Accueil Sports Formule 1 All info you need to see before the next Italian GP starts

All info you need to see before the next Italian GP starts

The Formula 1 circus arrives at Monza for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, the eighth round of the 2020 World Championship, and a good fight might be on the cards after a technical directive was enforced to make teams run the same engine mode from qualifying to the Grand Prix.

On Mercedes’ side, they have said that this directive, the number 37, would actually help them, as they would be able to extract more from their Power Unit during the Grands Prix.

The technical directive was initially planned to be enforced from the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, but it got delayed by one race.

Will it slow down Mercedes? Or all the engine manufacturers would ‘suffer’ the same fate?

Naturally, many would expect to see Mercedes’ pace on qualifying deterred by this new ‘rule’, but could this hurt other teams as well? Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsports advisor, has said that Mercedes’ ‘party mode’ was “extreme” and that “it distorted the competition”, while also adding that Red Bull applied pressure for the rule to be enforced, which indicates that Honda has hopes of improving due to this new technical regulation.

Is it ok to punish a team for being the best?

When a team is better than the others and its dominance comes from a legal foundation (unless it is proven illegal one day, it’s all within the rules as of now), there really should not exist any manoeuvre that the sports’ management or the governing body can do to prevent the said team from achieving the results they earn on track.

The reality is that the other teams should be under pressure to perform at a higher level and be able to compete with the best.

Red Bull’s and Verstappen’s title hopes still alive

Within the Red Bull camp, they are convinced that the aforementioned technical directive will hurt Mercedes and help Red Bull in their bid to make Max Verstappen a World Champion driver.

Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen

Now 47 points behind Lewis Hamilton for the WDC, Verstappen has won one race throughout the year and has been consistent, finishing on the podium in the six races he has completed.

In reality, 10 races left in the calendar are too many events to already be certain about who will win the World Championship and Red Bull can improve and fight with Hamilton in the remainder of the year. Even with the so-called blatant dominance by Mercedes in 2020, the German team only achieved a couple of 1-2s in a season where their car performed better on qualifying than in race trim.

The midfield and Williams’ new chapter

The midfield will only have a ‘rest of the grid’ definition on this article, as we are certain that the term has disappeared from the Formula 1 grid, mostly due to Ferrari’s downfall and the close fight we are seeing for P3 on the Constructors’ Championship.

Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Deputy Team Principal

In fact, for this weekend at Monza, we might see Renault fighting for a second-row spot on Saturday and maybe even a front-row spot. The French team has a car that goes well in a straight line and that is Monza’s essence. In fact, Renault’s 4-5 finish at Monza last year was only topped by their tremendous race last week at Spa-Francorchamps. We expect Renault to be highly competitive again this weekend.

McLaren, Racing Point and Ferrari are part of the scrap for P3 in the WCC, with McLaren currently on P3 with 68 points and Racing Point, Ferrari and Renault behind by two, seven and nine points, respectively.

McLaren has had ups and downs this year and having only one car to start last week’s round at Belgium was a sour sight for them, while Racing Point’s new car philosophy has transformed them into a team that dominates their battles on twisty circuits (Hungaroring or Barcelona) and has underachieved on power tracks (Silverstone or Spa).

Monza could be difficult for Racing Point while saying it would be tough for Ferrari would be a huge understatement. The Italian team looked terrible at Spa due to their lack of power and lack of pace everywhere on the track. Of course, not putting the tyres on the right window of operation further enhanced the struggle, but this week can be disastrous for the team if their aerodynamic upgrades do not work and the result is anything similar to last week.

At Williams, a new chapter has begun today, when Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams announced that she would be leaving her role after Sunday’s race and that the Williams family would end their involvement with the team 43 years after it was created by Frank Williams.

Claire’s move, according to her, would allow the new owners of the team, Dorilton Capital, a “fresh start”.

2020 Italian GP Facts & Figures

The 2020 Italian Grand Prix will be the 71st running of the event under the FIA World Championship of Drivers umbrella. Ferrari is the most successful team with 19 victories in front of their devoted Tifosi.

Statue of Juan Manuel Fangio that stands at the infield of the Monza circuit

The race has been part of every season of the World Championship since its inception in 1950 and is a truly iconic date in every year’s calendar. This year, it will be very different without fans in the grandstands, but the iconic features of the Italian Grand Prix will always be there.

