THE ITAL­IAN GP

F1 Racing (UK) - - RACE PREVIEW -

THE MAIN EVENT

An F1 sea­son with­out Monza is un­think­able – so much so that such a state of af­fairs has come about only once. Any­one who dis­misses the no­tion of a cir­cuit hav­ing an at­mos­phere should come here and soak up the am­bi­ence of the pas­sion­ate tifosi and, yes, the whis­per­ing trees…

Ini­tially built as a banked oval within the royal park, the cir­cuit hosted very few suc­cess­ful events fea­tur­ing the lay­out as orig­i­nally in­tended, and the fo­cus shifted to the sim­ple but fast and de­mand­ing road course. Chi­canes now dis­fig­ure the pu­rity of that de­sign but add greatly to safety, while adding over­tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. To see a mod­ern For­mula 1 car brake from over 200mph to 30mph in less than 100 me­tres at Turn 1 is to be amazed and thrilled.

Ac­cel­er­a­tion and top speed are the key dif­fer­en­tia­tors for the cars here, while fi­nesse and guts un­der brak­ing sep­a­rate the great driv­ers from the merely good. Another skill is to ne­go­ti­ate the first cor­ner af­ter the start with­out get­ting in­volved in a pile-up – eas­ier said than done.

CLAS­SIC RACE: 1953

The last world cham­pi­onship race run to F2 reg­u­la­tions, this was a typ­i­cal Monza slip­streamer. A four-car train of the Maser­atis of Juan Manuel Fan­gio and Onofre Marimón, and the Fer­raris of Al­berto As­cari and Giuseppe Fa­rina, did bat­tle un­til Marimón dropped back. How­ever, by the last lap he was again run­ning with the three lead­ers, al­beit four laps down, as was the lapped fourth-placed man, Luigi Vil­loresi. As all five came to the last cor­ner As­cari and Fa­rina were side-by-side and ahead of Fan­gio, only for As­cari to spin. Fa­rina took eva­sive ac­tion, As­cari was hit by Marimón, and Fan­gio came through the chaos to win from the re­cov­er­ing Fa­rina, with Vil­loresi third.

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