Three years after standing on the top step of the podium at Monza – an experience he will never forget – Sebastian Vettel is looking forward to another Italian Grand Prix next weekend and returning once more to the scene of his first F1 victory.
The German, who now has seventeen wins and a world championship to his name, also says that Monza is one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar.
“Monza holds incredibly special memories for me, as it's where I scored my first-ever F1 win with Toro Rosso in 2008,” explains the reigning F1 champion. “That's something I will never forget – I had goosebumps standing on the podium with the fans below.
“The circuit is one of the most challenging of the season. It includes very long straights where we reach more than 320kph, making Monza the fastest track of the year. The track is not particularly physically demanding but, despite that, it is certainly not easy. Because of the long straights we drive with less rear wing than at other circuits, so the car can be more unstable; accelerating out of Parabolica is a balancing act and the smallest mistake could mean the car slipping into the gravel trap.”
The Red Bull team are yet to taste victory at Monza, but the Italian Grand Prix still remains one of the favourites of Mark Webber. “Monza is one of the best races of the year because the atmosphere is amazing with the Tifosi supporting Ferrari,” says the Australian. “There is an immense amount of history with the old banking still in place and the beautiful park where the Italian Grand Prix has been staged over the past 80 odd years.
“It's the shortest Grand Prix we take part in, as we can knock the 300 kilometre race distance out very fast because of the exceptional average speed. You need a car that's very quick on the straights and still manage to have sensible downforce for cornering. Unfortunately it's the last European race of the season. We were spoilt with how good the race unfolded in Spa; let's hope Monza is the same.”