The street circuit features nine corners taken below 60 mph, more than Monaco, and 15 different braking events. This means drivers have to work much harder than usual. For instance, they change gear 80 times per lap, which is a rate 50 percent higher than the season average and nearly double that of Monza.
It’s also worth noting that this is the longest race of the year; the 61 laps come in close to the two-hour time limit, which, when combined with the heat and humidity of the region, makes this one of the most grueling races of the year.
Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow soft tires and P Zero Red supersoft have been nominated for the race. Teams need to be wary of ambient and track temperatures that tend to fall, rather than rise. Additionally, the road surface tends to be bumpy and slippery, and grip is further compromised by the number of manhole covers and painted white lines.
Currently, the weather forecast for Sunday’s race is warm and humid conditions, partially cloudy skies and no signs of rain.
After 13 rounds of the 2012 season, going into qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s eventual race, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso leads the Drivers’ Championship with 179 points, followed by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in second place with 142 points and Kimi Räikkönen just 1 point behind the Brit in third place.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 272 points, with McLaren in second on 243 points and Ferrari in third place with 226 points.