Ferrari go for home glory at Red Bull’s weak track

2011 Italian Grand Prix preview

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Start, Monza, 2010
Start, Monza, 2010

The Italian Grand Prix pre-dates the world championship by decades.

Its history stretches back to the days when Antonio Ascari, Tazio Nuvolari and, later, the devastating machines of Mercedes and Auto Union assembled to race on the fearsomely fast banked oval.

The race becomes more special with every passing year. As F1 circuit design becomes ever more staid and predictable – five-and-a-half kilometres, 20-odd corners of which perhaps two are taken in something higher than third gear – Monza’s simple layout is ever more cherished as a break from the norm.

Just 11 corners – the least of any world championship venue – connected by four long acceleration zones in which the cars exceed the highest speeds seen at other track by a clear 20kph.

This year the Drag Reduction System will allow the cars to hit even higher speeds on the straights. Mercedes estimate drivers will user it for almost three-quarters of the lap in practice and qualifying.

Red Bull never on the podium

Monza circuit information

Monza, 2011 Italian Grand Prix

Lap length5.793km (3.6 miles)
Distance53 laps (306.7km/190.6 miles)
Lap record*1’21.046 (Rubens Barrichello, 2004)
Fastest lap1’19.525 (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004)
TyresMedium and Soft

*Fastest lap set during a Grand Prix

Monza track data in full

To attain these thundering speeds the cars shed downforce and drag, running skinny wings that would be useless anywhere else on the calendar.

That has previously been the undoing of Adrian Newey’s Red Bulls at this venue. The huge downforce they produce, which is their key weapon at most tracks, serves them less well here.

As a result, the team which has won 19 of the last 34 races are yet to finish on the podium at Monza.

But Sebastian Vettel’s triumph at the similar high-speed Spa opens up the possibility for Red Bull to score their first victory here. Vettel, of course, already has a Monza trophy – he scored his maiden triumph in a fabulous drive in streaming conditions for Toro Rosso three years ago.

So will Vettel be celebrating his tenth pole position on Saturday? That rests partly on whether his Spa win was principally down to Red Bull nailing their low-drag configuration, or because they took greater risks with their camber settings than their rivals.

Alonso seeking third Monza win

The home crowd will look to Fernando Alonso to add to Ferrari’s disappointing tally of one win so far this year.

Of course Alonso wasn’t always the darling of the Monza crowd. His retirement from the 2006 race while title rival Michael Schumacher was leading sent them into rapture, as he recalls: “We arrived in Monza as the opponent of Ferrari.

“The tifosi naturally tried to put me under pressure and I also had a penalty after qualifying for blocking another driver, my [present] team-mate Felipe [Massa].

“I started tenth, had an engine problem when lying third and the crowds in the grandstands at turn one were very excited about this and the fact Michael was leading the race. It was an interesting experience.”

His first Monza win came in 2007, while driving for McLaren. He had a warmer reception last year when he beat Jenson Button to victory.

Hamilton without a Monza finish since 2008

Hamilton's last finish at Monza was seventh in 2008

McLaren’s chances of pinching the win off Ferrari or Red Bull rest partly on whether Lewis Hamilton can marshal his intense speed without hitting something.

The second sector of the lap at Monza has not been kind to him on his last two visits. He didn’t complete a single lap last year as he tangled needlessly with Massa at the Variante della Roggia.

The year before that he made it as far as the final lap, only to spin into the barriers at Lesmo while trying to mount an attack on second-placed Jenson Button.

Now team mates, the pair have the strong suit of Mercedes power on a track where straight-line speed is so important. Likewise, keep an eye Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, who have regularly been among the quickest through the speed traps this year.

Senna eyeing first points

Bruno Senna’s return at Spa was marred by a first-corner collision. He showed excellent pace in qualifying, but needs a race result to back it up.

Despite that high-profile error on his comeback, Renault technical director James Allison was positive about his addition to their line-up: “I don?t think anyone needs insider information from the team to know that Bruno had a remarkable weekend.

“To place the car P7 on the grid is a fantastic achievement on any scale. I know Bruno was kicking himself for the incident at the first corner in the race, but my view is that it was a completely understandable error; it was the first time that he had ever felt the R31 on full fuel and he was surrounded by competitors already 11 races into their season.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011
Force India are showing good form at present

Force India head into the Monza weekend following top-seven finishes for one of their cars in each of the last three races.

