2023 Italian Grand Prix – Preview

2023 Italian Grand Prix – Preview

Zandvoort was a frustrating weekend.
There was potential, but we failed to capitalise on it.
We got the call wrong with the switch to Intermediates and that put us on the back foot.
From there, it was about trying to salvage what we could.
Both drivers recovered well, but the final sting in the tail was the puncture for George.
The missed opportunities are annoying, but weekends like this only fire us up to bounce back even stronger.
We’ve got plenty of learnings to take into the next race.
Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait for it.
Monza’s track characteristics are the complete opposite to Zandvoort, so we’ll see how we get on.
It’s also sure to be another spectacular atmosphere this weekend.

Fact File: Italian Grand Prix
This weekend’s Italian Grand Prix will be the second trial of the ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’ format.
That will see teams have a reduced allocation of 11 sets of tyres: three sets of the Hard compound, and four of the Medium and Soft tyre respectively.
Monza is nicknamed the ‘Temple of Speed’ and for good reason.
Recorded top speeds through the speed trap during the Grand Prix typically top 350 km/h.
That is perhaps no surprise given the long straights at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
77% of lap time is spent at full throttle which equates to 80% of the total distance.
Only the Jeddah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia sees a higher amount of time spent at full throttle at 82%.
Despite these impressive numbers, we don’t expect Monza to have the highest top speeds on this year’s calendar.
With its high-altitude environment, Mexico typically sees higher maximum speeds and with a nearly 2 km long straight, we forecast that Las Vegas will also trump Monza.
The circuit contains just 11 corners, four to the left and seven to the right.
That is the second fewest of the year, behind only Austria which has 10.
The long straights of Monza are punctuated by several chicanes which require heavy braking – there are three braking events that are categorised as heavy (>4g for over 0.4s).
A lap of the circuit requires just 40 gear changes per lap, one of the lowest figures on the calendar.
That is due to a large part of the lap is spent in eighth gear on those long straights.
The Italian GP venue is one of the most power sensitive tracks in F1.
Even a modest increase in power can have a sizeable impact on lap time.
This is in part due to the long straights, but also due to the low-speed corner exits onto those straights which demand a lot more power in the acceleration zones.
Mechanical grip is crucial due to the amount of these acceleration zones out of low-speed corners.
The track has one of the highest traction demands of the season.
The high-speed nature means the Italian Grand Prix is often one of the shortest races of the year.
If run uninterrupted, it usually takes around one hour and 15 minutes from lights out to the chequered flag.
Several corners, such as Ascari, are dominated by how well your car can ride the kerbs on entry.
If the car is stable, drivers can attack much more easily but a lot of time can be lost if they are unable to do so.
On exit, the kerbs tend to offer poor traction and a bumpy ride, so drivers sometimes avoid the exit kerbs altogether to get the best run out of the turn.

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1

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