What’s So Special About Monza? 

What's So Special About Monza
What's So Special About Monza

Monza, a city in Italy’s Lombardy region, has been synonymous with motorsports for over a century. Home to the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, this iconic racetrack has etched its name in motorsports history, primarily due to its longstanding connection with Formula 1 and the Italian Grand Prix. The high-speed circuit, with its unique combination of long straights and challenging corners, has witnessed numerous memorable moments and records during its existence.

As a key venue in Formula 1 history, Monza has also played a significant role in shaping the legacy of Ferrari – arguably the most renowned team in the sport. The passionate Italian fan base, known as the Tifosi, has embraced the racetrack, making it an important symbol of both Italy and Ferrari’s motorsports culture. In addition to the rich heritage and significance in motorsports, Monza has also hosted other remarkable events and boasts several distinct features that solidify its status as a truly special place in the racing world.

The F1 paddock returns to Monza from September 1-3 for the Italian Grand Prix, where a browse of websites such as Betway tells us one thing: Max Verstappen is the overwhelming favourite to take the victory, and with it, a record 10 Grand Prix wins in a row.

Key Takeaways

  • Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale holds great significance in Formula 1 and Grand Prix history.
  • The iconic Monza circuit has played a crucial part in shaping Ferrari’s legacy and the passion of the Tifosi fan base.
  • Apart from Formula 1, Monza has hosted other remarkable events and possesses unique features contributing to its special stature in motorsports.

History of Monza

Monza is a city in the Lombardy region of Italy, located about 20 kilometers north-northeast of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza and lies along the Lambro River. Monza is known for its rich history, particularly the Royal Villa of Monza and the influence of Napoleon on the city.

Napoleon’s Influence

Under Napoleon’s rule in the early 1800s, Monza became a French province and saw significant improvements in its urban development. This period witnessed the reorganization of the road network, which connected Monza to important cities like Milan and Como. Moreover, the public square Piazza Roma was designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini as an important part of the city’s landscape.

Royal Villa of Monza

The Royal Villa of Monza is one of the city’s most significant historical sites. Commissioned in 1777 by Empress Maria Theresa, the villa was designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini. Originally built for the Austrian ruling family, it was later acquired by the Durini banking family, which helped revitalize the local economy and fostered the development of the city.

Today, the Royal Villa of Monza is a popular tourist attraction and a testament to Monza’s rich history. In addition to the villa, Monza is also known for its 13th-century cathedral, also known as the Duomo di Monza, which houses notable artworks such as the Iron Crown of Lombardy. The Arengario, a 13th-century municipal building located in the heart of the city, is another example of Monza’s historical architecture.

Autodromo Nazionale di Monza

Track Design

Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, located near the city of Monza in Italy, was constructed in 1922 and is one of the world’s oldest race tracks. Often referred to as the Temple of Speed, Monza is known for its high-speed straights and challenging corners, such as the famous Curva Grande, Ascari Chicane, and Monza SP. This 5.793 km (3.600 mi) track has been the home of the Italian Grand Prix for many years and is a favorite among racing enthusiasts, particularly Ferrari fans.

Stands and Atmosphere

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza features various stands for spectators to enjoy the racing action, with some of the most popular being the main grandstand and the Ascari chicane stand. The atmosphere at Monza is always electrifying, especially during the Italian Grand Prix, as fans passionately cheer for their favorite drivers and teams. The strong presence of Ferrari fans, known as the Tifosi, contributes to the unique atmosphere at Monza, making it a must-visit destination for motorsports lovers.

Banked Oval and Corners

The original design of Autodromo Nazionale Monza included a high-speed banked oval with two raised curves that could be taken at speeds of up to 180 kph (112 mph). Though the banked oval is no longer a part of the current track layout used for Formula 1, it remains a historical landmark that race enthusiasts can appreciate. Monza is known for its challenging corners such as Curva Grande, which is a high-speed right-hand corner, and Ascari Chicane, a series of tight turns that require precision from drivers. The combination of these elements provides a thrilling experience for drivers and spectators alike.