Adrian Sutil, who scored his career-best result of fourth here in 2009, says their car’s performance is not as ‘peaky’ as it was two year’s ago: “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.”

For Sutil’s team mate Paul di Resta, this will be his first ever race at Monza. Fellow rookie Sergio Perez has driven here before, winning both British F3 races in 2008 from 14th on the grid.

Who’s your tip for success at Monza? Will Red Bull’s monopoly on pole position finally be broken? Have your say in the comments.

2011 driver form

Q avgR avgR bestR worstClassifiedForm guide
Sebastian Vettel1.331.581412/12Form guide
Mark Webber3.923.422512/12Form guide
Lewis Hamilton3.923.61810/12Form guide
Jenson Button5.333.51610/12Form guide
Fernando Alonso4.53.551711/12Form guide
Felipe Massa5.836.451110/12Form guide
Michael Schumacher10.928.674179/12Form guide
Nico Rosberg6.427.8251211/12Form guide
Nick Heidfeld13.368.53128/11Form guide
Vitaly Petrov9.4210.0931711/12Form guide
Rubens Barrichello14.58139179/12Form guide
Pastor Maldonado13.8315.5610189/12Form guide
Adrian Sutil12.7510.4561511/12Form guide
Paul di Resta12.2512.0971811/12Form guide
Kamui Kobayashi13.179.751610/12Form guide
Sergio Perez13127177/10Form guide
Sebastien Buemi15.2511.481510/12Form guide
Jaime Alguersuari14.4211.678169/12Form guide
Heikki Kovalainen17.9216.2914197/12Form guide
Jarno Trulli19.2716.3813208/11Form guide
Narain Karthikeyan2320.517246/7Form guide
Vitantonio Liuzzi2219.1313238/11Form guide
Timo Glock20.517.7815219/12Form guide
Jerome D’Ambrosio22.2517.82142211/12Form guide
Pedro de la Rosa171212121/1Form guide
Daniel Ricciardo22.7518.6718193/4Form guide
Karun Chandhok202020201/1Form guide
Bruno Senna71313131/1Form guide

2011 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Italian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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80 comments on “Ferrari go for home glory at Red Bull’s weak track”

  1. I definitely see Red Bull scoring their first podium here, with a win certainly possible. Ferrari currently do not seem as strong as they did this time last year, so it’s harder to mark them as clear favourite. McLaren do not seem to have any straight-line speed advantage this year, so I don’t see them as clear favourites either; however, this is a track that seems to suit Jenson Button’s smooth style, so he will be a contender. Finally, Mercedes have been the fastest car in a straight line all year, so I expect them to edge closer to the podium, but I do not expect them to have the race pace to claim their first victory.

    1. I’m quite curious as to your last statement about the circuit suiting Jenson. How do you mean? I don’t remember Jenson having a particularly strong record here; nor features that will benefit his smoothness.

      1. Second place in the last 2 runnings and one of his only good races of 2007.

      2. With regard to his driving style, I think the key to a good (qualifying) lap is to get a clean lap in, rather than maximally attacking each corner. That, and the fact that Hamilton had an edgier car, led to last year’s qualifying result where Jenson was on the front row, and Hamilton failed to get a good lap in. Just an opinion, though.

      3. The same tires as in Spa, Alonso was struggling at the end of the race to keep the pace.

  2. I can’t find the beloved “race average position” in the stats section… it’s a good reason for waiting for each race preview LOL.
    I don’t trust Red Bull. They were too fast on the belgian saturday.. Their rear wing was incredibly unload..

    1. I don’t trust Red Bull. They were too fast on the belgian saturday.

      So … what, exactly? You think they’re cheating?

  3. I would not make the mistake of discounting Red Bull simply because they have not had any success at Monza.

    1. I would not make the mistake of discounting Red Bull simply because they have not had any success at Monza.

      i think the same, the belgian gp results says they have improved in max speed, with a less loaded rear wing..

      1. What exactly do you mean by a “less loaded” rear wing? Everyone’s rear wings will be going through less load due to the decreased AoA

        1. if you see belgian gp image you’ll see that redbull rear wing was visibly less loaded (my goddess it seemed so orizzontal) than others’.
          btw they were fastest cars at the trap (only perez a bit faster), and fastest cars in second sector (only a bit faster than vettel and webber)… pretty indicative isn’t it?

