALE MONZALength of lap:5.793kmLap record1:21.046(Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)Start line/finish line offset 0.309km
Total number of race laps 53Total race distance 306.720kmPitlane speed limits 80km/h in practice, qualifying and the raceCIRCUIT NOTES► To enhance safety, the inner half of the gravel trap at Parabolica has been replaced with an asphalt run-off. DRS ZONES► There will be two DRS zones in Italy. The detection point for the first zone will be 95m before Turn Seven, with the activation point 210m after Turn Seven. The second detection point will be 20m before Turn 11, with the activation point 115m after the finish line. Italian GP Fast Facts:
► The Italian Grand Prix is one of only two ever-present races on the Formula One World Championship calendar. The other is the British Grand Prix. ► This is the 65th running of the Italian Grand Prix as part of the F1 World Championship. Sixty-three of the previous 64 were held at Monza, the exception being 1980, when the race was held at Imola and won by Nelson Piquet.► Piquet also has three Italian Grand Prix victories at Monza (1983, ’86, ’87), placing him second on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher holds the record with five wins (1996, ’98, 2000, ’03, ’06), all for Ferrari.► Ferrari holds the record as a winning constructor, having taken victory 18 times. Alongside Schumacher there have been Ferrari wins at Monza for Alberto Ascari (1951, ’52), Phil Hill (1960, ’61), John Surtees (1964), Ludovico Scarfiotti (1966), Clay Regazzoni (1970, ’75), Jody Scheckter (1979), Gerhard Berger (1988), Rubens Barrichello (2002, ’04) and current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso (2010). ► Alonso also won the race in 2007, while driving for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton (2012) and Sebastian Vettel (2008, ’11, ’13) are the only other Italian GP winners on the current grid.► Vettel’s win for Toro Rosso in 2008 makes him the youngest winner in Championship history. He was 21 years and 74 days old. A day earlier he became the youngest driver to secure pole position. Of the current grid, only Daniil Kyvat can threaten those records, having until the start of July 2015. Max Verstappen, signed by Toro Rosso to contest the 2015 season, would require victory or pole before the end of the 2018 season. ► The Italian Grand Prix at Monza has been won from pole position only 21 times. Interestingly, more than half of those victories have come since the turn of the century. Only in 2002 (Rubens Barrichello from fourth), ’06 (Michael Schumacher from second) and ’09 (Barrichello from fifth) has the sequence been interrupted. ► Monza’s speed records are many and varied, particularly from the latter years of the V10 era. Michael Schumacher holds the record for the highest average race speed, winning the 2003 Italian Grand Prix with an average speed of 247.585km/h. Unsurprisingly, this race is also timed as the shortest duration grand prix (of those going the full distance,) with Schumacher finishing in a time of 1h14m19.838s. Rubens Barrichello set F1’s highest average lap speed in qualifying, taking pole position for the 2004 race at an average of 260.395kph, though Juan Pablo Montoya went faster that same weekend, taking the record for the fastest average lap speed overall, with a lap averaging 262.242km/h, set during a practice session. Montoya also holds the record for the highest top speed achieved during a Formula One race, hitting 372.6km/h during the 2005 Italian Grand Prix.Italian GP Race Stewards Biographies:
PAUL GUTJAHRPRESIDENT OF THE FIA HILL CLIMB COMMISSION, BOARD MEMBER AND PRESIDENT OF AUTO SPORT SUISSE SARL prvw-steward-gutjahr.jpgPaul Gutjahr started racing in the late 1960s with Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Lotus and Porsche, then March in Formula 3. In the early ‘70s he became President of the Automobile Club Berne and organised numerous events. He acted as President of the organising committee of the Swiss GP at Dijon between 1980-82. Between 1980-2005 he acted as President of the Commission Sportive Nationale de l’Automobile Club de Suisse and in 2005 he became President and board member of the Auto Sport Suisse motor sports club. Gutjahr is President of the Alliance of European Hill Climb Organisers and has been steward at various high-level international competitions. He was the Formula 3000 Sporting Commissioner and has been a Formula One steward since 1995.RADOVAN NOVAKSEC. GENERAL OF THE ACCR (AUTOCLUB OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC); WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL MEMBER prvw-steward-novak.jpgRadovan Novak has been actively involved in motorsport since 1963 and rose to become Secretary General of the ACCR in 1990. Since 1991 he has held the role of President of the FIA Central Europe Zone and over the past two decades he has acted as a steward and observer in WRC and ERC rallies, EC autocross and rallycross events and WTCC and GT races. He has been a Formula One steward since 1994. From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the FIA Off-road Commission and was made a member of the World Motor Sport Council in 1998. In 2000 he became a member of the Sport Commission at the Ministry of Sport of the Czech Republic. An avid racer and co-driver, Novak has won a number of Czech rallying events.DEREK WARWICKFORMER FORMULA ONE DRIVER AND WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPION prvw-steward-warwick1.jpgDerek Warwick raced in 146 grands prix from 1981 to 1993, appearing for Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows and Lotus. He scored 71 points and achieved four podium finishes, with two fastest laps. He was World Sportscar Champion in 1992, driving for Peugeot. He also won Le Mans in the same year. He raced Jaguar sportscars in 1986 and 1991 and competed in the British Touring Car Championship between 1995 and 1998, as well as a futher appearance at the Le Mans in 1996, driving for the Courage Competition team. Warwick is a frequent FIA driver steward and is President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.