Grand Prix 2013 Italian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Sebastian Vettel is unstoppable.
He is leading Alonso by 46 points in the championship, with some of his most successful circuits to come.
After convincingly winning at Spa (supposedly one of his weaker circuits) we move on to Monza (another of his supposedly weak circuits) for the 12th round of the season, the Italian Grand Prix. The Monza circuit, set in a royal park, has hosted the Italian Grand Prix every year except for 1980. It is vastly different from every other circuit in the calendar, requiring minimum downforce, minimum drag and a lot of horses in the engine. As it is Fewwawi's home circuit, they will be under immense pressure from the Tifosi to perform well, and, judging by their Alonso's performance at Spa, the team may as well be in a good position going into the race.

Monza is steeped in tradition, with the traditional cantilever grandstands, the traditionally vocal fans and the traditional surroundings. It is usually a place where many major driver announcements are traditionally made, as it is traditionally the last European race of the season. Of course, Ferrari & McLaren traditionally do well here, and Red Bull traditionally do not.

Last year, Lewis Hamilton strolled through the race weekend, winning convincingly, and Sergio Perez took a quite brilliant second place in his Sauber, with the Fewwawi's third and fourth. Red Bull did not score.

The weather is usually a predictable affair - there have only been three wet/varied races since 1950 (1981, 2004 & 2008) so expect it to be warm and sunny. The tight first chicane, however, leaves potential for first lap incident.

Remember, the race is live on both the BBC and Sky in two weeks, so British fans - no excuse for missing it!!!

All that remains for me to say is Ready, Steady, Discuss!!!
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Monza is effectively a street circuit which should mean that it is not suited to RBR. So it may be a chance for Mercedes to gain another win.
Yes, that year the RBR was even more dominant than this year. The RBR has not proved as successful on street circuits this year ; Mercedes have a better record than them, however Mercedes have been left behind in the other races by tyre degradation problems.

If Vettel is outqualified at Monza with Alonso just one place behind it could be a different story.
Vettel's straight line speed as he blasted past Hamilton on the Kemmel straight must have been quite worrying for the other teams pre-Monza. Perhaps Red Bull have sorted their Achilles heel?
I tend to think there's little relevance to the form book because they'll all have different aero packages. As I say, no tyre wear has to be promising for Mercedes.
Comments from Hamilton earlier in the weekend suggested that the teams use similar low downforce packages for Spa and Monza and he thinks Ferrari and Red Bull have done a better job with theirs but Mercedes will be back in contention for Singapore.
RBR haven't had an achilles heel with straight line speed FB, in the past they set up with more downforce than everyone else. This gave them optimum lap speeds, resulting in pole positions and then driving off into the distance. If they are now having to compromise due to not getting pole positions then that is all to the good.
Unbelievable to watch MW in particuarly drop so far back in Sector 2 behind the Mercedes and pull most of it back by the bus stop ... RBR running a tiny wing and trusting the inherent mechanical grip and last seasons Pirelli's to keep it pointed in the right direction during the the fast sweepers ...

Monza should see Merc and Ferrari a little closer ... but to see RBR comfortably winning at their 'poor tracks' by selling out on what had been their set-up principles to emphasize the RBR strengths ... to have the ability to switch their car into a straight-line beast... that in itself is scary to me ...
Red Bull have only won 1 in 2011 here but other than that their record is not great at Monza

Really Alonso and Hamilton need a few other cars to finish ahead of Vettel to make a huge dent ..they've only got a slim hope to catching Seb
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