Three long straights and a few fast corners are the perfect recipe for a classic track. Monza is one of the most famous racetracks in the world.
Monza, located in Northern Italy, is known for its high-speed racing. Since 1949, the 5.793km-long track has been home to Formula 1. It’s not about to disappear anytime soon.
Table of Contents
Turn 1 – Prima Variante
The first corner of a long straight can be a challenge. This is not only a dangerous corner with high curbs, but it’s also prone to pileups on the first lap. Keep to the left of the straight when you are on the inside curb. Brake between 100-150m (brake markers can be seen on the top left). You can trail brake to get in. You can slightly dart to the left before you turn in, if you want a faster run into turn 2.
This inside curb can wreck your race. Avoid it. When you exit, it’s crucial to allow your car to move towards the curb outside on your right. What is the most important part of a turn 2? Avoid the curb!
Turn 3 – Curva Biassono
You can take this long, swooping bend on the right flat out. Avoid touching the curb on the inside and stay in the middle to get more traction.
Turn 4 and 5 – Variante della Roggia
It is important to brake hard here for a smooth run into the corner. As a general rule, brake hard as soon as your nose reaches the end of guardrail on the right. This end of the rail in ACC is orange and easy to see. You can also use the brake mark just behind the rail if you are comfortable trail-braking. The turn 4 is a mere split second, where you will clip the apex of the turn. Avoid the inside curb again as it could send you into turn 5, out of control.
The second part of the chicane (Turn 5) presents similar challenges. Keep away from the curb on the inside (I will say this again, sorry). Once you reach the apex, use as much of flat portion of curb as possible. For maximum driving, I literally steer my car to the curb on the outside. Be warned that the curb is narrow, and it’s very easy to dig a wheel into the gravel.
Turn 6 – Lesmo 1
This is a tricky one. You can upset the balance of the car if you drive too aggressively. This will send you head first into the gravel. When braking, be smooth. Lower the gears a bit and keep it in middle. Once you’ve seen the advertising board to the left, press the accelerator hard. Use as much green as possible to run your car wide at the exit.
Turn 7 – Lesmo 2
Keep to the left when entering the track. Avoid touching the grass, and shift to second or third depending on which car you are driving. It’s okay to take a little bit off the curb but I recommend minimizing this. When you feel your car settle down, stomp the accelerator and let the car run over the curb. Attention to the rear of your car. It is not unusual for cars to spin in this area.
Turn 8, 9, 10, and 11 – Variante Ascari
The second straight is under the bridge, and then up to the turn 8. Under the bridge there may be a lot of standing water in rainy weather. Be careful to avoid aquaplaning. Stay right as long as you can when braking for the turn 8. I brake right at the brake mark, just behind the overhead signs. Let the car roll off the curb and then catch it by using your throttle. It will stabilize the rear but do not overdo it. The turn 9 is about stabilizing your car. When you have the car under control and are comfortable with it, toss the car towards the curb on the right. Even the yellow sausage-shaped curbs can be jumped with the right car or setup. Even if you do go over them, it can help align your car for the turn 10. After you have completed turn 9, you will be able to align the car for turn 10. Maximize your drive-out by cutting the inside curb. You can cut as much of the outside curb as needed, but watch out for track limits.
Turn 11 – Curva parabolica
The final corner is one of the most famous corners in Monza. You will have plenty of speed coming into this high-speed corner from the back straight and final straight. At the 100m, brake gently and trail the brakes. You can choose from a variety of lines, but I prefer to stay in middle and shift into 3rd gear while waiting for the car settle. When you feel the car is hooked, press the pedal and take a wide path out. Some times, the grip is better on the inside. However, over a long race, I have found this to be too much for my tires.
To Wrap Up:
Monza was something I disliked at first because I didn’t see the challenge. After putting in more hours, I have come to love Monza. Few tracks can reward you with such a sense of accomplishment as a good, late brake.
If only all online races didn’t begin with a massive pile-up at the first turn…