From one historic circuit to another, round 14 of the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship heads to the atmospheric, popular and famous Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia 2016, where “The Tifosi” come in their droves to support the mighty Ferrari. This will be the 86th Italian Grand Prix since 1921.
A look at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Built in the Royal Villa of Monza Park in its woodland setting, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a permanent racing circuit located near the city of Monza, North Milan in Italy. The circuit has played host to the Italian Grand Prix since the sport of Formula 1 began in 1950 with the exception of 1980 where the race was held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Imola) in San Marino while the Monza circuit underwent refurbishment. The site has three tracks including the Grand Prix circuit, the 2.405km (1.494 mile) short circuit and a 4.250km (2.641 mile) high speed oval with steep banking which has been unused for many decades. The main features of the Grand Prix circuit include the Curva Grande, the Lesmos, Variante Ascari and Parabolica.
The first track was built from May 15 to July 1922 and financed by the Milan Automobile Club. The original circuit was 10km (6.25 miles) long with a flat banked oval section and a road circuit all combined into one. Since then it has continuously undergone many modifications and changes due to driver and spectator safety reasons.
The 1.6L turbocharged V6 hybrid engines displayed speeds of up to 360 kph (223 mph) in 2015. The circuit is mostly flat, but has a gradual gradient from the second Lesmo up to the Variante Ascari. Due to low aerodynamic profile needed, with its resulting low downforce, the grip is very low and understeer is a more serious issue than at other circuits on the calendar. However oversteer, is also present in the second sector, requiring use of a very distinctive opposite lock technique. Since both maximum power and minimal drag are key for speed on the long straights, only drivers with enough power or aerodynamic efficiency are able to challenge for the top positions. The drivers are full throttle for nearly 80% of the lap due to its long straights and fast corners.
The modern Grand Prix layout is 5.793km (3.900 miles) in length with 11 corners and runs in a clockwise direction.
Race distance is 306.720km (190.597 miles) in length with 53 laps in total.
Rubens Barrichello holds the fastest lap record with a 1:21.046 set at the 2004 event in his Scuderia Ferrari F2004.
Michael Schumacher holds the record for most victories at the Italian Grand Prix with five.
Scuderia Ferrari is the most successful constructor at its home Grand Prix with 19 victories.
The Last Five Winners
2015: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1. 2014: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1. 2013: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing. 2012: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes. 2011: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing.
With the Autodromo Nazionale Monza featuring some the F1 calendar’s fastest straights and the teams running a low downforce/drag setup, F1’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli will be bringing with them the red-branded P Zero Super Soft, yellow-marked P Zero Soft and the white-branded P Zero Medium tyre compounds along with the green-marked Intermediates and blue-branded Full Wet compounds in case of rain. Pirelli brought the Super Softs, Soft and Medium compounds so they can meet the unique demands of performance and durability that the Monza circuit usually requires.
With high energy loads up to 4.5g and all forces at work encouraging heat build-up through the tyres and big impacts with the kerbs, the tyre compound and structure is tested to its limits throughout the lap and is more demanding than a slow circuit. With a low downforce setup used at Monza, the drivers need to take care of the rear tyres so they don’t provoke wheelspin especially out of the Variante del Rettifilo and Variante della Roggia chicanes.
As in 2015 there will be two DRS zones at Monza. The first zone detection point is 95 metres before turn seven with the activation point 210 metres after turn seven. The second zone detection point will be 20 metres before turn 11 with the activation point 115 metres after the finish line.
Pitlane Speed Limits
Pitlane speed limits will be 80km/h during practice, qualifying and the race.
Mercedes driver and defending Italian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton returns to Monza leading the World Driver’s Championship with a nine point advantage over team-mate Nico Rosberg. In the World Constructors Championship, Mercedes comes to Italy at the top of the standings with 455 points and a comfortable 181 points lead over closest rival Red Bull who are second on 274 points and Ferrari round out the top three on 252 points.
2016 World Driver’s Championship – Top 5
- Lewis Hamilton – 232 Points.
- Nico Rosberg – 223 Points.
- Daniel Ricciardo – 151 Points.
- Sebastian Vettel – 128 Points.
- Kimi Raikkonen – 124 Points.
2016 World Constructors Championship Standings
- Mercedes AMG F1 – 455 Points.
- Red Bull Racing – 274 Points.
- Scuderia Ferrari – 252 Points.
- Force India F1 Team – 103 Points.
- Williams Martini Racing – 101 Points.
- McLaren-Honda F1 – 48 Points.
- Scuderia Toro Rosso – 45 Points.
- Haas F1 Team – 28 Points.
- Renault Sport F1 – 6 Points.
- Manor Racing Team – 1 Point.
- Sauber F1 Team – 0 Points.
The Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia 2016 weekend kicks off Friday September 2 with Free Practice 1 and 2, Free Practice 3 and Qualifying Saturday September 3 and the 53 lap Italian Grand Prix Sunday September 4.
Written by Michael Terminello.