The Italian Grand Prix is run at Monza, also known as the ‘Temple of Speed’. It is one of the fastest circuits on the F1 calendar, emphasizing high top speeds and low downforce setups.
The track is renowned for its long straights, high-speed corners and heavy braking zones. These challenge, both the drivers and the cars. In this article, we describe how an F1 car travels through each corner at the Monza circuit. The data we use is from the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.
The Monza circuit has 11 corners. The track length is 5.793 km (3.600 miles) and the lap record is 1:21.046, set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004. The average speed of an F1 car around Monza is about 250 km/h (155 mph), but it can reach over 340 km/h (211 mph) on the straights.
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Italian Grand Prix – Rettifilo Chicane
Let’s start with the first corner, the Variante del Rettifilo. This is a tight chicane that follows a long straight, where the cars reach their top speed.
The drivers brake hard from about 340 km/h (211 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) in under two seconds. This subjects the driver to a force of over 5 g on their bodies. They use the seventh gear to enter the corner, and then downshift to the second gear to exit it.
The ideal line is to clip the apex of both left and right turns, using the kerbs to shorten the distance.
Italian Grand Prix – Curva Grande
The second corner is the Curva Grande, a fast right-hander that can be taken flat out by the F1 cars. The drivers use the seventh gear and maintain a speed of about 330 km/h (205 mph) through the corner.
The best line to follow is to stay on the right side of the track, then move to the left at the exit to prepare for the next corner.
Italian Grand Prix – Variante della Roggia
The third and fourth corners are the Variante della Roggia, another chicane that requires hard braking and precise steering. The drivers have to slow down from about 330 km/h (205 mph) to about 95 km/h (59 mph) in less than two seconds.
Drivers are subjected to a force of over 4g (four times their body weight) on their bodies.
They use the seventh gear to enter the corner, and then downshift to the second gear to exit it. The line is to clip the apex of both right and left turns, using the kerbs again.
Monza – Curva di Lesmo
The Curva di Lesmo is made up of two medium-speed right-handers (First Lesmo and Second Lesmo.) Thee test the grip and balance of the cars. The drivers brake slightly from about 260 km/h (162 mph) to about 180 km/h (112 mph) for the first Lesmo.
They then accelerate to about 230 km/h (143 mph) for the second Lesmo. They use the fifth gear for both corners and try to stay as close as possible to the inside kerbs.
Italian Grand Prix – Curva del Serraglio
The seventh corner is the Curva del Serraglio, a slight left kink that leads to a long straight. The drivers use the seventh gear and reach a speed of about 320 km/h (199 mph) before braking for the next corner.
The most efficient line to follow is to stay on the right side of the track, then move slightly to the left at the exit.
Italian Grand Prix – Variante Ascari Chicane
The next two corners are the Variante Ascari, a complex chicane that combines high-speed and low-speed turns.
The drivers have to brake from about 320 km/h (199 mph) to about 190 km/h (118 mph) for the first left turn. They then accelerate to about 270 km/h (168 mph) for the second right turn.
The drivers brake again to about 160 km/h (99 mph) for the final left turn. They use the sixth gear for the first turn, then upshift to seventh for the second turn.
They downshift to fourth for the third turn. The line is to clip the apex of all three turns, using as much kerb as possible.
Monza – Curva Alboreto (previously Curva Parabolica)
The tenth corner is the Curva Alboreto (formerly known as Curva Parabolica), a long right-hander that is crucial for a good lap time. The drivers have to brake from about 330 km/h (205 mph) to about 140 km/h (87 mph) at the entry of the corner.
They use the seventh gear to enter the corner, and then downshift to third or fourth gear depending on their car setup. The best entry point starts wide on the left side of the track, then gradually move to the right side to hit the apex at the middle of the corner.
They then accelerate hard to exit wide on the left side again.
Italian Grand Prix – Curva del Rettifilo
The final corner is the Curva del Rettifilo, a slight right kink that marks the end of the lap.
The drivers use the seventh gear and reach a speed of about 340 km/h (211 mph) before starting a new lap. The line is to stay on the left side of the track, then move slightly to the right at the exit.
Monza is a challenging and exciting track that requires skill, courage and strategy from the drivers and the teams.
This is a historic and popular venue for the fans, who create a passionate and festive atmosphere every year. Monza is truly a temple of speed and a legend of Formula One.