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Italian GP: Preview - Racing Point

NEWS STORY
03/09/2020

Some of your best showings have come at Monza. Why does it bring out the best in you?
Lance Stroll: "It's such a high-speed track, which makes it a great challenge. Starting on the front row in 2017 was one of the best days of my career and I'm really looking forward to getting back there. I don't think there's any secret to my performances there - it's just been a case of maximising the weekends."

We're approaching the halfway point of the 2020 season. How do you rate your campaign so far?
LS: "It's been a good start so far and I think we've had a strong start to the year as a team too. We've been consistently scoring points and I'm enjoying this car. We've had some challenging races too - such as last week in Spa, but we're learning the lessons and working hard to keep improving the car. There is still a long way to go this season - ten more races - and I'm excited for a lot of the tracks coming up."

How would you describe Monza in three words?
LS: "Quick, historic, Italian!"

2019 was a memorable race, recovering from the back to P7. Was it one of your best drives in F1?
Sergio Perez: "It was definitely a good race! It was also a tricky one and we honestly weren't expecting great things - but the team did a fantastic job and we had a really strong result. I had a great start too, which helped us make the most of the situation and we collected good points. Hopefully we can collect more this weekend."

In Monza, teams run very little downforce on the car. How does it feel to drive the car there?
SP: "On the straights it feels really light and you can feel that you're right at the edge of what a Formula 1 car can do at high speeds. It's part of what makes Monza such a unique challenge. It's also great to drive at a circuit with such history and atmosphere. It'll be really strange not to have the passionate fans there this year."

Your season has had a few twists and turns already. Now we're approaching the halfway point, how do you rate your campaign so far?
SP: "It was tough to miss two races, so I can't be fully satisfied with my season. But the great thing is that there are still a lot of races to go and the car is performing well, so I know I can be stronger in the second half of the season. I think I have room for improvement too, so I'm looking forward to putting everything together and hopefully fighting for a podium in the coming races."

Track Facts

Spa and Monza are outliers compared to the majority of tracks on the calendar. Both are high-efficiency circuits, meaning there's a balance to be struck in how much downforce teams are willing to keep on the car, knowing it will lead to the drawback of extra drag on the high-speed straights.

While average speeds are also comparable, the engineering challenge is quite different. Monza is a longitudinal circuit, meaning there's a greater emphasis on braking and traction when accelerating out of corners, whereas cornering and high lateral g-forces are more of a consideration at Spa.

That average lap speed can hit a staggering 250 km/h - despite featuring two low-speed chicanes!

Monza is highly dependent on engine power, with around 70% of the lap spent at full throttle. In a conventional Formula 1 season, teams would tend to align their engine upgrades or new components for the Spa / Monza events, knowing the benefit could be tangible over their rivals.

Despite the long straights and limited number of corners, brakes are truly tested at Monza. The Grand Prix will put the brakes under high temperature conditions, which can be increased by traffic, DRS usage and other factors. Peak brake temperature can climb as high as 1,200 degrees Celsius here and cause oxidisation, meaning managing the conditions is essential.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monza, here.

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