Fernando Alonso in his 2011 Ferrari F1 race carEnlarge Photo
The numerous fast straights and tight chicanes demand the lowest downforce settings of the season, bringing engine power to the fore. Drivers can typically spend over three-quarters of the lap at full throttle, delivering the fastest average speed of the season and top speeds of over 211 mph down the main straight.
During practice today, McLaren came out on top at the end of the first session, with Lewis Hamilton coming out quickest in 1.23.865, ahead of team-mate Jenson Button in 1.24.786 and Red Bull Racing Sebastian Vettel in 1.25.231.
Going into qualifying tomorrow, and Sunday’s race, Vettel leads the 2011 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with 259 points, followed by his team-mate Mark Webber on 167 points and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso 157 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 426 points, followed by McLaren on 295 points and Ferrari on 231 points.
Stay tuned for our complete coverage of the 2011 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix this weekend.