2013 Italian Grand Prix F1 Monza Fernando Alonso Ferrari

Motorsport Monday: Look ahead to 2013 F1 Italian Grand Prix

This coming weekend, the world motorsport circus that is Formula One travels to the 2013 F1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza – T W White & Sons will be there live, so we thought we’d bring you a preview of what you can expect.

MONZA – A TRACK

Monza is a fearsomely fast track in a Formula One car – effectively four super-long straights connected by an interesting mix of low-, medium- and high-speed corners, you’re bound to see some overtaking at the weekend with drivers employing the DRS Drag Reduction System.

The type of track rewards powerful engines and a balance between enough downforce to get the grip in the corners and sufficient aerodynamic slipperiness to be fast on the straights.

Racing wheel-to-wheel at over 200mph takes immense bravery, skill and trust in their fellow competitors from each and every one of the drivers, too – this is an old-school track that rewards bravery, commitment and skill behind the wheel.

WHO COULD WIN IN MONZA?

Expect the usual contenders to be in the frame for a win at Monza – that means Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes, Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus.

Don’t underestimate the energy the home support can give Ferrari either – it’s car might not be the quickest on the grid, but the Tifosi (Ferrari supporters) can heap pressure on its rivals.

That said, it’s difficult to write off Vettel – he’s been imperious all year and his Red Bull is arguably the fastest car in the field, as his relatively easy win last time out at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa proved.

As for Hamilton in his Mercedes, the team now seems to have a handle on how the car uses its tyres, so if it can find a quick car setup for the 2013 F1 Italian Grand Prix, conserving its rubber, both Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg could be vying for a win come Sunday afternoon.

Raikkonen is more of an unknown, but as we know, on his day he can be as quick as anyone out there.

This period of the F1 season is always shrouded by the looming contract negotiations, and with who will take the vacant Red Bull seat in 2014, made available by the soon to be leaving Mark Webber, drivers are fighting for their careers – it’s amazing how that can conjure a performance just when a pilot looks to be down and out.

With Raikkonen and Alonso both mentioned in connection with Red Bull, we’ll see how the weekend plays out in terms of announcements for next year’s driver line-up.

One thing’s for sure, we can’t wait to hear the gaggle of 2.4-litre V8 engines screaming at 18,000rpm on the way into turn one come lights out on Sunday.

MONZA – THE FACTS

The Monza lap record is held by Rubens Barichello in a Ferrari. This was set in 2004 in a time of 1 min 21.046 seconds – don’t expect this to be broken this weekend.

The lap is exactly 3.6 miles long, making it one of the longer circuits on the F1 calendar.

The Monza racetrack was originally a banked course. If you look carefully, you’ll still be able to see some of the older cambered sections of track – as the current course passes under the old raceway on the run up to the Ascari chicane, for example.

The heavy stops and long acceleration zones mean the race is very hard on engines and transmissions. Around 80% of the lap is spent on full throttle, with plenty of changes up and down the gearbox – it’s a race known for engine failures.

The top speed at Monza is around 210mph on the main start-finish straight.

We’ll bring you the full round-up of the 2013 F1 Italian Grand Prix from Monza next Monday. It’s going to be a great race.

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