Monza is an abnormal track as it has the highest average speed of any circuit we go to and a similar top speed to Baku. The average corner speed is quite low though so this leads to a totally different aerodynamic requirement to any other track. Therefore, most teams will be seen running a type of rear wing that will only appear once a year. Again the circuit rewards strong power units and high efficiency, particularly low drag. In terms of strategy, the pit loss is quite high with the long pitlane situated alongside a fast straight. Low cornering speeds equate to relatively low tyre energy and so there is therefore a strong tendency to try and achieve a one-stop race. Over the last few years we have had good results at Monza, and our hope is to consolidate on a good result from Belgium and push hard into the remaining races of the season.
The Italian Grand Prix is always a really special race weekend. The fans are really passionate and it’s a high speed circuit with low downforce, therefore racing is always very good in Monza. The weather is fantastic as well, so all in all it’s just a great race weekend with nice fans and an amazing track. I also get to drive there from my home in Monaco – it’s about a three hour drive – so one flight less for the year! A nice way to mark the end of the European races.
Italy has been very good to me. I’ve had two podiums there in the last two years, as well as a podium when I was with Ferrari. Monza is definitely one of the greatest and most historic races in Formula One. The fans are so passionate and enjoy just being there and enjoying such fantastic racing, it’s incredible to see. I know the fans there very well from my years with Ferrari and they still support me massively. It’s always such a pleasure to race in Monza.