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Italy preview quotes - Renault, FIA, Ferrari, Force India & more 07 Sep 2011

Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP Test Driver. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus Renault GP Team Principal. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 24 June 2011 Charlie Whiting (GBR) FIA Delegate.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, 28 July 2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India F1. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India F1 Team Owner. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 24 June 2011 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with Fan Vision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6,  Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 26 May 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 7 July 2011 Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL) Virgin Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Virgin Racing Team Principal.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain,  Friday, 18 February 2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 30 July 2011 Tony Fernandes (MAL) Team Lotus GP Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 26 June 2011 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) HRT Formula 1 Team on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 24 July 2011 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) HRT Formula 1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Colin Kolles (GER) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) Team .
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 11 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 11 June 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 James Key (GBR) Sauber Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 11 June 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 25 August 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 26 August 2011 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes GP Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 11 June 2011 Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 20 February 2011

With average speeds of 250 km/h and top speeds of 340km/h, Monza is the quickest circuit on the calendar, as well as one of the oldest. Also home to Ferrari superfans - the Tifosi - the track isn’t short on atmosphere either. Drivers and team members explain why they love Monza and discuss their prospects...

Bruno Senna, Renault
2010 Qualifying - 22nd, 2010 Race - DNF

“I’ve known Monza since 2005, so I have been there every year apart from 2009. It’s a circuit where I’ve had a mixed bag of results. When I was younger, there were a few occasions when I didn’t have the right car set-up but I now understand the circuit much better. I’m a more mature driver now, and I’m confident we can achieve another top 10 qualifying and score more points.”

Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2010 Qualifying - 20th, 2010 Race - 13th

“Well, Monza is a very interesting track, where you need a different level of downforce; you also need a very strong engine and solid brakes. There aren’t many corners but every single centimetre of the track is critical for lap time. Braking, traction and exits of corners - Monza is all about precision. This is a big race, no two ways about it. I think it is quite similar to England; just like Silverstone is full of English fans, Monza is full of Italian Ferrari fans! They just love motorsport, love the circuit and love Formula One.”

Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“It’s difficult to draw too much from one race alone (Spa), whether that’s in terms of who is in the race seat or the effect of the upgrade package, but Monza should give us a clearer indication as to how things are going. Monza is always a difficult track because it requires a low downforce set-up; it has high speed corners and high speed straights. After the steps we made in Spa, I’m confident we will have a progressive weekend in Italy too.”

James Allison, Renault technical director
“We looked much more on the pace in Spa than in the previous four Grands Prix. Neither driver had an unimpeded race, but the underlying pace of the car was capable of earning P5-P6 given a freer run to the flag. We will know for sure whether we have turned the corner once we have a couple more GPs under our belt, however I am taking some heart from the fact that our competitiveness looked fair throughout the weekend whether on wet, dry or intermediate rubber. We have been plagued with extremely poor wet performance in recent races, and to have seemingly put this behind us gives me faith that the upgrades brought to Spa will continue to deliver at other circuits. Like everyone, we will have a low downforce package (little front and rear wings). We will also bring upgraded bodywork, which hopefully will help us build on the gains we made at Spa.”

Charlie Whiting, FIA race director
“This is one of those races everyone loves going to, because it’s so traditional. Monaco and Monza are really the two big ones in this respect, with a great sense of history and fantastic fans. I never tire of going to see the old banking and thinking of the dangers drivers faced then and how brave they were to do a lap of the old circuit at tremendous speed, with no chicanes and then face the banking. It was really incredibly dangerous and serves as a very vivid reminder of how far we’ve come in terms of safety. The support from the fans is extremely enthusiastic and from the marshals, too - sometimes too much so and we may have to curb their enthusiasm to keep them away from the edges of the track.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2010 Qualifying - 3rd, 2010 Race - 3rd

“This is a very important weekend for us. Not in the sense of it being a last chance for us this year or anything like that, but because we really want to produce a great result for ourselves, for the team and most of all for the fans. Spa was not fantastic for us and the cold weather accentuated our tyre problems, but this weekend, we have the same tyre compounds but hopefully much hotter weather. We will need a car with good top speed. Like all the teams, we will have a low downforce set-up unique to Monza, with small wings and in free practice you need to make sure the car is well balanced with good traction to pull out of the slow chicanes and that it is able to deal with jumping the kerbs, which is vital for a quick lap time, especially in qualifying.

