Ciao Bella: Part 2 – More Italian F1 GP, Rally Cars, AMG Driving Academy, and more!
by Pablo Mazlumian
Author’s note: There’s a movie trivia question on Page 11. If you’d like to guess the answer, refrain from looking at the comments below until after reading this article so that you don’t see the answer (assuming someone even guesses correctly).
Thanks to my other car life with european car Magazine, and its connections to European motorsport and aftermarket companies like Brembo and its PR company, ID Agency, I got a trip of a lifetime to Monza, Italy for the 2015 Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix. If you missed our Italian Grand Prix Part 1 coverage, make sure to check it out. In it, I covered a little bit of the race but also included technical info and pictures of aftermarket and racing parts from Magneti Marelli, and also of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, which is coming Stateside. If you like motorcycles, I also got close-ups of Valentino Rossi’ GP bike!
The whole reason for sending me to Italy was to showcase Brembo’s 40th anniversary in racing, which started when they got their brakes on the famous Nikki Lauda Ferrari Formula 1 car featured in the movie Rush, which also happened to win the championship that very year (and exactly 40 years ago)! My tour through the Brembo factory will be featured soon in EC, and it will include a brand new product released by Brembo to the public in November. I could tell you, but then…you know. (No, they would kill me!).
Today, while I’ll be covering a little more of the Grand Prix of Italy at Monza, you will also witness close-ups of the 2013 Ferrari F1 car driven by Fernando Alonso (because they wouldn’t let us get up close to a 2015 car), Tony Cairoli’s Peugeot Rally racecar, and our day spent with Brembo at the AMG Driving Academy at the Franciacorta racing circuit!
As mentioned in Part 1, our Italian GP day was turned up several notches when we were given Magneti Marelli hospitality passes. In here, we got to see lots of cool stuff, starting with Fernando Alonso’s 2013 Ferrari Formula 1 car, which won two races that year.
There is so much detail that goes into the front wing alone. The downforce from this piece is so significant that, if a large enough piece fall off, these cars become totally uncompetitive. If the wing were to come off completely at the wrong time (during heavy braking), the car can become downright deadly, as witnessed in the tragic crash of Austrian-born Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994 during qualifying, the same event Ayrton Senna was killed at during Lap 6 of the race the very next day.
Even sadder, and something that wasn't mentioned in the critically acclaimed documentary about him, SENNA, Ayrton was found with a small Austrian flag rolled up to the side of the cockpit, which he was going to wave during his victory lap.
Here’s another view of the right side of the wing from the right-rear. In an interview with another team's principal in F1, from the Lotus F1 team, NBC Sports commentator reported 1500 man hours to produce a wing, which saves anywhere between 0.2 to 0.5 secons a lap. This figure also doesn't include all of the testing both in wind tunnel and on track, which can nearly double that man-hour figure!