The first winner of the Italian round of the World Championship was Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina, who won his home race in 1950 in his Alfetta and also secured his World Championship, which made him F1’s first champion in history and the only one to date to win the title at his home race.

Ferrari’s first success at Monza during the World Championship occurred in 1951, with Alberto Ascari winning the event, something he would replicate during his title-winning campaign in 1952.

Then, Juan Manuel Fangio won three straight races with Maserati and Mercedes between 1953 and 1955, becoming the first to win three Italian GPs on the trot, something that has not been replicated yet.

Fangio himself was crowned champion in the 1956 event, achieving his fourth title and doing so with Ferrari. Jack Brabham too sealed one of his titles in Italy, in the 1960 event, which was boycotted by the British teams as a protest against the Monza banking.

The race was constantly the defining moment of many World Championships.

Phil Hill sealed his title in 1961 at Monza and behind the wheel of a Ferrari too, but the race was marred by the tragic accident in which Ferrari driver and title contender Wolfgang von Trips lost his life, with 15 spectators killed as well in one of the saddest days of F1 racing.

Jim Clark also achieved his first title at Italy in 1963, while Brabham would earn his third and final championship in 1966. Furthermore, Jackie Stewart closed out his championship quest in 1969 in the Italian round, but the 1970 posthumous World Champion Jochen Rindt lost his life in the Italian event in 1970.

The 1971 event saw the closest finish in the history of the sport between first and second, with Peter Gethin beating Ronnie Peterson (who also lost his life as a result of a crash in Italy in 1978) by 0.01 seconds and a little more than six-tenths covered the top five.

In turn, Fittipaldi celebrated his first World Championship in Italy and Stewart did the same with his third and last championship. Another driver who also took the biggest prize in motor racing at Italy and driving for Ferrari was legendary Niki Lauda in 1975. Then, in 1978, Mario Andretti achieved his main goal for Lotus in the track in which his passion for motor racing began as a child watching Ascari in the 1950s.

Ultimately, Jody Scheckter followed in Lauda’s footsteps in 1979, winning the title at Italy for Ferrari in what was the last time a driver sealed a championship at the Italian Grand Prix.

The most successful drivers in the Italian Grand Prix are Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, with five wins each, followed by three-time champion Nelson Piquet with four. Piquet won the only Italian Grand Prix in history to not be held at Monza, as he dominated the 1980 event at Imola.

Autodromo Nazionale di Monza

The Temple of Speed will always be known for its long straights and being the most demanding track in terms of power. Though it offers simplistic setup configurations for the track, low-downforce settings for the cars mean they look gorgeously unstable around the 5.793-km track.

Since 1950, the circuit has provided seven different layouts, most keeping the same ‘boomerang’ layout we see now, though some changes have been made to adhere to safety measures and so on.

The first layout had eight corners, but only four of those demanded hard breaking. In 1955, the Parabolica was added instead of the two-corner Curva di Vedano, but also the oval speed ring was added, bringing in the infamous and intimidating banking.

This layout was scrapped after the 1961 event, in which Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators tragically died. Four races were completed in the longer version of the track (1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961).

The shortened track kept the high-speed nature, but safety concerns were huge due to the unbelievably increasing speeds, which enforced two chicanes for the track, one in the middle of the long straight, the Variante del Rettifilo, and the Variante Ascari, added instead of the Curva del Vialone, where Alberto Ascari had died in 1955.

Both the Variante Ascari and the Variante del Rettifilo were changed in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and a chicane was also added to the Variante Della Roggia in 1976. Since 1976, the changes have been minor, with a new profile for the Curva Biassono and the second Lesmo in 1994 and the Variante del Rettifilo being changed from a double chicane to a simpler right-left turn.

The current layout records are the following:

Outright record: 1:19,119 min by Kimi Raikkonen in 2018, driving the Ferrari SF71H at an average speed of 263.588 km/h (Fastest Lap of all-time in terms of average speed).

Fastest Lap during a race: 1:21,046 min by Rubens Barrichello in 2004, driving the Ferrari F2004 at an average speed of 257.321 km/h.

What happened in the 2019 Italian Grand Prix?