“As for the race, I think we will see a lot of overtaking, because of the high speed nature of the track and the fact we will have two zones where we can use the DRS. I’m not saying it will be an advantage to be lying second coming into Parabolica on the last lap to overtake the car in front, because if you have a good car, it’s probably a better strategy to pass before then and pull out a gap that is bigger than one second. However, if you are fighting right down to the last lap, that could be the case, which would make for a very exciting race. At this point of the season, it is not difficult to predict that Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren and of course Red Bull Racing will be the main contenders. However, Mercedes have shown they have possibly the best top speed on the straight out of all of us and as that is so important at this circuit, they could also have some influence on the final result.

“Monza is our last weekend of racing in Europe this year and, because this season has not gone so well for us, it will be even more important to do our job perfectly and try and get the result that we and all the tifosi want and deserve. For my part, I can’t wait to drive through those historic gates of the Monza park on Thursday morning, then start driving on Friday, leading up to trying to improve on my third place from last year. Standing on that incredible podium which hangs over the pit lane, looking down at the crowd, is a great experience and I want to do it again on Sunday.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2010 Qualifying - 11th, 2010 Race - 16th

“I enjoy Monza and I have good some memories there. It’s where I had my best result two years ago when I qualified on the front row and finished fourth. It’s a classic circuit, one of the old tracks, and you feel the history when you arrive there. And the Italian fans always give Monza a great atmosphere. I think our car is more consistent on all tracks rather than just being strong on the quick circuits. Also, because everyone is now using DRS and KERS, the advantage of our straight-line speed is not so significant. It’s still a fast car, but we were seventh in Hungary on a high downforce circuit and got the same result in Spa on a low downforce circuit. So it’s a very consistent car now and I expect a good race at Monza.”

Paul Di Resta, Force India
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“Yeah, in all my years of racing Monza is just one of those tracks where I’ve never raced. In fact, free practice last year was my first experience of the track. I loved it. It’s so fast but you also need to be aggressive and use the kerbs to get the laptime. And because it’s so low downforce, you have to adapt and drive in a different way. You need to be very precise on the brakes too, because it’s easy to lock a wheel and if you miss your braking by just a metre it can cost you a lot. You obviously treat every race with the same importance, but some races definitely feel a bit more special if you have an emotional connection. That’s the case with Italy because I’ve got family living there and some Italian blood in me! I’m fairly optimistic that Monza will suit us. In the past we were very strong there, but we have a different philosophy now and the car has worked well on all circuits. It’s going to be another close midfield fight but I believe we can come away with some points.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
“Looking back on the last three races I am very pleased with the performances we have shown. Three strong points finishes on the trot have earned us 20 points and taken us a step closer to sixth place in the constructors’ championship. It’s a clear sign that we are delivering as a team on all levels and our season is now gathering some real momentum. I particularly enjoyed the last race in Spa where the racing was excellent. I felt Adrian’s seventh place was a fair reflection of our pace and a good recovery after our difficult qualifying session. At the same time we were fortunate because both cars picked up quite a lot of damage during the first corner and were lucky to finish. The target now is to get both drivers in the points and I’m hopeful Monza will give us a chance to do that. The VJM04 worked well at Spa and the drivers were happy with the balance in low downforce trim. That’s a good sign for Monza where we take another step down on the downforce levels. Italy in September is a wonderful place to visit and is a great venue for a motor racing. There is a great tradition at Monza which, along with the passionate tifosi, helps make this one of the most enjoyable races of the season.”

