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Featured 2015 Formula One Italian Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Formula 1 Race Comments' started by R.J. O'Connell, Sep 3, 2015.

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  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Premium Member

    monza 2015 preview.jpg Formula 1 returns to one of its most historic venues for what many will hope is not the final time - the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix. A race with a lineage going back to 1921, at a venue that has stood the test of time - the home race for the mighty Scuderia Ferrari, the most powerful and influential team in the sport. So why, in the wide, wide world of sports, is the Italian Grand Prix in jeopardy of losing its place on the Formula 1 calendar?

    True to form, Formula One Group supremo Bernie Ecclestone has publicly dismissed the future of the event while trying to negotiate more money out of the Italian GP organizers. These tactics are crass, and not exactly new - and they're generally effective, even if they come at the expense of the race organizers and the fans who pay to see the events. If these negotiations completely fall through, however, the Italian Grand Prix may move out of Monza, perhaps to Imola, former home of the San Marino Grand Prix. Or worse, it could get removed from the calendar outright.

    And for a perennial favorite among drivers, teams, and fans alike, a historic and celebrated event that's been a part of every Formula One championship season - a boast that can't be made by the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa or even the Monaco Grand Prix - its absence would be an unwelcome disappointment, especially given that the German Grand Prix was cancelled this season, the Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled in recent years for similar reasons, and a French Grand Prix hasn't been held since ITV was the UK's F1 broadcaster.

    monza 2015 preview b.jpg

    And Monza isn't the only Italian institution of racing facing an uncertain future in F1. It'd been about two years since multiple blowouts during the British Grand Prix drew skepticism over Pirelli's competence as a tyre manufacturer for F1. Pirelli have come back under the intense scrutiny of the F1 world following two high-speed blowouts during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. Nico Rosberg avoided a disastrous Friday practice shunt at Blanchimont when his right-rear failed at over 300 km/h. Sebastian Vettel, however, suffered a major blow to his title hopes when his tyre failed exiting Radillon while running in a comfortable third place. A passionate and irate Vettel launched a scathing criticism of Pirelli after the race, out of concerns over the safety and integrity of Formula 1's control tyres. That criticism also launched counter-criticism of whether or not repeated abuses of track limits at Spa accelerated the failures.

    Pirelli tyres will be under immense scrutiny again in Monza, the fastest track on the F1 calendar, and how well they're able to handle the load and stress of the circuit's many high-speed corners. To add to the intrigue, Pirelli committed to bringing the soft and medium compounds to Monza, rather than the medium and hard compounds of recent years. Paul Hembrey plans to release the results of the investigation into Vettel's tyre failure this weekend. With Pirelli's current supply contract ending after 2016, this weekend could be critical to their future in the sport.

    Last year, Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in Monza after his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg threw away his chances of victory with two botched entries into the first chicane. This year, the Mercedes duo are, as they've been all season, the favorites to win big in Italy. They enjoyed a trouble-free Belgian Grand Prix, their unique low-drag aero package proving effective at Spa-Francorchamps. Many decades ago, Fangio and Moss made the infamous W196 "Type Monza" streamliner a legend around the mythical banked oval at Monza. Today, the current-generation of Mercedes aces look to continue the legacy in their respective bids for the World Championship.

    vettel ferrari 2015 monza.jpg

    Vettel (pictured above) is starting the Italian GP for the first time in Ferrari red this weekend, but the four-time champion is no stranger to success for Italian teams at Monza. Seven years ago, a 21-year-old Vettel stunned the Formula 1 world when he won his first Grand Prix from pole position driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso - whose lineage extends from that of perennial underdogs Minardi. Now 28 years old and a three-time winner of the Italian GP, Vettel will look to rebound from the disappointment of his Belgian GP weekend and replicate the Monza successes of his hero Michael Schumacher, who won in his first start at Monza for Ferrari back in 1996 - before accumulating a record five victories, all with Ferrari. A great start off the line like the one he had in Budapest will certainly help. Kimi Raikkonen, now under contract through the end of next year, will also be motivated to end the 2015 season on much more competitive terms with his teammate - but he's yet to win at Monza in his storied career.

    Continuing on the thread of uncertain futures in F1, Romain Grosjean swooped in and took a popular third-place finish at Spa for Lotus, his first podium finish in two years, at the site of his lowest point in the sport in 2012. It was a great moment for Grosjean that Sunday in Belgium. But since then, the Enstone-based Lotus F1 Team for whom he drives has had a multitude of setbacks that nearly threatened their chances of even making it to Monza. Impounds, legal actions, withheld sponsorship money, unpaid wages and tyre supply fees - the financial issues that have dogged Lotus for the last two seasons have reared their ugly heads again, just as the team had turned a corner competitively.

    grosjean spa podium.JPG

    It seems a savior is on the horizon, though, as multiple outlets have linked Renault to purchase the constructor back from Genii Capital. It's no Quantum pipedream, but there's still a ways to go before it's finalized - and the sooner a deal can get done, the better it will be for everyone at the Enstone factory - especially Grosjean, who would be a slam dunk to lead a revived Renault F1 Team up the order. Another podium finish at Monza will certainly help matters - the Mercedes-powered E23 has excelled at the high-speed circuits this season, and Monza is the prime example of such a circuit.

