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Italy 2012 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the Italian Grand Prix

Published by Christine

We saw plenty of action at the Belgian Grand Prix, with a couple of washed out sessions, some qualifying surprises, a first corner crash that caused chaos, and more sunshine than we'd anticipated! There's no time to dwell upon what we have seen, however, as it is back to back racing with the Italian GP just around the corner. From the sweeping nature of Spa we go flying towards the high speed straights of Monza.

Event schedule

Jenson Button's victory at Spa allowed him to close up the gap to his competitors in the championship, but there are still plenty ahead of him - and there's still a lot to play for! Alonso continues to lead, despite the retirement last race, and things are getting nice and close as we head into the second stint of the season. The drivers all tend to love driving at Monza, with the historic circuit adding a certain something to the weekend.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
7 SepFridayFree Practice 109:0010:00
Free Practice 213:0014:00
8 SepSaturdayFree Practice 310:0011:00
Qualifying13:0014:00
9 SepSundayGrand Prix13:0014:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2, GP3, and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The weather

It doesn't happen very often, but the weather in Spa did almost exactly what it was expected to do. The rain early on in the race weekend turned to sunshine that never went away. So, what to expect in Italy? There is nothing but sunshine ahead (if the forecasters are to be believed), with sun and few clouds littering the skies all the way through Sunday.

clear

Monza, Friday

28℃

  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 67%

Mostly sunny

clear

Monza, Saturday

29℃

  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 65%

Sunshine!

clear

Monza, Sunday

28℃

  • Low 17℃
  • Humidity 65%

More sun!

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection 120m before Turn 11
DRS activation 1115m after the Finish Line
DRS detection 295m before Turn 7
DRS activation 2210m after Turn 7

Just like last season, there are two DRS zones around the Monza circuit, each with their own activation point. It was the first time this had been tried in 2011, with other double DRS attempts featuring just the one activation marker. It works well the Monza way, but there are still plenty of debates to be had over whether two DRS zones are better than one.

The first zone is around the final corner, with activation coming down the home straight, whilst the second zone is at the equal and opposite end of the circuit. Look for overtaking moves aplenty this weekend.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameAutodromo Nazionale Monza
LocationMonza
TimezoneGMT +0200
First Race1950
Laps53
Length5.793 km
Distance306.720 km
Start / Finish Offset0.309 km

The history of the Monza circuit oozes from the very tarmac, and there's a special feeling throughout the paddock that reaches to the fans both present and watching at home. As one of the few truly high-speed circuits left on the calendar, the Italian Grand Prix presents its own unique challenges. Pole position can be a deciding factor, and Saturday can be just as important as the race on Sunday.

For 2012, there have been no massive changes to the circuit itself, but some of the surrounding areas have been tweaked. The wall at Turn One has been moved towards the track with more marshalling now available at that first corner. There's also been some resurfacing works, particularly at turns 10 and 11.

Naturally, Ferrari get a lot of support around the circuit with the Italian fans coming in their droves to cheer on the red team. Toro Rosso may have support to a lesser extent. There's also a tenuous link for Lotus, who have half-Belgian, half-Italian Jérôme D'Ambrosio on their books for one-race only. I wouldn't normally pander to such links, but he did miss out on his home event by just one week.

2011 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1:23:865Live / Results
Free Practice 2Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:24.010Live / Results
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:23.170Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:22.275Live / Results
Grand PrixSebastian VettelRed Bull1:20:46.172Live / Results
Fastest LapLewis HamiltonMcLaren1:26.187

Tyre compounds

Hard and medium compounds
Hard and medium compounds

Just like last weekend's race in Belgium, Pirelli have opted to bring the hard and medium compounds to the track in Italy. Also, just like in Spa, they are making a change from last year's tyre choices, moving from the soft and medium to the current selection. The tyres didn't seem to have too big an impact on the racing in Spa, with some drivers even considering one-stop strategies. What might we see this weekend?

Strategy turned out to be a key ingredient to success last year, with the podium places only decided on the final lap, and we would expect the same again this year. With the cars at full throttle for so long, it’s hard for anybody to gain a big lead unless they use strategy to their advantage.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayLocalAttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Jérôme D'AmbrosioLotus
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
Felipe MassaFerrari
Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso
Nico RosbergMercedes
Friday16:00Éric BoullierLotus
Pat FryFerrari
Christian HornerRed Bull
Monisha KaltenbornSauber
Franz TostToro Rosso
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Gerd EnnserMember of the DMSB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport
Silvia BellotGraduate of the FIA trainee steward programme
Emanuele PirroFormer F1 driver and five-time Le Mans winner

All content in the series Italy 2012