          1. only a bit faster than vettel and webber

            only HAMILTON WAS a bit..

          2. Oh you mean less Angle of Attack. Yes I saw that. The Red Bull wings were very “flat.”

            That actually is quite bad for them. In Monza, you need to have less downforce/drag than what you have in Spa. The other teams can just reduce the amount of wing they use. But Red Bull is on the limit on how much more it can be reduced.

      2. Exactly. They’re probably still lacking the best straight line speed, but it gives Ferrari and McLaren something to worry about.

    2. I’m discounting Red Bull (winning the race) because of their engine. I really don’t see them having a good weekend to be honest, but then again – I will probably be proved wrong.

      1. Well, the Italians have a saying: “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. And although they’ve never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this case they are right. So even if Red Bull appear to be out of the equation simply because the Renault engine is down on power compared to the others, Ferrari will not take that for granted.

    3. Especially this year, even if McLaren and Ferrari were ahead at this track, they could easily score a podium.

  4. This promises to be a great Grand Prix. I’m looking forward to what Mercedes can do on arguably their best circuit and the midfield battle between Force India and Sauber.

    It’s wrong to presume that Red Bull wont be competitive because of no prior success. The RB7 is nothing like its predecessors in that it set the fastest speed trap and almost the maximum speed in Spa. They really seem to have perfected their low downforce package.

    McLaren have had the fastest race pace car for a few races now and threw away their probable victory at Spa. Ferrari are known for their braking and traction of corners and have developed a special Monza spec package for their home fans.

    It’s going to be a great GP, with loads of interesting fights all around. I wonder if someone will finally dethrone a Red Bull from pole.

  5. I believe that Red Bull has been able to improve their car so that it is now almost similarly good both for high-speed and high-downforce circuits. It could be also that their competitors have been focusing on catching RBR on tracks like Silverstone and Circuit de Catalunya, which has resulted in less performance differences on both types of circuits.

    I don’t think anyone else will be able to take the pole position from RBR. And I believe that Vettel is still on great form so he is my favourite to win the race, too. Hamilton is now very keen to get a good result as he has lost too many points because of hot-headed behaviour in 2011.

    Alonso should never be discounted. Webber should be in the front as well but starts have been a large problem for him throughout the whole season and overtaking might not be so easy in Monza. That could affect Button’s chances as well (he’s not so strong in the qualifying and the grid position will be important). That said, Button has been showing some extremely good performances in Monza in the previous years.

    Taking all of this into account, I say the TOP 5 will look like this(it would be the first time when VET, HAM and ALO share the same podium):

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Button
    5. Webber

    1. Flip Button and Alonso around; and you’d get the perfect result from Seb’s point of view. Reverse finishing order of his championship rivals

      1. I disagree: Sebs perfect race would be for all his championship contenders to crash out, thus increasing his lead to 117 points.

        1. I meant the order was perfect. Sorry for not making that clearer

  6. I’m interested to see the wings. I bet almost everyone runs a standard short-chord one, instead of ultra-skinny. Reasoning being that you want the steep (relatively) wing for qualy when you can dump the drag at will. In the race the downforce will give you extra speed out of the chicanes and you have the DRS to overtake on the straight so you wont really have a drag penalty.

    However, if one team quite high up the field ignores this, Mercedes possibly, and puts a spanner in the works by getting a fast start with a skinny wing and escapes before DRS is usable, well we’ll be onto a cracker!

    1. i agree. i also think toro rosso will also adopt this strategy, as they have often gone for a high speed set up

    2. A skinny wing would also mean that the chord length of the rear wing flap is also short; so I’m not sure what you mean here?

      1. Ah, I mean the reasonably steep, but dump a LOT of drag when activated,
        rather than the large flap, stable rear wings.

        1. Yes, but most teams will just be running a very “L” shaped wing anyways. There will be the usual horizontal plane, and then probably just 5cm tall rear flap. There isn’t much “playing room” in terms of adjusting the chord length as you’d just make the flap ridiculously short

  7. Its history stretches back to the days when Antonio Ascari, Tazio Nuvolari and, later, the devastating machines of Mercedes and Auto Union assembled to race on the fearsomely fast banked oval.