The main story of last year’s race at Monza was Ferrari’s power. With Charles Leclerc winning the previous race at Spa and the car being well-prepared for power tracks, Leclerc’s Pole Position was not unexpected. Though the Q3 circus in which the top runners and other Q3 participants were unable to start a timed lap due to all trying to avoid giving slipstream to rivals was heavily criticised.

The start of the race during the Italian GP at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 08, 2019. (Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images)

Leclerc won a typical one-stop race at Monza, ahead of Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes and Hamilton, with Hamilton fighting Leclerc for the victory in the early stages and even battling the Monegasque wheel to wheel before being fended off by a somewhat harsh move by Leclerc, which earned him a black and white warning flag.

The other main story of the day was Renault, who took advantage of the two Red Bulls starting from behind to secure a great 4-5 finish, with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. Also, Sebastian Vettel had a dismal Sunday after spinning on lap 6 and returning to the track dangerously, hitting Lance Stroll in the process, which earned him a 10-second stop-go penalty.

Leclerc gave Ferrari their first home win since 2010 (Fernando Alonso) and their 19th victory at home since 1950 and enjoyed one of the greatest podium celebration in F1’s golden history.

2020 Italian Grand Prix – Tyres

The dry tyres for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix will be the C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C4 as P Zero Red soft. These tyres are the same from last week and the same from the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Pirelli explained their choice with a simple statement in a press release: “This choice has been made to suit the varied characteristics of Monza. As well as its famous flat-out straights, there are some slower and more technical sections that have been added to the iconic Italian track over the years to try to contain average speeds. Like Belgium, Monza is another race whose original 2020 date hasn’t been moved – and past experience has shown that it can be extremely hot at this time of year, towards the end of the Italian summer.”

Last year, Pirelli’s choice was the same as this year and the race was a usual one-stop at Monza, with the clear variant of Leclerc going to the hard tyre and the two Mercedes putting the medium tyre for the second stint after starting on the soft C4 tyre, without many differences between the two choices. Hamilton, on his side, made an extra pitstop in the closing laps to go to the soft tyre and put up the Fastest Lap of the race with a 1:21,779 min effort.

This year, teams are not allowed to select their tyre allocation, as Pirelli will give each driver two sets of hard tyres, three sets of mediums, and eight sets of soft tyres.

The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 26.0 PSI (front) and 21.5 PSI (rear).

2020 Italian Grand Prix Weather Forecast

As last week showed, a forecast is nothing more than that, so we will advise you to take it how it is: a fluid situation.

Friday, Sep 4th – FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Partly sunny and nice
Max. temperature: 28°C
Chance of rain: 5%

Saturday, Sep 5th – FP3 & Qualifying
Conditions: Plenty of sun
Max. temperature: 29°C
Chance of rain: 5%

Sunday, Sep 5th – Race
Conditions: Times of clouds and sun
Max. temperature: 29°C
Chance of rain: 8%

Who will be on the 2020 Italian Grand Prix Podium?

We understand that it is probably hard for you as fans to imagine a different podium configuration from the Hamilton-Verstappen-Bottas order, but this week, it might change.

Race winner Charles Leclerc, Ferrari celebrates on the podium with the champagne during the Italian GP at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 08, 2019. (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)

Mercedes might be hurt on some way due to the technical directive restricting the power modes on the engines or at least having every team use the same engine strategy for qualifying and the race, so that will be interesting to see. Of course, the German side can maintain their advantage on Saturdays and prove the new normative as something unnecessary.

Even without including the new technical directive into the mix, Renault looked well at Spa, with Ricciardo finishing 3.5 seconds off of third-placed Verstappen and 18 seconds behind the winner Hamilton. For Monza, their progress (due to politics or not) can be further displayed and a podium might be possible for the French team, which already had a strong outing in Monza last year, qualifying fifth and sixth and with Ricciardo just five-tenths off of Pole Sitter Leclerc.

Hamilton is looking at another record: being the first to win at Monza six times and achieving his 90th win in the track where Michael Schumacher did it back in 2006, but it probably will not be easy for him.

If we are going to see a closer title fight for the rest of the year, then the eighth race could be the point where Verstappen starts to inch closer to Hamilton in the WDC. We already saw the Dutchman win in a legendary track, at Silverstone, so winning at Monza might be the next task to complete.

The prediction for the top three of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix is 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Lewis Hamilton, 3. Daniel Ricciardo.

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