As expected Mercedes are very quick on the Monza circuit.The most surprising thing is that Mclaren have opted for a lower downforce setup than Mercedes.
Michael Schumacher’s sector 3 times were the fastest which means he is running some amount of downforce.While Jenson Button‘s first sector times were fastest which means he is running lesser downforce setup as compared to Schumacher and Mercedes.
Ferrari have gone for the intermediate setup that is between Mercedes and Mclaren in terms of downforce.
The Renault powered Lotus and Red-Bull cars, as expected are struggling on the high-speed Monza circuit due to the lack of straightline speed. Both Lotus and Red-Bull have chosen very low downforce setups so you can see they are able to match the times of Mercedes and Mclaren in first sector but are struggling in sector 2 and 3 due to the lack of cornering grip as a result of ultra-low downforce setups.
Had Mercedes and Mclaren opted for Red-Bull and Lotus setup they would have been massively quick through first sector but slower in sector 2 and 3.
Lotus and RedBull have had to go for lower downforce setups than the Mclaren and Mercedes due to the straighline speed disadvantage(As Renault engine generates less power when compared with Mercedes and Ferrari engine.).And, so have had to sacrifice more amount of cornering grip than Mercedes and Mclaren which has meant that they are unable to do fast sector 2 and 3.
I expect this trend to continue throughout the weekend.Stay tuned for the analysis of Second practice.