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The Event
Formula One moves to a more traditional location next weekend as the teams make the second visit of the year to Italy for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Affectionately known as the “Pista Magica,” Monza is the largest motorsport centre in Italy and one of the most prestigious racing circuits in the world. Opened in 1922, the Autodrome is also the third oldest motorsports venue after Brooklands in the UK (1907) and Indianapolis (1909) and has hosted all but one of the 56 Italian Grands Prix. Although re-designed several times over the years due to safety concerns, Monza essentially remains the same – a circuit which punishes the weak and rewards the brave. Williams has won nearly one in every four Italian Grands Prix entered, taken 19 podiums and claimed more fastest laps than any other team at the Old Royal Park. For this year’s race, the team is looking to capitalise upon improved pace seen in Turkey and score some solid points with both cars.

Between the races
The end of the August test ban allowed the team a three day session in Monza with Webber, Rosberg and Wurz completing two days each. While testing the Monza aero package and evaluating tyres for next weekend’s race, the trio covered just over 3,000kms, while Nico also set the fourth quickest time of the week. Following the conclusion of their test commitments, all three drivers enjoyed a brief few days’ rest before returning to Italy for the race itself.

Making the car go faster
The unique nature of the Autodrome demands a fully revised aero package which the team has developed in its two wind tunnels and at the test last week. The most visual of changes will be completely new front and rear wing assemblies. The FW28s will also run with new engine cover flip-ups, while the cars’ roll-hoop wings, cascade wings and winglets will all be removed to create a low drag configuration.

Monza from a technical perspective
A step away from previous rounds, Monza also presents a return to power track territory. The 5.793km circuit in the Old Royal Park is one of the highest speed tracks on the calendar and so requires the lowest downforce arrangement seen all year. Monza’s chicanes and four key corners, however, also demand a balancing aerodynamic efficiency to ensure a smooth transition over the harsh kerbs. A traditional power track, engines are put through their paces over the weekend as they consistently reach speeds of 340km/h and endure a full throttle ratio of 70% per lap. With such high top speeds, extensive loads are exerted on the brakes during each braking event, turn one, for example, sees drivers brake so hard into the corner, they experience 5g. Accordingly, brake durability is crucial while a car’s stability under braking is also important at Monza where the track surface is notoriously bumpy. With an approximate 25 second penalty for each pitstop, the Italian Grand Prix is invariably a one stop race but, with several overtaking opportunities over the lap, the finale to the European season is sure to be an engaging event.

Mark Webber
“Monza is a different type of circuit to the others that we race on over the season. It’s a track which has high top speeds - in a straight line we’ll reach speeds up to 340kph - so the aerodynamic wing level on the car has to be totally different for this race. Also, the set-up has to be good to allow us to ride the chicances as we hit the kerbs so hard. Monza isn’t the safest circuit in the world, so we need to work with the organisers to find some way to make the track a little bit safer. I’ve had a few points’ finishes here, but I’ve never been on the podium, so hopefully I will get there one day. We can probably have a reasonable race here, it’s very competitive at the front at the moment but I hope we’ll be fighting to get back up there in these last few races and get some good points.”

Nico Rosberg
“The Autodrome is a special track. I believe it’s one of the oldest circuits on the calendar so there’s plenty of history. Monza is also a very exciting circuit as it’s so different to the other tracks we race on. There are lots of straights so you have to take all the downforce off the car. That, though, means that there’s less grip, so it’s harder to drive. Aside from the track itself, this Grand Prix is always a good one because of the Italian fans who just go crazy for Ferrari. They’re great supporters of motor racing in general as well, so this race always has a very special atmosphere.”

Sam Michael, Technical Director, WilliamsF1
“Characterised by long straights, a couple of slow speed chicanes and four important corners, Monza is an entirely unique circuit on the calendar and so requires a totally different car set-up to that seen at other races. The car’s aerodynamics must be configured to a low downforce setting, predominantly achieved through specific front and rear wings, to provide good balance through the medium speed corners and stability over the kerbs. With top speeds reaching the highest we see all year, engine power is critical, while brake durability is also necessary at the second hardest wearing track after Montréal. Due to the long pitlane time and low tyre degradation at this circuit, most teams will be on a one stop strategy. At the test in Monza last week, we worked on the aero package and tyre selection to put us in the best possible position for the race.”

Simon Corbyn, Head of F1 Race Engineering, Cosworth
“In terms of engines, Monza is the most demanding circuit in Formula One and Cosworth typically uses this track as the basis for the endurance tests routinely run on our Northampton test cells. At last week’s test with WilliamsF1, we completed the final validation of a very aggressive duty cycle on the latest Series 6 engines and this will now be available for both Mark and Nico at the Italian Grand Prix. Cosworth will therefore be able to run maximum engine performance, including the 20,000RPM rev limit, for all key laps in qualifying and for a significant fraction of the race.

Cosworth has pushed hard to successfully approve and introduce the best possible engine specification for the forthcoming race and also in readiness for the impending FIA engine homologation deadline.”