Significance in Formula 1 and Grand Prix History

Formula 1

The Monza Circuit holds an essential place in Formula 1 history. This legendary race track has been a part of the Formula 1 World Championship since its inception in 1950. Monza has hosted all but one Italian Grand Prix, with the track’s long straights and high speeds showcasing the true capabilities of Formula 1 cars. The Autodromo Nazionale Monza’s historic significance is further enriched by its passionate fans known as the Tifosi, who bring an unrivaled sense of energy and excitement to the venue.

Apart from being one of the oldest racing circuits in the world, Monza has played a significant role in several memorable moments and milestones in Formula 1 history. The first official Formula 1 race in Italy took place at Monza in 1950, with Italian driver Giuseppe “Nino” Farina clinching victory for Alfa Romeo, winning both the race and the Drivers championship on home soil, a feat that has not been repeated by any other Italian driver since.

Grand Prix

The Italian Grand Prix, held predominantly at the Monza Circuit, has become a highly anticipated event in the racing calendar. The long-standing tradition of hosting the race at Monza started in 1921, and its deep-rooted history has made it a critical component in the Grand Prix World Championship.

Throughout its century-long existence, Monza has witnessed several daring overtakes, high-speed pursuits, and intense rivalries. Some of the most spectacular Italian Grand Prix races ever witnessed across various decades have taken place at this historic circuit, adding to the rich history surrounding the event and the track.

Monza’s significance in Formula 1 and Grand Prix history is hard to match. As a pivotal part of the racing world, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza continues to play an essential role in the growth and evolution of motorsport, all while preserving its legendary status.

Ferrari and its History at Monza

Ferrari’s Monza Victories

Ferrari has a prestigious history at Monza, dating back to the early days of motorsports. The Monza circuit has long been associated with the Scuderia Ferrari team, as it is the home of the Italian Grand Prix. Its first victory at Monza occurred in 1965, and the team continued to impress with a hat trick of Ferrari victories at the Monza 1000 km from 1965-67. One of the most memorable victories for Ferrari was in 1967, following the historic 24 hours of Daytona Ferrari 1-2-3. Moreover, Michael Schumacher’s first Italian GP win for Ferrari also occurred in 1996, adding to the team’s rich racing history.

Ferrari’s Performance Modifications

Last year in Monza, the historic company colour of yellow featured strongly in celebrations for the marque’s 75th anniversary and this year it’s back. The SF-23 livery will pay tribute to that of the 499P which won the world’s most famous endurance race, in the form of the yellow “V” stripes that run down the side of the Hypercar, featuring on the nose and engine cover. 

The two cars already have the Rosso Le Mans red colour in common, with a matt finish on the Formula 1 car and gloss on the endurance racer. The race numbers – 16 and 55 – will also be yellow. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will have race suits specially designed for this race, featuring the Maranello marque’s colours of yellow, red and black and the “long F” logo which also features on the rear wing. Special helmets too: mainly yellow for the Monegasque and black for the Spaniard.

The walls of the walkway leading from the paddock to the Ferrari pit garage will feature illustrations of the Scuderia’s milestones in Formula 1 as well as in other categories where owners have raced their cars. After all, the Scuderia was established in 1929 with the aim of helping gentlemen drivers to race at a high level, something which is still true today, thanks to the Competizioni GT department which supports competitors in GT races, as well as the Corse Clienti department which has run the Ferrari Challenge, the Prancing Horse’s one-make series, since 1993 and the exclusive XX Programmes and the F1 Clienti department.

Alberto Ascari, a celebrated Ferrari driver, contributed to the team’s success at Monza with his skillful steering and driving abilities. Furthermore, Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the iconic brand, continually pushed for innovations in design and performance, leading to the creation of the prestigious Ferrari Owners Club. The club allows members to get even closer to the heart of Ferrari’s racing culture and be part of exclusive events at Monza and other circuits.

Overall, Monza holds a special place in the world of Ferrari, with a rich history of triumphs and innovations that have shaped both the manufacturer and the iconic race track. The performance modifications and victories achieved by Ferrari at Monza are a testament to the brand’s dedication to excellence and its unwavering commitment to creating vehicles that thrill both on and off the race track.

