From Spa, the longest race in F1 to Monza, the fastest. With regulations and current technology in place this year, it is possible it will be the fastest race we have seen in a while with speeds of 360KPH suggested by Lotus technical director Nick Chester.
“It will depend on the downforce and drag levels that the teams will run but I expect it will be higher than last year,” Chester said. “It might be possible to achieve 360kph on the straight, depending if the car is getting a tow with DRS.”
So not quite the 372Kph of Juan-Pablo Montoya managed at Monza while driving the V10-powered McLaren MP4/20 in 2005 but still damn fast.
Lewis Hamilton has clearly moved on from last races incident and focused any ill feelings that sit with him into dominating qualifying to sit first on the grid ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg so will have to take the first chicane very carefully, giving Hamilton a huge mental advantage into the start of the race.
Williams however hope to be battling for a win this time and both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa sit respectively in 3rd and 4th on the grid, hungrily eyeing up the two Mercedes positions.
The two McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button lock out row three. Fernando Alonso will start from seventh place at Ferrari’s home race, alongside Sebastian Vettel, with Daniel Ricciardo as the Red bulls and Feraris struggle to match the Mercedes engined straight line speed. Sergio Perez drove a convincing yet slightly off pace qualifying in his Force India to round out the top ten.
However it was once again Daniil Kvyat who lost out in qualifying, suffering a 10 place grid penalty for the race due to an engine change in his Torro Rosso which will drop him from his 11th place in qualifying down to the bottom of the pack in 21st.
1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.109s
2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.383s
3. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 1m 24.697s
4. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 1m 24.865s
5. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 1m 25.314s
6. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 25.379s
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.430s
8. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.436s
9. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.709s
10. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1m 25.944s
11. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 26.070s*
12. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 26.110s
13. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 26.157s
14. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 26.279s
15. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 26.588s
16. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 26.692s
17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault 1m 27.520s
18. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 27.632s
19. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 1m 27.671s
20. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 1m 27.738s
21. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari 1m 28.247s
22. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 1m 28.562s
107% time: 1min 31.338secs
all times unofficial
*ten-place grid penalty (engine change)
Monza is regarded by many as the embodiment of Formula One racing. Not only is it a fantastic example of a track that combines speed with skill, it also has a heart and soul all of its own. It has seen some of the finest races of all time, but also some of the sport’s worst accidents. The names of great drivers and the sounds of engines from years gone by linger in the grand old trees surrounding the track in the royal park.
Work began on the circuit in 1922 and was completed in under six months. After Brooklands in the UK and Indianapolis in the USA, it was the third permanent race track in existence. With a banked oval incorporated into the design of the road racing circuit, the total track length stood at a whopping 10 kilometres.
The list of famous victories and horrifying crashes is long, and all combine to make Monza one of the most magical places on the Formula One calendar. For many there is nowhere that encapsulates the sport better than this circuit. The Italians call it ‘La Pista Magica’, the magic track, a description few would disagree with.
|07 Sep 2014
|Autodromo di Monza
|First Grand Prix:
|Number of Laps:
|1:21.046 – R Barrichello (2004)
Images, Track history: Formula1.com
Roger Baillie (Twitter @Rojn8r)