    I wish we could have another combination circuit on the calendar, obviously with less insane banking. Perhaps something like (but not at) New Hampshire Motor Speedway (run clockwise, use Turn 4 in full, onto the infield at the end of Turn 3, follow it around before coming back onto the oval section into Turns 2 and 1).

    I think the RB7’s success owed a bit to McLaren getting it wrong with Jenson’s qualifying and Hamilton’s set-up, but mostly because the car appears to have extremely efficient downforce rather than being the drag monster of last year. However I think it will be closer because there will simply be less corners for the RB7 to flex its muscles through.

    I’m not expecting much of Mercedes, they will be fast down the straights but they still tend to eat their tyres up. Given the low tyre wear at Monza we could see another race dictated by contrary strategies, though get benefits will come from making one less stop, rather than one more. Watch out for JB if he can keep good pace.

    1. Isn’t the Lausitzring a combo circuit as well? I’d love to see a race there.

    2. I expect things to develop along the same lines as you do for this weekend.

      Red Bull might nail it when they make less mistakes. But it could be very close.

      When its hotter than Spa, that should help Ferrari be more consistently close to the pace, but the harder tyres could be a worry again.

      Monza is really something special, i think. Both for the atmosphere of it and for being quite something different in track layout.

  8. It’s not Redbull type circuit but I think this time is a little different. DRS would favour Redbull pole so other teams would rather focus on low drag setting for non-DRS situation. DRS has different working condition so it should be different from the last year.

    If you goes relatively high down force setting; you could get the best qualifying lap time. DRS would help straight line speed, downforce would help cornering speed.

    If you goes low down force setting; you will lose time in corners during qualifying, but it should be faster in the race.

    Down force setting strategy would be quite interesting.

  9. I bet Red Bull will get pole position. But the fact they can’t use DRS whenever they like during the race should take a race win off them as they’ll have to compromise with the wing.

    I wouldn’t count Mercedes out being up there either – not a pole by any means, but in the fight at least.

  10. Will RBR, and others maybe, obey the new Perelli camber limits. And if they do how much will this affect performance.

    1. I think they will. You need to have a lot of stopping power and for that you need pretty low camber to keep as much of the tyre in contact with the road when you are going straight.
      Either way i think they got scared enough by the whole situation in Belgium to not try that stunt again.

      1. Probably, but don’t count on it judging by the way they didn’t start their cars from the pits at Spa. That told me driver safety is not 100% (and I mean 100%) their priority.

      2. I don’t think they will actually. Newey’s a smart fellow. I think he knows that a tyre manufacturer probably wouldn’t show their entire hand at the start; so he’s probably already thought out that Pirelli’s new camber recommendation has a bit of safety margin built into it.

        Also; they now have experience of dealing with an on-the-edge tyre setup; so Newey now has quite a bit of experiential knowledge on where the “true” limits are on these Pirelli tyres.

        Don’t forget Rob Marshall also knows a thing or two about tyres. After all he invented the mass damper; and was one of the reasons Renault used to have tremendous traction.

  11. I think this is going to be one of the closest battles this year in terms of performance, both in qualifying and in the race. I think RB looks strong, i mean after heaps of trouble at tracks they should absolutely dominate they come to spa, which is the second most non RB track on the calender and they gets a 1,2.
    I don’t think they will win, but i think it is very much possible and with the DRS Vettel on pole seems likely. At least a podium vettel is my guess.
    McLaren will probably manage to set their GPS’ in the trucks in dutch or something and get lost on the way.
    Ferrari could be a strong contender and i think an Alonso win is likely.
    It is certainly going to be interesting to see who nails the downforce vs drag efficiency for the weekend.

  12. wow Massa hasn’t finished higher than 5th all year… how can he deserve that ferrari seat…?

    i think mercedes will shine this wknd.

    1. He threw away a possible podium in Canada by taking too long to get past Kobayashi before spinning off. His pit crew cost him 4th at Valencia and Nurburgring.

      I don’t see anyone bar Vettel and Hamilton getting near Alonso, still not a good season for Phil.

