The temple of speed, that’s the title earned by the Monza Circuit due to its exceptionally high top speeds. The circuit lcoated within Monza Park stretches over 5.793 km and features 11 turns. Few braking zones are present on the track, but they are quite demanding on the braking systems. There will be two DRS zones, on the main straight and between Lesmo 2 and the Ascari Chicane. Naturally, the chosen setups will lean towards minimal aerodynamic load to achieve higher speeds. Let’s explore together the critical points in the Monza track analysis ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.
The lap starts on the main straight and leads into the first chicane, a slow right-left to be taken in 2nd/3rd gear. Just before the chicane, however, is the severest braking point of the circuit, generating over 5 G of maximum deceleration. Indeed, this is where the highest speeds are reached, also aided by the use of DRS in slipstream. An example is from last year, with Carlos Sainz reaching 360 km/h. Attention should also be paid to another component of the car, the plank, the skid plate underneath. This might wear excessively and go beyond the minimum limit. Another consideration is the bumps before and during the braking, which could unsettle the car. Exiting the first chicane, acceleration is directed towards Curva Grande (Biassono), a right bend taken flat out.
Track Analysis Monza
Exiting Biassono leads into the Roggia chicane, a complex left-right combination to tackle. The braking before it also generates over 5 G of deceleration and features a change in tarmac that could make it more complex.
The second sector is the most technical of the track and starts with the Roggia chicane. Here, the drivers tend to attack the curbs, risking jumping over them and ending up in the gravel on exit. This part precisely represents the challenge of the chicane, as it’s easy to exceed track limits. From here, the approach is towards the two Lesmo corners, two consecutive right turns. A slight banking helps in navigating, almost “inviting” the car into the curve. Slightly more complex is the second Lesmo, where the limit of the track is the gravel and it’s easy to reach it. From here, the track descends towards the Serraglio corner where the DRS can also be used.
The last sector of the track starts with a carefully calibrated braking. This is the one preceding the Ascari Chicane and leads to generating over 5 G of deceleration. The braking point here heavily influences navigating three rapid changes of direction, which could unsettle the car. Exiting the Ascari Chicane, the track heads towards the Parabolica through the straight opposite the main one. Upon reaching the Michele Alboreto corner, drivers will use the brakes to generate slightly more than 4 G of deceleration and tackle it at around 220 km/h. With all this speed, the chosen mechanical setups will focus on suspensions capable of transferring lateral load and a slightly more open differential setting. Furthermore, attention will need to be paid to the exit of this corner to avoid track limits.
Pirelli’s Choices for the Monza Track
It’s also a home race for the tire manufacturer, which brings the softest compounds available in its range. Since traction and braking are the critical elements of the track, Pirelli has opted for this type of compounds to provide the best performance. Additionally, the lateral loads applied in Curva Grande and Parabolica, where several lateral G-forces are generated, should not be underestimated. For the second time this season, the new tire allocation system (ATA) will be tested to reduce the number of sets to be produced. Remember that this format involves white in Q1, yellow in Q2, and red in Q3.