Dominic Harlow, Force India circuit engineering director
“Monza always requires a new rear wing. You run about 80-85 percent of your maximum downforce and there’s a similar reduction of drag to about 75 percent of our total. The efficiency of the car goes up a little bit at those levels. Coupled with that, this is the first time that we’ve gone there with DRS. The effect will be quite a bit smaller, because the amount of downforce the wing is generating is less. You’ve got 80 percent of the maximum downforce on the car, but the reduction comes nearly all from the wings. Given that the wings are roughly 30 percent each of the overall load, with the rest coming from the floor, it cuts quite a lot of their authority. You’ve got to balance the downforce, so we reduce the capability of the front wing accordingly. Also, Monza is not a track that demands a forward aero balance because you want a reasonable amount of braking stability and entry stability, so we tend to run a little bit more rearwards and therefore less front wing. It’s fairly easy to achieve that with a flap change.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director
“Monza is obviously a very important race for us, both from a technical and a company point of view. We’re all looking forward to competing at home, with the championship reaching a crucial point in the season. On a rapid circuit like Monza the tyre strategy is sure to be vital, as it’s going to be hard to make up any time lost in the pits with the cars at full throttle for so much of the time. We expect to see a difference of about a second per lap between the soft and the medium tyre, but we’ll only know for sure once the cars start running in free practice. The versatility of the tyre is going to be a key element, as the rubber will have to cope with a wide range of conditions this weekend. It’s a big challenge as always, but at the same time we’re very much looking forward to being able to showcase the very best of Italian technology and know-how at home in Italy.”

Timo Glock, Virgin
2010 Qualifying - 24th, 2010 Race - 17th

“Monza is a fantastic track situated in the heart of the town, just outside Milan. The track is generally flat, but has gradual gradient from the second Lesmos to the Variante Ascari and the grip here is very low due to the aerodynamic profile needed. Understeer is also more of an issue here than at other tracks, however, we do experience oversteer in the second sector.

“I always enjoy driving at this fantastic track as it’s the fastest on the Formula One calendar so it’s always a real challenge. The Variante Ascari is probably one of my favourite parts of the track as well as the Parabolica, where the real challenge is to brake as late as possible.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio, Virgin
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“My home Grand Prix has come and gone but I will never forget what a fantastic weekend it was. I want to say thank you to all the Belgian fans for their support, it was a very special weekend and it’s always great to be at home.

“I now can’t wait to drive a Formula One car at high speed in Monza. Speed is important, but braking stability is also vital, as well as the ability to ride the kerbs. The atmosphere here is also very special, with a lot of emotional Italian fans that will cheer us on from the grandstands.”

John Booth, Virgin team principal
“From the legendary Spa-Francorchamps we move on to another historic and prestigious track, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. It’s another classic Grand Prix of real racing which we all look forward to and it’s a special track with a wonderful atmosphere and where all the teams receive some support from the Tifosi.

“Monza is the fastest circuit of the year, with four long straights and fast corners that enable the cars to reach high speeds. Drivers are on full throttle for most of the lap, making it a very demanding track for the engine. So here the emphasis is on engine power and aerodynamic efficiency, which require the cars to be set up with a special low-downforce aerodynamic profile to minimise drag. This can make the car a bit difficult to handle, particularly on the brakes for the first and second chicanes. The famous Lesmos, Ascari and Parabolica turns are all about balance: if the driver has the right balance then he has the confidence to carry speed through the corner and into the next straight.

“So we face the final part of the season with confidence and ready for the flyaways which we have already started packing for. After coming back from the summer break and achieving the ninth double finish of the season in Spa, we clearly know the way to continue and we just have to demonstrate our excellent reliability until the end of the season.”

Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2010 Qualifying - 10th, 2010 Race - 10th

“Monza is a circuit that I like very much. Having good brakes and traction are important factors here so setting the car up becomes crucial for a good race. Having won there in the past, I really look forward to racing in Monza again. The tifosi also make it feel very special.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“Monza is a very special circuit for me and I have great memories of winning there in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2006. I used to live very close to the track so I am looking forward to seeing many Venezuelan and Italian friends there this weekend. It is a wonderful track, especially because it is so quick, one of the quickest of the year. It is a low downforce circuit so you need a good aero balance for that. As we showed at Spa-Francorchamps, our car is working well on these types of tracks so I hope to be in the points again this weekend.”

Sam Michael, Williams technical director
“Monza is such a unique circuit that we design and manufacture front and rear wings specifically for use only at this event. The lowest drag aero set-up is used in combination with a mechanical set-up that is optimised for kerb riding. Overtaking should be common given the long straights and DRS.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2010 Qualifying - 18th, 2010 Race - 18th

“Monza is another different challenge for us and it’ll be good going there on the back of such a strong weekend in Spa. It has different downforce requirements to most of the rest of the tracks we race on, but we’ll go there with the same sort of aggressive strategy we used well in Spa to put us into Q2. For Monza you’ll hear a lot of the drivers talking about how one of the keys to a quick lap is how well you use the kerbs. Getting over them as efficiently as possible helps minimise the overall length of the lap and it might only be fractions of seconds, but shortcutting as much as you can, obviously within the rules and as much as the car can take, saves time and helps you maintain momentum onto the straights. To the viewer on TV and even at the track the kerbs don’t look all that hardcore, but when you’re in the car you hit them pretty hard and you need to be ready for it to get out of shape and even start to snap away from you. We’ll work on Friday on getting the setup right to give us maximum speed on the straights and enough compliance in the suspension to really be able to attack under braking and into each corner. I’m looking forward to it – it’s a classic track and the Tifosi are among the most passionate fans anywhere, so it’s a good place to end the European leg of the season.”

Jarno Trulli, Lotus
2010 Qualifying - 17th, 2010 Race - DNF

“Monza’s a funny one for me. As an Italian everyone expects it to be the most special race of the season for me but really it’s not. I can’t really afford to treat it differently to any other race as I want to make sure I can focus on the job every day I’m on track, and even though there’s a lot of fans in the stands, and friends and family around the paddock, I always try and treat it like any other race. Obviously the good thing for me is that it’s close to my home, so I do get to catch up with lots of people who I don’t normally have time to see, but ever since I started racing I was nearly always abroad, so while it’s obviously my home race it’s not one I approach differently to any others. From a technical perspective Monza’s not the most technical track, but it’s still critical to have the car balanced so you can attack the kerbs and be really confident under braking, particularly into the first chicane as that’s the most obvious overtaking opportunity. The car felt really good in Spa, and I know we have the revised power steering system I used in Hungary back for this race, so I think we’ll be ok. We had very strong race pace in Belgium, and if we can carry on like that in Italy we’ll be just fine.”

David Mart, Renault Sport F1 Engine Engineer
“Italy is the toughest circuit of the year for engines due to the high percentage of wide open throttle time per lap. 75 percent of the 5.793-kilometre lap is spent at full throttle and near maximum revs - it’s comparable to high speed oval racing in the States. As such we need to create engine maps that allow the engine to work well at the top of the revs, from 16,000rpm to 18,000rpm, with a smooth power delivery which peaks to a maximum obtainable from a 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine, to ensure that the car doesn’t get out of shape and can go as quickly as possible."

Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
"I am delighted to be back on track after having had to miss a couple of races due to what has probably been the busiest summer of my working career! Despite not being on track I have been keeping up with everything that has been going on, both at the factory and the races, and it was very pleasing to see the team have such a strong weekend in Spa after a disappointing couple of races before the break. The factory staff were working right up until Friday night of the Belgian race weekend on reliability fixes, to ensure we did not see a repeat of the problems we had in Hungary and Germany, so the fact both cars finished well, particularly after being involved in the collisions at the first corner, is testament to a job very well done by the factory team. Monza gives us another chance to keep edging towards the teams ahead before we go back to the Far East and what is really our third home race in Singapore. This weekend we are not going to be challenging the teams ahead quite yet in outright pace, but clever use of strategy and very strong drives from both Heikki and Jarno gives us a chance to hold our own in the race, so the target for Monza has to be to maintain the reliability record established in Spa and look for another two car finish at the chequered flag, as high as we can reasonably hope. That is a realistic target, and that is the approach we bring to everything related to our team. The plans for the future development of the team, and the group it sits in, are taking shape eactly as we want them to and we are setting ourselves reasonable goals that can be achieved through hard work, innovation and a little bit of luck.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT
2010 Qualifying - 19th, 2010 Race - 12th

“To race at the home Grand Prix for a driver always gives mixed emotions. I will take the wheel of an F1 car in Monza for the fifth time in my career and I really want to perform well. I am always looking forward to racing here because it's my home crowd and I want to do well and I want to pull it all together. And if it's at Monza, it's true that it will be even more satisfying. I want this Grand Prix to become a special event for my fans and I have prepared a special surprise for them.

“In terms of racing, Monza could be a tricky weekend as one of the key factors is having good mechanical grip for braking stability into the chicanes, and good traction on the exit. Drivers have to be careful at the first chicane after the start finish line, as it can lead to contact with a competitor or a trip over the kerbs. At the same time we need to achieve the highest speed possible at the exit of the corners to make up positions.”

Daniel Ricciardo, HRT
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“It won’t be the first time in my career racing at Monza, but as a rookie in Formula One, I will be at the wheel of a completely different car than any I have previously experienced. I am counting on my Italian roots to push me to a good performance in Italy. Monza is a special track that will require a very different approach to the other tracks that I have driven. It is a low-downforce, high-speed track with heavy braking required into the chicanes, so it's going to be another experience to put in the book. I want to put behind my first F1 non-finish at the last race in Spa. The word of the weekend is speed and it will be possible with teamwork.”

Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
“The Autodromo di Monza is a power circuit and we must find the speed that we lacked at the Belgian Grand Prix. We have to find a very low-downforce set-up for the car to achieve the maximum speed potential. The cars are difficult to control and the drivers have to be attentive and concentrated. We want to show a good level of performance and be able to finish the last race of the European 2011 season with both cars for the eighth time this season.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2010 Qualifying - 5th, 2010 Race - DNF

“Last year, I won at Spa and failed to finish at Monza. For this year, I guess I’m looking to reverse that sequence! I’ve already moved on from my non-finish in Belgium and I’m really looking forward to returning to Italy, a place where I spent a lot of time racing karts: it’s a country I really love. I think we go into the weekend feeling pretty optimistic. I’ve never won at Monza and I’d love to get a good result this year. I’m particularly looking forward to qualifying, because I think DRS will make a huge difference to our laptimes, and I really want to get the maximum out of the car in quali - and then look forward to a strong race, of course. With unlimited use in quali, and those four long straights, I think qualifying’s going to be pretty intense: we’ll be 20km/h faster at four key points of the circuit, so our quali times are going to be much faster than in the race. That should be pretty exciting. For the race, you’ll also need the downforce, though, because you’ll want to be quick enough out of the second Lesmo and Parabolica to be in with a chance of challenging for position down the following straight. I think things are set for another very closely matched race - I’m really looking forward to it.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2010 Qualifying - 2nd, 2010 Race - 2nd