      1. Alonso was also rubbish at the Canada race and Massa at least lasted in the fight for a podium then longer than his team mate, pace wise he has been better than last year, he was in contention for pole at Canada, he was in the mix at Spain, comfortably outraced Alo at Mal, outqualified Alo by quite a large gap at Spa and has been very unfortunate with pit stops and also when he actually pits because generally he has to wait for Fernando to come in who is very good at looking after his tyres (Silverstone case point). Plus 5th is one place higher than he should achieve considering his the second driver in the third fastest car :P

        1. Wow, no offence here, but you really think Massa stands any comparison against Alonso? You might not like the guy, but results speak for themselves.

          1. I didn’t say he was in Alonso’s league and I’ve never said it before my argument is simply that he isn’t doing that badly especially compared to last year.

        2. your comment is biased. Watch the canadian race again.Alonso was taken out by button.if it wasn’t because of that he might have won it~

          1. No he wasn’t. Button was entirely within his right to be alongside Alonso, and Alonso should have given him more room.

    2. Isn’t Filipe approximately where he is expected to be in the terms of winning and the championship.
      At RBR Mark is fairly close to Seb’s performance. At McLaren again you have two drivers fairly close who would be further up if silly mistakes didn’t keep occuring. And last but not least he is not going to beat his team mate under normal circumstances.

      So who do you suggest in the No.2 seat at Ferrari, who will be acceptable to and will not challenge Fernando. And can challenge and beat the other four drivers at or near the top at the moment.

      1. who do you suggest in the No.2 seat at Ferrari, who will be acceptable to and will not challenge Fernando.

        Alonso’s ego shouldn’t be a consideration. If Ferrari want to win both titles they need the best two drivers they can get their hands on.

        1. They won 5 titles from 2000-2004 with Rubens alongside Michael. No offense, but I don’t think Rubens was always the best guy available throughout that span.

          1. But they’re not likely to have the kind of car advantage they enjoyed for much of those seasons any time soon.

            I would go so far as to say no team is, there just isn’t the scope for it with no tyre war and tight restrictions on many areas of development.

        2. I don’t disagree with that statement. But if Ferrari were to bring in another driver, and especially one good enough to challenge the Red Bulls and McLarens, then that driver has, by defination, to be good enough to challenge Alonso. And in that situation would we not get another ‘toys out of the pram’ AKA McLaren situation and could Ferrari handle it.

          1. Kimi would have been good…I don’t think he would have got flustered by the politics.

          2. @Sid
            I couldnt agree more. IMHO, only the Iceman, has the skill, temperment, and lack of F1 contract to replace Massa at this point.

            That said, as a Kimi fan from way back, Im quite jilted that he moved into Nascar(the lowest form of racing yet devised). Ah well, disappointment is what happens when a person falls off the pedestal on which you’ve places them.

      2. Kubica, Rosberg or Kobayashi. All three will ready for a step up to a top team by 2013, if not before (assuming the best possible outcome for Robert, obviously.)

        1. Kubica may never return to form like you say although I hope he does and I don’t think Kobayashi is cut out for a big team and as a Ferrari fan I really hope the red team don’t experiment with him. Rosberg fair enough I can see the logic if Ferrari went there but I’m still not sure about his raw pace.

          1. VALENTINO ROSSI

            :-)

  13. Mercedes will either win or finish on the podium. You heard it from me first, folks. If I’m not right, I will get a vesicostomy.

    1. a WHAT? :D

      And you mean Ross Brawn’s Mercedes, right? Just making sure you don’t get away with a loophole if McLaren or Force India do it. :)

      1. Yes, I meant the team, not just the engine.

        1. Then, schedule your appointment now. These elective surguries can have long waits.

    2. A vesicostomy? Not the kind of thing you would elect to have if you don’t need it.

      1. the man has spoken! there will be no further debate.

      2. I assumed he meant a vasectomy. No, a vesicostomy is not somthing you would or could get at your choice. Now all of this is really gross.

  14. In Monza, you need to have less downforce/drag than what you have in Spa. The other teams can just reduce the amount of wing they use. But Red Bull is on the limit on how much more it can be reduced.

    @raymondu999
    that makes me think about a less important DRS effect for redbull in qualifying… probably and interesting factor

  15. With just a little more focus on him self, this is Hamilton`s race to win. Cos Monza is all about courage to speed. And Hamilton has got exactly that.

