Formula Racing

Horse Power Rules Qualifying in Monza.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is the last of the European rounds in the championship and it truly is a classic. Been around since the 50s and its the fastest track on the calendar where the cars hit top speeds of about 340 kmph!. Because of the long straights and fast corners the cars are set up with the minimum amount of down force to reduce the drag and achieve the maximum speed possible .But what this does is reduce the amount of grip available to the driver under braking as well as in the medium and high speed corners. That's why braking into the first corner which is a slow chicane is so very tricky.The cars go from 340km to 60km within 100 meters.

Qualifying1 which was headed by Fernando Alonso had the usual suspects who were knocked out along with a dejected Nico Hulkenberg from Force India who suffered a gearbox problem on his first flying lap.It was a good session for our fellow Indian Narain Karthekeyan who for the first time this season out qualified his team mate Pedro Dela Rosa!

Qualifying 2 was the most exciting and action packed session. Alonso headed the times again showing very strong pace in his Ferrari. He was closely followed by Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta in a very quick Force India. The top ten were separated by only 1/2 a second in which was probably one of the closest qualifying sessions all year. Mark Webber was the big name to miss the cut by the smallest margin of 0.1 tenths of a second. The Renault powered teams lack of top speed was very clear this weekend and were clearly struggling compared to the teams running with Mercedes and Ferrari engines. Q3 was going to be a shoot out between the 2 Ferraris,2 Mclarens, 2 Mercedes,1 Redbull, 1 Lotus and 1 Sauber!

Qualifying 3 looked like it was going to be all about Alonso after the Spanish driver headed the field in Q1 and Q2. But to the disappointment of the Tifosi and all Ferrari fans that wasn't the case. Mclaren’s Lewis Hamilton set a blinder of a lap on his first run to go fastest with 1.24.00. Filipe Massa who's spent the year in Alonso's shadow jumped up to an impressive P2 with a little help from his teammate by getting a big toe on the back straight before entering Ascarri. Force India's Paul Di Resta who had been quick in all 3 sessions put in another faultless lap to put himself P3 followed by Button and the two Mercedes drivers, Schumacher and Rosberg, Reigning world champion Vettel, Kimi ,Kobayashi and finally Alonso who aborted his lap and dived into the pits to put on another set.

In the 2nd half of Q3 the big gainers were Jensen who put in an impressive lap to jump up to 2nd and would stay there till the end to line up alongside his teammate and give Mclaren a 1,2 on the Grid..Massa managed to find a bit more time and achieved his best qualifying this season. He was closely followed by Di Resta in a very impressive Force India who will unfortunately drop to 9th because of a 5 place grid penalty for changing the gearbox. This promotes 7 time world champion Schumacher to 4th followed by Vettel, Rosberg, Raikkonen ,Kobayashi,Di Resta and Alonso who was strangely way off the pace. Finally it was found that it was because of a broken Rear anti roll bar and this costed him dearly. In Monza especially, one needs the Rear Anti Roll Bar to work to get you round the slow corners and also in the high speed corners. Without the rear bar, the rear end would have become sloppy and probably have brought in far too much of understeer.

Force India have continued to be in strong form at Monza but unfortunately didn't get the results they deserve due to a penalty and a mechanical problem. The positive thing is overtaking is possible here and if they have the same pace in the race as to what they had in Qualifying, then at least one of them will score big points.

As always Monza provides an exciting race so it will be interesting to see if the Mclaren boys are able to pull away or can Ferrari do something to stop them. Personally I think if Hamilton keeps his nose clean then its his to take! The real race behind then would be between Alonso and Vettel. I would personally think that Alonso will reign Vettel in as he has a very quick Paul Di Resta in front of him which means he will not have to fight a defending Force India car as it can be expected for the Force India Car to pass quite a few ahead and Alonso will be quite comfortable to tag along behind and make his move on Di Resta when it matters as he has even better speed than the Force India car and thus keep the margin of his Championship lead intact. As usual the first corner is going to be quite tricky after the start and some brave ones will get away with it and make big places while some unlucky ones will just get taken out.

*Due to a last-minute change, Paul DI Resta will begin the race at No. 9 in the Italian GP.

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes