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Italian Grand Prix: Engineer's guide to Monza

An engineer's guide to Autodromo di Monza, venue for the Italian Grand Prix - the twelfth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship.
The Circuit

Approaching Turn 1: The fastest part of the track – with speeds of around 340kph – before braking hard for the slowest part of the circuit – the Rettifilo chicane – which has a minimum speed of around 75kph. The kerbs are used extensively here as drivers aim to find the shortest line through this tricky right / left combination.

Turns 2 + 3: Good power delivery on exiting the chicane is essential as the drivers accelerate hard through Curva Biassono; a good slipstreaming opportunity heading into the next complex.

Turns 4 + 5: Heavy kerb usage through the Turn 4 / 5 chicane, which the cars approach at 330kph before braking down to around 120kph.

Turns 6 + 7: The Lesmo curves are approached at over 260kph, with a minimum corner speed of around 180kph in Lesmo 2. Good car control is required though this tricky double right-hander due to the lower than optimum levels of downforce used at this circuit.

Turns 8 – 10: Variante Ascari is a fast third and fourth gear chicane, but unlike the previous chicanes around the track there is no kerb usage. The cars approach this complex at around 330kph with a minimum speed of around 170kph in the first left hand turn, making for a spectacular part of the circuit where bravery from the drivers is very much rewarded.

Turn 11: The second fastest part of the track, with top speeds of around 335kph reached before braking to around 215kph at the slowest part of the corner. It's crucial to stay close to the car ahead through Curva Parabolica to be positioned for a pass on the following straight.

The Car

Rear Wing: With the long straights forming a significant aspect of the Monza circuit layout – speeds of around 330kph being attained during the course of a lap – minimising drag is an important consideration. For this reason a Monza-only low downforce rear wing is produced. As the rear wing creates less drag that normal, the difference made by DRS is less than at other circuits.

Front Wing: Just as for the rear wing, a bespoke low downforce front wing is produced for Monza. This really is the home of speed!

Suspension: There are two low-speed chicanes [Turns 1 / 2 and 4 / 5] where the kerbs are used heavily, so a softer suspension setup with longer travel is preferable for these. However, there is also the higher speed 3rd / 4th gear Ascari chicane [Turns 8 / 9 / 10] where a stiffer setup with sharper change of direction is preferable due to its higher speed and lack of kerb usage.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.09.2012- Race,  Fans
06.09.2012- Track
06.09.2012- Entrance of paddock
09.09.2012- Race, Fans
09.09.2012- Race, Fans
09.09.2012- Race, Start of the race

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