It seems fitting that the Italian Grand Prix is the last circuit on the European calendar, as the classic track, situated just north of the city of Milan, is the last of the historic super-fast Formula One circuits.
Monza stands alone in F1 as the only track that demands its very own set-up for the cars. This is down to the track's layout, which all about long straights and open corners, punctuated only by a few low speed chicanes. As the track demands such a unique set-up, teams are allowed to test at the track in the week before the race - the only circuit allowed such an exemption.
To achieve the ideal lap around Monza, the first requirement is power and a low drag aerodynamic set-up, in order to gain speed on the straights. The second requirement is a set of good brakes, which are able to withstand the long hard stops from 200mph+ into the chicanes.
To achieve this second requirement, softer compound tyres and a sympathetic mechanical set-up are required. In fact, it is only through the chicanes that driver can make a real difference to the lap time - such is the circuit's emphasis on acceleration and top speed. But the vicious Italian kerbs are renowned for breaking suspension, gearboxes and even engines.