McLaren Honda F1 Italian Grand-Prix preview

McLaren Honda F1 Italian Grand-Prix preview

29.08.2017: LOWDOWN Race title Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2017 Circuit name Autodromo Nazionale Monza

LOWDOWN



Race title Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2017
Circuit name Autodromo Nazionale Monza
First race 1950



Previous winners

2016 Nico Rosberg, 53 laps, 1:17:28.089s
2015 Lewis Hamilton
2014 Lewis Hamilton


History lesson Built in 1922, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza epitomises the history and drama of the Formula 1 World Championship. Only once, in 1980, has the circuit not been included on the F1 calendar and the 5.793km/3.600-mile lap remains the fastest of them all, with an average speed approaching 259km/h/160mph.



The old banking – last used in 1961 – is still clearly visible, as are many of the old grandstands. Aptly, the track is called ‘La Pista Magica’ by the fanatical Italian racing fans

 


TRAVEL



City Milan

Time zone BST+1 / CET

Population 1.6 million

How far? Monza is 601 miles (967km) from the McLaren Technology Centre


Getting there Being the final European race of the season, this is the last time in 2017 that the team will take its transporters and the Brand Centre to a grand prix. They will travel straight from Spa-Francorchamps, scene of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. For people travelling from the UK, there are plenty of flight options into Milan Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo



Surprising fact Monza is twinned with another motorsporting Mecca, Indianapolis in the USA. It is also the home town of former F1 driver Vittorio Brambilla


Local speciality Cassoeula, a pork dish that’s been linked to the Lombardy region of Italy for centuries. Virtually every part of the pig is used in the dish – ribs, trotters, head and skin – and it’s cooked in a casserole and mixed with savoy cabbage. It’s a pleasure that furnishes the soul as well as the palate, according to a local writer


Weather The humidity of mid-summer has usually started to subside by September, leaving fresh and warm autumnal days. Recent temperatures have been higher than the seasonal average, with the weather forecast for the race weekend predicting temperatures in the high 20s




 
TRACK



Track length 5.793km/3.600 miles (6th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)


2016 pole position Lewis Hamilton, 1m21.135s


2016 fastest lap Fernando Alonso, 1m25.340s (lap 51)


Lap record 1:21.046s (Rubens Barrichello, 2004)


Tyre choice Red Supersoft, yellow Soft and white Medium compounds – the sixth time this combination has been used in 2017


Distance to Turn One 380m/0.236 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454km)


Longest straight 1.12km/0.696 miles, on the approach to Turn One (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)


Top speed 370km/h/224mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season)


Full throttle 75 per cent (highest of the season)


Brakewear High. There are only six braking events around the lap, but all are from high speed and generate high brake temperatures


Fuel consumption 1.89kg per lap, which is average


ERS demands Medium. There are four long straights, along which the cars exceed 330km/h/205mph, and only a couple of heavy braking zones in which to harvest braking energy


Gear changes 46 per lap/2438 per race

 



RACE


Laps 53 laps

Start time 14:00hrs local / 13:00hrs BST


Grid advantage Monza is used for racing throughout the year, so the track is clean and there’s less of a grid advantage than at some tracks. But the racing line – and pole position – is on the outside of the track, so it’s likely to be slightly cleaner



DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and Eight


Don’t put the kettle on…Mercedes were the only points-scoring team to complete last year’s race with one pitstop. Their drivers made their only visits to the pits at half distance. The stop-stop runners changed tyres, typically, on laps 16 and 33, but with this year’s harder tyre compounds, a one-stop strategy is expected to be within reach of most cars


Pitlane length/Pitstops 420m/0.261 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). A pitstop takes 21s, but the time loss to those on-track is the biggest of the season because they are travelling at 370km/h/205mph, while those in the pitlane are either limited to 80km/h/50mph or are stationary



Safety Car likelihood 45 per cent, which is low


Watch out for…Turn 11, the Parabolica. It’s a 180-degree right-hander that eases towards the exit and it’s crucial for the drivers to get back on the power early because the longest straight on the lap follows

 

- Sylvie Hofer, photos McLaren

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29.08.2017 / MaP

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