230001 Scuderia Ferrari Italian Gp Monza Car 75dbdce3 5f2b 4f05 9fb2 Aaaedc174ba9

Fan Base and Tifosi

Monza, the host of the Italian Grand Prix, holds a special place in the hearts of Scuderia Ferrari fans, famously known as Tifosi. The passionate Italian word “Tifosi” means fans or supporters, and it is associated with the dedicated followers of Italy’s most successful Formula One team. The presence of the Tifosi at Monza creates an electrifying atmosphere, especially during the Italian Grand Prix.

The historical Monza circuit bears significance as the home race for the prestigious Scuderia Ferrari team. Over the years, it has witnessed many memorable moments for Ferrari, making it a revered destination for dedicated Ferrari fans. The loyalty and enthusiasm shown by Tifosi towards Scuderia Ferrari contribute to the unique and unforgettable experience Monza has to offer.

The sight of thousands of Tifosi draped in Ferrari red brings a sea of passionate supporters to Monza, creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere during the race weekend. Their unwavering devotion to the team is undeniable and adds a unique element to the overall Monza experience. They celebrate their team’s victories with unmatched fervor, and their presence notably intensifies the entire event.

A prime example of this passion was witnessed when Charles Leclerc won the Italian Grand Prix in 2019 for Ferrari, ending a nine-year wait for victory at their home race. The ecstatic Tifosi at Monza celebrated as if it was a national triumph, further solidifying the deep connection between the fans, the team, and the circuit.

The Ferrari fan base and Tifosi’s unwavering support contribute significantly to the unique charm that Monza holds in the motorsports world. Their passionate energy and dedication define the essence of the Italian Grand Prix and make it an iconic event in the Formula One calendar.

Home Away From Home For Liam Lawson

For Kiwi Liam Lawson, racing in just his second-ever F1 race this weekend, performing in front of an Italian crowd for an Italian team will be a moment to savour as he continues to fill in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

“In Monza, it’s going to be nice to have the full build-up to the weekend preparation-wise, being able to drive in all the practice sessions. For Zandvoort, I flew in from Japan on Thursday night after racing there the previous weekend. Obviously, you’re always prepared as much as you can be for these things, but it’s so unlikely that you never really expect it to happen, and then it did! The support from the team was amazing. They did everything possible to prepare me as much as possible in the limited time we had. Even during the race, Pierre (Hamelin, Race Engineer) was super supportive with so much information, basically walking me through it, and that really made my life a lot easier, but obviously, there are always things you can improve on. In the race, we had every condition thrown at us, so that was difficult at the time, but also a good and positive experience, which has helped me get ready for Monza.

“Apart from that, I was in the simulator this week, and even though we didn’t need to do much playing around with the seat to make me comfortable in the car, there are a few things we have looked at for this weekend. Monza is a lot lower downforce, so I’ll have to get used to that. Having not driven a Formula 1 car there, it will still be quite a big challenge, but it is more of a straightforward circuit, and it’s one I’ve driven a few times already. Regardless, there’ll be a lot more to learn, a lot more to improve on, and a lot from Zandvoort to reflect on to use for this week.

“Going to Monza with an Italian team is also going to be special. If I think back to last weekend, Formula 1 is just such a different world – the difference between walking into the circuit on Friday compared to walking into the circuit on Saturday, I’ve never experienced anything like that, specifically that level of attention. Being a home race in Monza, I imagine it’s going to be even more significant there. It’s amazing to be doing this. It’s been my dream since before I can even remember, so it’s very cool to have this opportunity, and I’m just going to try to make the most of it,” said Lawson.

Another Podium For Pierre Gasly?

Fresh off his podium finish at Zandvoort, Milan citizen but proud Frenchman Pierre Gasly will be hoping for a repeat performance as he looks to continue his recent uptick in form. 

“I have spent a lot of my life in Italy and now I live in Milan, so of course, it’s a very special place for me. The Italian Grand Prix is a semi home race for me since I stay at home for the race weekend, so that is very nice! Monza is the place of my first win in Formula 1 in 2020 and I have very fond memories of that. It was a truly special day and one I will remember forever. That was a few years ago now, and the target is to one day repeat that result, but, in the meantime, we will remain realistic on what is possible this weekend. It will be a challenging weekend but we have some confidence and momentum right now. We’ll work hard in our preparation, aim for a solid Friday and tee ourselves up for a strong weekend from there,” added Gasly.