    Williams finished third and fourth in Monza a year ago, with Felipe Massa standing on the podium in a very popular result for the former Ferrari driver - and he along with Valtteri Bottas will once again be among the "best of the rest" in the slippery, lightning-fast FW36. Nico Hulkenberg will also be one to watch, as he'll look to celebrate his new two-year deal at Force India by breaking through with his first F1 podium finish - at a track where teammate Sergio Perez nearly won three years ago for Sauber.

    Worth watching will be how well Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat can drive through the field at Monza, as the two will take engine change-induced grid penalties before the race. McLaren Honda's slow, painful progression will be of interest as well - it is expected to be another poor outing for a team that is sorely lacking in the power department. There are serious questions over two-time Monza winner Fernando Alonso and teammate Jenson Button, and their futures not just at McLaren, but in Formula 1 as a whole. And another sorry outing for the former champions will only stoke the fires of speculation that now burn as hot as an overheated and underpowered Honda PU.

    Everything is still to play for in the Italian Grand Prix, a race that has produced so many memorable moments in its amazing history. Let's hope these aren't the last great moments at Monza we'll be seeing this weekend.
     
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  2. If Ecclestone removes Monza from the calendar, every single race of the season
    should be boycotted. It's not just a legendary track, it's a track that never fails to be
    exciting, even last year it was awesome despite the Mercedes engine dominating.

    As for the GP, I bet it'll be awesome. No doubt the Mercs will win Qualifying, but
    in the race who knows. I also bet that a Force India might be ahead of the Williams
    on Sunday and, I cannot believe I'm saying this, good luck Vettel.
     
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  3. Milos

    Milos
    Had things gone my way, who knows.. Premium Member

    so on sunday we see the McLarens starting from Mars :unsure:
     
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  4. Mohameddo-san

    Mohameddo-san
    F1 Sim Racer & #1 St. Bernard Lover on RD Premium Member

    Bernie's stay is LONG OVERDUE.
     
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  5. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim
    Premium Member

    The guy is a highlander ... he will be there during GlieseVille GP 2101
     
  6. Bram

    Bram
    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Unfortunately also a track with very bad facilities. It's almost embarrassing to invite guests in the paddock.

    But, best cappuccino in the world still :inlove:
     
  7. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim
    Premium Member

    Well a cappuccino that costs 200 EUR, you don't have a choice but to like it.
     
  8. Bram

    Bram
    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    @Qazdar Karim just outside of the paddock there was this small coffee house where a old man makes awesome coffee. Not sure if he is still around though as it has been 8 years since drank a cup there. :coffee:
     
  9. Monza must stay - along with Spa, Suzuka and Silverstone; none of these can be omitted. It's already ridiculous that there is no German GP this year.
    Ecclestone has had his time, done a lot for the sport in the past but is making some silly decisions now.
     
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  10. Monza, Hockeneim and SPA are the best of the best, "la creme de la creme".
    Regarding the race I hope that Mercedes has solved the recurring problems at the race launch.
     
  11. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    $%#@ Mercedes, Ferrari one two.

    Plot twist kimi wins.
     
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  12. the start will be interesting.
     
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  13. It's a pitty Rosberg won't be having his new engine for the race.
     
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  14. Bram

    Bram
    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Nice start Kimi!
     
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  15. Matej Lakota

    Matej Lakota
    Sriple Tix Premium Member

    Too bad for Max for all bad luck this weekend, but he fought as usual, congrats :).

    Now I am just wondering, will one of the car brand fans whistle to Sebastian on podium as they did in last years or did they choose someone else for that shameful behaviour :(.
     
  16. Milos

    Milos
    Had things gone my way, who knows.. Premium Member

    Hmm, Lewis could be in trouble due to illegal tyre pressures, commentators said that.
     
  17. I read about that too, I don't think that any action will be taken. Whatever the case it's
    clear now ( or has been from the start I don't know...) that the championship belongs to
    Hamilton.
    Boring race btw, and that is coming from a guy that loves even the most boring of them.
     
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  18. Queequeg

    Queequeg
    Premium Member

    Is that why they told him to go hard at the end? To heat up the tyres and up the pressure?
     
  19. Dave R

    Dave R
    Premium Member

    Thats the thinking from watching Sky
     
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  20. [​IMG]
     
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