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Renault duo look ahead to Monza

NEWS STORY
31/08/2016

Kevin Magnussen looks forward to the ambiance of the Autodromo di Monza.

First and foremost, how are you after the accident in Spa?
Kevin Magnussen: I'm feeling OK, thanks. It was a big crash and I was sore but fortunately had nothing worse than a bruised ankle. I've had some more checks in Denmark and am working with my physio to keep fit. I feel I'm ready to race in Monza. The FIA will of course have the final word but I really want to and I'm confident that by then it will be fine.

Monza is one of the classic tracks on the calendar. What do you think makes it so special?
KM: There are many reasons, but I think that the fact it has so much history makes it a special event. The track is unique as well, with very long straights and slow corners. It does have some high speed corners that are a challenge too, so it's just really cool. Added to that you have one of the best atmospheres of the season.

Have you been to see the old track?
KM: It is definitely really cool to see and so different to what we know in F1 today. Back then they were racing on an oval track with massive banking in cars that were so basic and so fast without any seatbelts! It is really special to see and stand on it and feel the atmosphere. It's one of those things where it's really hard to imagine how it must have felt - when you watch Le Mans now you can imagine how it must feel as the track is not so different, but when you see videos from Monza back then you cannot absorb how it must have been - everything was so different.

Talking now about your history at the track - how have you done at Monza in the past?
KM: In all honesty it's not been the best track for me but it has been ok. I have had podiums in nearly everything I've driven but never won there, so clearly we need to fix that!

Monza is the second high-speed track in a row after Spa. Performance in Belgium steadily built over the weekend and in qualifying it all came together for the best session of the year. Do you think you can keep that going in Italy?
KM: Belgium was good and we did improve over the weekend. Italy is another track and while it does have some of the same characteristics it's not exactly the same. What we have learnt is that we have to take each circuit as it comes and react to the situation you find yourself in. I expect it will be hot again too, so I need to stay focussed. You can't really prepare for the heat - you just need to stay hydrated and stay in the shade.

You had some great support in Belgium from the fans, does it make a difference to you to know they are in the grandstands?
KM: You can feel the fans around the circuit and it's nice to be able to meet some during the pitlane walkabout or autograph session. I'm the only Dane racing so when I see a Danish flag I know it's for me and that's very nice. It does give a boost, and when I see them on the out or in laps, it's really cool.

Will you be indulging in some pizza or pasta over the weekend?
KM: I love Italy, but this weekend I will have to stay away from pizza. I'll stick to the pasta, caprese and carpaccio, thank you!

Jolyon Palmer reviews Spa and previews the Italian Grand Prix, held at a track he loves.

What do you particularly like about Monza?
Jolyon Palmer: It's a very special track, and one I absolutely love. There is so much history there; so many races have been held at Monza and lots of great drivers have won, particularly back in the old days when you needed to be quick and incredibly brave. Then there is the passion of the crowd - you can hear the fans when you drive round. The track itself is very old school and it's fun to drive. We take off a lot of downforce so parts are flat out and there can be a lot of overtaking. It's good fun.

You've had some pretty good results at Monza. Does this add to the fun?
JP: Yes, I won and took pole in GP2 plus I've won twice in F2, so it's been a good one for me. I really enjoy racing at Monza and I think it's actually one of my best tracks. I did FP1 last year as well so I've driven it in an F1 car, which is good experience, so I'm really looking forward to getting there and out in the car.

What do you think it takes to do well at Monza?
JP: With those straights naturally you need good straightline speed then stability under braking. There are a lot of high speed straights and very slow corners so you need to balance out the low downforce with the need to be late and hard on the brakes. It's all about finding a good top speed, with the optimum downforce level for the chicanes.

You had your best qualifying of the year in Spa, do you think you can keep this momentum going?
JP: We go to Monza knowing it will be tough as it does not suit the characteristics of the car too much. However we also thought Spa was going to be tough and it was better than expected, particularly in qualifying. We need to approach it fresh, confident that at each race we are moving forward and in the fight now and see how we do.

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