08.09.22 F1 Race Preview

Hoping to repeat some Monza magic


As I said on Sunday, my Zandvoort weekend was one to forget. But I’m optimistic we can have a better time of it at Monza, starting tomorrow.

I think last year, Italy was actually the round where I had the strongest weekend performance of the whole year, in terms of relative qualifying pace, and even though the race pace. It was probably the only race where we would have scored points on pure merit, rather than because of DNFs or no luck.

We moved forward in the Sprint Qualifying Race and were in a good position during the race until the untimely safety car which cost me points. But overall, it was quite a positive one for me.

Coming to Monza this time round, the car should have an improvement in relative competitiveness to how it was at Zandvoort because its shown itself to perform better on tracks where you need to have a higher top speed and the downforce is not as important. That’s an exciting prospect.

Again, that’s not because our car is very efficient, that we’re quick in the straight line. It is because we are struggling to match the same levels of downforce as the top cars. So whenever there’s a track that requires maximum downforce like Barcelona, Budapest, Zandvoort or Monaco we struggle quite a bit because we just don’t have enough to put on the car.

And then obviously when there’s a track that requires you to be quicker in the straight line ā€“ like at Monza ā€“ we tend to be a bit better. I’m hoping that will be the trend this weekend.

It’s always nice coming back to Monza. It’s a very unique track to drive and the car always feels completely different to any other circuit because you take off all the downforce and it’s floating around and skating everywhere.

So you do need a lot of confidence in the car because this is probably the track where you’re sliding the car around the most because you just want to be quick on the straights.

But even though people historically think this is an easy track to overtake on because of the long straights, it’s still not regarded as one of the easiest. I’d describe it as mid-range in that sense. That’s because everyone runs such a small wing and the DRS effect is much less.

The DRS obviously negates the effect of running a big wing but when you’re already running such low downforce to begin with, you get less of a straight-line advantage.

But nonetheless, there’s still lots of potential for more exciting racing in that situation and hopefully we can be part of that particular show.



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