What is special about the Monza circuit?
Monza is the fastest circuit of the year. The track itself is in principle only made up of straights and chicanes. Because of this we reach the fastest top speed of the year at Monza, getting up to 330kph. The acceleration through the Parabolica is a balancing act – if you make the smallest error then you will slide straight into the gravel before you know it.
What are your Monza highlights?
This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008 with Toro Rosso. I can’t describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time, and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath, it gives you goose bumps.
Tell us about the Italian GP
I like Monza a lot because it’s very Formula One in terms of its history and its atmosphere. All of the greats have raced there and I have an affinity with Italians from my Minardi days. The track is one of a kind, it’s an incredibly fast circuit with high top speeds, so there’s a lot of heavy braking. Monza has never been that kind to me; I’ve had a few retirements and have never finished on the podium, so I want to get a good result there this year!
What is the atmosphere like at the race?
The Tifosi really make the atmosphere of the weekend, they go ballistic and they’re very passionate about a certain red team. They will climb anything to get a good view: they sit in trees, on billboards and after the second Lesmo they sit on the old banking with their feet hanging over the barrier. Overall, Monza is one of the races that I recommend people go to.