|Fernando Alonso leads the pack around Monza, Italy. -- Photo Credit: F1 Site|
Full Throttle Percentage: 76%
Distance: 3.6 miles
Monza is all about high speed and low downforce for almost the entire lap. 76 percent of the lap is run under full throttle, benefiting the teams with Mercedes powered engines. The track starts with a 638m run from grid to turn one where teams have to navigate a tricky chicane. The cars then head around the bend, through another small chicane, and end up at the two Lesmos. These two turns are some of the trickiest, with teams running low downforce setups, it's easy to run off if the car doesn't have enough mechanical grip. After the rundown to Ascari, the track ends in Parabolica - a large hairpin turn that opens up onto the DRS enabled front straight.
The setup for this track is focused on getting the highest top speed you can while still keeping enough grip for the Lesmos. Front and rear wings will be low profile with less wing in them then we see at most tracks. Several teams will be introducing new wings entirely for this weekend. Even though teams will want as tight an aero package as possible, they still need to allow for proper brake ventilation. The stress on the brakes from going over 200 mph down to first gear lap after lap can cause brakes and engines to overheat. If drivers don't manage the heat buildup, they could have a failure on track.
This track has Mercedes written all over it. Rosberg and Hamilton battled it out for the victory last year and personally I don't see how that would change this year. Their superior power unit and aero package has showed no real signs of slowing down. Lotus and Grosjean should have another good outing this weekend, and Sebastien Vettel may also be able to provide some early challenge to Mercedes. The Ferrari team introduced a new wing in Belgium that they will likely use again in Italy. The new wing design has one less flap than the previous design and is catered toward low downforce.
Let me know who you think will win in the comments below. I'd love to hear!
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