Hot on the heels of a mixed weekend in Spa we’re off to our second ‘classic’ in a row, at F1’s official temple of speed, Monza.
While we’re not expecting miracles at a circuit where outright power is everything, we are heading to the royal park outside Milan in the hope that major points are still there for the taking – after all we’ve had seven top five finishes at in our last seven outings at Monza, including two wins and a podium. And it’s not just us that think the Italian Grand Prix can be rewarding, our drivers are of the same opinion…
Monza’s a bit special for you isn’t it, given the amount of love you get from the locals?
Monza is full of crazy Italian fans; I love them all and it’s nice to get a bit of extra love from them with my Italian roots. Monza also has the best pizzeria in the world, but I’m not going to tell you the name, as I still want to be able to go there without queuing out of the door!
It’s not all about food, though. There’s also a race to run. How are you feeling about this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix?
The track is beautiful, high speed and awesome. I’ve done some of my best overtaking moves there and I plan on doing plenty more this week as it looks likely that I will be taking some engine penalties.
It’s obviously not ideal but Monza is a power track and one that we haven’t been hugely strong at in recent years, it does mean plenty of action and fun for me in the race though.
It’s becoming your preferred strategy at Monza. You made it to fourth last year from 16th on the grid.
Yep, so it won’t be boring if I have to do the same again this year. The other great thing about Monza, is the drivers’ parade, it’s really special, the atmosphere is electric and the fans are definitely some of the most passionate in the world.
It’s impossible to talk about Monza without talking about speed. What’s your impression of how it feels to race there?
Monza is fast, very fast. This makes it great fun but at the same time not ideal for us and our car. It is an old school track, one of the few left, so racing somewhere with such history is quite special and I always look forward to going back there.
There aren’t too many real corners there, so is it all about the feeling of straightline speed?
Actually, the highlights of the circuit for me are the last chicane, Ascari, and the final corner, Curva Parabolica. To nail the last corner is not easy but when you do it feels really nice.
What about away from the track? Daniel’s a fan of a certain pizzeria, but have you explored Monza and Milan?
I have been to Milan a few times but only for business so I haven’t had the chance to look around, but it goes without saying that the food is some of the best. The Italian fans will be out in force as always supporting Ferrari, they are very passionate and really good to see. Hopefully the orange crowd will rival the red this year.