“It’s going to be the usual difficult trade-off between drag and downforce to find the ultimate package for the race. Last year, Lewis and I opted to follow two different paths - Lewis went for the low-downforce configuration and I went for more grip, at the expense of straightline speed. That meant that, although I had the laptime, I didn’t quite have the opportunity to mount an attack for the lead, because I couldn’t get close enough along the straights to have a go into the braking areas. But I think things will be a little more mixed-up this year. For the second time this season, we’ll have two distinct DRS zones, with two potential passing opportunities. The first zone’s going to be interesting because it’s always been very tough to challenge for position under braking for Ascari - the track’s pretty narrow and it’s a fast entry - so I’ll be really interested to see how well DRS will work into that corner - we might see some pretty spectacular moves! I think the more conventional passing opportunity will come from the second DRS zone, getting as close as possible into Parabolica, holding on through the corner - which won’t be straightforward - and then deploying DRS down the start/finish straight before, hopefully, passing into Turn One. The DRS is going to be a pretty major asset for a following car, and it might shape the race in some really interesting ways.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Perhaps it’s a bit premature to be discussing the return of the epic ‘Monza slipstreamer’, but I think the whole team is going to Italy keen to see if DRS will create the sort of exciting and unpredictable grands prix that we either watched or read about when we were younger. At the very least, going to Monza is always a very evocative and historic occasion - perhaps more than any other circuit, you can really feel the sport’s past here, and it’s become the perfect venue to bid farewell to the European season before we head to the final flyaways. I think it’s very important that Formula 1 keeps hold of these ‘classics’ - which also includes circuits such as Spa, Silverstone and Monaco - while also investing in new venues for the future. Despite its age, Monza certainly never gets any easier: selecting gear ratios to cope with the demands of DRS through both qualifying and the race will be tricky. At Spa, the DRS ban through Eau Rouge meant that maximum velocity at the top of the hill was pretty much the same through qualifying and the race. For Monza, there are no limitations, so it will be very different, and getting it right will require a lot of thought and experimentation. It’s rewarding to know that, even after 61 grands prix at Monza, the circuit is as much of a challenge as ever - that’s a great testament to the enduring appeal of the place, and the restlessly competitive nature of Formula 1.”

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber
2010 Qualifying - 13th, 2010 Race - DNF

“Monza will be challenging, we have to find the best possible set-up for the car and see how fast we can go on the long straights. Last year we qualified 12th, which wasn’t too bad, because we expected difficulties there. Hopefully the race this year can be better. Last year I didn’t manage to do the race because I had a technical problem, and I retired on my first lap after starting from the pit lane. But this year I am quite confident of doing a good race. I like Monza. I have driven quite a lot there because I did Formula Renault Italia. I have also done GP2, but that wasn’t nice as I remember there was a lot of rain then. Anyway, I like the track and the town, as there are a couple of nice restaurants, it is quite close to Milan and it is always nice to go there as well.”

Sergio Perez, Sauber
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“I’m very much looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix. The track in Monza is one of my favourites. There I did what I regard as my best race weekend so far. It was in Formula 3 when I qualified 14th and won both races. In 2007 and 2008 I raced there in F3 and then also in GP2. The very long straights in Monza could be tough for us. I want to maintain a good rhythm with positive performances in qualifying and for the start. Then, of course, I want to finish the race and score points for the team. It is my aim to finish the European season on a high. The race weekend there always has a very special atmosphere, and I can’t wait to take part for the first time in the Formula One Grand Prix. I like the people in Italy a lot and, of course, I’m a fan of Italian food.”

James Key, Sauber technical director
“The Italian Grand Prix in Monza is a unique event for many reasons. First of all it’s a very old and famous circuit with a great deal of motor racing history behind it, and is a place where teams have been going for many years. It also has one of the greatest atmospheres of the year, with huge support from all the fans. Technically it’s by far the lowest drag level circuit of the season. To get the drag down to levels which are optimum you have to reduce downforce, which is why we call it a low downforce track, although fundamentally it’s a low drag track. It’s a mix of long straights with two chicanes. Certainly the first one provides an overtaking opportunity, followed by a whole range of low to high speed corners in sector two - with the Lesmo corners and the Ascari - and then a very tricky corner, the Parabolica at the end of the lap, which is quite critical for carrying as much speed as possible down the pit straight.

