Everything you need to know about the coming 2023 Italian Grand Prix
A 10th consecutive victory is easily within reach for Max Verstappen and his mighty Red Bull RB19, with the 2023 Italian Grand Prix coming up this weekend. As Verstappen looks to establish a new all-time record for consecutive wins by a driver, the Austrian team is looking to extend its current streak of 15 consecutive victories, which is also a record in Formula 1 history.
Verstappen & Red Bull keep Breaking Records
Red Bull had the best machinery in Italy last season, and this year the gap should be even bigger. Competition from the "closest" rivals hasn't been there throughout the season and the race in Monza could continue to show that reality.
Verstappen has won 11 of the 13 races in 2023 and is the clear leader in the World Drivers' Championship with 339 points, followed by his Red Bull partner Sergio Pérez, who is in the position the team and the F1 system expects him to be, with 201 points and two wins.
Fernando Alonso has given good use to Aston Martin's car (which has been generally the second-best in 2023) and has 168 points, although he's had to endure some races where the car hasn't had great pace. Lewis Hamilton is fourth in the WDC with 156 points, despite Mercedes being a mess operationally in recent events, while the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz (102 points) and Charles Leclerc (99 points) are fifth and sixth in the standings.
Mercedes' George Russell is seventh in the WDC with 99 points and he's been a victim of his own mistakes and some strategic disasters by the team throughout the season, in qualifying and races.
Lando Norris is seventh for McLaren with 75 points, followed by Aston Martin's Lance Stroll (47 points) and Alpine's Pierre Gasly (his podium in the last race allowed him to surpass his teammate Esteban Ocon and also end a streak of three races without points).
Red Bull dominates the World Constructors' Championship with 540 points, easily ahead of Mercedes (255), Aston Martin (215), and Ferrari (201). McLaren, on its side, sits comfortably in fifth place among teams, with 111 points and a big gap to Alpine (73).
2023 Italian GP Facts & Figures
The 2023 Italian Grand Prix will be the 74th running of the event under the FIA World Championship of Drivers. The Scuderia Ferrari is the most successful team with 19 victories in front of their devoted Tifosi.
The race has been part of every season of the World Championship since its inception in 1950 and is a genuinely iconic date in every year’s calendar.
The first winner of the Italian round of the World Championship was Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina, who won his home race in 1950 in his Alfetta and also secured his World Championship, which made him F1’s first champion in history and the only one to date to win the title at his home race.
Ferrari’s first success at Monza during the World Championship occurred in 1951, with Alberto Ascari winning the event, a feat which he would replicate during his title-winning campaign in 1952.
Then, Juan Manuel Fangio won three straight races with Maserati and Mercedes between 1953 and 1955, becoming the first to win three Italian GPs on the trot, which has not been replicated yet.
Fangio was crowned champion in the 1956 event, achieving his fourth title and doing so with Ferrari. Jack Brabham, too, sealed one of his titles in Italy in the 1960 event, which was boycotted by the British teams as a protest against the Monza banking.
The race was constantly the defining moment of many World Championships:
Phil Hill sealed his title in 1961 at Monza and behind the wheel of a Ferrari too. Still, the race was marred by the tragic accident in which Ferrari driver and title contender Wolfgang von Trips lost his life, with 15 spectators killed in one of the saddest days of Formula 1 racing.
Jim Clark also achieved his first title in Italy in 1963, while Brabham earned his third and final championship in 1966. Furthermore, Sir Jackie Stewart closed out his championship quest in 1969 in the Italian round, but the 1970 posthumous World Champion Jochen Rindt lost his life in the Italian event in 1970.
The 1971 event saw the closest finish in the history of the sport between first and second, with Peter Gethin (BRM) beating Ronnie Peterson’s March (Peterson also lost his life as a result of a crash in Italy in 1978) by 0.01 seconds and a little more than six-tenths covered the top five.
In turn, Emerson Fittipaldi celebrated his first World Championship in Italy in 1972 and Stewart did the same with his third and last championship the following year. Another driver who also took the biggest prize in motor racing in Italy while driving for Ferrari was the legendary Niki Lauda in 1975. Then, in 1978, Mario Andretti achieved his main goal for Lotus on the track where his passion for motor racing began as a child watching Alberto Ascari in the 1950s.
Ultimately, Jody Scheckter followed in Lauda’s footsteps in 1979, winning the title in Italy for Ferrari in the last time a driver sealed a championship at the Italian Grand Prix.
The most successful drivers in the Italian Grand Prix are Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, with five wins each, followed by three-time champion Nelson Piquet with four. Piquet won the only Italian Grand Prix in history not to be held at Monza, as he dominated the 1980 event at Imola.
In the 2020 event, without any spectators, the race was a surprising one, with Frenchman Pierre Gasly becoming a Grand Prix winner after holding off Carlos Sainz’s McLaren in the final laps and taking advantage of a red-flag period and an off weekend by elite teams (Mercedes due to their usual strategic mistakes and Red Bull due to lack of pace).
Daniel Ricciardo gave McLaren its first win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. The Australian led a 1-2 for the Woking-based team, ahead of his teammate Lando Norris.
