The 2017 Formula 1 World Championship battle continues this weekend with round 13 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix.

The Monza racetrack was on the calendar for F1’s inaugural season and is often described colloquially as “La Pista Magica”, and with good reason: the atmosphere is second to none.

It’s also famously the power circuit in F1, with its historic straights broken up by tight chicanes. Drivers spend 79 percent of a lap at full throttle, interrupted only by the two corners such as the Lesmos, Variante Ascari and Parabolica.

Thus, power is important. In general, drivers will improve their lap by 0.2 seconds for each additional 10 horsepower their cars can muster.

The tires are also heavily loaded, a situation made more severe given 2017’s car setup. Pirelli has nominated its medium, soft and supersoft compounds for the weekend. The nomination provides teams with a balance between performance and durability, the latter vital to cope with the high energy loads the tires have to endure.

Weather shouldn’t be too much of an issue though we may see some scattered showers during qualifying.

Going into Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leads the 2017 Drivers’ Championship with 220 points. Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton is second with 213 points and fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is third with 179 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 392 points versus the 348 of Ferrari and 199 of Red Bull Racing. Last year’s winner was Nico Rosberg driving for Mercedes.