Round 12 of the 2013 Formula One World Championship marks the sport’s final race of the season in Europe and, as has become traditional, it takes place at one of F1’s great venues – Italy’s Monza circuit.
F1’s original temple of speed, La Pista Magica, as it is known, is now out on its own in modern F1 as a true low-downforce, high-speed circuit, with just a handful of fast bends and chicanes to get in the way of drivers clocking the highest average lap speed of any track on the current calendar – around 245kmh.
The presence of slow chicanes breaking the high-speed straights means that suspension settings are crucial, as to secure a good lap time drivers need to be able to ride the kerbs hard. The flat out nature of the track also means that engines take more punishment than at most circuits with up to 70 per cent of a lap being run at full throttle. The final effect of all that speed is that tyres are subjected to heavy longitudinal forces under braking and blistering can be an issue. Therefore, tyre supplier Pirelli has allocated its hard and medium compounds for this weekend.
After taking a comfortable win at the last round in Belgium, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel has extended his drivers’ championship lead over Fernando Alonso to 46 points, with Lewis Hamilton third, 12 points further back. However, following the race, Vettel acknowledged his team’s relatively poor record at Monza, saying, “we don’t expect, maybe, to be that strong” in Italy. That will offer Alonso hope that he can reassert himself in the title fight.
In the constructors’ battle, meanwhile, Red Bull Racing, with 312 points, hold a commanding 77-point lead over nearest rival Mercedes, with Ferrari third on 218 points.
AUTODROMO DI MONZA
Length of lap:
5.793km Lap record:
(Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004) Start/finish line offset:
0.309km Total number of race laps:
53 Total race distance:
306.720km Pitlane speed limits:
80km/h throughout the entire event weekend.
CHANGES TO THE CIRCUIT SINCE 2012
►The leading edges of the kerbs at the apex of Turn 1 and 4 will be longer, to avoid the possibility of a car being launched when crossing them.
►The kerb at the exit of Turn 6 will be extended by 20m in order to prevent damage to the grass verge.
►At the exit of Turn 10, the kerb and artificial grass will be extended by 50m.
►The section of guardrail just before the opening on the driver’s left at Turn 1 will be replaced by a wall.
►There will be a two DRS zones. The detection point of the first will be just before Turn 7 with activation just after Turn 7. The second detection point will be just before Turn 11. The activation point will be just after the start/finish line.
Italian GP Fast Facts
►The Italian Grand Prix has featured on the calendar every year since the world championship’s inception in 1950. The race has been held at Monza each time, save for 1980 when the event was run at Imola as Monza was being refurbished.
►The 1980 race was won by Nelson Piquet for Brabham. The Brazilian thus became the first driver to win an Italian GP at two different venues since the pre-F1 era when Rudolf Caracciola won for Mercedes at Livorno in 1937, having also driven
a Mercedes to victory in 1934 in partnership with Luigi Fagioli.
►The most successful driver in F1 here is Michael Schumacher, with five wins. All of the seven-time champion’s Italian GP victories were at the wheel of a Ferrari, beginning in his first season with the team, 1996. He also stood on the podium’s top step in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
►Piquet is the next most successful driver, with four wins, in 1980, ’83, ’86 and 1987.
►Of the current drivers, just three have won at Monza. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are the only current multiple winners, with two apiece, while Lewis Hamilton won last year.
►Ferrari are by far the most successful constructor with 18 victories. McLaren have 10, while Williams have six.
►At the 2008 race, Sebastian Vettel, driving for Toro Rosso, became the sport’s youngest ever pole position man and followed it up by driving flawlessly in heavy rain to become F1’s youngest race winner at just 21 years of age. Previous record holder Fernando Alonso was 22 when he won the 2003 Hungarian GP.
►Vettel has, of course, gone on to win three world championship titles with Red Bull Racing. Monza, though, has been something of a ‘bogey’ circuit for the team. In 16 starts since its F1 debut in 2005, the team has recorded just one podium finish - Vettel’s 2011 win. Beyond that, the German’s fourth place in 2010 is the outfit’s next best result.
►Since 2000, the race has been won from pole 10 times from 13 events. Michael Schumacher won from second in 2006, while Rubens Barrichello won from fourth in 2002 and fifth in 2009.
►Only once has the race been won from further back than 10th on the grid. That was Peter Gethin’s famous 1971 win, when the top five finishers were separated by just 0.61 seconds.
►Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the last of his three career victories here, for Jordan in 1999. With three races remaining, the win put him firmly in contention for the ’99 drivers’ title, but his hopes were largely dashed at the very next round, the European GP, where after securing pole position electrical failure saw him exit the race after 32 laps, while in the lead. ►Force India’s Adrian Sutil made the only front-row start of his career so far at Monza in 2009. The German qualified second behind Lewis Hamilton and raced to fourth. It’s his only top-10 Italian GP finish so far.
Italian GP Race Stewards
DEPUTY PRESIDENT, FIA INSTITUTE; DIRECTOR, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MOTOR SPORT SAFETY; F1 AND WTCC STEWARD; FIA WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL MEMBER
Garry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
SEC. GENERAL OF THE ACCR (AUTOCLUB OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC); WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL MEMBER
Radovan Novak has been actively involved in motorsport since 1963 and rose to become Secretary General of the ACCR in 1990.Since 1991 he has held the role of President of the FIA Central Europe Zone and over the past two decades he has acted as a steward and observer in WRC and ERC rallies, EC autocross and rallycross events and WTCC and GT races. He has been a Formula One steward since 1994. From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the FIA Off-road Commission and was made a member of the World Motor Sport Council in 1998. In 2000 he became a member of the Sport Commission at the Ministry of Sport of the Czech Republic. An avid racer and co-driver, Novak has won a number of Czech rallying events.
FORMER F1 DRIVER, INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER AND CART CHAMPION
US racer Danny Sullivan made his F1 debut with Tyrrell at the 1983 Brazilian Grand Prix. He raced just one season in F1, scoring a best result of fifth in Monaco. In 1984, Sullivan returned to the US where he resumed a successful Indy Car career. He is perhaps best known for his ‘spin and win’ victory at the 1985 Indianapolis 500, where he passed leader Mario Andretti, survived a 360 degree spin, and then caught and re-passed Andretti to claim the Borg-Warner Trophy. He won the Indy Car World Series title in 1988. After 17 victories from 170 Indy Car starts he drew a line under his open-wheel career in 1995. He finished third in the Le Mans 24 Hours in a Dauer Porsche 962 in 1994. He made four starts at Le Mans, the most recent being 2004.
Italian GP Championship Standings
Italian GP Championship Standings
Italian GP Formula One Timetable
& FIA Media Schedule
Practice Session 1
Practice Session 2
Practice Session 3
Followed by unilateral and
Followed by podium interviews and press conference
ADDITIONAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
All drivers eliminated in Q1 or Q2 are available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session, as are drivers who participated in Q3, but who are not required for the post-qualifying press conference. The TV pen is located close to the media centre entrance in the paddock.
Any driver retiring before the end of the race is available at the team’s garage/hospitality. In addition, during the race every team will make available at least one senior spokesperson for interview by officially accredited TV crews. A list of those nominated will be made available in the media centre.