“Although the lap is quite simple, it’s quite technical particularly with the downforce level you are running. You need a well-balanced car through these corners. It’s also critical for braking, because the top speeds are by far the highest of the year, and you’re braking down to a very low speed for the two chicanes. In addition, the kerbs play their role in these chicanes, although in recent years the amount of kerbs you can use has been limited a bit. So it has a lot of different aspects to it. Overtaking can be expected in two places, although we don’t know yet how effective the DRS will be in such a low downforce setting. The tyres will be the soft and medium compound, as in Spa-Francorchamps. For the car we will have a modified front wing for low downforce settings and a rear wing specific to Monza.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying - 6th, 2010 Race - 4th

“Monza holds incredibly special memories for me, as it’s where I scored my first-ever F1 win with Toro Rosso in 2008. That’s something I will never forget - I had goosebumps standing on the podium with the fans below. The circuit is one of the most challenging of the season. It includes very long straights where we reach more than 320kph, making Monza the fastest track of the year. The track is not particularly physically demanding but, despite that, it is certainly not easy. Because of the long straights we drive with less rear wing than at other circuits, so the car can be more unstable; accelerating out of Parabolica is a balancing act and the smallest mistake could mean the car slipping into the gravel trap.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying - 4th, 2010 Race - 6th

“Monza is one of the best races of the year because the atmosphere is amazing with the Tifosi supporting Ferrari. There is an immense amount of history with the old banking still in place and the beautiful park where the Italian Grand Prix has been staged over the past 80 odd years. It’s the shortest Grand Prix we take part in, as we can knock the 300 kilometre race distance out very fast because of the exceptional average speed. You need a car that’s very quick on the straights and still manage to have sensible downforce for cornering. Unfortunately it’s the last European race of the season. We were spoilt with how good the race unfolded in Spa; let’s hope Monza is the same.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying - 12th, 2010 Race - 9th

"The final European race takes place at Monza, a truly historic Formula One circuit, and one where I have always been so warmly welcomed and supported over the years. We achieved a good team result in Spa last weekend, and I especially enjoyed the overtaking battles and the challenge of making up so many places during the race. This gives us a boost going into the final part of the season, and we will continue pushing hard to get the best possible results."

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying - 7th, 2010 Race - 5th

"I'm really looking forward to the weekend in Monza. We learned at the last race in Spa that our car can be competitive at high-speed tracks, and we definitely took a step forward there. I am confident that we can do that again in Italy next weekend. I visited the factory this week and I'm quite happy with how things are working out there. I'll be arriving in Italy on Wednesday and attending the FOTA Fans Forum at Pirelli's headquarters in Milan. It should be a really interesting event and I'm looking forward to the chance to speak with some of our fans there."

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
"Monza is always a fitting venue for the final European race, and spending a race weekend there is a special experience. The unique high-speed circuit is a classic racing venue, and one of the best places to watch Formula One cars at their very top speeds. Coming off the back of our best result of the season in Spa, we are looking forward to the weekend and to finishing the European season on a high. With the emphasis jointly on engine power and aerodynamic efficiency, we have the benefit of our Mercedes-Benz engine and, as always for Monza, we will run a special low-downforce aerodynamic package to minimise drag on the long straights."

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Monza features the highest straightline speeds of the year at around
350 kph, the highest average lap speed and, at 83 percent, the highest percentage of the lap spent at full throttle - not for nothing is it known as a 'temple of speed'. The engine and KERS system will play an important role at this circuit, but it is equally important to develop an effective low-drag aerodynamic package and to make sure the car feels stable on the brakes. Michael and Nico both enjoyed strong, trouble-free races in Spa to score a solid result for the team with fifth and sixth places. We will be hoping for more of the same in Monza. Saturday 10 September will also mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang von Trips in tragic circumstances in the 1961 race. Von Trips was well-placed to become the first German Formula One world champion with Ferrari, and also drove sports cars for Mercedes-Benz in the early years of his career."

More to follow.

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