Milan remains a classic stop on the F1 calendar…a fashion, cultural and gastronomic powerhouse, the original destination race.
That convivial atmosphere extending into the city’s Royal Park, home to one of the world’s oldest circuits, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Its historic banking a reflection of a dangerous past.
SOUNDBITE (English) TOTO WOLFF,
HEAD OF MOTORSPORT, MERCEDES:
“I like Monza. I like the Italian lifestyle, [and] la dolce vita. And it’s somehow a very special Grand Prix, cycling into the track.”
Monza has hosted the Italian Grand Prix every year since 1950, with the exception of 1980… when it was held at Imola.
On Italian Grand Prix success, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are on top, five wins each. Nelson Piquet has four. Six drivers have three, including Sebastian Vettel, who last won there for Red Bull.
Of course, all the drivers love racing at Monza, where it’s pedal to the metal, with 79 per cent of the lap distance spent at full throttle.
AUDIO QUOTE (English) NICO HÜLKENBERG,
F1 DRIVER, RENAULT:
“The one last standing track as a high-speed track. The longest straights, kind of one after another. Obviously very high historic here, an iconic track, where it is in the park and the Italian history here. So it’s definitely a special place and I enjoy racing here.”
It’s also a round that marks the end of the European season, before the sport packs up for its final flyaway odyssey; one that ends in Abu Dhabi. Monza the last race of the year with F1’s palatial motorhomes.
Located 40 minutes north of Milan, the 5.793-kilometre track features just 11 turns, four left, and seven right - and a top speed of 360 kilometres an hour. Brazilian Rubens Barrichello’s lap record from 2004 in a Ferrari still stands. There are two DRS activation zones: one on the run to Ascari, the other on the pit straight. There are two DRS detection points, one between the two Lesmos, the other just before the legendary Parabolica.
Thrilling, high speed and packed with fans and racing history, it’s time for the Italian Grand Prix.