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Italy is known for many things. Romance, espresso and fast cars, to name a few. This year at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza the F1 pundits are expecting to see speeds around or above 360 kph (~223 mph). With the reduced aerodynamic drag on the current iteration, these machines will certainly have different braking points this go around Monza. Let’s see what the Official F1 tyre manufacturer has to say about the circuit.

Pirelli’s Preview Of Monza

Pirelli is bringing the two hardest tyres available, the orange striped hard, and the white striped medium tyre. These will be able to stand up to the longitudinal forces from the 5+ G’s of braking force, to the heavy attack on the kerbs. The car setup needs to be low downforce, with a lot of mechanical grip for launching the car out of the chicanes smoothly, thus maintaining the rear tyre temperature and wear. Since the downforce is very low (the fastest track on the calendar), the car relies heavily on grip from the tires. Even in the faster corners, like Parabolica, the tyres are doing most of the work. This is why Pirelli have opted for the harder of the tyres, as they will be able to withstand these forces on the track, for longer periods.

At Monza there is one rule only: finding the best way to deal with top speeds that are closer to 400 than 300 kph. In order to find the highest maximum speed on the long straights, ultra low downforce is needed. So the main job for the driver is looking after the rear tyres. In order to do that, you need a set-up that delivers good traction on the exit of the chicanes. Otherwise you get a lot of wear on the rear tyres and braking distances get a lot longer, which is a disaster for the lap time. That’s not all though. At those speeds you actually get the ‘lift’ phenomenon: you feel that the car is about to lift off from the track. It’s something that you only find in Monza; sometimes it even feels quite hard to keep the car in a straight line on the straights. I’ve always loved Monza and I’ve come close to winning on more than one occasion. Listening to the fans cheering in the grandstand is an incredibly emotional experience. And that was with a 12-cylinder engine; with a quieter six-cylinder turbo this year, the drivers will be able to hear the fans even more…Jean Alesi, Pirelli consultant

Monza Start 2013

With the higher speeds on the circuit, are we looking at quicker lap times? It stands to reason that we should, however with less traction and downforce in the corners, will that slow them down? Or will the tyres tow the line, as they seem to be a bit more durable this season?

With all the driver talk, regarding who is on what team for 2015, is becoming more interesting by the day. Since McLaren are slated to receive engines from Honda starting next year, they think they have some pull for their lineup next year. Marussia seems to be having some issues with money or drivers, or both. This comes as a delight to Caterham, which are also looking for someone else to take money questions off of them.

While the battle rages at Mercedes AMG, and Red Bull is now backing their young prodigy, Ricciardo, Ferrari finally got some support from their second man, Kimi. Hopefully Monza is as pleasant for him as Belgium, since the ‘Tifosi’ will be out in force to cheer on the boys in red.

Website: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza

About the author

Jeff Trocchio

Apple IIe green screen is whence I came. Where I go, only technology knows. If its Automotive, Mobile, Gaming or Computer tech I'll try my best to give my thoughts on it.