Weekend Preview!

Just F1 is in action this weekend in terms of Indian participation and we are looking forward to a potentially wonderful weekend for Force India.

The last race at Belgium (Spa), and this race in Italy (Monza) have very similar characteristics in that they both have areas of very high speed and historically if a team is quick at one, they will be quick on the other. Well Force India were quick at Belgium and so the whole team is looking forward to a great weekend in Italy.

The team had always expected to be quicker during the final part of the season and that is exactly what is happening. More points are predicted this weekend and it looks very likely that this will be the race when Force India overtake Swiss outfit Sauber in the constructors championship to lead the battle for 6th.

As things stand:

Constructors Standings (6th-8th)
6th: Sauber (35pts) 
7th: Force India (32pts)
8th: Toro Rosso (22pts)

This battle has been developing for most of the season and at the moment it is clearly very tight but based on recent performances Force India are the fastest. Here are the points scored for each team during the last three races (recent form):

Midfield teams recent form (last three races)
1st: Force India (20pts)
2nd: Toro Rosso (4pts)
3rd: Sauber (2pts)

In fact in the last three races Force India have even outscored Renault who are sitting in 5th place in the constructors. What this shows is that Force India are on the best run of form of the three teams; and that the run of form shows no sign of stopping yet.

Meanwhile this is how things look in the drivers championship:

Constructors Standings (9th-17th)
9th: Vitaly Petrov (34pts)
10th: Nick Heidfeld (34pts)
11th: Kamui Kobayashi (27pts) 
12th: Adrian Sutil (24pts)
13th: Sebastien Buemi (12pts)
14th: Jaime Alguersuari (10pts)
15th: Sergio Perez (8pts) 
16th: Paul di Resta (8pts)
17th: Rubens Barrichello (4pts)

Both Adrian and Paul are looking good to gain some championship positions this weekend.

Both drivers plus team principle Vijay Mallya and circuit engineering director Dominic Harlow spoke to f1.com about the weekend ahead and here is what they had to say:

Adrian Sutil: “I enjoy Monza and I have good some memories there. It’s where I had my best result two years ago when I qualified on the front row and finished fourth. It’s a classic circuit, one of the old tracks, and you feel the history when you arrive there. And the Italian fans always give Monza a great atmosphere. 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.”

Paul di Resta: “Yeah, in all my years of racing Monza is just one of those tracks where I’ve never raced. In fact, free practice last year was my first experience of the track. I loved it. It’s so fast but you also need to be aggressive and use the kerbs to get the laptime. And because it’s so low downforce, you have to adapt and drive in a different way. You need to be very precise on the brakes too, because it’s easy to lock a wheel and if you miss your braking by just a metre it can cost you a lot. You obviously treat every race with the same importance, but some races definitely feel a bit more special if you have an emotional connection. That’s the case with Italy because I’ve got family living there and some Italian blood in me! I’m fairly optimistic that Monza will suit us. In the past we were very strong there, but we have a different philosophy now and the car has worked well on all circuits. It’s going to be another close midfield fight but I believe we can come away with some points.”

Vijay Mallya: “Looking back on the last three races I am very pleased with the performances we have shown. Three strong points finishes on the trot have earned us 20 points and taken us a step closer to sixth place in the constructors’ championship. It’s a clear sign that we are delivering as a team on all levels and our season is now gathering some real momentum. I particularly enjoyed the last race in Spa where the racing was excellent. I felt Adrian’s seventh place was a fair reflection of our pace and a good recovery after our difficult qualifying session. At the same time we were fortunate because both cars picked up quite a lot of damage during the first corner and were lucky to finish. The target now is to get both drivers in the points and I’m hopeful Monza will give us a chance to do that. The VJM04 worked well at Spa and the drivers were happy with the balance in low downforce trim. That’s a good sign for Monza where we take another step down on the downforce levels. Italy in September is a wonderful place to visit and is a great venue for a motor racing. There is a great tradition at Monza which, along with the passionate tifosi, helps make this one of the most enjoyable races of the season.”

Dominic Harlow: “Monza always requires a new rear wing. You run about 80-85 percent of your maximum downforce and there’s a similar reduction of drag to about 75 percent of our total. The efficiency of the car goes up a little bit at those levels. Coupled with that, this is the first time that we’ve gone there with DRS. The effect will be quite a bit smaller, because the amount of downforce the wing is generating is less. You’ve got 80 percent of the maximum downforce on the car, but the reduction comes nearly all from the wings. Given that the wings are roughly 30 percent each of the overall load, with the rest coming from the floor, it cuts quite a lot of their authority. You’ve got to balance the downforce, so we reduce the capability of the front wing accordingly. Also, Monza is not a track that demands a forward aero balance because you want a reasonable amount of braking stability and entry stability, so we tend to run a little bit more rearwards and therefore less front wing. It’s fairly easy to achieve that with a flap change.”

To read quotes from members of the F1 paddock associated with other teams please refer to the original article here.

In addition to these quotes Paul di Resta (@pauldirestaf1) also tweeted the following: "Very special feeling walking around the park at Monza. Must have been awesome to drive the old banking. Already lots of variations on downforce levels up the pitlane. Some very small wings, some large wings."

While past performance is no guarantee to future success it sure is looking positive going forward but the team appear to be taking things one step at a time so let's hope for the best this weekend; the potential is there, it just needs to be maximised! =)

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