    1. I think that’s exactly his problem at times, too much self-focus.

  16. It’ll be interesting how flat the teams will run their rear wings. Front runners will use, I think, less angle of attack then the middle of the pack, b/c the latter group will be in more situations in the race where they can use DRS, hence they the extra drag will be undone, ending up having higher corner speeds. So I expect Mercedes and Renault definitely to run bigger wings than the ones in front.
    Front runners are a different story; I think Red Bull will be running the wing as flat as it can get. McLaren might opt for another strategy split like last year.
    Also the weather might play a role: if temperatures are low or if it rains, teams certainly will use bigger wings to get more heat into the tires.

  17. The wings are so small that the DRS-effect will be very weak in qualifying. RBR’s ability to raise the wing very quickly on corner exit will not profit them much here. This may be Ferrari and McLaren’s best chance to get RBR off the pole for a few months.

  18. we could see a few upsets if a midfield team goes for a qualifying glory run by bolting on a high downforce wing. with DRS available throughot the lap in qualifying, they will have no drag penalty and much higher downforce in the corners. they would suffer in the race but for some of these teams it might be worth a shot.

  19. I think a Similar Situation with McLaren running two Specs/Setups at Monza will Probably occur again.With KERS & DRS coming into play,therefore Teams can probably choose to add More Downforce onto their Cars.

    Looking Forward to this Weekend,Lewis or Jenson must Win if they’re gonna keep any hopes of regaining the Title from Vettel

  20. Ferrari are still struggling with the harder tyre. I don’t think can challenge for a win. I think McLaren will win this.

    1. I haven’t played the predictions yet but my bets:
      1.) Hamilton
      2.) Button
      3.) Alonso
      4.) Rosberg
      5.) Vettel
      6.) Schumacher
      7.) Webber
      8.) Massa
      Now a couple of the listed above could switch places if something goes unusual like Rosberg and Massa or Vettel and Button.

  21. Does anybody remember when the Engine-life rules first started. I recall some punditry about which teams would have the advantage of a FRESH engines for Monza and who had to use older, possibly down-power engines.

    It was speculated that some teams tried to plan their engine replacement schedule to ensure a fresh motor for Monza.

    I guess that’s less of a topic these days now that the motor can be swapped in or out at every race weekend.

    I wonder if this is still a factor in the team strategies.

    1. As the FIA no longer make the data on who’s used how many engines available online, it’s hard to say.

      Certainly all the teams used fresh engines at Spa and I expect they’ll want to at Monza as well.

  22. HounslowBusGarage
    7th September 2011, 22:33

    Can someone help me understand the parc ferme rules a bit more.
    The setup configuration has to stay the same from the begining of Qualifying through to the start of the race; that’s right isn’t it?
    Once the race starts, the front wing can be replaced I know, but can it be changed for a completely different wing with different settings etc?

  23. Pirelli will bring the medium compound to Monza. So that’s bye bye victory for Ferrari.
    Unless they can manage a ‘Vettel’ and pit in the penultimate lap without loosing too much time running on options for too long.

    Red Bull has got a chance at a podium but I think Hamilton will be the man to beat Sunday.

  24. I think Felipe will get his first win since Brazil 2008. Just watch.

  25. i think Ferrari should not replace Massa and put some trust in him Massa started 2010 very good but then he fall back to Alonso, if he had won in Germany his self trust would have been way better, Ferrari don’t give Massa good strategy and he lost so many places due to pit stop errors from the team (not on purpose).
    am afraid what they are doing to massa is the same that happened to raikkonen in 2009.and they will get rid of him

  26. This’ll be interesting- Mclaren and Ferrari will be strong, as will Mercedes. I think it will come down to whether or not the Red Bulls have solved their problems with low downforce. If they have, there’s no reason they shouldn’t win

    (And an interesting sidenote- Webber outqualified Vettel here last year, and in Q2 2009 – before race fuel was added in Q3. He may have a chance to get back some points)

  27. My bet are if Ferrari struggle with their tyres then I can see a Mercedes on the podium.

    1. I guess that is a fair bet. RBR was never a threat nor probably ever be here to Ferrari but it’s the Mclarens and Mercedes’s. I hope force india and sauber gets into the mix.

  28. I would love a Ferrari win while I’m here, if only for the atmosphere.

    I don’t expect a victory from Red Bull, but at least a podium finish.

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