THE ITAL­IAN GP

F1 Racing - - RACE PREVIEW -

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.

RACE DATA

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

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