Force India’s Tom McCullough: “the Temple of Speed is a unique challenge”


Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team‘s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough says this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix will present a unique challenge from the technical side of Formula 1.

The Formula 1 World Championship moves from the 7.1 Km circuit of Spa-Francorchamps to the ‘Temple of Speed’ of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit, where majority of the track is filled with straights nearly hitting top speed.

The 3.6 mile long circuit featuring eleven corners and multiple long straights provides a challenge for the cars in terms of set-up with drag and aerodynamics. Monza also features heavy braking zones, creating a test for the drivers with the brakes.

“From a technical point of view, the Temple of Speed is a unique challenge: nowhere else we experience such low drag and low downforce, and this means the set-up of the car has to reflect these special demands” said McCullough.

“The long straights are the hallmark of this circuit, with high straight-line speeds and six big braking zones providing a true test for the brakes. The low number of corners means fewer occasions to differentiate between cars – in qualifying, very small margins can make a big difference.”

Force India currently sits fourth in the Constructors’ standings, but could only managed to grab two points from last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix after Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon collided during the race costing the team valuable points.

The team have fond memories at Monza with a best result from the 2009 Italian Grand Prix with Adrian Sutil finishing fourth after a second place start in Qualifying, while Perez achieved an impressive second place with the Sauber F1 Team at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix, passing both Scuderia Ferrari‘s in the progress.

McCullough has noted that Monza provides an unique atmospheres on the Formula 1 calendar with the ‘Tifosi’ in attendance and looks forward to being at one of the classic tracks of the sport.

“Monza is another one of the historic tracks in the Formula One calendar: the Italian fans, the tifosi, help create an incredible atmosphere and it’s generally one of the favourite races of the year for everyone involved.”