THE ITALIAN GP
THE MAIN EVENT
Just like Spa, Monza is steeped in history and the basic layout of this classic circuit has remained unchanged for many decades – despite the addition of three chicanes to reduce speeds. Situated in a royal park on the outskirts of Milan, Monza is characterised by trees lining the track from the Variante della Roggia, beyond the Lesmo bends, all the way down to Ascari.
The narrow ribbon of Tarmac and flat-out racing brings a sense of drama, and on race-day morning you can feel the tension build. The patriotic tifosi flock here to cheer on the red cars – and you can expect them to ratchet up their enthusiasm into a frenzy if either Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Räikkönen seem likely to make the podium this year.
Rather like Le Mans, drivers walk across a gangway to the rostrum and stand on a circular structure positioned above the pitlane that overlooks the start/finish straight, which fans are allowed to enter after the race.
CLASSIC RACE: 2008
Minardi were regarded as F1’s perennial underdogs, fighting for just the odd point here and there. Then Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz took ownership of the team in 2006, rebranding them Toro Rosso. A lot of the old Minardi staff stayed, so when a young Sebastian Vettel dominated a rain-soaked 2008 Italian GP, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Toro Rosso’s one and only win is still the stuff of legend and, at the time, Vettel was F1’s youngest ever race winner, aged 21 years and 73 days.
Circuit name Autodromo Nazionale Monza
First GP 1950 Number of laps 53 Circuit length 5.792km Race distance 306.655km Lap record 1m 21.046s Rubens Barrichello (2004) F1 races held 66 Winners from pole 23 Tyres Supersoft, soft, medium