FIA preview Italian Grand Prix at Monza
7 September, 2011
Sep.7 (FIA) Italy’s Autodromo di Monza hosts round 13 of the 2011 FIA Formula One world championship, the last European grand prix of the season before six ‘flyaway’ races across Asia, India, the Middle East and South America.
The Italian Grand Prix is one of only four to have survived from the first year of the Formula One World Championship, 1950, and the hordes of Ferrari fans – tifosi – who attend every year, in support of their ‘home’ team, always provide a charged race-weekend atmosphere.
The Autodromo di Monza is famed as one of the highest-speed Formula One circuits and corners such as the Lesmos, Parabolica and Curva Grande remain challenging to the modern generation of cars and drivers. Traditionally cars with the best engine performance achieve the strongest results.
Located within the grounds of a former royal park, on the outskirts of Milan, Monza has adapted its layout many times since 1950 to keep pace with evolving Formula One safety requirements.
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.”
Monza circuit data
• Length of lap: 5.793km
• Lap record: 1:21.046 (Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)
• Start line/finish line offset: 0.309km
• Total number of race laps: 53
• Total race distance: 306.720km
• Pitlane speed limits: 60km/h during practice and 100km/h during qualifying and race
Changes to circuit sonce 2010
• The length of kerbing has been altered to prevent cars leaping across them. There are no other major changes.
Belgian GP Fast Facts
• Pirelli’s tyre compounds for its home grand prix this weekend are prime: medium (white) and option: soft (yellow). At Monza, the closely matched characteristics of the medium and soft tyre will give teams plenty of scope for varied strategy choices, as was the case when this compound combination was last used – at the closely fought German Grand Prix.
• Two DRS zones will be used for this weekend’s race, raising the possibility of a greatly increased number of overtaking opportunities.
• The Italian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula One world championship every year since 1950 and Monza has hosted more F1 Grands Prix – 60 – than any other circuit. Only once since 1950 has Monza not hosted the Italian Grand Prix: the 1980 event was held at the Imola circuit in the Italian principality of San Marino. This year’s race will be the 62nd Italian Formula One Grand Prix and the 61st held at Monza… … Italian Grands Prix at Monza, however, date back to 1922 – the first (non-Formula One) being held at the Autodromo on September 10 1922. That race was won by Pietro Bordino, driving a six-cylinder Fiat 804.
• Monza has hosted Formula One in several different circuit configurations. The fastest – and most notorious – was the layout used four times between 1955 and 1961, featuring steeply banked concrete curves, into which cars were ‘compressed’ each lap, owing to the tremendous forces on their suspension. Growing safety concerns and a fatal accident to German Ferrari driver Wolfgang von Trips, on lap two of the 1961 race, after a collision on entry to a banked section, led to its use being discontinued for Formula One.
• 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 1951-52 and Ludovico Scarfiotti in 1966.
• Italian teams have, however, been rather more successful at Monza, taking a total of 22 wins since 1950. They are Ferrari (18); Maserati (2); Alfa Romeo (1); Toro Rosso (1). Alfa Romeo, in fact, won the very first Formula One Italian GP at Monza, with Nino Farina driving; last year’s race was won by Fernando Alonso for Ferrari.
• 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.
FIA Race Stewards biographies
• Derek Daly is the FIA driver steward at this weekend’s Italian GP. A former Williams driver and veteran of 49 Grand Prix starts. Daly, Irish-born, but now a US resident, raced Champ Cars in America, after the end of his F1 career in 1982. He enjoyed seven seasons in top-level US motorsport, despite a 200 mph accident at Michigan International Speedway in 1984, in which he sustained extensive multiple injuries and which threatened to end his career. Daly, 58, described the accident as “life-changing” but he returned for the start of the following season. Since retiring from full-time racing in 1990, after some notable additional success in sportscars, Daly moved into race commentary with Speed TV and ESPN and has subsequently developed a business as a motivational speaker.
He also owns the Derek Daly Academy driver training school.
• Paul 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 from 1980-82.
From 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.
• Silvia Bellot is a 25-year-old Spanish steward, who began marshalling in 2001, at the age of 16. Despite her young age, Bellot has been Permanent Chairman of Stewards for the European F3 Open and Spanish Endurance Championships, as well as Permanent Steward of the GT Open International and Andorra Ice Championships, among other national series.
Bellot has sat on the stewards’ panel at a wide range of championships, including the World Rally Championship, GP2, GP3, BMW Europe, DTM and World Series by Renault. In 2001, she started her collaboration with Catalunya’s automobile club, the RACC, and in 2008 she joined the Spanish Assembly and the Circuit the Catalunya officials’ committee. A year later, Bellot took part in the FIA trainee stewards’ program for GP2 and F1.
Press Conference Schedule
Thursday, 8 Septembber: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT), Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Jarno Trulli (Lotus) and Mark Webber (Red Bull)
Friday, 9 September: Giorgio Ascanelli (Toro Rosso), Eric Boullier (Renault), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Tim Goss (McLaren) and Peter Sauber (Sauber)