This weekend is the final European race of the 2013 Formula One season and the home race for both Ferrari and tire supplier Pirelli. We are, of course, talking about the Italian Grand Prix at the legendary Autodromo di Monza, located on the outskirts of Milan. The track was built in 1922 and has hosted the Italian GP every year since 1950, with the sole exception of 1980, when the race was held at nearby Imola.

It’s the fastest track on the calendar with an average speed in excess of 150 mph. Additionally, cars exceed 200 mph at four different points on the lap, so the combination of straight-line speed and braking stability is the key for race engineers and drivers.

A single lap measures 3.6 miles, and with drivers covering some 53 laps during the race, the total distance of the race is about 190 miles. As always it is a compromise in terms of setup, though lower drag than normal is favored due to the long straights and high track efficiency; Monza, alongside Monaco, is one of the two races where teams will often use track-specific aerodynamic components.  

Looking at the weather forecast for the weekend, temperatures will be hot and there is a chance of a storm on both days. Pirelli is bringing its P Zero Orange hard tires and P Zero White medium tires: the same used for the previous Belgian Grand Prix.  

Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship with 197 points. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is in second with 151 points while Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG is in third with 139 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing commands 312 points versus the 235 points of Mercedes AMG and the 218 points of Ferrari.


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