Autodromo di Monza, Italy – 4 September 2014
2014 Italian Grand Prix
Venue: Autodromo di Monza
Race Laps: 53
Circuit Length: 5.793 km
Race Distance: 306.720 km
Kamui Kobayashi to race alongside Marcus Ericsson in Italy; Roberto Merhi to drive in FP1
Kamui Kobayashi will drive for Caterham F1 Team at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend alongside Marcus Ericsson.
Roberto Merhi will take part in his first official Formula 1 session during Friday morning practice at the Italian Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Spaniard will take the wheel of Kobayashi’s CT05.
Roberto Merhi (born 22 March 1991 in Castellón, Spain) started his single-seater racing career in 2007, competing in the Italian Formula Renault and Formula Renault Eurocup. A year later he was runner-up in the West European Series as well as racing in five rounds of the Spanish Formula 3 championship. In 2009, Merhi stepped-up to the Formula 3 Euro Series, winning the championship in 2011 after 20 top-three finishes, including 11 wins. For the 2012 and 2013 season the Spaniard raced in the DTM, scoring points in his second year and achieving a podium finish in the final race of the season. He currently races in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and is second in the standings, challenging for the title.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10: “I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions. Now I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again! We have worked hard as a team and added performance to the car as well as bringing new updates since I last drove in Hungary before the summer break, so I’m looking forward to feeling the updates on track here in Monza. I always enjoy the Italian GP, not only because of its high-speed nature; I also like the Italian fans, they are always very enthusiastic and a very big part of the Italian GP weekend. They create a very special atmosphere.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9: “I always enjoy racing at such a legendary circuit as Monza, where I scored one of my 13 GP2 podium finishes, but to do it for the first time driving a Formula 1 car is going to be even more special. I can’t wait to get out on track: the long straights and fast corners mean that we are on full-throttle for most of the lap; it’s a fantastic high-speed layout – in fact it’s the circuit with the highest top speed of the season, so maximum power and minimal drag will be key.
“After a solid race in Belgium, we need to build on the progress we made with the car and continue to work in this direction. We aim to fight against our nearest rivals and it will surely be another close battle I am ready for.”
Roberto Merhi: “I am delighted to be taking part in my first ever Formula 1 Free Practice session and I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this opportunity – it’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time! I’ve been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity; Friday is going to be a very special day for me and one I will never forget. Monza is also one of my favourite tracks – I ended up on the podium there earlier this year during my first race of the season in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, so it’s a circuit that will bring back very good memories. What a year it’s been so far: last Christmas I didn’t really know if I was going to carry on racing and now I’m about to drive a Formula 1 car! I’m definitely going to make the most out of this weekend in Italy.”
Italian GP lowdown with Renault Sport F1 track support leader, Cedrik Staudohar
Main challenges of Monza for the Power Units:
Definitely the straights. The ICE will be at full throttle for three-quarters of the lap and we may use a new ICE for this race to get the maximum power and top speed.
Main energy recovery points:
There are two chicanes but they are very quick and the drivers run the kerbs as much as possible to straightline them. As such there’s not much opportunity for the MGU-K to recover energy. The Lesmos and the Parabolica give the MGU-H some chance to recharge the battery but again it’s not a significant opportunity.
For the ICE it’s the hardest of the year.
What to watch out for:
Speeds will be in excess of 350 kph down the pit straight. This is some 10 kph up on 2013 and will be the fastest speed we see this year due to the small wings.
Low downforce track
Circuit with the highest top speed of the season
Required higher DF than in the past
High brake energy but cooling rate is also high so not a big issue for brake wear in general
Braking stability is important
Radio and DST coverage could be a problem around T4 to T7
It is possible to overtake with good top speed
Gearbox severity: low
Lat / long grip: medium
Aero efficiency ratio: high
Track grip evo during w/e: high
Aero settings: low
Brake wear severity: medium
Brake cooling necessity: low