- Circuit type Race
- Circuit Length 5.793kms
- Circuit Turns 11
- Circuit Direction Clockwise
- Capacity 115,000
- Established 1922
|First race||Italian Grand Prix||September 3, 1950||Nino Farina (ITA)||full results|
|Last race||Italian Grand Prix||September 6, 2015||Lewis Hamilton (GBR)||full results|
Few names are as evocative as Monza, built in 1922 and for many years one of the fastest circuits. It was the first purpose-built venue to stage a grand prix and the first to charge for entry. It was also two tracks. One, a US-style oval with two straights and two heavily-banked corners (demolished in 1938) the other a facsimile of a road circuit. But while hugely popular, it was also highly dangerous. In 1928 a driver and 27 spectators were killed, and despite safety modifications, five years later three top drivers died in one race.
A new banked circuit was built in 1955 but this only staged two grands prix before being ditched because of concerns over the stresses it imposed on cars. But even the road course was unsafe, and in 1961 Wolfgang von Trips died along with 14 spectators when he crashed. Subsequent additions of chicanes reduced speeds.
Despite numerous modifications over the years to improve safety for both drivers and spectators, the circuit faces criticism for its lack of run-off especially at the Variante della Roggia corner. Despite the ongoing safety debate the circuit is still a firm favourite with fans who can always expect an action-packed high-speed race. Legendary Ferrari fans, known as the Tifosi, turn the stands to a sea of red on race day, as they cheer on their team at their local circuit.
One of the old-school of grand prix circuits Monza has a very special atmosphere; the Italians often refer to it as "La Pista Magica" or the magic track.
On September 10, 1961 Wolfgang von Trips was killed when his Ferrari collided with Jim Clark's Lotus. His car was launched into the air and he was thrown fatally from the car, which landed in the crowd, instantly killing 11 spectators.
Just nine years later at the 1970 Italian Grand Prix, Jochen Rindt died at the same track as his hero His Lotus inexplicably ploughed into a barrier at Monza during practice. Rindt became the only driver to be awarded the drivers' title posthumously.
Ronnie Peterson died from his injuries after a crash at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix. James Hunt's McLaren clipped Peterson's Lotus, sending him crashing into the barriers. Vittorio Brambilla collided with the wreckage, and the car burst into flames. Peterson's legs were badly broken and he had suffered mild burns, and he later died from his injuries in hospital.