The Ferrari victory in Belgium is just the start for what it is expect to be a phenomenal Italian Grand Prix: thousands of red fans are ready to celebrate Charles Leclerc victory and to hope for a new one in the "temple of speed".
After just few days, the Paddock is ready to be alive again in Monza, one of the historic tracks in the Formula 1 calendar.
The so called "Temple of Speed" circuit is 5.7 km long, one of the fastest of the calendar. It has been part of the F1 calendar from its inaugural season in 1950; the track is not only famous for its layout, but for the passionate "tifosi" that every year burn the grandstands and make the podium moment unique, as the podium is located above the main straight and the tifosi can all cheer for the top 3 drivers while "invading" the track. Monza has hosted more grands prix than any other circuit in the F1 calendar.
For its home GP Pirelli, the Italian tyres manufacturer, has selected the C2 compund as the hardest (white), the C3 as the medium (yellow) and the C4 as the softest tyre (red). The choices are similar to last year, but the current C4 is softer than the 2018 supersoft and so is the C2 compared to last year's medium.
Teams run the lowest downforce possible at Monza, to maximise top speed on the long straights. This means that the tyres have to provide maximum mechanical grip through the corners, and that understeer can also sometimes be an issue: also because teams aim to protect the rear tyres in order to optimise traction. There are some big kerbs that the drivers hit very hard: especially at the Rettifilo and Roggia chicanes. This means that the structural strength of the tyres is an important factor.
Last year Lewis Hamilton won the race with a one stop strategy. The Briton started 3rd on the grid, while Kimi Raikkonen scored Pole Position the fastest-ever lap of Monza and in Formula 1 history.
“Monza is still a huge challenge for drivers, cars and tyres: a bit like Spa, who took place last weekend. Unlike last year though, we don’t have the same tyre nomination for both races." Said Mario Isola, Pirelli's Head of Car Racing. "While Spa featured harder tyres compared to 2018, at Monza the softest choice is slightly softer than last year. With the fastest-ever lap in Formula 1 history set in qualifying at Monza last year, and a tendency for the cars to be even faster this year, we might see more history being made this weekend. While Monza is traditionally renowned as a place where it’s hard to overtake, last year’s race also showed how tyre strategy can make an important difference. For the last two years it has rained at some point during the Monza weekend as well, adding another variable to what is always a very closely-fought race with small margins.”
Here are all the sets chosen per driver for the Italian Grand Prix.