So despite what you might have read in the popular press as well as the announcement of the Ferrari line up this weekend the F1 world will be also holding a race.
Monza is an old style ultra fast circuit. It’s one of the only places, like Monaco, where they have a totally different aero package than everywhere else. And it’s also one of the only places, like Monaco where the driver genuinely seem sacred to drive. And the reason for that? It’s so fast. Whereas the aero package at Monaco is designed to stick the cars to the floor here it is designed to just let them fly.
Generally three things happen in Monza. Bridgestone tend to dominate, Ferrari tend to be in the lead and the winner of the race tends to be decided on a Saturday. Maybe that’s why the Ferrari boys decided they should give us something to talk about on the Sunday.
But perhaps this year they didn’t need to bother. The V8 engines are making some big changes to the way that the tracks are working by seriously messing around with the breaking zones. This has meant on some circuits like Silverstone that there is less chance of overtaking but in others suddenly chances have been opening up. And Webber, Button and Coulthard seem to be the fastest at throwing away the planned racing line and taking advantage of the one that means you can overtake. Perhaps they are the ones paying most attention at GP2.
So it’s possible that there will be more chance for overtaking than in previous years and add to the mix the weather and we could have something very interesting. Although supposed to be dry on Sunday it’s apparently likely to rain on Saturday and a mixed up qualifying could make for a very interesting Sunday.
Ferrari are looking strong at the moment everywhere, so on a circuit where they have traditionally gone well they have to be dead certs.
Renault are doing less well at the moment, but Alonso is outdriving his car at every turn. If he can get ahead of a few people down to the first corner he’ll make that Renault as wide as a tractor on a Sunday afternoon drive.
McLaren have been getting stronger and stronger and they clearly are desperate for a win before the end of the season. They’re unlikely to get it here but if an upset qualifying puts them near the front expect them to be able to keep the Renault’s behind them.
Toyota have been running better for a while, and the Bridgestone advantage might play well into their hands.
Honda as a team are still on a high after Jenson’s win. They have brought their new engine to Monza. Bringing a new engine is one of those Hero or Zero moments. It could be much faster and on a high speed circuit that could be a boon, but it might also break. And basically on a circuit where overtaking has been harder before you better be good off the start line – and Honda aint.