While speed is king at the Autodromo Nazionale, Daniel Ricciardo insists that how you slow is key to being successful there.

The Australian is looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix for many reasons, both on- and off-track, but admits that concentration plays a bigger part in the race than at many venues, ironically because the layout appears more simple than the likes of Spa, Monaco and Silverstone.

"[Monza] is less physical because, if you need a breather, there's plenty of long straights where you can take one, but that can be a bit of a problem because it really isn't a circuit where you want to lose focus," he explained, "You're coming into very heavy braking zones at very high speed and you can't afford to lock-up or lose time by braking too early. You have to be very switched on.

Related Articles

"Braking is the big factor in finding a good lap time since they've made the chicane kerbs too high to ride in an F1 car. Since then, braking has become the biggest thing at Monza and it's very tricky to get that right.

"You're coming down to the first chicane at your highest speed of the year and braking for what is almost the tightest corner in F1, with the least amount of downforce. The car starts to slide around and becomes quite tricky, so getting the braking right is key. It's really good too..."

The Australian's natural enthusiasm - which he recently explained remains undimmed by a difficult season in the Renault-powered RB11 - continues beyond driving the circuit and, having recommended Spa for the real racing enthusiast, is similarly ebullient about the trip to Italy.

"I recommend Monza for the real racing enthusiast!" he said with his trademark grin, "As grands prix go, it tends to have more atmosphere than the average...

"The drivers' parade is special - they'll all be there with their shirts off, yelling 'Forza Ferrari' - and it's the only circuit where you expect to be driving through flares! We had that on the warm-up last year, with a massive cloud of red smoke at the second Lesmo!

"It's pretty different - but I like that. The Italian fans are passionate - some might say crazy - and you'll really get your fill of atmosphere. It's a laugh!"