Two weeks on from the Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1 returns this weekend for the final European race of the season at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy.
The Italian Grand Prix has been a mainstay on the F1 calendar ever since the formation of the world championship in 1950, with Monza hosting all but one grand prix since.
The high-speed nature of the circuit makes it a unique challenge for the drivers and the teams, whilst the loyal following of the Tifosi – Ferrari’s fan club – creates an atmosphere few other venues in motorsport can rival.
Ahead of the race weekend in Italy, Will Buxton brings you all of the news, interviews and analysis in the latest edition of NBC Sports Group original digital series “Paddock Pass”.
In part one, we hear from Daniel Ricciardo about the challenge of Monza and from Felipe Massa about the possibility of closed cockpits being introduced to single seaters. We also speak to Federico Gastaldi following a rather turbulent week for Lotus amid financial uncertainty.
Will brings you more insight from Lotus in part two as we hear from Alan Permane about the details of setting up a car for Monza’s unique challenge and high-speed straights. Nico Rosberg also discusses his tire blowout at Spa and the subsequent focus on Pirelli.
In the final part of this week’s Paddock Pass, Will is joined by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to discuss the idea of closed cockpits, with the debate being reignited following the death of Justin Wilson last week.
The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend. For full details, click here.
Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.
Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.
“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.
Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”
Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.
“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.
Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”