The key strategic moment of the race in Monza was the move by Red Bull Racing to run a longer second stint for Daniel Ricciardo on soft tires than his rival ahead Valtteri Bottas. This enabled Ricciardo to use a set of supersoft tires for the final stint, which gave him more pace in the closing stages than Bottas who had taken a second set of softs. Ricciardo was able to pull off a stunning overtake late on and take fifth place from the Finn.
Ferrari return home
Will they contend at Monza?
The Italian Grands Prix comes at a critical moment for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team has not achieved a podium for the last four races. Monza is all about top speed, which plays into Ferrari’s hands as they have much better straight line speed than their closest rivals Red Bull Racing. Strategy is usually straight forward at Monza as it is traditionally a one-stop race, so an error-free qualifying will be critical. Last year Ferrari split the Mercedes AMG Petronas on the grid and Sebastian Vettel finished second. A repeat this weekend would be a very positive result.
Ferrari continue to fight
How did they perform at Monza?
On Thursday we assessed Scuderia Ferrari’s chances ahead of their home race at Monza and a podium for Sebastian Vettel and fourth place for Kimi Räikkönen represented a strong team performance. Ferrari's two-stop strategy was inevitable after they employed a conservative approach to qualifying by using the supersofts in Q2 rather than the softs, which might have given them a chance to make just one tire change on Sunday. With Lewis Hamilton falling behind them at the start, a one-stop strategy would have given them track position but third was still positive.
Race Strategy Briefing
A flat out track
Monza is the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar with top speeds of 360km/h and an average lap speed of 250km/h.
Like the Belgian Grand Prix, faster teams will try to qualify on Soft tires, as the Supersoft will not be a good race tire. The medium will be widely used in the race.
A power circuit
This is the highest full throttle circuit of the F1 season that puts a huge demand on the engines.
Some big stops
With long straights and top speeds of 360km/h leading to chicanes, there are some very hard braking zones. Turn 1 creates almost 6G of deceleration.
Flat out straights
Last year's top speed was 358km/h - With increased hybrid turbo engine power in 2016, you can expect the cars to easily reach 360km/h.
September 04 | 14:00 local time, 14:00 CET
One of the few Formula 1 tracks that dates back to 1950, Monza has been through nine iterations. Initially raced around a banked oval, the introduction of three chicanes in 1972 was made to slow the cars down and improve safety, however the circuit is still the fastest on the calendar with 75% of the lap completed at full-throttle. It is all long straights and chicanes, making it tough on brakes. If any circuit is to truly test the power of the V6 turbo engines - this will be it. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are three-time winners here, with the former claiming his first F1 victory for Toro Rosso in 2008 and giving us the first sign of what was to come!
Circuit length 5.793 km
Race distance 306.72 km
Race winner 2015 Lewis Hamilton
Pirelli allocation SuperSoft/Soft/Medium
Monza is the fastest track on the calendar, the shortest race at around 80 minutes and a unique track with ultra low-downforce for the long straights. Teams like to try to do this race in one stop, but Pirelli can select softer tires to open up more strategic possibilities and increase variation. The new start rules will have a big impact here as it is a long run to Turn 1, so any loss on getaway will be magnified as cars get swallowed up in the dash to Turn 1.
In collaboration with James Allen