Among all the legendary Italian racing circuits, none gets the adrenaline flowing quite like Autodromo Nazionale Monza. This weekend, the country’s famous Grand Prix host gets ready to welcome the stars of tomorrow in the Formula 4 Italian Championship, with Dino Beganovic set for his first competitive taste of the high-speed Milan track.
Beganovic arrives at Monza on the back of a strong result last time out at Mugello, where the Swedish single-seater rookie scored two podium finishes in changeable conditions to haul himself into the top five in the championship standings.
Heading to Monza – one of the world’s oldest racing circuits dating back to 1922 – Beganovic is unsurprisingly hoping for more of the same. The 16-year-old Ferrari Driver Academy youngster is keen to take on his first race weekend at “La Pista Magica”: a sacred location in Italian motorsport.
“It will be a very special occasion racing at Monza for the first time in my career, and especially as a Ferrari Driver Academy member at the home of the Italian Grand Prix,” says Dino Beganovic. “I grew up watching the F1 races there on TV and it’s partly where my dream began. We had a really strong weekend last time out at Mugello and obviously I want to build on that at Monza.”
Designated “the temple of speed”, the 5.793 km Monza circuit is one of the fastest in the world. Characterised by its many long straights, top speed is a key performance differentiator at Monza, with engineers happy to trade off low-speed balance and grip for maximum straightline velocity – making the heavy braking zones a swerving challenge for the drivers.
Another Monza feature is the inevitable slipstreaming effect, whereby cars strive to follow each other down the straights for reduced drag and increased top speed – preferably without handing their rivals a similar advantage.
“Slipstreaming is more important at Monza than anywhere else,” Dino Beganovic continues. “We have been there for testing and it was immediately clear to see how big that effect is. If you time it perfectly around the lap, it could be worth up to a second, so it will be interesting to see how the different teams go about trying to achieve that.”
Beganovic took to the track at Monza already on Wednesday for a day of collective F4 testing. The official activities begin on Friday with a brace of free practice sessions, marking the formal start to round five of the 2020 Formula 4 Italian Championship.
Formula 4 Italian Championship
Round 5 – Monza
Friday 16 October
Free Practice 1: 10.25-11.05
Free Practice 2: 14.40-15.20
Saturday 17 October
Qualifying 1: 09.50-10.05
Qualifying 2: 10.15-10.30
Race 1: 15.15 (30 min + 1 lap)
Sunday 18 October
Race 2: 10.00 (30 min + 1 lap)
Race 3: 15.50 (30 min + 1 lap)