2017 Italian Grand Prix - preview

LOOKING AHEAD TO ITALY

Our official race previews are your guide for every lap of every race in 2017.  

Hear from the team, drivers and management as we prepare for round 13 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. 

Follow McLaren TEAMStream for all the build-up to the Italian Grand Prix.

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

 

 

The drivers 

Fernando Alonso

#FA14  MCL32-05

 

“Like Spa, Monza is one of those legendary tracks where everybody loves watching cars going racing. With the new wider, faster cars this year, it will definitely be another circuit where we’ll see a new fastest lap and some incredibly high speeds on the straights.

“It’s the fastest circuit on the calendar in terms of outright speed, and for a driver it’s an incredible feeling racing down those iconic straights punctuated by the tight chicanes and big, fast corners that require a huge amount of commitment. We’ve always said this circuit wouldn’t suit our package, and we expect a tough challenge. Although it’s power-hungry like Spa, it’s also different in many ways. Spa is a long race; the Monza circuit is short and sharp and the race always feels like it’s over very quickly. 

“The thing I love most about Monza is the fans. Even when you’re not dressed in tifosi red, the fans come out in force and they’re all super passionate about racing and motorsport. The Italian Grand Prix is a favourite for many people and it really deserves its legendary reputation as a magic circuit for race fans.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stoffel Vandoorne

#SV2  MCL32-04

“Monza is a really cool place. I’ve driven there in Formula Renault 3.5 and also in GP2, and I won there in both series, so I know the circuit well and have always really enjoyed racing there. The fans are great, they show a lot of passion, and you feel like you’re swept up by their enthusiasm the whole weekend. 

“Spa was definitely a tough race for us, and we’ve always identified Belgium and Italy as two difficult weekends for us. It was hard to manage our pace with the rest of the pack on the straights, and we’re preparing ourselves for the same thing at Monza, but of course we’ll push hard every day throughout the weekend to try and give ourselves the best chance of a good result. 

“As usual, the important thing is qualifying, but it’s in the race where we need to work on our pace and make sure we can maintain our position throughout Sunday afternoon. We worked really well as a team in Spa to try to we maximise our progression through qualifying and hopefully influence our prospects for the race, and I hope we’ll be able to do more of that this coming weekend.” 

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