The Autodromo di Monza – one of the oldest GP circuits in Formula 1 – lies on the outskirts of Milan, Italy. It is one of the last few fast and old fashioned European tracks and will host the 2019 Italian Grand Prix for the 58th time. It will be not only a celebration time for the excited spectators but also a testing time for the drivers and their machinery. The Monza circuit design is firmly set with a classic European layout that definitely favors top speed.
The Autodromo di Monza has been generally considered as the spiritual home of Italian motor racing. In spite of the chicanes which have marred the long straights for the last decade, Monza is still considered to be F1’s “home of speed”. The layout of long and fast straights at the Autodromo not only rewards top speed but also offers good overtaking chances, from slipstreaming or late braking. Unique to Monza, the FIA allows the racing teams to test the circuit during the week before the race.
What the drivers say
The Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo di Monza is one of the most unique races of the year with the racing drivers optimizing their cars for speeds up to 370kph. In order to run fast at Monza, the drivers need to sacrifice as much as possible to cut drag and only run just enough aerodynamic load so that the cars can remain stable under braking and through the ‘Curve Biassono’. Engines usually get heavily stressed and flat out for about 70% of the lap, in very hot conditions. The circuit also demands very special tyres because the track surface is grippy and smooth. High terminal speeds and hot temperatures will quickly build heat up in the tyres, and in addition, the impact of heavy braking might place stress on the sidewalls that need to be stiffer than normal to cope.