Monza: Fast Facts

  • This weekend’s Italian Grand Prix will be the second trial of the ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’ format. That will see teams have a reduced allocation of 11 sets of tyres: three sets of the Hard compound, and four of the Medium and Soft tyre respectively.
  • Monza is nicknamed the ‘Temple of Speed’ and for good reason. Recorded top speeds through the speed trap during the Grand Prix typically top 350 km/h.
  • That is perhaps no surprise given the long straights at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. 77% of lap time is spent at full throttle which equates to 80% of the total distance.
  • Only the Jeddah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia sees a higher amount of time spent at full throttle at 82%.
  • Despite these impressive numbers, we don’t expect Monza to have the highest top speeds on this year’s calendar. With its high-altitude environment, Mexico typically sees higher maximum speeds and with a nearly 2 km long straight, we forecast that Las Vegas will also trump Monza.
  • The circuit contains just 11 corners, four to the left and seven to the right. That is the second fewest of the year, behind only Austria which has 10.
  • The long straights of Monza are punctuated by several chicanes which require heavy braking – there are three braking events that are categorised as heavy (>4g for over 0.4s).
  • A lap of the circuit requires just 40 gear changes per lap, one of the lowest figures on the calendar. That is due to a large part of the lap is spent in eighth gear on those long straights.
  • The Italian GP venue is one of the most power sensitive tracks in F1. Even a modest increase in power can have a sizeable impact on lap time. This is in part due to the long straights, but also due to the low-speed corner exits onto those straights which demand a lot more power in the acceleration zones.
  • Mechanical grip is crucial due to the amount of these acceleration zones out of low-speed corners. The track has one of the highest traction demands of the season.
  • The high-speed nature means the Italian Grand Prix is often one of the shortest races of the year. If run uninterrupted, it usually takes around one hour and 15 minutes from lights out to the chequered flag.
  • Several corners, such as Ascari, are dominated by how well your car can ride the kerbs on entry. If the car is stable, drivers can attack much more easily but a lot of time can be lost if they are unable to do so.
  • On exit, the kerbs tend to offer poor traction and a bumpy ride, so drivers sometimes avoid the exit kerbs altogether to get the best run out of the turn.

What’s So Special About Monza? – Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Monza unique in Formula 1 racing?

Monza, home to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, is known for its high-speed characteristics and historical significance in Formula 1 racing. Considered the “Temple of Speed,” Monza consistently features some of the highest average speeds of any F1 circuit. Its long straights, combined with fast corners, make it a challenging track for teams and drivers, often testing the cars’ aerodynamics and drivers’ skills to the limit.

How does Monza’s oval track differ from other F1 tracks?

Monza’s oval track is not part of the current F1 layout but remains an iconic part of the circuit’s rich history, featuring high banked sections that were designed for high-speed racing. Although other circuits may feature oval sections or banking, Monza’s oval track stands out for its unique combination of elements and visually striking banking, which has become synonymous with the venue’s storied past.

What is the significance of Monza to Ferrari’s history?

Monza holds a special place in Ferrari’s history, as it is considered their home race due to the team’s Italian roots. Monza’s atmosphere and passionate local fans contribute to making the race weekend a special occasion for Ferrari, and success at Monza is particularly prized for its emotional resonance with the drivers, team members, and fans alike.

Which key events take place at the Monza circuit?

Besides the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, the Monza circuit plays host to several other notable racing events, including the European Le Mans Series, FIA World Endurance Championship, and Italian GT Championship. The circuit has also welcomed historic races, showcasing classic racing cars and offering a trip down memory lane for motorsport enthusiasts.

How can one travel from Milan to Monza?

Traveling from Milan to Monza is relatively easy, with multiple options. The most common method is via train, which takes approximately 15-20 minutes from Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi stations to Monza station. Alternatively, one can drive or take a taxi, with the trip lasting around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

What should one know before buying Monza F1 tickets?

Before purchasing Monza F1 tickets, it is essential to consider factors such as available seating options, budget, and preferred viewing locations. General admission tickets typically provide access to various viewing areas around the circuit, while grandstand tickets offer reserved seating. It is also worth noting any available promotions or discounts for early bookings. Lastly, ensure that one is aware of the event schedule and any supplementary activities, such as concerts or fan zones, that may enhance the overall experience.

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