rFactor 2 – 2021 Released – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Another new piece of content is now available for rFactor 2 – the beautiful, iconic, historic and frighteningly fast Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is here! Yes, one of the most prestigious and well-used motorsport venues in the world is now available for rFactor 2 players to enjoy, in all of its 2021 configuration glory.
Here at the Studio we have long been fans of the famous Monza Circuit, admiring both the beauty of the venue itself, and of course the fact that it is a perfect fit for a vast array of different types of racing – from old school thrills in our many classic formula cars to more modern endurance racing adventures – something that is very important to us when we sit down and decide which circuits to license for the simulation going forward. Another aspect of this new track that we are particularly proud of, especially considering the constraints we are all going through with the latest pandemic travel limitations, is the fact that we could leverage the locality of the track with some of our Italian colleagues, giving us the perfect opportunity to get a highly detailed and fully up-to-date scan of the circuit and surrounding environment, giving us the distinction of having the very latest version of Monza in any racing simulation, and all in millimeter laser scanned accuracy.
I’m sure most of you reading these release notes are already intimately familiar with the nature of the Monza Grand Prix circuit from the many years of its active presence in National and International motorsport, however this is the very first time this track has appeared in rFactor 2, and we hope you share our excitement to get out on the virtual tarmac within the simulation and take one of our many cars out for a high speed blast through the Monza parkland.
Before you fire up the simulation and try out the track for yourself, let’s have a look at some key corners from the home of the Italian Grand Prix in a little more detail…
Without doubt the biggest pinch point on the whole of the 5.793km circuit, the Rettifilo Chicane not only marks the opening corners of the lap, but represents by far the biggest braking event at any of the 11 turns that make up a lap of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Approached at full speed from the seemingly never ending start/finish straight, the initial braking point for this corner is critical to hit at exactly the right moment in time – too soon on the brakes and you will be swamped by your rivals, too late and a quick jump up the T1 escape road is the only reasonable course of action available to you. First lap nutcase moves are sadly all too common here, so beware of danger!
The Curva Grande has become something of a simple acceleration zone after navigating your way through the opening chicane, easing gently to the right drivers are faced with the decision of hugging the inside line and using the camber of the corner to assist with a smooth exit, or allowing the car to run freely to the outside of the turn with a view to maximizing the speed and acceleration of your car on the run-up to the Variante Della Roggia chicane. In race conditions, this corner offers a reasonable opportunity to slipstream a rival into the second chicane, potentially also opening up opportunities to take the high outside line with a view to securing the inside for the next braking zone that will be rapidly approaching.
Variante Della Roggia
The second chicane of the Monza lap is often the more difficult of the opening three sections of corners, as once again drivers need to judge the fine balancing act of late on the brakes for a fast corner entry, with keeping up the minimum speed and ensuring a strong launch off the corner and down the short straight into the first Lesmo right-hander. Here at the Variante Della Roggia another strong overtaking opportunity presents itself if a driver is either brave enough on the brakes or has a better run through the Curva Grande, but beware, the sausage curbs on the outside of the turn will heavily disrupt your car should you shoot a little too far into the corner, very quickly putting the car in danger of significant time loss or even a spin.
1st Curva di Lesmo
Monza boasts not one but two Lesmo corners, the first of which requires significant reduction in speed and a timely downshift in most cars in order to ensure the vehicle is balanced and ready to change direction into the opening right-hand turn. Depending on how you have set up your car and which vehicle it is you are driving, many drivers here like to make contact with the inside curb and let the natural flow of the corner help pull the car through the turn, otherwise you may spend far too long balancing steering input and throttle application as you try and force the reluctant front end to grip up and pull the car through the corner. This is another of those sections of track where good time can be won or lost in a heartbeat.
2nd Curva di Lesmo
The second Curva di Lesmo is a slightly easier proposition to navigate that the previous turn, however the benefits from getting this corner right are considerably higher than Lesmo 1, thanks to the long back straight that follows immediately after drivers complete this two corner sequence. To help drivers carry the maximum speed through the turn a handy astroturf run-off area exists on corner exit, however misjudge how soon to get on the power and a trip over the grass will be your reward – with ample time and places lost as a result.
Named after legendary double Formula One World Champion Alberto Ascari, the Variante Ascari is perhaps the most dramatic and satisfying of corners on the entirety of the Monza circuit. Approached at nearly top speed, drivers often use the underpass from the old circuit as a brake point reference before throwing the car into the opening left-hand portion of the sequence at seemingly impossible speeds – relying on the ultimate grip of the car as you monster the curbs and quickly swing the wheel to the right-hand side in an attempt to flatten the radius of the corner, and get the best run possible through the middle of the sequence before launching out the other side and making your final blast into the last corner of the lap….
The final chance to win or lose time before crossing the start / finish line, the Curva Parabolica is a high speed right turn that requires just the right amount of speed to be shaved off in order to make the corner, but not lose apex speed which will compromise the end of your current lap and the start of the next one all the way down the mighty long start ./ finish straight. The challenge of the Parabolica has been reduced somewhat in recent years thanks to the removal of the gravel traps from corner exit, but this still remains one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding corners in motorsport.