High speeds expected at Monza

Sunday 31-August-2014 10:47

The top speeds at the Italian Grand Prix could go past the 360kph (223mph) mark, according to Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester.

The V6 turbo power units used this year along with the new aerodynamic regulations that came into effect simultaneously at the start of the season have led to increased straight-line speeds so far in 2014.

As Monza is generally the fastest race of the year where low downforce aerodynamic packages are the norm, Chester believes the 220mph mark will be crossed on the track's long straights.

"It will depend on the downforce and drag levels that the teams will run but I expect it will be higher than last year," Chester told

"It might be possible to achieve 360kph on the straight, depending if the car is getting a tow with DRS."

Even if teams pass the 360kph mark, beating the 372kph Juan-Pablo Montoya managed at the same track in the V10-powered McLaren MP4/20 in 2005 seems unlikely.

Nevertheless, Chester is interested to see how well the drivers handle their cars in Italy with the increased levels of torque that has become the norm this season.

"They will be a little bit trickier [to drive] than last year's car being a bit lighter in downforce and with more torque in the turbo engines so I think the exit of the chicanes can be quite tricky," the Lotus Director added.

"We have seen in all the cars this year how the cars move under acceleration out of a corner and at Monza which is the circuit where we run the cars in their most slippery configuration, we will see some acrobatics from the drivers as they manage the cars on power at mid-corner and also on the exits."

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