Monza is called the temple of speed for a reason. Long straights combined with heavy braking zones and slow chicanes make this legendary track one of the calendar's best for overtaking.
Containing the famous Ascari chicane and the mighty Parabolica to finish the lap, with just a single straight, Sector 3 sounds simple. But it is anything but simple to extract all the lap time out of these technical high-speed sections. Continue reading to find out how to master Sector 3.
Turn 8 (Variante Ascari): Entry
We arrive at the famous Ascari chicane at high speed in 8th gear with the DRS open. T8 is the first left-hander of the complex and requires extreme commitment.
Despite the high speed from the straight, braking for T8 is only short before flicking it into the apex. Downshift twice to 6th here.
You can even use a bit of entry kerb to widen the arc through the corner, helping to increase your minimum speed.
Turn 8 (Variante Ascari): Apex
The apex of T8 is an important one. It can really set up the rest of the Ascari complex, so it is critical that you nail it.
In F1 2020 it is best to take as much kerb as you can, aiming to just clip the edge of the sausage kerbs. Hitting the sausage kerbs too hard can unsettle the car so be aware.
Turn 9 (Variante Ascari)
The second of the three Ascari corners is T9. This right-hander is both the exit of T8 and the entry of T10 so it is important to maintain a good line here to maximise the whole complex.
Following T8, run out to the flat green painted area on exit, before changing direction and getting straight back on the power as you make the transition in T9. (Downforce is high here).
Let the car come naturally off the kerb as you head for T10. Be aware of the small sausage kerbs on the inside of T9 as these can unsettle the car.
Turn 10 (Variante Ascari): Apex
T10 is the last part of Ascari and it takes us onto the back straight, so the exit of this left-hander is important.
In a similar way to T8, aim to take a lot of kerb so that you just clip the edge of the sausage. Again, too much sausage kerb can make the car break traction.
Try to open the steering as much as possible around the apex, as having too much steering lock on can encourage the car into a spin on the kerb.
Turn 10 (Variante Ascari): Exit
The exit to T10 is important for the run down the straight so try not to scrub any speed off here.
In real life we often see drivers pushing the limits and clipping the gravel but in F1 2020 you don't have to extract everything on this exit kerb. As long as you don't scrub off any speed a more conservative line will be okay.
Turn 11 (Curva Parabolica): Entry
Now we arrive at the famous Parabolica corner to end the lap. Even though some people argue it is not the same challenging corner it once was (the removal of the treacherous gravel trap), T11 can still make or break a lap.
The short braking phase begins around the 50m board. Almost immediately after the initial hard hit on the brakes you should begin to turn into the corner and start bleeding off the brakes.
Shift down to 6th gear as you approach a late apex, continuing to trail brake as you do.
Turn 11 (Curva Parabolica): Apex
T11 can feel like a very long corner so it is critical in the race to take the right line to make the most of the exit onto one of the longest straights on the calendar.
A late apex is key here to ensure you get back on the power earlier to maximise the speed on exit.
Hug the flat part of the apex kerb and as soon as you feel the front gripping up get back on the power. The downforce is still high here so just try to get straight to full throttle as soon as possible.
Turn 11 (Curva Parabolica): Exit
Providing you get the timing of throttle application correct from the middle of the corner, the exit of T11 is just about scrubbing as little speed as possible and taking the shortest route to the line.
When ending your hotlap, run out to the green painted strip but then use the downforce to cut back to the inside to shorten the distance as the line is early on in the straight.
Pro tip: The exit is more important when starting the lap than finishing it. To start your lap, sacrifice all of the entry in favour of an even faster exit, and this time take the longest (widest) route to the line. This will mean you start your timed lap with a little extra speed.