Italian GP 2007 preview & TV times

Italian GP 2007, Monza, circuit diagramHistoric Monza is the scene of the next round of the championship with the title battle having closed up in Istanbul.

Each of the three drivers chasing Lewis Hamilton made inroads on his lead in Turkey – Fernando Alonso is now five points behind, Felipe Massa 15 adrift and Kimi Raikkonen 17 behind.

There are only four rounds left after this one – and if any of the leaders falls to more than 10 points behind his team mate they could soon find themselves having to play the backup role.

British fans note qualifying will be broadcast on ITV 4 this week.

The track

Monza usually sees the lowest downforce settings of the year. Though it will be interesting to compare how the cars turn out for the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, which features a mix of long straights and short, tight corners that could mimic Monza’s demands more closely than any other circuit.

The teams have already tested their ultra-thin wings trimmed for maximum speed. the cars exceed 340kph on the run to the first corner, before braking heavily for a tight, narrow chicane.

At the request of the GPDA the second chicane now has a tarmac runoff area but drivers will not be allowed to get away with cutting the corner.

Around 80% of the lap is spent at full throttle. Most drivers will have a new engine at this race, but with the next stop being another high-speed venue – Spa-Francorchamps – preserving engine life will be critical.

As usual qualifying will be very important and so will the run down to the first corner.

TV times – Britain

Schedules from ITV and Radio Times

Grand Prix Qualifying live – Saturday 8th September 12.30-14.30, ITV4 (Qualifying starts 13.00)
Grand Prix Race live – Sunday 9th September 12.00-14.50 ITV1 (Race starts 13.00)
Grand Prix Race highlights – Sunday 9th September 22.45-23.45 ITV1
Grand Prix Race highlights – Monday 10th September 18.00 ITV4

McLaren-Mercedes

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, 2007 | Daimler ChryslerHamilton has had two tyres failures in three events and will be hoping he’s seen the last of any unreliability.

With overtaking no easier at Monza than anywhere else qualifying will be crucial to determine which of the two drivers comes out on top. Alonso’s qualifying effort with a damaged car last year was mighty (before he was controversially penalised) but Hamilton is returning to the scene of his GP2 title triumph last year.

Renault

Heikki Kovalainen did a fine job to race with the BMWs at Istanbul, but the R27 might not have enough in it to keep up this weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, could be fighting to keep his place in the team.

Ferrari

Ferrari have had good straight line speed this year so a one-two will be expected. In testing they again looked good on the longer runs but struggled a little for one-lap pace. That could leave them vulnerable to the BMWs at the start of the race – especially if McLaren lock out the front row.

But they will have enormous home support on their side.

Honda

Honda have a radical upgrade planned for the Japanese Grand Prix (as do Ferrari) and as aerodynamic efficiency rather than outright downforce is the name of the game here they might not have such a bad race.

BMW

BMW were superbly strong here last year, allowing Robert Kubica to score his first podium.

Expect them to keep the front runners honest and even hold up one or two of them for a few stints as they did to Fernando Alonso last time.

Toyota

Need a strong result to get back on terms with Williams (who, after all, are using their engines). Ralf Schumacher was a lapped 15th last year – the team need him up at the sharp end with his team mate, whose Turkish Grand Prix was ruined by Fisichella.

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault, Istanbul, 2007 | GEPA / Matthias KniepeissWith Renault engine power and that slippery Adrian Newey design Red Bull could have a good weekend – if the car holds together.

Williams-Toyota

Fifth in the championship, the best Williams can realistically hope for is to still be there at the end of the season.

To do that they really need Alexander Wurz’s qualifying performances to match his team mate Nico Rosberg’s. Another modest haul of points this weekend will help keep Red Bull and Toyota at arm’s length.

Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Vitantonio Liuzzi is making a case for his place in F1 as he keeps the highly-rated Sebastian Vettel behind him. But is there anyone on the pit lane likely to take Liuzzi on?

Spyker-Ferrari

Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto will get the use of the B-spec F8-VII this weekend. It will be interesting to see what Sutil can do with it – he was able to mix it with the Toro Rossos and Hondas last weekend.

Super Aguri-Honda

A fine qualifying lap by Anthony Davidson at Istanbul was poorly rewarded when he was delayed by Trulli’s spinning Toyota at the start. Points are likely to be out of the team’s reach this weekend – but if a lot of runners fall by the wayside Davidson needs to be the man that brings home the points for Super Aguri.

Predict the podium for the Grand Prix – leave your comments below.

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18 comments on Italian GP 2007 preview & TV times

  1. You could be right Alianora – this doesn’t bode well for McLaren:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/62078

  2. Wesley said on 6th September 2007, 23:23

    1-Raikkonen
    2-Hamilton
    3-Heidfeld

  3. alonso
    kimi
    hamilton
    massa
    5th bmw
    look folks your missing a piece here i,ll start with a wee bit of history anybody remember when alonso lapped micheal at nurumburgring or hungary about 5 years ago next race was the itailian gp where ferrari said oi williams are getting an extra 1mm width on there tyres on track reason ferrari bridgestone tried failed then told on them
    ie reason why he was lapped we had a tyre problem yeah i bet u did
    now 2007 ferrari are losing hope of constructors or no1 slot with kimi or massa the gloves came off i bet that x worker was told to pass info but have a recording of it so they could raise the hand to say oi there cheating… paranoid if this was a war the italians would be running away like they do they are dirty cheating ********…hope this clears things up

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