Ricciardo won the race after starting from P2 and passing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the start and showing great pace. He was also helped by Verstappen crashing with Lewis Hamilton later in the race, with the two title challengers retiring from the race. Still, the Australian had a big chance of winning the race even with the Dutchman and the seven-time champion staying on the track, as his pace was solid.
Verstappen beat Leclerc's Ferrari in 2022 after starting from seventh place due to a five-place grid penalty due to exceeding power unit parts, while Leclerc had qualified in Pole Position. The race finished behind the Safety Car, as there weren't enough laps to allow a green-flag finish after the SC period, which is quite common with late crashes in a Grand Prix.
Autodromo Nazionale di Monza Track Info
The Temple of Speed will always be known for its long straights and being the most demanding track in terms of power. Though it offers simplistic setup configurations for the track, low-downforce settings for the cars mean they, occasionally, look gorgeously unstable around the 5.793 km track.
Since 1950, the Monza circuit has provided seven different layouts, most keeping the same ‘boomerang’ layout we see now, though some changes have been made to adhere to safety measures.
The first layout had eight corners, but only four of those demanded hard braking. In 1955, the Parabolica was added instead of the two-corner Curva di Vedano, and the oval speed ring was added, bringing in the infamous and intimidating banking.
This layout was scrapped after the 1961 event, in which Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators tragically died. Four races were completed in the longer version of the track (1955, 1956, 1960, and 1961).
The shortened track kept the high-speed nature, but safety concerns were huge due to the unbelievably increasing speeds, which enforced two chicanes for the track, one in the middle of the long straight, the Variante del Rettifilo, and the Variante Ascari, added instead of the Curva del Vialone, where Alberto Ascari had died in 1955.
Both the Variante Ascari and the Variante del Rettifilo were changed in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and a chicane was also added to the Variante Della Roggia in 1976. Since 1976, the changes have been minor, with a new profile for the Curva Biassono and the second Lesmo in 1994 and the Variante del Rettifilo being changed from a double chicane to a simpler right-left turn.
The current layout records are the following:
Outright record: 1:18,887 min by Lewis Hamilton in 2020, driving the Mercedes W11 at an average speed of 264.363 km/h (Fastest Lap of all time in terms of average speed).
Fastest Lap during a race: 1:21,046 min by Rubens Barrichello in 2004, driving the Ferrari F2004 at an average speed of 257.321 km/h.
2023 Italian Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2023 Italian Grand Prix will be the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Mario Isola, explained Pirelli's view for the weekend, with the Alternative Tyre Allocation making a return: “As usual, the European Formula 1 season draws to a close in Monza: which is also Pirelli’s home event as our headquarters are just a few kilometres away from this iconic circuit. Monza is synonymous with speed, as its nickname of the ‘Temple of Speed’ capably demonstrates. To this day, it’s where the fastest race in the history of Formula 1 was held, with Michael Schumacher setting an unbeaten average race speed of 247.585 kph back in 2003.
As a result, teams use the lowest possible aerodynamic downforce levels to favour top speed by reducing drag. Stability under braking and traction coming out of the two chicanes are the two key factors that challenge tyres most on this track, as well as the lateral loads exerted in the fast corners such as Parabolica (named after Michele Alboreto) and Curva Grande.
After Hungary, Monza will be the second time that the Alternative Tyre Allocation (ATA) is trialled, which uses two fewer sets of tyres than the standard format. This offers a benefit in terms of CO2 saved both during production and transport, as well as giving teams and drivers a wider range of strategic option. For this reason as well, we have chosen the trio of softest compounds for Monza – C3, C4, and C5 – which has already been nominated five times this season.”
The minimum starting pressures for the dry tyres will be 24.5 PSI (front) and 22.5 PSI (rear).
2023 Italian Grand Prix Weather Forecast
Friday, Sep 1st - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Partly sunny
Max. temperature: 27°C
Chance of rain: 12%
Saturday, Sep 2nd - FP3 & Qualifying
Conditions: Partly sunny
Max. temperature: 27°C
Chance of rain: 24%
Sunday, Sep 3rd - Race
Conditions: Partly sunny
Max. temperature: 28°C
Chance of rain: 24%
Who will be on the 2023 Italian Grand Prix Podium?
We've seen Red Bull dominate in any kind of circuit in 2023, whether it is a high-downforce or high-speed layout, in the dry and the rain, the RB19 has been on top and by quite a huge margin. At Monza, we should clearly expect the Austrian outfit to take a 15th consecutive victory (since last year's race in Abu Dhabi), extending their F1 record, and Max Verstappen taking an unprecedented 10th consecutive win, which is quite important for the team.
McLaren could be fighting for the spot as the second-best team in Italy, with its car having good performances lately in quite different track layouts.
It could be a tough weekend for Ferrari at its home circuit, but the team was competitive last year in the venue, although Red Bull dominated the Grand Prix.
The prediction for the top three of the 2023 Italian Grand Prix is 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Lando Norris, 3. Fernando Alonso.
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