NASCAR Cup Series
High-tech system could alter race
NASCAR Cup Series

High-tech system could alter race

Published Sep. 8, 2011 10:20 a.m. ET

Practice hasn't even begun and technology is taking center stage at the Italian Grand Prix.

The long straights and high speeds at the historic Monza circuit mean race organizers are planning to allow drivers to employ their drag reduction systems (DRS) - or adjustable rear wings - twice per lap to assist with passing.

''I think the whole team is going to Italy keen to see if DRS will create the sort of exciting and unpredictable grands prix we either watched or read about when we were younger,'' said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

With average speeds of 155 mph and top speeds of 211 mph, Monza is the fastest circuit in F1. With four areas of the track where cars accelerate from relatively low speed to near full throttle, the KERS power boost system should also get heavy use.


''I'm sure the moveable wing will spark a lot of passes,'' said Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. ''It's going to be very interesting for the fans and for us drivers there's going to be even more work to do. We're going to remain very focused not only on attacking in the best manner possible but also defending to our best abilities.''

Added McLaren driver Jenson Button: ''The DRS is going to be a pretty major asset for a following car, and it might shape the race in some really interesting ways.''


Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari has composed a double CD of electronic music that will go on sale soon.

The album, the theme of which is Organic Life, was edited by Spanish label Blanco y Negro.

Alguersuari, who composed the music at his studio in Barcelona, will present the album in the Catalan city next week.

Alguersuari became the youngest F1 driver in history at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix at 19. He is 14th in this season's standings with 10 points, having finished eighth at the Canadian and European GPs.


Ousted Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa could be headed to Mercedes next year.

Following leads from German media, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Mercedes is excited about the idea, and the Italian is just waiting for the right time to make a move because most contracts with top technicians require a waiting period to switch teams.

At Mercedes, Costa could reunite with his former mentor at Ferrari, Ross Brawn, as well as former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.

Brawn wouldn't confirm the report, telling the Gazzetta: ''Aldo is a friend, someone I like a lot and an excellent technician, but we have a well-defined unit.''

Ferrari removed Costa five races into this season.


Toro Rosso's announcement this week that it has signed a sponsorship agreement with Spanish oil company Compania Espanola de Petroleos (CEPSA) is leading to speculation that Red Bull might sell the team.

CEPSA is controlled by Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), whose president Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan owns the Manchester City football club.

Red Bull has made no secret about it's intent to sell Toro Rosso at some point, and officials in Abu Dhabi could be interested bidders.

CEPSA's logo will be visible on the Toro Rosso cars starting this weekend.


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