Juan Pablo Montoya of the #21 DragonSpeed said he prefers USA’s candid approach to track limits over the European circuits’ additional run-off areas.
The Columbian spent much of his time racing at Monza during his Formula 1 career with a win in 2005.
Speaking in a press conference after FP1, having set the seventh fastest lap-time out of 35 LMP2 drivers with a 1m40.070s, he talked about returning to the ‘Temple of Speed’.
“I think it’s been always a lot of fun,” the 45-year-old said.
“I would say it is a little slower and a little different. [The] track’s changed, a lot more bumpy than it used to be,” he describes the difference between driving an F1 car and a LMP2 car at Monza.
Montoya has spent several years racing in America with his most recent sportscar campaign for Acura Team Penske (DPi) in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
He compares European circuits to the configurations in America on the aspect of what defines the track’s limits.
“All the tracks (in Europe) seem to [be] getting wider and wider with curbs everywhere… when you come from America – and the last few years I’ve been racing a lot in America – the track limit is really the corner exit, where there’s a small curb and there’s grass.
“So here they put a curb, and under more curb, and a little more curb, and a different type of curb, and then another curb, and then a sausage [curb]. Let’s say I don’t agree with it.
“If you build a track and that’s the limit – that’s the limit. You put gravel [or] you put grass. You go (as in think), ‘Why did you go off?’ That’s simple.”
Tighter track limits leaves lesser room for error as having gravel or grass defines a clear punishment in exceeding those boundaries, though additional curbing and tarmac aims to fulfill enhanced space and safety for the drivers.
Monza seems to be a good example of additional run-off areas and curbing with its Grade 1 FIA status.
These limits are commonly explored during Free Practice sessions to gain a sense of what is the most ground competitors can drive up to without repeatedly impeding their laps in-time for qualifying or the race.
Montoya, Ben Hanley, and Henrik Hedman will look to put their underwhelming results behind them after two challenging races left DragonSpeed ninth out of 11th in the LMP2 teams’ standings.