  • Hey James hopefully Emmo, Murph and I will get to chat with ya on Thursday. Hope to see ya then.
  • when are you guys off, ger?
  • WE are all at Ger's in Ireland as we speak - off to Italy tomorrow. We will look you up on Thursday JG.
  • have fun, guys
  • Does your boss-man give you a kickback for posting that article here James?
  • Have fun you guys, you lucky swines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)
  • Emmett. Give my regards to Murph. His input is sadly missed on the board!
  • Yeah, the big girl.
  • Hey MCSF, I will hopefully have a chance this weekend to check if I have that practice session where they mention the MCSF, so I should be able to get a copy for you.

    While your with the team get them to get their credit card payment option online already if ya can.
  • Guys some pics from Monza. Toro looked after us sooooo well. GCM was with the team today. Thanks to Massimo, Fabiana and our friend James at Williams for a great day






    Put a few more up tomorrow

    [Edited on 7-9-0606 by Ger]

    [Edited on 7-9-0606 by Ger]
  • Marvellous!

    Quig, did you have a Campari with that?
  • What's your feeling now that GCM relates with the Toros ?
  • Observations:

    James, thanks for starting this thread. Best of luck this weekend!

    Emmett, I used to have a higher opinion of you... you're drinkin the decaf red bull, you're not fondling Fabby! sheesh! You're must be getting soft in your old age.
  • Looks like you're having a great time, look forward to more pics and stories!!!

    Emmett put the can down and step slowly away......................................;)
  • Emmo telling Nico the way to do it and Murph with Laffite



    [Edited on 8-9-0606 by Ger]
  • Quig, what the f*ck are they?!
  • Hey Quig just checked and I do have the practice session from Turkey, they mention you by name after mentioning the Minardi teams win at Silverstone. You still have my email? If not its mikekilpat at gmail dot come. Send your mailing address and I'll send a copy your way.
  • Yeah! What are they?

    Strapon sunglasses are a NO-GO in Europe!

    [Editado el 9-9-06 por Minardus]
  • quig lives in san fran. he knows all about guys wearing strap ons
  • Check Speed's quote:

    “To be honest I was quite surprised to get through to Q2 here. P15 at Monza is not bad and if there are some reliability issues for others tomorrow, then maybe we can have a good race. The balance of the car has been pretty good since last week’s test here and it is just in terms of our overall performance that we are losing out. The engine feels okay, pulling reasonably well down the long straight. I noticed there are more Americans in the crowd here than usual at a European race which is nice to see.”

    He must have recognized Quig's glasses:P
  • HEY - Quig says tape the f'n race for him one of you Yanks! Grazie!
  • hahaha you bunch of whores, specially you Quig

    the Minardi kit was binned at the entrance to the paddock I see

    Murph, took me 4 years to realize that the guy behind me on a picture taken at Monza 2001 was Lafitte
  • So where are the Toro Rosso outfits guys? Don't tell me you didn't wear them because I'm not going to believe that.
  • Nice shot of Herbert's sunnies.

    What a bunch of Paddock whores you all turned out to be. :D

    I wish I could have told Webber to ignore you and move on. :P

  • So where are the Toro Rosso outfits guys? Don't tell me you didn't wear them because I'm not going to believe that
    Murph's wearing one for starters
  • Good race !

    Kubica was great.
    He has a future in F1 !

    Schumi finally announced his retirement.
  • I'm very impressed with Kubica... somebody has a plot of land near Krakov we could build a race track on?
  • Guys, I was in Monza too.
    No way to get to the pits, though, I swinged between Lesmo Second and Variante Ascari.

    Good show in general (the public specially), but not surely a great race, under a sporting point of view! I guess that if I watched it on TV I would have fallen asleep or nearly.

    Even though I have never been a Schumi's supporter (I actually always supported his opponents, from Damon to Jacques, from Mika to Juan Pablo and now Kimi), it was quite emotioning to think that it was the last time I saw him racing, considering that when he started, in Spa 1991, I was still at school, and that basicly he was a constant reference point in my F1 interest for over 15 years......

    But I have to say the penalization to Alonso was a bit exaggerated, I love conspiracy theories, and I suspect there was a certain "pushing" behind that decision, not necessarily by Ferrari.....

    [Edited on 11-9-06 by manlio27]
  • Viges - Campari yes - but not with the RB. PLUS, I had to buy my own bottle as I asked at a few places and they did not have it!

    In addition, I wore no STR kit - don't own any - and did not wear any Minardi t's/kit until today upon our visit to the new factory.

    STR was so cool with us. They are all very happy - the happiest I havce seen them in years. They are content with the new set up.

    GCM was evident as well. He seemed okay with everything- we are having dinner with him tonight so there might be more answers later.

    Kudo's to Kubica - the drive of the day and to Speed as well. He did an amazing job of keeping RS at bay - put the boot to him a few times as well!

    Great times had by all.
  • great job guys, congrats

    ps I won't miss SCHUMI. And you?
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